Social media and OBJ’s letter

on   /   in Viewpoint 2:07 pm   /   Comments

THE media, especially newspapers, online and social media are feasting on what is now referred to as famous letter sent to President Goodluck Jonathan  by erstwhile former president now elder statesman, Chief Olusegun  Obasanjo.  The ex-president wrote an 18-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan accusing him of failing Nigerians in his position as the President of the country.

The thought provoking and insightful letter, amongst other things accused the president of nepotism, lying about his second term ambition and condoning corruption. The former president also spoke bitterly about the issue of insecurity and how it’s gradually ravaging the entire system.

As expected the letter has generated a lot of comments, and criticisms.  Of note  is the  response from Mr. President’s Spokesperson, Dr. Reuben Abati who rose in defense of his boss.

According to Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed as  most reckless and  unjustifiable a fiercely scathing letter he received from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in which Mr. Obasanjo accused him of lying, condoning corruption, and leading Nigeria to the brink of collapse. The statement further said the allegations by the former president were baseless and indecorous.  Abati claimed that, many patriotic, objective and well-meaning Nigerians have already condemned the leaked letter as self-serving, hypocritical, malicious, indecent, and very disrespectful of the highest office in the land.

Many wonder if this same Chief Obasanjo is the very president who tried unsuccessfully to perpetuate himself in power through the unpopular third- term project. Nigerians are now wiser and the events between 1999 and 2007 when Obasanjo was President are still fresh.

If the truth be told, given the unenviable manner he conducted the affairs of this country while in office, former President Obasanjo has lost the moral right to offer advice to others on how the ship of State should be steered.

Some writers also argued that the much touted war against corruption during his administration was a grand plot to crush those who dared to challenge his stlye of governance. Others also pointed out that anti-graft agency were sent after state governors who chose to defer in views or go against President Obasanjo’s ‘order.  Other arguments against Obasanjo’s administration were that State House of Assembly members, not minding their numbers, convened sessions even in hotels and impeach their governors. The case of state-sponsored thugs that invaded the Anambra state Government House and captured a sitting duly elected governor where no one was arrested or prosecuted, also capture the argument.

Basically, from other reactions of the people especially on twitter, most didn’t doubt the objectivity of the letter. As a matter of fact many lauded the genuineness and credence of the letter.  More so, well-meaning Nigerians were even happy that all the criticism is coming from the same man singlehandedly enthrone Jonathan as the president of the country. But the main issue critics raised against the former president is that, whether he (Obasanjo) has the moral right to send such letter to the president. This is in the sense that the administration of the ex-president is not far better than this current administration.

But be that as it may, many will say Obasanjo’s administration wasn’t as factional and sectional as Jonathan’s.  Furthermore, even though there was corruption in both administrations, it is gradually rising to the level of impunity in this current administration. But come to think of it, who amongst the ex-leaders of this country shares the same ideology with Chief Obasanjo. I mean who amongst them is in good terms with the ex-president.

If you remember at the end of the letter, Obasanjo craved indulgence of the president to share the content with former heads of state such as Ibrahim Babangida, and Abdulsalam  Abubakar.  I still cannot  comprehend the rationale behind this. Perhaps the former president is trying to bring Babangida, whom everyone knows is not in good terms with him, into the scenario for reasons best known to him. In this vein, the sincerity of the letter can also be questioned.

Mr Moshood Isah, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Garki, Abuja

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