Taiwo Obasanjo, ex-wife of former President Olusegun Obasanjo is set to roll out a new political platform on which she plans to actualise her dream of rebuilding Nigeria. In this interview with Vanguard, she talks about the new platform, Abundant Blessing Congress, the state of the nation and the way forward among others.
- You are on a voyage of forming a new political party at a time when some of our leaders think a woman should belong to the kitchen. How far do you think this will go?
I think the statement attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari has been misconstrued to another thing entirely and interpreted out of context. But you must appreciate that a woman’s obligation, to her husband, is to look after him, cook for him, which is in the kitchen, look after the family and the household and also take care of him in the bedroom.
So, Buhari was in order when he said that. If you are a wife of the president, your job is primarily to look after him and I’m supporting that. If you are a married woman, your basic responsibility is to take care of the man and the home.
- Did you just wake up to form a political party?
I didn’t just wake up. All along, I’d seen the yearnings of the people who wanted good leadership. Today, as it is, hardship and suffering are too much in the land. I’m not a voice for anybody.I’m only a voice for good.
If you ask me, Muhammadu Buhari is a man I have utmost respect and affection for. He is unique, absolutely honest and plain. He’s disciplined and organised. If he’s there, he is. If he is not there, he’s not. For a man like that, people may not appreciate him. I have realised the politics that God gave this man. Buhari is not really the problem of Nigeria. He is not the reason Nigerians are suffering. The problem of Nigeria is the party, All Progressives Congress, APC. God only used APC to bring him up as president.
- If you feel so much respect for him, why didn’t you join him, why form another party?
I cannot join him. I’m not part of him. My mission is different. I’m all out for something that has a voice. Right now, people are complaining, talking negatively about him but that is not the solution. Let me give you an example.
- Mature child of accountable age If you have a father who’s not doing well, would you as a mature child of accountable age stay in your father’s house and be blaming him all the time?
Can’t you now do something for yourself? The reason I’m coming out with a new party is not to challenge Muhammadu Buhari but to help provide solution to the problems Nigeria is bedevilled with. There is too much suffering like we have never seen before in Nigeria and I believe Buhari is not out to afflict Nigerians. There is something that is wrong somewhere which he is not to be blamed for.
It is God that put him there after seeing the wrongs of the past administration. God wanted a man that would not compromise, a man who would right the wrongs and that is why he is there. He may be going through some problems because the challenges are beyond him but that does not mean that he is not the right man for the job.
Equally, the APC government has been blaming Jonathan’s administration ever since it came on board. Their business is not to blame anybody but to lead Nigeria aright. The essence of their coming into power is to make things okay in Nigeria, to make government become accountable to the people again and bring about prudent management of the nation’s resources.
- The APC administration should not lose focus of that. But all they ever talk about is Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan. So, what do you intend to do with your party?
God has decided that it is Abundant Blessing Congress, ABC, that would provide the solution needed in this country. We are to go round and join forces as a family to fashion out solutions to Nigeria’s many problems.
- Who are the people, your partners in Abundant Blessing Congress?
You don’t talk of partners here. The Almighty God is my partner and I’m using this platform to explain my motive, the agenda, what is pushing me so that the people who will identify with me will know it is a family. We are going to come together like a family and bring forth the desired change that Nigerians are yearning for. I have people who have already identified with me but I want more people to understand the motive and agenda of this party. This is not just another party that wants to confront the establishment, abuse Buhari and the APC. It is not for us to join the fight. If you remember, when APC was coming up, they were making all manner of promises but at the end of it, we are all disappointed. The reality is what a party can do, not what it can promise. Some parties just talk but cannot deliver.
- But who are these people working with you?
They are Nigerians who are very interested in the project, who believe that we can do it. But Nigerians should know what we are up to. It is not just to grab power or to remove APC. We are the party to offer solutions to the problems of Nigerians and we are not leaving it for one man to handle. The problem in Nigeria today is not Buhari.
The problem is the APC.
What you are talking about seems like an NGO to me…
It is not an NGO. It is a political party. Abundant Blessing Congress. There is abundant suffering in the land, there is abundant lack, there is abundant hunger, there is abundant joblessness, and abundant homelessness. So, we bring the people abundant blessing and the name of the party is Abundant Blessing Congress with a mission to counter all these abundant problems.
In the midst of all these problems, God wants to bring up abundant blessing.
That is the meaning of Abundant
Blessing Congress. God has deposited everything here in Nigeria. There is no part of Nigeria that you cannot find mineral resources that can fetch us fortunes. It is not only in the Niger Delta region that good things are deposited.
There is abundant mineral resources in other parts of Nigeria but they are not being exploited enough. So, with Abundant Blessing Congress, God is going to turn things around for Nigeria.
- What exactly would Abundant Blessing Congress do to turn things around for Nigerians?
This party is founded on three ‘S’, which represents selfless sacrifice, selfless service and selfless submission. There is also the fourth one, self discipline. You don’t do as you like. You don’t become president and do as you like and throw off everything and say, ‘to hell with all of you.’ We have a party that is disciplined, we have a focus, a goal and an agenda. You submit yourself when you come in, knowing that you are going to make sacrifice and make life better for Nigerians. You submit yourself to the goals, the agenda and the discipline of the party. It’s a family that is devoted to the interest and care of others. You cannot come and lord it over others.
Honesty and accountability We come with one vision and that is to be submissive to the agenda of the party which is the agenda of God for humanity. It is not the party where you use its platform to grab for yourself, your wife and your family alone but you work for the interest of the people. We have honesty and accountability. It is a party where you consider how life is after your departure and what you will be remembered for afterwards?
- You were married to a man who was a military president and later, a civilian president. Did you discuss your idea with him for a guide?
Let’s leave him out of this discussion.
This is not a matrimonial issue. He was my husband. I respect him and I love him and I had all my children for him.
But I’m no longer married to him. That man you are talking about is another person that has helped this nation because God has invested a lot of goodness in him. Even now, he is still very relevant and can still give us a solution that can help this generation. I don’t want to talk about being his wife or what I did when he was president. I don’t want to go into personal questions.
What I am here to talk about is that there are still individuals in Nigeria who God can use to bless Nigeria and we have to come together as a family because the problems of Nigeria is not for one man to solve.That is why Abundant Blessing Congress is here.
- What do you have to say about the security situation in the country?
There is a virus eating up Nigeria and virus has to be applied into this virus to work out a solution. The solution for everything is not with one man. It is for everybody to come together to decide with one purpose. We have to come together and discuss these issues, this virus in the system. Even the president of Nigeria does not have the answer. The answer is with God and with our collective force as a people. When the people come together to decide what they want, then, the solution will come.
All these Niger Delta Avengers, Biafra agitators, Boko Haram insurgents are all suffering and they feel that somehow,bthey have been marginalised. So, when we come together and talk among ourselves, then, the solution will come.
If water is gushing out from an unlikely source, the governor cannot see it, the president cannot see it. Even the local government chairman cannot see it. But the local people will see it and point it out. So, its all about the people. And that is why what I’m doing is people oriented. It’s the peoples party. It’s not the kind of party where the governor or people who are in elective positions will dare alienate themselves from the people.
- Your party plans to contest election?
Yes, every election from the lowest to the highest. But Taiwo Obasanjo is not going to contest any elective office. I’m a mother and I feel the suffering of Nigerians but I’m not going to start abusing or blaming anybody for Nigeria’s problems. My job to gather the masses together to work towards bringing solution go all these problems. Abundant Blessing Congress is not ABC. It is abundant blessing, abundant grace, abundant solution, abundant peace in the land, abundance in everything good and that is what we are here for.