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Brisk business as copies of Obasanjo’s letter flood Abuja, Lagos traffic

Since Tuesday afternoon when former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to President Muhammadu Buhari advising the president not to run for another term in office next year, dropped like a nuclear bomb, the nation’s political space has not remained the same.

In the lengthy statement, Obasanjo excoriated Buhari, saying the president has performed poorly in the administration of the nation. The former president also called for the emergence of a ‘Third Force’ to rescue the nation from destruction.

The mainstream media has not found anything worthy of displacing it from news mention either. All talk shows and panel discussions on radio and television has been fully devoted to the 13-page statement titled: ‘The way out: A clarion call for coalition of Nigerian movement.’

The social media has been agog over the letter as the name Obasanjo has consistently been on the top ten trends on Twitter till late last night. It has also been the subject of analysis, commentaries and banters across all channels, especially Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.

Some reactions on twitter show why it is still a trending topic. JJ Omojuwa (@omojuwa) posts: “Argh! This is a telling point for 2019. Obasanjo has never lost a game in which he attacks the president before the election. For the spectators (like most of you), you can say this is the beginning of the game. 2019 has now fully kicked off.”

Aka Ebube (@akaebube): “Transfer alert! SkySports News confirms that Olusegun Obasanjo, prolific striker and Ballon Dor Winner (1999-2007) has announced his departure from Sai Baba FC, set to sign a new deal with Wailers FC for a record breaking fee. Details shortly.”

Reno Omokri (@renoomokri): “Has Obasanjo also joined the wailers? First Buhari’s wife @aishambuhari attacks him and now Obasanjo rejects Buhari’s second term bid after stating the obvious that the president has failed and should be rejected as a horse rider in Nigeria again.”

Igala Alan Shore (@i_am_anomeli): ”Chief Obasanjo used all the knowledge he acquired during his PhD to blast @MBuhari in that statement.”

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Surprisingly, Onye Nkuzi (@cchukudebelu) rightly predicted thus: “I trust my Igbo brothers. “Obasanjo’s letter to Buhari will be sold in Lagos and Abuja traffic as early as tomorrow morning.”

That prediction came to pass as bound copies of the open letter immediately went on sale in Abuja with newspaper vendors making brisk business. While the social media community was feasting on the rave of the moment and people stayed glued to the televisions and radios for expert and jaundiced opinion on the subject, some sections of Nigerians wanted more – the raw bone of contention.

To these thousands of Nigerians at the capital of the country and seat of the nation’s political power, copies of the 10-paged bound document retitled with a bold inscription: “Obasanjo Writes President Buhari: Forget 2019 Election” were prepared for.

It began to appear on major traffic junctions of Abuja streets as early as 7:00a.m. on Wednesday, barely 24 hours after the document was released. One copy of the plastic bound document is currently selling for between N400 and N500.

At the City Plaza junction in Garki District, one of the vendors, who gave his name as Kenneth, said this is the second of such open letters he would be selling in recent times. According to Kenneth, last year, he sold the letter from Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai to President Buhari for N1,000.

The buzz is however not limited to the capital city alone as it has spread to the commercial nerve centre, Lagos State. It was gathered that the prices varied between N300 to N500 or more, depending on the seller.

One of the hawkers sighted in Maryland area of Lagos yesterday morning attributed the development to the ingenuity of the Nigerian spirit.

“We have to sell and make money. People sold it too when Baba (Obasanjo) wrote a similar letter to (Goodluck) Jonathan back then. Everyone wants to read it,” the hawker who simply identified himself as Joe, said.

The vendors would not disclose the source of the printed copies. They only said they receive the printed letters in large numbers and resell them at prices set by ourselves.

It was also gathered that the letter writer, Obasanjo himself has made his bombshell into a booklet, which he has been distributing to friends and associates. An initial 1,000 copies were ordered by an undisclosed publisher. An aide of the former president noted that the reprints might be commissioned soon.



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