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Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 23:59 GMT
Nigeria's Obasanjo seeks divine help
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
President Obasanjo wants God to show him the way
By Sola Odunfa in Lagos

President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria has said he is waiting for God to decide whether or not he will stand for office again in next years' elections.

The decision will be made by God

Olusegun Obasanjo
Nigerian president

The president made his remarks to a delegation of women from his People's Democratic Party (PDP), who urged him to declare his candidacy.

A born again Pentecostalist, President Obasanjo said: "The decision will be made by God. Whatever God decides, you can be assured that I will abide by Him."

Until the divine direction arrives, the president said, he would urge his supporters "to walk, watch and pray".

That is sweet music to the ears of a growing army of Christian Evangelists in Nigeria.

No vacancy

However, the president's words in public may not tally with those of his close supporters or even his own actions and inactions.

The Nigerian Minister of Works, Tony Anenih, who is widely believed to be President Obasanjo's political frontman, has declared that there is no vacancy at the presidential villa.

Also any member of the PDP who as much as hints at their opposition to a second term for the president will incur the wrath of the president's loyalists in Abuja.

However, one man in his party, who has apparently sought his own spiritual guidance, is Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, former governor of the Kanu State in northern Nigeria.

On Monday, Mr Rimi sent a letter to the party's headquarters indicating his desire to seek nomination for the presidential elections in March next year.

He had recently called openly for President Obasanjo and the vice president to resign on the grounds of incompetence.

See also:

29 May 99 | Africa
Profile: Olusegun Obasanjo
07 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Nigeria
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