Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has explained why he will continue to criticise President Muhammadu Buhari, saying, democracy involves criticism and that it is not family affairs. Obasanjo said the issues between him and Buhari were not personal.
The former president stated this on Tuesday during his 82nd birthday anniversary celebration held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo had responded to remarks by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Gbadebo, who advised him to stop attacking Buhari as he clocks 82.
The monarch had said that he was never comfortable whenever Obasanjo verbally attacked Buhari, urging him to stop.
Obasanjo said, “Governance is not a family affair and democracy involves criticism and considering all sides to an issue. There is nothing personal between President Buhari and I.
“In a democracy, you can criticise a policy, a government or a leader because democracy is not a family affair.
“If it is my brother that is occupying the leadership role and he is not doing what I believe he should do, he must be criticised and that is what democracy is all about.
“I believe that Africa has no alternative to democracy, good governance, development and growth of our economy. And If that is not happening in any country, those who keep quiet about it are accessories after the fact.
“That is what democracy is all about, criticism and seeing the other side. So, if I say anybody in government in Nigeria or any government for that matter is not doing well, let that government prove that it is well. It’s not anything personal.
“So, Kabiyesi, your boss, Buhari; there is nothing personal between me and him. Just as he is your boss, I am his boss, with all due respect.
“Now, the point is that I have been in that position longer than any Nigerian will ever be there. That’s true. If any Nigerian comes in and has two terms, he will not have almost four years of military rule. So, I have been there longer than any Nigerian would ever be.
“So, when I say something, I know what I am talking about. Kabiyesi, any time you say, “Leave my boss alone,” I say, ‘He is your boss. But I am also his (Buhari) boss.’
“So, you might also ask your boss (Buhari) to leave his boss alone or do what is right that his boss wants him to do.”
Earlier in his goodwill message, Alake, who was a Principal Staff Officer to Major-General Tunde Idiagbon during the military administration of Muhammadu Buhari between 1983 and 1985, disclosed that he had always told Obasanjo to leave his boss alone.