FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo likes to call Godâ€™s name with seemingly frightening irreverence. He is calling down curses on himself in a matter Nigerians thought was well known â€“ that Obasanjo personally insisted Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua would succeed him as Nigeriaâ€™s President.
Obasanjo should seek the forgiveness of the Almighty about how he treated Nigerians in his eight years as president, a period some consider a wanton waste; a period replete with verbal assaults on anyone who dared raise issues about Obasanjoâ€™s brash breaches of the Constitution.
There were times Obasanjo thought he was the law. He acted with concerted efforts to portray himself as slightly below the Almighty, whose name he invoked at the slightest provocation. He clothed himself with a vexatious religiosity with a hollowness that resounds up to this day.
Doubtlessly, Obasanjo is searching for relevance. He never thought he would have to account to anyone for anything about his presidency. He should have maintained his obliviousness about the additional pain he left in the light of the staggering statistics about the countryâ€™s growing poverty, while he was bemused by the billions of Dollars Nigeria earned from oil.
The gloating all-knowing Obasanjo is gone. His hurt over Nigerians rejecting his attempts to perpetuate himself in power has not run out. His imposition of Yarâ€™Adua on Nigerians was too well known for him to deny the story.
Most of the key actors in the PDP primaries are still alive. They were told to step down for the anointed Yarâ€™Adua. We know how the PDP decided not to allow the delegates vote to ensure Yarâ€™Adua won.
Why did it take Obasanjo so long to deny what he once regarded as a personal achievement? Were concerns about Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s not raised? Was Obasanjo not one of those who told Nigerians everyoneâ€™s life was in Godâ€™s hand? Has Obasanjo forgotten his relief, how he pranced on the campaign platform when the barely audible voice of Yarâ€™Adua croaked from Germany that he was alive while the anointed one was ill and Obasanjo carried on campaigning for him as ifÂ all was well?
Did he deny earlier views in the media that he wanted to make Umaru President to compensate the Yarâ€™Adua family, especially his friend and former deputy (when he was military Head of State) Shehu Yarâ€™Adua, who died in General Sani Abachaâ€™s detention?
It is Obasanjoâ€™s character Â to swear and call the Almighty to be his witness. Why does he seek a witness in the Most High? Are there no mortals, who witnessed these events who can testify for Obasanjo?
We can only thank Obasanjo for admitting being human, for once, even if belatedly. He made a mistake by choosing Umaru Yarâ€™Adua, but typically, Obasanjo thinks it is beneath him to apologise to Nigerians for extending the pains of his eight years.