Observers say that Obasanjo was compelled to change his testimony after aides brought to his attention the public condemnation that greeted his lavish reception for the APC leaders and his earlier declaration that stopping Jonathan was the main goal of his alliance with his former political foes.
At his Hilltop home in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, Obasanjo told the leaders of the APC, who visited him on Saturday in continuation of their consultations on political developments in Nigeria that he is a democrat that believes in the existence of opposition.
He stressed the need for politicians to play by the rules of the game and play politics without bitterness.
“My Party is PDP. My politics is Nigeria, Africa and the World in that order. I am a democrat and I do know that one of the essential ingredients of democracy is opposition.
“Always put Nigeria first above personal and group interests.
“The politics that should be played should be politics with decency, without rancour and one that has Nigeria at the heart of all that is done.
“I am incurably optimistic about Nigeria and I am also totally committed to Nigeria and nothing will divert me or distract me from that commitment,” Obasanjo stated.
The APC leaders eulogised the virtues of the former president, describing him as a reference point in Nigeria’s politics.
Some of the party members present the meeting are the National Interim Chairman of the party, Mr Bisi Akande, former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, Gen Mohammadu Buhari, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Kawu Baraje, Governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, Alimodu Sherif, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Abiola Ajimobi and Babatunde Fashola, Femi Fani-Kayode and former Anti-graft Czar, Mr Nuhu Ribadu.
The meeting is coming after Mr Obasanjo, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), wrote an open letter to the Nigerian president entitled; ‘Before It Is Too Late’, pointing out issues bothering on sensitive areas, some of which are security, politics and economy.
Mixed reactions have trailed the open letter.
President Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, said the letter was “self-serving and highly provocative”.
Some critics are of the opinion that Mr Obasanjo lacked the moral backing to write such letter, as the issues he mentioned existed during his tenure as the Nigerian president.
Others say the message and not the messenger should be looked at.