And that he has dismissed the chances of President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party of being re-elected, Obasanjo pointedly spoke about post May 29 Nigeria, with Buhari in the saddle as Nigeria’s leader.
“The circumstances [Buhari] will be working under if he wins the election are different from the one he worked under before, where he was both the executive and the legislature – he knows that,” he said.
“It’s a question of leadership – political and military. “He’s smart enough. He’s educated enough. He’s experienced enough. Why shouldn’t I support him?”
He spoke in an interview with the Financial Times of London, on the sidelines of his launch of his auto-biography, My Watch, in Nairobi, Kenya.
Until now, Obasanjo had restrained from giving Buhari a public endorsement, although many of his political associates have defected to the All Progressives Congress in many states.
He also condemned the postponement of the election.”The signs are not auspicious…I don’t know whether a script is being played.
“I sincerely hope that the president is not going for broke and saying ‘look dammit, it’s either I have it or nobody has it’. I hope that we will not have a coup . . . I hope we can avoid it.”
When asked if he was still nursing further political ambition, he said: “I am an old man and I’m enjoying what I’m doing now… And then you forget I am a farmer; I have to manage my farm.”
On Monday, in an interview with the BBC, Obasanjo had said that a new government must emerge in Nigeria on 29 May, despite the shifting of the election to 28 March for the presidential election an 11 April for the governorship.
“That is all I can go by. I cannot go by any situation or any other thing”, he said.
The former president ruled out the possibility of an interim national government if by any means the presidential election fails to hold, saying, “I don’t know that because the constitution does not have provision for that. There is no place in our constitution for an interim government. I will just have to wait and see”.