The presidency have accepted receiving Olusegun Obasanjo letter that was published by Premium Times and later other online magazines around the country, in which Obasanjo listed his problems with President Goodluck Jonathan.
A statement by presidential spokesman Reuben Abati this evening in Abuja said that while the presidency acknowledged receiving the letter, Mr. Jonathan had directed that none of his aides or any government official should join issues with Chief Obasanjo over it.
“The President himself will, at the appropriate time, offer a full personal response to the most reckless, baseless, unjustifiable and indecorous charges levied against him and his administration by the former Head of State,” the spokesman said.
“We however find it highly unbecoming, mischievous and provocative that a letter written by a former Head of State and respected elder statesman to President Jonathan has been deliberately leaked to the mass media in a deplorable effort to impugn the integrity of the President and denigrate his commitment to giving Nigeria the best possible leadership,” the statement said.
“While many patriotic, objective and well-meaning Nigerians have already condemned the leaked letter as self-serving, hypocritical, malicious, indecent, and very disrespectful of the highest office in the land, President Jonathan has directed that none of his aides or any government official should join issues with Chief Obasanjo over it.”
Giving 10 reasons for choosing to write the 18-page “Before It is Too Late” letter, but citing four or more previous letters that were not even acknowledged by the President, Obasanjo accused Jonathan of lying, promoting corruption and destroying Nigeria.
“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,” the former President wrote. “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.”
Analysts say Mr. Jonathan’s approach aims to avoid a situation where his aides, trying to please him, would attack the former leader publicly, which would worsen the conflict and put any form of reconciliation between the two men and within the party out of reach.