Obasanjo, Jonathan, IBB absent at Buhari’s inauguration

Former Nigerian presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan were absent at President Buhari’s inauguration ceremony on Wednesday.

A former head of state Ibrahim Babangida was also absent from the ceremony.

Buhari was sworn-in at the Eagle Square with former presidents Yakubu Gowon and Ernest Shonekan in attendance.

The ceremony which was termed low-key by the Federal Government ended without an inauguration speech by the president.

Days before the inauguration, Obasanjo had continued in his criticism of the Buhari-led government.

The ex-president said Boko Haram was “no longer an issue of lack of education and lack of employment for our youth in Nigeria which it began as.”

He noted that it is now West African Fulanization, Islamization amongst other things.

The comment drew the ire of the Nigerian government which responded and berated Obasanjo.

The government called his comment that imputed ethnoreligious motive to Boko Haram and ISWAP as deeply offensive and patently divisive.

“Such indiscreet comments are far below the status of an elder statesman,” Nigeria’s information minister said.

Obasanjo supported Atiku Abubakar, who he has spent the better part of the last decade describing as corrupt, for the 2019 elections. He released a letter titled ‘Points for Concern and Action’ in January 2019 where he likened Buhari to General Sani Abacha, a despotic military ruler.

In another interview with BBC pidgin in January, Obasanjo said Buhari has condoned evil and corruption despite his anti-corruption crusade.

He reiterated his support for the presidential candidate for opposition party People’s Democratic Party, stating Abubakar would perform twice better than Buhari if elected president.

“If anybody who has offended me comes to ask for forgiveness, I must forgive him. Again, our choice for the immediate Nigerian situation is between the candidates of APC and PDP.

“So, if APC brings Buhari and PDP brings Atiku, and from what I know of Buhari and what you know, what he has done so far shows utter incompetence, nepotism, condoning evil and corruption.”