Below are four predominant facts that showcase an alarming semblance between President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Olusegun Obasanjo in a rather coincidental manner. These facts are analyzed thus:
1. Both Buhari and Obasanjo served as former military rulers of Nigeria. General Obasanjo became military head of state of Nigeria in February 1976 following the assassination of the then head of state, Gen. Murtala Muhammed during a failed coup attempt.
Obasanjo was in office as military dictator until October 1979 when he handed over power to President Shehu Shagari at the beginning of the Second Republic.
2. They’ve both been imprisoned. Obasanjo, 1995, for plotting coup against military leader General Sani Abacha in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. This was later commuted to 15 years after pressure from friends abroad.
Buhari, August 1985, was himself overthrown in a military coup led by the Chief of Army Staff: Major-General Ibrahim Babangida.
3. They both own farms. The President, Muhammadu Buhari, had recently shown his famous farm in his home state, Katsina while Obasanjo likewise owns a huge farm at Otta, Abeokuta, although has been in existence for 30 years.
It is a household name in Nigeria. The farm has contributed in no small measure to the development of agriculture in the country and Africa.
4. They have both been sworn in as Civilian President. However, the inconsistency in their entry and exit out of power does not remove from the fact that the two men sit positioned as potentially the only two men to have successfully governed this country twice ironically both as military dictators and as democrats.
Obasanjo’s re-emergence as civilian president in 1999 was upon the broad support of the country’s political class, and especially retired military officers.
It is almost in the same way that Buhari is again being relocated to the peak of power as a civilian upon the broad support of the civilian political class on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Just like Obasanjo who after his release from prison dismissed reports linking him to the 1999 presidential election and famously asking reporters, “how many presidents will you make of me”, Buhari, after three attempts at the presidency between 2003 and 2011, was also known to have also renounced further efforts at a comeback.