Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo attends the last day of a conference on peace and security in Africa, in Dakar on December 16, 2014
Abuja (AFP) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday dismissed allegations by ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo that he was plotting to rig rescheduled presidential elections next month.
A presidency statement said Obasanjo had accused Jonathan in the southwestern city of Abeokuta of plotting to win the March 28 vote by "hook and crook" and planning to plunge the nation into crisis if he lost.
"For the record, President Jonathan has no such intention and will continue to give the greatest possible support to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)... to ensure that the rescheduled elections are successfully conducted," it said.
Turning the tables on Obasanjo, the statement went on to also accuse him of being the one who was plotting.
"Chief Obasanjo's plot with others within and outside the country to thwart the general elections and foist an unconstitutional interim national government, which he hopes to head, on the nation is well known to us," it said.
The statement added: "But by the Grace of God Almighty, his odious plan to return to power through the back door will fail woefully."
Obasanjo was Nigeria's military ruler from 1976 to 1979 and its first president when democracy returned to the country in 1999.
He contested and won elections in 1999 and 2003 on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and guided his chosen successor Musa Yar'Adua to an election win in 2007 with Jonathan as vice president.
Obasanjo has consistently criticised Jonathan whom he backed for the top job after the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua in 2010.
The ex-president has drummed up support for Muhammadu Buhari, another ex-military ruler and the candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress, who is seeking to challenge Jonathan at the polls.
The presidential election, initially slated for Saturday, was postponed by six weeks over security concerns because of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country's northeast.