Obasanjo And His Tantrums | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Obasanjo And His Tantrums

converastion of an angryman
Posted: Aug 22, 2016 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Michael John
Has anyone ever wondered what a nice, cute little place Nigeria would be if only we did not have a public liability and moral burden known as Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo? Tucked away in Otta Farm after serving twice as Nigeria’s leader (as a military dictator and democratically-elected President), one would have thought that he would pay more attention to his farm and let bygones (his failed presidency) be bygones. But the man has too large an ego and like Narcissus who could not stop admiring his image in the river, he cannot resist the temptation of jutting his handsome face and inane thoughts in the public space.

You should already know that buried in OBJ’s mind is the idea that he created Nigeria or that Nigeria was created for him. He parades himself as the lord of the manor. He has written a handful of books (Onitsha market literature level stuff), and all of them were about himself. No topic exists in Nigeria which is worthy of more attention than Olusegun Obasanjo – by his thinking.

My pally man, Jumbo, the veteran soldier, does not understand how a man who was accused by his own son of having an inappropriate relationship with his (son’s) wife and who was also accused by his own daughter of being an irresponsible father can still go around posturing like a national leader. “Leadership, like charity, begins at home,” says Jumbo. You cannot fail as a leader at home and succeed as a leader in Nigeria.

Obasanjo, you must know, made Murtala Mohammed, Head of State. He became head of state but it was not his will (Not My Will). He criticised the Shehu Shagari as President and described his administration as an “unmitigated disaster.” He criticised Ibrahim Babangida for not giving the Structural Adjustment Programme a human face. He criticised Sani Abacha…but as you know two mad men cannot play rough and tumble. Abacha arrested him and had him jailed. He came out of jail and vested interests who wanted to pacify the west after truncating Chief Moshood Abiola’s election victory foisted him on Nigerians.

The Good Book says in Ecclesiastes chapter 4 verses 13 to 14: “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.” Nigerians became poor and while Nigerians wallowed in want, guess what? Obasanjo began the subtle plot to bend the rules and go for a third term. Nigerians fought to wrest this yoke from their necks.

OBJ retreated to Otta Farm and had sought to be the godfather of every person who becomes the President of Nigeria. To him there are two ways of doing things as President of Nigeria – doing it the Obasanjo way and the wrong way. If it does not have his sanction then you are wrong.

One would not have bothered with putting this searchlight on a farmer whose ideas of Nigeria’s politics have always been akin to a political discourse in the situational comedy, “New Masquerade.” But OBJ is like a recurrent nightmare. Just when you think you have seen the last of the nightmare, it pops up again and rudely wakes you up.

Obasanjo claims that he and four other Nigerians were the ones who brought Buhari to come and salvage Nigeria. Considering the fact that Buhari ran against him, this is a curious thing to say. “If he knew that Buhari had the magic wand to solve Nigeria’s many problems, why did he not concede to Buhari out of principles?” Jumbo poses the pertinent question. “Why did we have to go through Obasanjo’s failed presidency and then he had the sudden realisation in 2015?”

Obasanjo further claimed that as President, Mohammedu Buhari has not disappointed Nigeria. On that score, I sympathize with him. Once bitten, twice shy. After what Abacha did to him, he is bound to think twice before criticising a fellow general. More so, he has seen the speed with which those who criticise Buhari end up in court for one offence or the other. Not that Obasanjo has skeletons in his cupboard, but why risk having the cupboards opened in the first place.

This is the same Obasanjo who claimed that Buhari is strong on security, but not on economics. Yet economic security is the greatest security in a nation’s social fabric. “One guesses that OBJ is an old man with the mental age of a teenager,” says Jumbo, “Or how else can one explain his illogical comments and his tearing his PDP membership card before the press? He could have returned it to PDP because membership cards are the properties of the issuing authorities. But he could not resist the childish tantrum.”