by ‘Jola Sotubo
President Goodluck Jonathan has finally replied the 18-page open letter sent to him by his predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Chief Obasanjo on December 2 wrote a letter to the president criticizing him for his leadership methods among other things.
President Jonathan is said to have asked his aides to sit back as he was prepared to reply Obasanjo all by himself.
The president did as he said and he also gave 10 major reasons why he deemed it fit to reply Chief Obasanjo.
Read them below:
“…I feel obliged to reply your letter for a number of reasons:
– You formally requested for a reply and not sending you one will be interpreted as ignoring a former President.
– Nigerians know the role you have played in my political life and given the unfortunate tone of your letter, clearly, the grapes have gone sour. Therefore, my side of the story also needs to be told.
– Your letter is clearly a threat to national security as it may deliberately or inadvertently set the stage for subversion.
– You raised very weighty issues, and since the letter has been made public, Nigerians are expressing legitimate concerns. A response from me therefore, becomes very necessary.
– This letter may appear in biographies and other books which political commentators on Nigeria’s contemporary politics may write. It is only proper for such publications to include my comments on the issues raised in your letter.
– You are very unique in terms of the governance of this country. You were a military Head of State for three years and eight months, and an elected President for eight years. That means you have been the Head of Government of Nigeria for about twelve years. This must have, presumably, exposed you to a lot of information. Thus when you make a statement, there is the tendency for people to take it seriously.
– The timing of your letter coincided with other vicious releases. The Speaker of the House of Representatives spoke of my “body language” encouraging corruption. A letter written to me by the CBN Governor alleging that NNPC, within a period of 19 months did not remit the sum of USD49.8 billion to the federation account, was also deliberately leaked to the public.
– Your letter was designed to incite Nigerians from other geopolitical zones against me and also calculated to promote ethnic disharmony. Worse still, your letter was designed to instigate members of our Party, the PDP, against me.
– Your letter conveys to me the feeling that landmines have been laid for me. Therefore, Nigerians need to have my response to the issues raised before the mines explode.
– You have written similar letters and made public comments in reference to all former Presidents and Heads of Government starting from Alhaji Shehu Shagari and these have instigated different actions and reactions. The purpose and direction of your letter is distinctly ominous, and before it is too late, my clarifications on the issues need to be placed on record.