President Goodluck Jonathan Replies Olusegun Obasanjo's Letter

Statement released by President Jonathan’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati yesterday evening in Abuja he explained that while the presidency acknowledged the receipt of the letter sent by the former president, President Goodluck would like to deal with the matter personally as he intends to pay Obasanjo a visit and try to clear out the air on the issue.

Reuben Abati said President Jonathan will at a later date offer a personal response to the letter, President Jonathan has for now ordered his aides not to join issues with the former leader.

Reuben Abati in the statetment furthermore said;

"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.

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