Ahead of 2023 general polls, former president Olusegun Obasanjo has engaged in a publicity stunt seen as another crafty way to endear himself to the Nigerian masses a public affairs analyst, Dr Galadima Dantsoho has posited.
The president has sent the cyber space agog on Friday when he rode a tricycle commonly known as Keke NAPEP and carry commuters to various destinations.
Since his sojourn into the political space in 1999 from Yola prison, Obasanjo has maintained a vice grip on the polity dictating who becomes what in Nigeria.
Obasanjo was the first civilian president to complete an eight year tenure without interruption from the barrack boys and he succeeded in handing power to his lackey, former president Umaru Yaradua despite the latter’s health challenges.
In 2015, he vociferously campaigned against Goodluck Jonathan with whom he has sustained a long spat. Jonathan was defeated in that election in an epoch that saw the defeat of ruling party for the first time in Nigeria.
The former president’s imposing political aura began to wane in 2019 when he failed to ensure the defeat of president Muhammadu Buhari despite his open aggression towards him culminating in the formation of a third force.
Obasanjo has recently made a caustic remark against his former deputy, Atiku Abubakar after the latter became the flagbearer of the opposition PDP, a sign that he will work seriously against the emergence of Atiku as the next president of Nigeria.
A number of analysts have posited that the latest publicity stunt is deliberately conjured by the ex-president as a strategy to reclaim back his waning popularity ahead of the 2023 general election.
A political analyst, Dr. Galadima Dantsoho told our reporter that the former president’s action may not be unconnected with the 2023 presidential polls especially considering his intention to go against one of the leading candidates.
“The timing of Obasanjo’s action which came in the eve of Nigeria’s general election suggests that Obasanjo wants to warm his way into the hearts of the masses who constitute the bulk of the voting population.
“Although he hides under the cloak of his 85th birthday, the import of his actions is not lost on the populace as it has elicited serious publicity.
“I think in the last one month there is no event that has elicited wide publicity like the Obasanjo’s stunt as it has made cover headlines in national newspapers and has also become a prime time news item for most broadcasting stations.
“The online and social media have been taken by the storm since the news broke out eliciting a lot of commentaries. This has shown that the stunt has been making the right impact drawing a symphatetic attention towards the ex-president,” Dantsoho said.