The Presidency on Saturday said President Goodluck Jonathan was ready at all times to appease former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
It also agreed with the ex-president that candidates in the forthcoming general elections should be judged by their performance.
The Presidency’s position came on the heels of a series of failed efforts to curry Mr. Obasanjo’s support for President Jonathan’s re-election bid.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who made this position known, was reacting to a statement credited to the former Nigerian leader that performance, as against party loyalty, should be the overriding factor in voting for candidates in the February elections.
The presidential aide said Obasanjo was correct in his submission, which he described as statesman-like.
He said, “Obasanjo is right. I want Nigerians to vote for the next President based on performance. Let Buhari tell us his performance and Goodluck Jonathan should tell us his performance.
“Obasanjo is correct; there is nothing wrong with that. That is very statesman-like of him.
“I want my party’s candidates to win but this election is about performance. Luckily, Buhari has been a Head of State before, it does not matter how long he was in government. He was in government for 20 months; Murtala Muhammed was in government for six months and he became a hero.
“It is not an excuse that 20 months is not enough. In 20 months, Buhari showed clear attributes of indolence and incompetence. He did not add any value to the nation. He did not achieve anything. All he did was to be hard and harsh on people. He was busy harassing southerners like Awolowo and Ajasin.
“If you put that side-by-side with the performance of Jonathan, he has touched everything he met. All 24 airports have been refurbished. He has brought railway back to life. There is substantial achievement in power. We can only go forward, we can’t come back”.
While affirming that the president was still ready to mend fence with Obasanjo, Okupe said Jonathan had tremendous respect for the ex-president.
“This President is a liberal-minded President and he has a lot of respect for Obasanjo. He has never hidden that. He believes that Obasanjo is his political father, no matter whether they have disagreements or not.
“The President is ready at all times to make peace and appease the elderly gentleman”, Okupe said.