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The two main conspiracy theories and one big debate on why Obasanjo turned against Buhari


The two main conspiracy theories and one big debate on why Obasanjo turned against Buhari

Olusegun Obasanjo’s latest intervention in the polity is – as expected – getting a lot of reactions from Nigerians. THe former president took his gloves off and asked Pres. Muhammadu Buhari to “dismount from the horse” of leadership and not seek a second term in 2019.

Two main conspiracy theories have sprouted in the last 24 hours with one more prominent than the other.

Let’s start with the less prominent theory: The denied access theory

According to the purveyors of this theory, Obasanjo who used to be a frequent guest of Pres. Buhari in the early days of this presidency, is peeved that somewhere along the line, the access was taken away. The particular Twitter user above said it was due to alleged scheming by the former president but some other proponents of this theory have put forward other reasons why Obasanjo is no longer a frequent villa visitor. This is a very unlikely theory. It’s hard to imagine Pres. Buhari denying access to Obasanjo to visit. Accepting his recommendations is a different story but then Obasanjo won’t be the only one whose recommendations have been ignored by the president.

The more prominent theory is the theory of the Third Force:

It is shared by so many people, but PDP aligned commentator, Demola Rewaju has captured it in the clearest form for himself and other purveyors of the theory.

Rewaju is latching onto Obasanjo’s claim in the letter that the PDP has “shown no better promise from their antecedents”, and “there is nothing to write home about in their new team.” He thereafter called for a “Coalition of Nigeria” movement to which all well meaning Nigerians can belong.

In the opinion of Rewaju and other purveyors of this theory, Obasanjo’s call for an alternative movement separate from the two main parties is enough proof that he has a hand in the formation of the Red Card movement being championed by former education minister in the Obasanjo cabinet, Obiageli Ezekwesili. He sees that as a “moral weakening” of the Third Force movement.

It’s important to read Rewaju’s submissions as from one who is openly aligned with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and who – in fact – already has a horse in the presidential race from within his party.

Not a conspiracy

One viewpoint which is definitely not a conspiracy but has become a subject of debate is the appropriateness of Obasanjo as the messenger bearing news of Buhari’s failure.

While several have pointed out that only the message should be focused on, there is quite a vocal minority who believe that Obasanjo’s antecedents does not make him worthy of making the observations he made. Gov. Fayose, of course, is one of the leading proponents of this view point – you can read  what he said about Obasanjo’s letter here.

But author and activist, Gimba Kakanda, has perhaps been the one who has channeled this view point most succintly:


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