Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said he would never endorse President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term.
The former leader insisted that his position in a January 23 statement that Buhari should not seek re-election remained valid.
Obasanjo also dismissed the President’s visit to the United States, saying it achieved little or nothing for the country.
He spoke through a statement by his media adviser Kehinde Akinyemi in response to widespread insinuation on the social media that he was now backing Buhari for another term.
In the statement, Obasanjo linked his purported change of mind claim to sympathsers of the Buhari administration.
But the Presidency dismissed the statement as unworthy of response.
Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said: “The statement is not worth responding to. The original item being shared on social media did not emanate from us, and if a spokesman is idle enough to use it to vent a spleen once again, good luck to him.”
Obasanjo’s spokesman said: “From the Buhari/Trump meeting, Chief Obasanjo only saw through three points: One, the US will continue to reduce purchase of crude oil from Nigeria and there is nothing Nigeria under Buhari can do about it; two, the US will export agricultural products to Nigeria and Buhari’s government will encourage that; and three – all the killings taking place in Nigeria by herdsmen are being done by expatriates trained by Gadaffi and no Nigerian is to blame and Buhari cannot do anything to stop it.
“For whatever the meeting was worth, President Buhari again bungled another opportunity to self-redeem. No wonder President Trump ordered him in a rather condescending manner to go back home and stop the killings going on in Nigeria! We hope now Buhari will heed Trump’s advice which hopefully will be considered non-abusive.”
The statement added: “For the record, Obasanjo has not and cannot endorse him. Chief Obasanjo sympathises with the plight of those campaigners and supporters of Buhari. He doesn’t believe dishing out fake news that…will turn black into white.
“Nigerians know that Chief Obasanjo has only spoken the truth about widening poverty, alienation and social disunity and near disintegration of the country under Buhari. Obasanjo will continue to exercise his right to free speech and no amount of hate speech will assuage Nigerians who are in need of a brand new leadership…