“Nigeria is bleeding and the hemorrhage must be stopped,” Mr. Obasanjo said in the 18-page letter dated December 2, 2013.
He said Mr. Jonathan has failed to deliver on his promises to the Nigerian people, stem corruption, promote national unity and strengthen national security.
He said in the letter titled “Before it is too late” that rather than take steps to advance Nigeria’s interest and up the standards of living of Nigerians, Mr. Jonathan had betrayed God and the Nigerian people that brought him to power, and has been pursuing selfish personal and political interests based on advice he receives from “self-centred aides”.
In the detailed letter, dripping of anger , frustration and what appears a genuine concern to rescue a nation on the brink, Mr. Obasanjo lamented that Mr. Jonathan had become terribly divisive and clannish, destroying his own party, polarizing the country along regional and religious lines and ridiculing Nigeria in the comity of nations.
Without mincing words, Mr. Obasanjo blamed Mr. Jonathan for the crises tearing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, apart.
He said apart from using party chairman Bamanga Tukur to cause multiple crises and divide the ranks of the party, the president’s failure to keep a promise he made not to seek a second term is also generating tension within the ruling party.
“It would be unfair to continue to level full blames on the Chairman (Tukur) for all that goes wrong with the party,” Mr. Obasanjo said. “The chairman is playing the tune dictated by the paymaster (Jonathan). But the paymaster is acting for a definitive purpose for which deceit and deception seem to be the major ingredients.
“Up till two months ago, Mr. President, you told me that you have not told anybody that you would contest in 2015. I quickly pointed out to you that the signs and the measures on the ground do not tally with your statement. You said the same to one other person who shared his observation with me. And only a fool would believe that statement you made to me judging by what is going on. I must say it is not ingenious. You may wish to pursue a more credible and more honorable path.”
The former President said Mr. Jonathan told him before the 2011 election he would not seek a second term, and made the same promise to governors, party stakeholders and Nigerians.
The president’s refusal to keep that promise cast him as a man without honour, Mr. Obasanjo said.
Saying it would be “fatally morally flawed” for Mr. Jonathan to contest in 2015, Mr. Obasanjo added, “As a leader, two things you must cherish and hold dear among others are trust and honour both of which are important ingredients of character. I will want to see anyone in the Office of the Presidency of Nigeria as a man or woman who can be trusted, a person of honour in his words and character.”
Mr. Obasanjo also accused Mr. Jonathan of anti-party conducts – supporting opposition parties’ candidates in governorship elections in Lagos, Ondo, Edo and Anambra states at the detriment of PDP’s own candidates –, and of pitting party members against one another.
Saying the President had failed to address the underlying causes of the Boko Haram menace, Mr. Obasanjo urged Mr. Jonathan to adopt a carrot and stick approach in dealing with the insurgency explaining that “conventional military actions based on standard phases of military operations alone will not permanently and effectively deal with the issue of Boko Haram”.