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The President we have versus the President we need (5)

By Dele Sobowale

“Buhari reinstates NHIS boss under probe for alleged N919m fraud.”

It was vintage Buari and not totally unexpected given the man’s age. Most old men, like dried crayfish, are impossible to bend. They are as stubborn as iron bars and don’t give a damn what others think.

Thus when I read that the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, who was placed on suspension by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole for alleged corrupt practices had been ordered reinstated – without prosecution, trial and acquittal by a court of law – by our “indefatigable corruption fighter” President Buhari, I smiled. Prof. Usman Yusuf is from Katsina and Daura, naturally.

When I wrote in January this year that Buhari’s bigotry, incompetence and nepotism threaten Nigeria, one of his “brothers” sent me a text message announcing that the “Fulanis will rule Nigeria for ever whether you Yorubas like it or not.”

The damn fool was not there when Buhari crawled into Lagos to strike a deal with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the South West massively voted for him in 2015 when he won. In 2011, with the SW voting for Jonathan he lost and cried all the way to Daura. He will lose the SW vote in 2019 irrespective of what he does. We will not forget the replacement of Oke with Abubakar from Daura and the open humiliation of Prof Adewole in order to protect Prof Yusuf.

It immediately reminded one of the treatment granted to Maina by the same President whose anti-corruption credentials have been torn to shreds by the man himself. Never again will Buhari be named among the nation’s strong corruption fighters. Mainagate, we must remind our readers, is languishing under the bulging carpet in the Vice President’s office – where it had been swept. Pastor Osinbajo has become the eager recipient of all the garbage Buhari wants swept out of view. Serving God and mammon at the same time is perilous business as the Redeemed “Man of God” is finding out.

Yusuf joins the lengthening list of “our brothers and sisters” from the North, who had been given a “handshake” while the Olisa Methus of this world had received the hammer. Nepotism, parochialism and injustice have never been so openly wrapped in every measure taken by the man who promised to be fair to all. The Permanent Secretary, Northerner naturally, whose tenure was extended twice remains fresh in our memory. Charity for Buhari not only begins at home; it stays permanently there. Is nepotism itself not corruption by other means?

That brings me to a continuation of the introductory profile of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, GCON and former Vice President of Nigeria under Obasanjo, 1999-2007. He was one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, started by late Dr Alex Ekwueme, GCON. Collectively, the leaders of the PDP made the grievous error of having Obasanjo imposed on them in 1999. He proceeded to wreck the party by destroying its constitution and imposing people at will. OBJ’s culture of imposition later destroyed the PDP under Jonathan and brought an end to the party’s rule – making people like Vincent Ogbulafor look foolish for predicting a seventy-year-rule.

As cruel fate would have it, Atiku and Obasanjo might be getting set for another battle. As far back as 2005, when the former VP was nursing the ambition of making another attempt at the presidency, I had warned Atiku as follows:



“Every hero becomes a bore at last”—Ralph Waldo Emerson    1803-1882

Every potential presidential candidate for the 2007 elections must regard President Obasanjo as his main opponent despite the flurry of denials by those claiming to be his close friends and associates. Many suffering from a critical case of amnesia, have forgotten or choose to forget that the same Obasanjo in June 1998, shortly after his release from prison, denied any presidential ambitions. If the man reneged on a voluntary promise in 1998, what is to prevent him from breaking his promises again? After all, to politicians and “militicians” alike: “ Promises are like pie crusts; made to be broken” according to Jonathan Swift ( 1667-1745 ). Distrusting Obasanjo is the beginning of wisdom. Instead of relying on his promises, we would be well advised to make it impossible for him to prolong his stay.”

Obasanjo, like the proverbial bad penny, is back in 2018 to torment presidential candidates and in another attempt to impose his candidate on Nigeria. Having made a public show of tearing up his PDP party card and virtually throwing out the Makarfi-led party delegation, which ill-advisedly went to beg him to return, he now realizes that he cannot return to the PDP. As long as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu remains in the All Progressives Congress, APC, the gates remain shut in his face there. It is out of desperation to remain relevant that he has embarked on the Third Force adventure.

Those following him, like a pack of lemmings racing for self-destruction, are wasting their time and chances. OBJ, like a leper cannot milk a cow, but can render the milk undrinkable for others by dipping his diseased fingers in the pail. He still cannot on his own win an election in his ward, his Local Government, Senatorial district or state without the PDP umbrella. He is a spoiler and nothing more and we are witnesses to the damage his selfishness did to Nigeria when in 2007 he imposed Yar’Adua and Jonathan on us. Unpatriotic elements who helped Obasanjo to wreck the PDP and Nigeria have since been humiliated politically.

Of all the things I have read about Obasanjo’s adventure into third party formation, nobody has been able to pin-point his major reason for taking the plunge. Let me tell you now.

OBJ is motivated by FEAR. The emergence of Makarfi and Atiku as PDP presidential candidates, when the APC has a bad product on its hands, has opened the possibility that Buhari’s successor might be one of those two. When that happens, a full probe of Obasanjo’s administration from 1999 to 2007 will be conducted. And, you can bet the self-righteous former president will be exposed. The least of his allegations was the Peugeot 607 purchased for a lady of easy virtue from the Petroleum Development Trust Fund. PDTF.

Of the two people, the one who really terrifies Obasanjo is Atiku. The Turaki was one of Obasanjo’s major benefactors. He helped to pay his debts after his release from prison in 1998. And, this was what this eminently generous man said about the ingrate he helped to become President in 1999.

On September 22, 1998, Atiku, who did not know Obasanjo very well announced as follows: I think we are getting to a stage that when he [Obasanjo] gets back from his overseas tour, we will approach him to accept the presidency.” In his bid for the third term, Atiku, who helped him to clinch first and second terms, was his number one enemy. OBJ  forced the man out of the PDP which Atiku had helped to form while Baba Iyabo was still in prison.

Atiku even saved his life while in prison. After Yar’Adua was poisoned, it was Obasanjo’s turn to go by injection. Atiku got the information and went to OBJ to warn him against taking accepting injections for treatment of anything. Sure enough, a few weeks after Abacha’s “Doctor Death” came to administer injection. Some of the inmates of the prison still recollect Baba shouting “I don’t want injection; I don’t want to die like Yar’Adua!!”

Obasanjo is mortally afraid that if Atiku wins, he might be back in jail for the rest of his life.


“Here lies our sovereign lord, the king, whose promise none relies on; he never said a foolish thing; nor ever did a wise one.”—John Wilnot, 1647- 1680, English statesman.


Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is on my short list of politicians who can never be insulted on this page for too many reasons. But, most of all, I admire his ingenuity and guts. With somebody else running the errand, it would have been dismissed as a “fool’s errand”. Virtually no month ends without Buhari reminding us that his brand of democracy is “government of Daura,  by Daura and for Daura”. In January it was Abubakar of Daura appointed as the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA. He joins Daura of the DSS who naturally comes from Daura as our top security chiefs. In Februart, it was Prof. Yusuf of Daura, who, despite facing corruption charges, was reinstated to humiliate the Minister of Health who placed him on suspension.

Before my brother Asiwaju sets out on this errand, he should go and ask Buhari a question. Has he been sent out to reconcile those who insist that APC must fight corruption and those, like Buhari, who are now subverting the anti-corruption fight? And which side will prevail? The lovers of Yusuf or those who stand for equal justice?…..

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