BY FEMI FALANA
In an 18-page letter dated December 2, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo accused President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration of incompetence, abuse of office, corruption and gross mismanagement of the resources of the nation.
Apart from accusing the regime of celebrating criminality, including drug trafficking, Chief Obasanjo has blamed the regime for the rising wave of impunity, terrorism and ethno-religious strife in the country.
No doubt, the allegations which lacerated the controversial letter are weighty. Instead of dismissing the contents of the letter the Presidency should respond to the allegations raised therein seriatim. In particular, the allegation that the Federal Government is setting up a Presidential Strike Force to carry out terrorist attacks on political opponents should not be swept under the carpet.
However, it is pertinent to point out that President Jonathan is a faithful student of the Olusegun Obasanjo School of Politics. While President Jonathan has been accused by General Obasanjo of diverting $7 billion from the Federation Account he (President Obasanjo) is yet to account for the over $20 billion which he diverted from the same account.
The 36 state governments sued the Federal Government over the illegal diversion of such huge public fund by President Obasanjo and the case is currently pending at the Supreme Court.
The Senate recently indicted Presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan for mismanaging the Federation Account to the tune of N1.5 trillion. The Senate has recommended the revocation of the fraudulent privatisation of public assets carried out by President Obasanjo.
The Transcorp Hotel was bought by a sitting President through “blind trust” while the House of Representatives indicted the Obasanjo regime for spending $16 billion to generate darkness.
Does President Obasanjo know any President who used public funds to establish a private university and a presidential library through extortion of funds from government agencies and contractors?
On disloyalty to the ruling party President Obasanjo defied the Supreme Court when it pronounced Senator Ararume as the gubernatorial candidate of PDP for Imo State during the “do-or-die” general election of 2007. The imperial presidency directed PDP members to vote for the candidate of the PPA who “won” the election.
In his book, Accidental Public Servant, Mr. Nasir el-Rufai gave a vivid account of how President wanted General Buhari of ANPP to nominate Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as his Vice-Presidential candidate as a precondition for ditching the presidential candidate of the PDP, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan during the 2011 general election.
With respect to reliance on ethnic jingoists President Obasanjo deployed the likes of late Lamidi Adedibu to terrorise and intimidate innocent people in Oyo State. President Obasanjo equally entered into an alliance with the Afenifere group to facilitate the capture of the South-West region during 2003 general election.
When there was a threat to impeach President Obasanjo by the House of Representatives, the Presidency mobilised a faction of the Oodua Peoples Congress to threaten a break up the country. Was Anambra State not made ungovernable by Chris Uba with presidential support? Did Obasanjo not know of governors who had killer squads? Why were the members of the Abacha Strike Force never demobilised and disarmed by President Obasanjo?
On the presidential involvement in the case of the fellow who was recently acquitted in the charge of murder on technical grounds by the Court of Appeal in Lagos, it is on record that President Obasanjo also wanted him freed for political reasons while he was in power.
Indeed, he pressured the Lagos State Government, in vain, to file nolle prosequi with a view to terminating the case on the eve of the 2003 general elections. Did General Obasanjo not take part in another celebration of criminality in Lagos the other day when a PDP chieftain completed his jail term. Did the General not turn round to say that he was misled into believing that it was a “family reunion”?
Does President Obasanjo have the moral right to advise President Jonathan on how to convene a national conference? It is public knowledge that President Obasanjo too was vehemently opposed to the convocation of a national conference until he needed it for dubious political objectives.
The Political Reform Conference which he eventually convened collapsed due to the refusal of the delegates to endorse the satanic third term agenda of the President. Like the report of the Chukwudifu Oputa Commission of Enquiry on human rights abuse the report of the Political Reform Conference never saw the light of day.
In the aforesaid 18-page letter President Obasanjo did not challenge the neo-colonial economic agenda of the Jonathan administration, which has continued to pauperise the masses. Hence the letter is silent on the crises of unemployment, illiteracy, ignorance, hunger, infrastructural decay, etc.
It is an intra-class feud which cannot enhance democracy in the country.
President Obasanjo has a penchant for writing letters and granting interviews on regimes which he and other power mongers had installed. He dismissed the regimes of President Shehu Shagari, Generals Buhari, Abacha and Babangida and President Yar’Adua once they fell out with him.
After the election of the late Bashorun MKO Abiola as President did General Obasanjo not say that he was not a messiah?
For goodness sake when did General Obasanjo discover that President Jonathan is incompetent?
Finally, instead of celebrating the hypocrisy of frustrated power mongers, the Nigerian people should take advantage of the intra-class war going on in the ruling party to get organised and take their political destiny in their own hands.
The time has come to put an end to the opportunism of discredited rulers who are in the habit of exploiting the frustrations and disenchantment of the people to become emergency heroes. Enough is enough!