By Chioma Gabriel

Nigeria has had many presidents who were gifted in different areas. In former president Olusegun Obasanjo, we had a man with the gift of the garb, a man gifted in crafting words, a professional letter writer. Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him or one would be doing so at his own detriment.

Obasanjo is one man who says what he feels the way he feels it no matter whose ox is gored. He is a professional in many areas; a sage; a citadel of knowledge; a living institution and a school of thought. He gives it out and takes it like a good sportsman when it is given to him.

What he sees while lying down, many cannot see even if they are standing on top of an iroko tree . If you ask me, I think he has the eyes of the gods and speak the voice of the gods.

So, when such a man writes a letter, the words of the letter should be chewed, swallowed and digested .

Well, you can say he’s not a saint and that’s the truth. He made mistakes too.

In the past, we read the famous letters between Obasanjo and his beloved daughter Iyabo. The Obasanjos are very prolific writers of books and letters. I have read some of their books too. Bitter Sweet was written by Oluremi Obasanjo, his first wife. You wouldn’t know the secret of books and letters until you develop the culture of reading and then you’d discover that the book Bitter Sweet is one of the greatest from the Obasanjo dynasty.

Indeed, Bitter Sweet evokes emotions. It is one book that can reduce you to tears and depress you. It is one book that can draw your ire especially if one is a graduate of the school of hard knocks like Oluremi Obasanjo. It’s ‘un-put-down-able’ and brings real fears that bemoan the fate of women and children of Nigeria.

This Animal Called Man by Obasanjo himself clearly portrayed that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. When Obasanjo came back from prison, he clutched this book he authored in detention. Nigerians didn’t know then that the book was very prophetic. It was a warning to those who would later draft him to the presidency that they were dealing with a man who would never suffer fools gladly.

He is one of the greatest and Nigeria is perhaps, lucky to have a man like him since Lord Lugard.

Nigerians should read Obasanjo’s letters especially the one to Buhari. He wrote a similar letter to Jonathan when he was in power. Accusations of ineptitude and acts calculated at destroying Nigeria contained in the letter came just in time as it appears Nigeria is suffering from a system’s collapse. Many on the other side may perceive the letter as self-serving, hypocritical, malicious, indecent, and very disrespectful of the highest office in the land.

But that perception depends on whose side you are!

In a similar manner ,the addressee of the letter, our dear President Buhari is not a man you ignore. He’s a man of few words but you can say, with a very deep mind. Nigerians fear him, knowing he is not that kind of man you speak about anyhow. Any careless statement could be construed as hate speech.

But with 2019 staring at us, the book of reckoning has to be opened, assessment has to be made and the result sheet has to be published.

The only truth here is that everybody’s assessment may not be the same. Many will differ and many will be similar. Cacophony of voices will be heard.

But whether we like it or not, whether his performance is perfect or not, President Buhari is entitled to another term in office. It is his right as a full-blooded Nigerian and whoever doesn’t like it will have an opportunity to stop him at the polls.

In Nigeria’s electoral system, the winner takes it all and that has been the practice for years. Any Nigerian politician will tell you it’s better to win an election than go to the tribunal .

2015 was tough. 2019 will be tougher. Many supported President Buhari in 2015 because Nigeria desired change. Things were too bad then that many were gasping for air. So, the people shouted change. I was one of them. Many who shouted change in 2015 are now begging to be taken back to the point in 2015 before the change happened. I’m still marking my own assessment sheet.

The people in power in 2015 were relatively young and ostentatious in the way our money was being spent. I thought a man who has come of age and had led a simple lifestyle will be different and will be a father to all Nigerians no matter where they come from.

After Buhari won, things indeed changed. I cannot say how they changed. We can only use our tongue to count our teeth.

Obasanjo’s letter to Buhari tells us one thing. We are not yet done with theatrics. We are once again rehearsing a scene from a familiar movie. We have heard it all and seen it all.

The point now is that something should be done. We are not the only country in the world where the ‘emperor’ is playing the fiddle while the ‘empire’ is on fire.

It happened in ancient Rome. So, why blame anybody for having a ball when Nigeria is on fire?

Donnons une chance à la paix (Let us give peace a chance).



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