These men are dangerous: Jonathan/Obasanjo – 1
By Dele Sobowale
“The only battle that counts is the last battle”. Richard Neustadt, in POWER AND PRESIDENTS.
Nigerians, of course, deserve President Jonathan; you voted for him overwhelmingly. Even Obasanjo, who, last week, was at his hypocritical best, when delivering a lecture, in which he decried Nigeria’s lack of good leadership, should accept most of the blame for GEJ.
As we all recollect, it was OBJ who set in motion the calamity in which we find ourselves as a nation when in 2007, he imposed GEJ as Vice-President on Yar’Adua. The Americans have always referred to the Vice-Presidency as a “heart-beat from the Presidency”.
The death of Yar’Adua, in 2010, after prolonged illness, about which Obasanjo knew when making him President in 2007, in a do-or-die election, had proved the Americans right. Americans always strive to ensure that the person who emerges as Vice-President, is capable of being elected a President in his own right.
Nobody, given the poverty of Jonathan’s experience in political leadership, in 2007, can claim that he would have been electable in 2007 as President. So, what Obasanjo did in 2007, which is now haunting all of us, amounted to political sabotage of our country. He placed, within a heart-beat of the presidency, a man who had no background of achievement to justify the promotion to that exalted office.
Obasanjo’s insufferably self-righteous lecture about good leadership is akin to receiving a lecture on the virtues of chastity from the owner of a brothel or a pimp. Baba Iyabo should please stop disturbing us with his sermons, we have an important assignment, and he is a BIG part of the problem. As the Yoruba people would say, “o pe ole wa ja; o pe oloko wa so; or he invited the thief to come and steal, and is now asking the farmers to come and catch him”.
Again, we all recollect that, soon after Yar’Adua passed away, and before the eighth day fidau, Obasanjo, with no human feeling for the departed President, was shouting, “Jonathan, you must run; don’t tell me you won’t run”. He even helped to lay the foundation for the unilateral repudiation of the zoning agreement reached in December 2002, at an expanded caucus meeting of the PDP, which Jonathan attended in place of Governor Alamasiegha.
That breach of agreement, by Jonathan, which was brought to the attention of “My Fellow Nigerians” in 2011, was designed, at the time to warn people, especially politicians, who had plugged their eyes and brains, that we might be electing in 2011, a fellow who cannot be trusted to abide by written agreements; let alone a spoken one. That is a fatal character defect in anyone; but more so in a President or Prime Minister because they make numerous promises which are not written down but to which they must be committed. A country is doomed; the minute its Head of State acquires the reputation of a man who cannot be trusted.
Obasanjo was, also, GEJ’s teacher in the area of making public announcements and doing the exact opposite of what he says. His lies about the third term ambition, which he disclaimed so many times, have again been exposed by a member of his kitchen cabinet –El-Rufai; who becomes the fourth authentic witness to the efforts to amend the constitution and allow Baba Iyabo to use “do-or-die” method to continue in office. And, pray, where is the legacy he left behind after eight years in office?
Obviously, his testament was really a self-indictment. As the longest serving Head of State, with almost twenty percent of the time since independence at the helm, he represents at least twenty percent of the failure of leadership he derides. That makes him dangerous enough. But, the aspect of this man’s activities that should scare everybody is his refusal to leave the political scene; even after resigning as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP and grandly announcing that he was retiring from active politics.
I told a friend, “If you believe that nonsense, you will believe anything”. Has the man left active politics? Why then is he still associated with factions of PDP in Ogun and at the national level? There is bad news in all these for his supporters. Obasanjo no longer has any positive political value. All he has left is nuisance value and that he is deploying as generously as possible. Fortunately, Obasanjo is being paid back in his own coins – ingratitude.
All those who helped him in 1999 to clinch the ticket and win the election, including, but not limited to, late S.B. Awoliyi, Babangida, Danjuma, Atiku, Ekwueme and Victor Attah were repaid with ingratitude when he reached Aso Rock. Jonathan, who he hounded into running for office in 2011, in total disregard of a 2002 written agreement, is now giving him the political thrashing of his life. If care is not taken, an enquiry into the activities of the Federal Government, from 1999 to 2007, might be forthcoming.
Then, the whole world will see the depth of hypocrisy of the man we were unfortunate to have had as our leader for the second time. Then as now, I warned the Dr Ekwueme-led PDP. In 1998, in a column titled TO MY BROTHER EKWUEME, I warned the former Vice President, that “the PDP which you now call “My Baby” will be snatched from you by others”, after the PDP admitted Obasanjo into the party and, against the party’s constitution, Uncle Sege became a Presidential candidate.
In the process, he derailed the presidential ambition of Dr Alex Ekwueme, who was, by far, the leading candidate for the Presidential elections. Today, not only Ekwueme, but all the members of the G-34, still alive, have been swept off the corridors of power by those who were too cowardly to talk when Abacha was alive. Now, we have opportunists and dangerous people who are desperate to hold on to power in charge of government – even if Nigeria goes to hell. We deserve the insult.
“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” wrote William Shakespeare, I564-I6I6. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 123. But, that was in the dark ages. Homicide is not recommended now. We are more civilized now, except for the apostles of “do-or-die” politics. And we can come to lawyers later. However, it needs to be said loud and clear. The first thing we do, let’s drive Obasanjo out of politics and into retirement; otherwise, we will regret it. But that is not the last battle. The last battle we must fight is to suffer and then stop Jonathan.
Take a look. Under Jonathan’s PDP, the President is from Bayelsa, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees is from Edo State, the Chief of Staff is from Edo State, two of the most powerful Senior Special Advisers are from Bayelsa and Edo, and now his chosen Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum is from Akwa Ibom.
The only figure-head, (suffer-head) and comedian among them is the Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur from Adamawa. If Jonathan continues like this he would have polarized Nigeria into two – SouthSouth and the rest of us. I feel sorry for Nigeria. When a ruler from a minority ethnic group engages in this sort of lopsided appointments to power positions, the nation is on the way to Rwanda…. (But God forbid)
LAST LINE: A court of law had ordered the Federal Government to pay the people of Odi, Bayelsa State, N37 billion for Obasanjo-ordered massacre of innocent people. Two things should happen next. First, the people of Zakim Biam, Taraba State, also wantonly wasted by this blood thirsty man, should go to court for their own money. Sauce for the goose should be good enough for the gander.
Second, the Federal Government should proceed to prosecute Obasanjo for crimes against humanity. Otherwise, the people of Odi and Zakim Biam should jointly drag him to the International Court. Obasanjo handed over Charles Taylor; Nigeria should hand over Baba Iyabo. In any event, we must be rid of the man. Visit: www.delesobowale.com
When a ruler from a minority ethnic group engages in this sort of lopsided appointments to power positions, the nation is on the way to Rwanda…. (But God forbid)