Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday said as the 2019 election year approaches, the task of wrestling power from incumbents at all levels of government won’t be easy.
He however advised that if the task was to be achieved, the opposition parties must join forces to win over the youths who he admits can do the magic with their intimidating population.
Obasanjo, the brain behind the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), told members of the group at a meeting in Ibadan that whatever needed to be done to make power change hands should be done.
He charged youths in particular to get prepared to take over the mantle of leadership of the country.
His audience included former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who is the National Coordinator of the movement; former deputy governor of Oyo State, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja; two former secretaries to the Oyo State Government, Chiefs Olayiwola Olakojo and Ayodele Adigun; Obasanjo’s close associate Otunba Oyewole Fasawe; and a legal luminary, Hammed Raji (SAN).
Obasanjo is a leading campaigner against President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection.
He said: “Some people believe that those that are in position, whether they are doing well or not, they must continue to be there. But when we say they must not be there, they will want to fight back. They will do many things to wreak havoc, but everybody must be prepared. It will not be easy to wrest powers from them. If you think it will be easy to liberate Nigeria, you are deceiving yourself.
“But the God that did it yesterday will do it again today. We have seen this before. In this Nigeria, we have had a situation that we had five political parties and the five parties nominated one person as candidate for presidency. If only his nuclear family had voted for him, he would have won.
“But our God is wonderful. God laughed. Now, God is laughing. When the time came, God revealed that He’s God. He is the omnipotent, omnipresent and eternal, who can do all things and who can make all things possible. But if we are leaving things to God, we have to do our own side.”
“I just want to join in assuring you that the philosophy of what we have is CNM, and what it will transform to will not be different.
“We have not had a political party in this country that is grounded in the grassroots. All our political parties are elitist. We have not got a party in this country that has given a pride of place to the youth.
“The youths under 40 years old form more than 65 per cent of our population. Now, who will tell you that because you are under 40 years old, you cannot play a very significant role in the affairs of your country?”
Going down the memory lane, he added:” I was Head of State when I was under 40. Now, France has elected a president that is under 40 years old,” he said.