Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has said there were plans by the Nigerian government to arrest him over phoney charges.
Obasanjo, who led Africa’s most populous country from 1999 to 2007, supported President Muhammadu Buhari’s ascension to the country’s top post, has emerged one of his most potent critics in recent months.
“Impeccable security sources have alleged Chief Obasanjo’s name is on their Watch List and that the security of his life cannot be guaranteed,” Obasanjo’s media aide Kehinde Akinyemi said in a statement on Friday.
“According to these informants, many of who are in the top echelon of the Nation’s security management and close to the corridors of power, the operatives are daily perfecting how to curtail the personal liberties of the former President and hang a crime on him.”
Obasanjo alleged that there were plans to seize his International Passport, lock him into detention indefinitely and also cause Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open an investigation into the activities of his administration using false witnesses and documents.
“It is said that another plot being hatched is to cause the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to re-open investigation into the activities of Chief Obasanjo’s administration using false witnesses and documents,” Akinyemi said.
“This will be a re-enactment of the Abacha era in which Chief Obasanjo was one of the principal victims.”
The statement came after weeks of heated exchanges between the two leaders. They were disunited after Obasanjo accused Buhari of nepotism and lacking an understanding of the “dynamics of internal politics”.
Buhari responded recently by accusing his predecessor of frittering away $16 billion on phoney electricity projects.
The former president insisted he was ready to face “an independent, objective and credible panel of enquiry to account for his stewardship in Government and beyond.”
The Friday statement also referred to the ongoing travails of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara as a way to destabilise them for the next general elections.
“We are currently in a nation where the Number Three citizen is currently being harangued and the Number Four citizen is facing similar threat within the same Government they serve. There is a groundswell of our nationals that live in fear that they could be hounded, harassed, maimed or even killed as the battle for 2019 takes this worrisome dimension.”
However, the former president said his doors were still opened for the present administration’s for any private consultations and also affirmed he would continually express himself openly for the best interest of the nation.
“That channel of private engagement remains open and continues,” he said.