1507REJECTION OF H.E PRESIDENT OBASANJO AS AU HEAD OF OBSERVER TEAM TO ZIMBABWE ELECTIONS 31st JULY 2013
1. PAF wishes to make it stand clear to the entire world and to especially the AU, THAT in appointing H.E the former Nigerian President Obasanjo to head the African Union observer team for Zimbabwe, they AU failed democratic Africa and especially the people of Zimbabwe. President Obasanjo will lead a team of 60 African Union observers which will arrive in Zimbabwe 10 days before the poll takes place. In a statement released by the African Union on July 12 2013.
2. It reads, "The Mission will be led by H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of the Federal Repuhlic of Nigeria and comprises of sixty (60) observers drawn from members of African Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), Civil Society Organizations, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Human Rights Organisations and members of the Permanent Representatives' Committee (PRC) of the African Union ......As part of his activities, the Mission Leader, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo will meet relevant stakeholders in Zimbabwe including the President, the Prime Minister, the Chailperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations,and Security Agencies."
3. PAF wants to thank the AU for the tireless efforts in search for a bad and undemocratic observer for Zimbabwe Elections. Before we write futiher we seek permission from all those receiving this statement for your intellectual 'indulgence in footnoting this press statement to the world for factual notes as this might be needed when making decision on this important country in Africa Zimbabwe was a suitable choice made by AU but we stand tall in the world of obstacles against President Obasanjo's choice.
5. Pan African Forum as organisation which defends Africa at all costs and has defended President Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe against all internal and extemal malcontents like Morgan Tsvangirai, Welslnnan Ncube, Tendai Biti, we reject Obasanjo as Head of AU observer team to Zimbabwe elections because he might create an Egypt scenario and leave Zimbabweans to kill themselves just as Abubakar did in 2002.
6. PAF's stake is to safeguard the struggle, the freedom, the pain , the anguish that PEOPLE of Zimbabwe have gone through during the era of sanctions. The Government of Zimbabwe might have its own judgment about President Obasanjo but this is ours and ours alone so that history will exonerate us if AU fails to listen. We don't want to belong to the history of traitors who have betrayed Africa before. We might not be self righteous as an organisation but at least our stand on Zimbabwe for the 13 years has been the same and never waffled at all.
7. PAF has no personal vendetta against HE President Obasanjo but we are merely stating the following facts to save Africa from another conflict in the Southern African region. We are writing this statement copied to General Obasanjo himself so that we stand above any silly and myopic attacks that may come from the usual Africans who see danger, cover it up and fail to speak out until it engulfs a country or the entire continent. President Obasanjo is a good businessman but not a democrat to lead such a fragile election of Zimbabwe. AU can use him to find money from the French who have always been on his side in African politics.
8. Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Africa that has made PAF baptised with several bad names because of our defence for the people and the government that was isolated by Western European sanctions. We have defended Zimbabwe where others left it to fall to pieces and we have maintained our stance that engagement not isolation is the answer to foreign instigated crisis of Zimbabwe.
9. Points to note:
a. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been given the mandate to lead an observer team for the Zimbabwe July 31st elections despite his proven track record of aborted missions in the continent. These records are available and AU researchers can find them footnoted here below if they did not bring it to attention of the Chairperson.
b. Furthemore The African Union has erred in involving some well known antiMugabe and anti- Zimbabwe civil societies as part of the 60 member observer mission for Zimbabwe. Some of us have been critical of the lacklustre performance and the abrasive nature of civil societies who have made it their business to show the contempt card for liberation movements in Africa in preference for liberal perceived western type parties such as MDC formations in Zimbabwe. Civil societies who have a fixation with MDC will never analyse and produce objective election reports in Zimbabwe.
c. The mission will also be supported by a team of 9 coordinating and technical team from democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit, the Pan African Parliament and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). Human Rights Organisations have been critical in castigating President Mugabe and have repeatedly called for the ousting of President Mugabe.
d. EISA which was contracted by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to conduct civil education in Zimbabwe has had a regime change agenda in Zimbabwe. The Herald newspaper in its June 8th 2013 edition exposed EISA regime change agenda and unwavering support for MDC formations. EISA incorporated information on its pamphlets during its voter education exercise. It included messages such as "Vote Registration: Your ,Vote Your right, Register to make a difference. Don't be left out. " Such slogans resonate well with MDC regime change agenda and cannot be trusted as impartial election observers.
11. It is only those who suffer from selective amnesia in Africa who can forget how H.E President Obasanjo's clamour for third term (changing the constitution) in 2006 was given a humiliating defeat in the Nigerian parliament.
H.E President Obasanjo cannot pretend to spearhead the rule of law and the African Union cannot entrust him either, to be the vanguard of democracy in any country especially Zimbabwe where he has close ties with opposition.
12. PAF knows that H.E President Obasanjo's clamour for a third term was given a resounding historic defeat and that is where Obasanjo should have remained instead of mitigating anarchical type of conflicts in Africa as he cannot be the vanguard of democracy in Africa .Sparing H.E. President Obasanjo the atrocities of his govemment let us focus on the nemesis he has been a midwife to and the catastrophic outcomes they have had in the continent in as far as peace and conflict resolution is concerned.
13. H.E Obasanjo trail of failed missions in Africa
(a) Head of ECOWAS Observer mission to GhanaH.E Obasanjo was the head of a 250 ECOWAS delegation mission to Ghana in 2012. H.E Obasanjo lack of democratic credentials embarrassed ECOWAS who swore never to appoint the abrasive outspoken one time General ruler. H.E Obasanjo recommended in a preliminmy report for a media frame work to curtail the excesses of the media in election reporting. President Obasanjo was uncomfortable with the 1,500 FM radio stations, correspondents and reporters who were stationed at different polling stations transmitting certified results live to the stations. H.E Obasanjo even recommended for the "right to information" as opposed to "freedom of speech".
Such casuistry and pedestrian approach to democratic institutions is retrogressive for Ghana especially as the pioneer country of independence and democracy. The undemocratic recommendations by H.E Obasanjo have painted him in bad taste.
According to a review of the Obasanjo ECOWAS led mission ECOWAS stated that: "Our meeting this evening has resolved, and this will be commrmicated to the political leadership of ECOIVAS, that Chief Obasanjo should be saved the trouble of trying to give what he doesn't have....he review was necessitated by the negative reaction generated by General Obasanjo's role in the observation mission and the potential for it to undermine the credibility of ECOWAS in future observation missions...............You know Obasanjo is a loose cannon. He becomes uncontrollable once bestowed with power. We regret this appointment and vowed never to have the man invited to head missions again........ECOWAS was only fortunate to have [been] at an election of an advanced and stable democracy. Were it to be a volatile country, his disposition, recommendations and uttermtces are not only capable of truncating the electoral process, they are capable of jeopardizing the security and safety of our 250 monitors mobilized from across the subregion."
Above are the hallmarks of President Obasanjo's motor mouth and knee jerk reaction and analysis that can fling Africa in grave conflict if sent to Zimbabwe.
(b) H.E. Obasanjo's Observer mission to Togo 2005
President Obasanjo was the Head of the African Union election observer mission to Togo in 2005 in which Togo had been embroiled in an election stalemate over rigged and botched elections. The African Union had become a victim of infighting since its formation in 2002, but the tum took an ugly twist when president Obasanjo publicly rebuked the appointment of Kemteth Kaunda as the African Union special envoy to Togo.
It was reported that H.E Olusegun Obasanjo was angered after he leamt from the press that then Chairman of the African Union Conmtission Alpha Omar Konare had appointed Kenneth Kaunda as the African Union special envoy to Togo without his consultation. H.E Obasanjo quickly lobbied the presidents of west Africa and issued an unprecedented attack to the African Union Commission chairman Alpha Oumar Konare which read "The
Such reckless public utterances by H.E Obasanjo has the possibility of polarizing a country and plunging any country in the midst of an election on the brinks of violence. H.E Obasanjo could have followed the right communication channels as the head of the African Union Observer mission instead of issuing unprecedented public utterances by rejecting Kenneth Kaunda as the special envoy to Togo which further deescalated a worsening political crisis.
(c) H.E Obasanjo observer mission to Senegal
H.E Obasanjo exported his undemocratic tendencies again when he was appointed as the head of the African Union mediation team for Senegal. H.E Obasanjo after meeting with President Wade and the opposition leaders for four days came up with undemocratic proposals to quell the conflict in Senegal.
(1) President Wade to be allowed to rule for two years if he wins elections, which thereafter a transitional government will be formed to organize a presidential election without Wade.
(2) An audit of the voter registers by an independent expert chosen by the opposition.
(3) The creation of an Independent National Electoral Commission.
(4) That the parties (Wade's camp and M23) undertake to postpone the elections, form a transitional govemment led by Wade who should continue and hold the presidential elections six or nine months from now, but it would be an election in which he, Abdoulaye Wade would agree not to participate in.
(5) That during the transition period, discussions will be initiated immediately for the establishment of the new constitutional council or the Independent Constitutional Court.
(6) That both parties agree to establishment of an independent Electoral Commission (INEC) that will be responsible for the preparation and organization of the entire process, instead of the Ministry of lnterior and the Ministry of Elections.
(7) That both parties agree to review the Electoral Code.
H.E Obasanjo's Senegal recommendations may not have ball washed away but what was a sickening nauseating idea is his lack of political correctness in the Senegalese situation. A majority of the opposition could not accept another extension of Abdulahii Wade rule. H.E Obasanjo calls for a two year extension did not resonate well with the electorate who demonstrated and cut his press statement short chanting "Leave our country Obasanjo we
(d) H.E Obasanjo failed Peace mission in DRC
H.E Obasanjo failed to mediate the crisis in Congo that pitted the Kabila govemment against the renegade CNDP Laurent Nkunda. H.E Obasanjo faced trust issues from the CNDP rebels who kept calling the military bases in Goma to confirm procedural matters during the truce negotiations. The trust issue was exposed when the then CNDP rebel spokesperson Bertrand Bisimwa told the AFP press agency that "We cannot continue to sit with a mediation that has taken sides. We prefer to withdraw from a deal with the suffering of our people."
It is such partisan mediation efforts by Obasanjo that deescalate conflict in DRC and failed to deliver either a truce to the conflict and the subsequent handing over of CNDP renegades led by Laurent Nkunda.
H.E Obasanjo in his lack thereof mediation skills, instead blamed the rebel delegation on the lack of decisiveness and capacity to decide on cettain fundamentals. Such statements hardened the rebel position even further with new calls of pulling out of the truce negotiations. AU and especially South Africa, Tanzania and Malawi are sending troops into DRC because Obasanjo looked for money instead of mediating peace.
(e) H.E Obasanjo and the Charles Taylor conundrum
Those in Africa who hate ICC and other institutions that are used to target Africans hate the way President Obasanjo behaved with the Taylor case. The President had given Charles Taylor asylum after honouring preconditions of not participating in elections in Liberia and its political affairs. President Obasanjo's cantankerous behaviour as the messiah of peace in Liberia could not fail to catch the eyes of observers and analysts in Africa.
In an interview with CNN inside Africa, he ran his foulmouth by uttering these words
"We heard from, I will say, reliable sources that Taylor was communicating by telephone to some of the people he left behind. Not just communicating, [but] communicating in terms of political involvement -- in fact giving political instructions. I would like him to behave like a gentleman and heed the waming to stay out of Liberian political affairs.......If the Liberians show sufficient evidence of the wrongdoing -- that Criminal wrongdoing that he has done -- he still remains a Liberian, "He's not a Nigerian. I will expect him to even want to go back to Liberia someday...........This is a time when we want to try and make Liberia stop being in a mess,..........lf the process of stopping Liberia being in a mess would mean that a leader will be in the cooler for a while, so be it."
It is against this backdrop that Obasanjo used Taylor's woes to win cheap political battles and divert the world attention on his overzealous quest for a third term by handling over Taylor to the Liberian government. In a statement released by the Nigerian goverment on the 25th of March 2006, stated that "President Olusegun Obasanjo has today March 25th informed President Ellen Johnson-Sir leaf that the Govemment of Liberia is free to take former President Charles Taylor into its custody,"This is not the man that Zimbabwe wants now. This zigzagging on principal by Obasanjo led to the then Libyan president Muammar Ghadaffi to slam Obasanjo for betraying the African solidarity by arguing that Taylor had sacrificed himself for the sake of Liberia by giving up power which ended a civil war that had lasted 14 years.
Taylor extradition to Liberia constituted to a violation of Political asylum rights of an individual. This should not happen with our Mugabe whom we love as freedom fighter.
(f) Obasanjo's meddling in Sierra Leone Affairs
H.E Obasanjo is loose cannon who meddles in local politics of certain countries. This was notable when he took to the political arena in Sierra Leone in 2012, to campaign for APC presidential candidate Koroma who was seeking re-election. This was As a result of political flip-flopping by Obasanjo in 2007, where he publicly endorsed the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Solomon Ekuma Berewa by saying "Insha Allah, Vice president Berewa will be the next president of Siena Leone, I say things as I see it"
Consequently Obasanjo's endorsed candidate never became president as the APC opposition candidate Koroma became president. It is worthwhile to note that Obasanjo's utterances sparked outrage from the opposition APC party who accused him of foreign interference. It is such reckless statements that could have sent a fragile war hit Sierra Leone to the brink of civil war and put in danger the safety of Nigerians residing in Seirra Leone.
(g) H.E President Obasanjo close business ties with Seirra Leone President Ernest Bai Koma
H.E Obassnajo has close business ties with the current President of Sierra Leone. According to the Seirra Leone Telegraph it is reported that Obasanjo is said to have struck a highly lucrative oil deal with president Koroma.
It is against this backdrop that president Obasanjo backed Koroma for the second term in 2012 in order to safeguard his business interests.
(h) H.E Obasanjo role in Zimbabwe commonwealth expulsion
Both of us sat in Lancaster House in London during the Troika and he is aware of what happened to Zimbabwe. H.E Obasanjo called for a "sea of change" in Zimbabwe in order for President Mugabe to be invited to the Commonwealth summit that was held in Nigeria in 2003. In fact President Obasanjo personally snubbed and informed President Mugabe that he was a persona non grata at the Commonwealth nation summit that was held in Nigeria in 2003.
H.E Obasanjo has a dislike for President Mugabe and has a soft spot for the opposition. This could quite cause a conflict of interest in his observer role in the upcoming July 31st elections.
(i) H.E unequivocal call for Mugabe to quit politics
H.E Obasanjo has been critical of President Mugabe and has called for the resignation of President Mugabe. H.E Obasanjo was quoted by London Sunday Times in 2003, advocating for the resignation of Mugabe. "It's entirely up to him but obviously he knows he has to work for a succession" He pointed out he was a decade younger than Mugabe and that it was clear upon him that Mugabe should prepare to departure from office.
(j) Tsvangirai MDC calls H.E Obasanjo his political mentor:
Following the 2008 poll, Tsvangirai flew to H.E Obasanjo Ota farm in Nigeria to enlist the countty's support. According to the Zimbabwean 2008, Tsvangirai said Obasanjo was his political mentor and that Nigeria had played a significant role in the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai's MDC-T closeness with H.E Obasanjo will lead to a conflict of interest with Obasanjo as the head of AU observer team in Zimbabwe.
PAN AFRICAN FORUM WANTS the African Union to "spare Zimbabwe the Trouble of producing what Obasanjo does not have in Zimbabwe." by disqualifying him as the head of election observer in Zimbabwe. There are many former honest leaders like President Kibaki of Kenya whose records are clear. Obasanjo's record is good for business not democracy. AU must avoid another Egypt in Zimbabwe by sending a credible democratic human being not those who overthrown democratic governments in their motherlands in Africa.
God bless Africa
African Union press statement on the Appointment of H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo as the head of election Observer mission to Zimbabwe. [Online]. Available from:
The Herald, NGO voter education scam exposed, [online]. Available from:
Sahara Reporters 2006, Crushing defeat forces Obasanjo to sunender, [online) May 19, Available from: <http://sahararepmters.com/news-page/crushing-defeat-forces-obasanjosurrender>. Accessed 13/07/2013.
Sahara Reporters 2012, Election Monitoring: Emban·assed ECOWAS Vows never to Invite Obasanjo Again. [Online] December 12. Available from: <http://saharareporters.com/news page/election-monitoring-embarrassed-ecowas-vows-never-invite-obasanjo-again>. Accessed
Naija.com 2012, "Don't call me General Obasanjo unless you're my opponent," OBJ tells Ghanaian Journalist. [online] December 9, Available from: <http://www.ynaija.com/dont call-me-general-obasanjo-unless-youre-my-opponent-obj-tells-ghanaian-journalistl>.
BBC News June 5 2005, African Union split in Togo Row, [online) Available from:
This Day Live 2012, Senegal: Protest as Obasanjo fails to Broker Truce. [Online] Februmy
Haw Ba 2012, Senegal: How mediator side tracked the opposition. [Online] March 2