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Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday declared that Nigerians should prepare their minds that it may not be easy to change the present government of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Obasanjo made this declaration while speaking during the launch of the Oyo state wing of Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), held at Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan.
At the launch were CNM National Coordinator and a former Governor of Osun state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former Secretary to Oyo state government who is also the state Coordinator, Chief Olayiwola Olakojo; Former Deputy Governor of Oyo state, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja and former Secretary to Oyo state Government Chief Dele Adigun.
Others are Barrister Ahmed Raji (SAN) and former Chairman, Ibadan North East Local Government, Hon. Ayinde Adewusi.
Obasanjo who is the CNM founder while speaking, urged youths, women and Nigerians in general to prepare their minds and not to be deterred in their bid to use their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) to vote out the present crop of leaders in the country in 2019, saying though it will not be easy to effect the needed change in the country because some people are out there to discourage them and make jest of them.
The Ex-President while labelling the present government as an elitist government that favours only the rich, urged countrymen and women to safeguard their PVCs which he described as an instrument of change in 2019 to elect those who will have them in minds.
Obasanjo while speaking further insisted that CNM is yet to metamorphose into a political party. He, however promised that when CNM finally becomes political party, youths and women will be given 30 percent slots each in the party and political appointments.
The former President who promised that he will quit immediately CNM becomes a policy party, however, insisted that his love for Nigeria will not diminish.
Obasanjo said, “We can’t change Nigeria with ease. I want to repeat what I have been saying here. Once this movement becomes a political party, I will no longer be a member but my concern for Nigeria will not diminish. When CNM becomes a political party or joins their political party, they can’t do that alone. They will not join political party that is not performing.
“But don’t ever think that it will be easy to change Nigeria in 2019. Ibi to ba le lanba Omokunrin ati Omobinrin nan. (It is where that is hard that we see young men and women). And some people are saying you are lazy, are you lazy? Nigerian youths are not lazy. You see many Nigerian youths going from Shaara desert to Libya to America. They are not lazy. If the present youths enjoy half of opportunities and the facilities we enjoyed and those that are calling them lazy enjoyed, they will even do better than this.
“We can’t be repeating the same thing. And some people are saying they should continue. Definitely those people can’t be the friends of you people sitting here, they can’t be friends of Nigeria.
“So let us start here, work has started, some people may be making jest of you, don’t be deterred. So, make sure you have your PVC, those that have not collected, go and collect it and those of you that are yet to register, go and register. The PVC is the instrument. Tell them from villages to villages from towns to towns that PVC is the key we shall use. I want to tell you not to be discouraged.
“As Oyinlola said, there are still some things he has not said, he said that we can only effect change when we transform into political party. The philosophy we have in CNM and what we will have in the political party will not be different. We have not had a political party that is grassroots based like this, what we have now is elitist. What we are saying is that youths will be given 30 percent opportunity and women will also be given 30 percent opportunity. I was Head of State under 40. What we are saying is that youths must he given a place in government”.