Election Rigging And Other Atrocities: Obasanjo Is NOT Guilty.

by Bode Eluyera

I have said it, in my articles, many times over and over that if we want quality leadership in Nigeria, we must distant ourselves from any candidate either from the north or/and with military background. These people not only do not share democratic values, but they actually have nothing to offer the country, simply because they are not prepared intellectually for quality leadership roles. Details of my arguments for making such a bold assertion is in one of my articles titled “Leadership, Decision Making, The North, The Military and Development in Nigeria. (Part 1)” Other parts will follow with time.

If the north for one reason or the other was not satisfied with Falae’s candidacy, they could at least had backed a Yoruba candidate without a military background.


So, who do you think is the most powerful President in the world? Please try to answer this question before reading on. It is very important. According to the renowned Nigerian lawyer, Femi Falana, constitutionally, the President of Nigeria is the most powerful President in the world. He is even more powerful than George Bush, the President of the United States. Femi Falana made this revelation during his radio interview with NVS. The interview is highly recommended to be listened to. Our 419 constitution drawn up by the Military has purposely entrusted the President with so much power that Obasanjo came to the conclusion that he could do and undo without any repercussion, more so in a society notorious for corruption. Instead of using the power bestowed on him to establish a solid foundation for democracy, improve the standard of living of the populace, conduct irreversible political reforms; most especially organizing a Sovereign National Conference, and improve the global image or perception of the country, unfortunately, Obasanjo became power drunk and completely abused the power bestowed on him for his own grandiose and selfish interests. He started behaving like a mad and wounded Bull like in the Spanish Corida.

The bitter truth; which we all unfortunately must admit to is that we have allowed Obasanjo to commit quiet a number of atrocities – including the abuse of power – within the 8 years of his dictatorial rule that he came to the wrong (or, perhaps the right conclusion) conclusion that he could do anything to Nigeria and Nigerians, and go scott free. Due to our weak, or in some cases, total absence of protests, we have given Obasanjo the wrong impression and confidence that Nigeria and Nigerians are his properties that he could treat as he wished. By not challenging him boldly and forcefully all along, we have given him the carte blanche to treat his chickens at his Otta farm much better than us. And he did exactly that, and he is going scott free; at least for now. He has challenged us to do our worse, and we are unable to do anything to him.

There is a Russian proverb that goes thus: “Еслидащьемуодинпалец, онрукусьещ.” Translation: ” If you give him a finger, he will eventually eat up your hand.” Through our nonchalant attitudes, inadequate resistance, we have given Obasanjo our fingers to eat, and now, he has eaten up not just our hands, but all parts of our bodies! And, he is still hungry! He is not contended yet! He has not finished with us yet. Only Almighty God know his plans for us in 2007 – 2011. He didn’t spend his energy, time and Nigeria’s money to impose Yar’adua on us, and then go to eternal pension. Since we have denied him the opportunity of realising his Third Term Agenda ambition, he will definitely try to complete his devilish and anti-progress programmes indirectly through his political protégé. It is now too late to cry wolf and shout.

In order to buttress my point, the writer will like to take the readers along the memory lane of political events within the past 8 years of Obasanjo’s military dictatorial rule – camouflaged as civilian rule.


Obasanjo’s atrocities and abuse of power started by appointing himself the Minister of Petroleum. From my understanding, what this meant was that the Otta farmer turned President over night could not find a qualified
candidate among the numerous Nigerian Professors and experts in oil and gas for this post, therefore, he decided to appoint himself the Honourable Minister of Petroleum. Nigeria’s 419 Constitution has bestowed on the President the power to combine the post of President and Minister of Petroleum, irrespective of the fact that Obasanjo is not even capable of writing correctly the chemical equation or formula of ordinary water that he drinks everyday.

Could somebody please tell me why Obasanjo decided to combine the Petroleum portfolio with his job as the President? Does it mean that the job of the President is so boring or not that demanding enough? Why didn’t Obasanjo combine the Power Ministry with his job as the President, so that by the end of his tenure, Nigerians could boast of cheap and regular electricity supply? Or, why couldn’t Obasanjo take up the big challenge in the Ministry of Health, so that by now, diseases like polio and other long curable diseases – in the west – that claim the lives of millions of Nigerians yearly will not only be a thing of the past, but an effective and affordable medical insurance programme will as well be available to most Nigerians by now. Obasanjo, instead, decided to go for the Ministry that lays Nigeria’s golden eggs. The official excuse given was that he wanted to bring sanitation into the Ministry, however, it’s a known secret that the bankrupt Otta farmer who had just #200,000 in his account in 1999, was going into the Ministry of Petroleum not for any sanitation or reforms, but to steal money.


Definitely, you will agree with me that one of the main responsibilities of any reliable government is the provision of security for its citizens. Moreover, the ability of a country to provide adequate security for senior government officials is not only of utmost importance, but is one of the attributes that distinguish a serious country from a Banana republic. The post of Minister of Justice, undoubtedly, is one of the key positions in any country, including Nigeria. Bola Ige was the Minister of Justice in Obasanjo’s government during his first tenure in office. Chief Bola Ige was not just an ordinary Minister and politician. He was a very experienced administrator and a heavy weight in Nigerian politics. It is no exaggeration to say that in Yoruba land, despite the emergence of Falae as the Presidential flag bearer of the Yorubas in 1999, nevertheless, Ige was the foremost politician, and unofficially regarded as the successor to Papa Awo. As will be recalled, despite the fact that he did not belong to the ruling PDP, nevertheless, Ige was invited to join the government, and he was offered the Ministry of Justice to head. In addition, it will also be recalled that Ige was the only Minister who did not have a signed letter of resignation on Obasanjo’s table.

The death of Ige, most especially the manner that it was carried out shocked not only Nigerians, but the whole world. It was an unprecedented murder. If hired assassins could easily work into the official residence of the Minister of Justice, and riddle his body with bullets, how safe then are ordinary Nigerians in their abodes? If the government is not capable of protecting the live of the Minister of Justice, can we entrust him with our lives to protect? The answer is obvious. The murder of Ige, was not only a big tragedy, but also an embarrassment and

disgrace for the country.

When the death of Ige, and the manner in which it occurred was revealed, how many of us took to the streets to demand an independent investigation that will ensure that the culprits or perpetrators of this heinous crime are arrested, and consequently brought to justice? Did The House of Representatives or Senate call any emergency meeting to discuss the murder, talk less of voting unanimously for an independent investigation? As far as I know, none of these took place. According to some information from reliable sources, the opposition party was planning to field in Ige as its Presidential flag bearer in the 2003 Presidential election against Obasanjo. Could we conclude then that Obasanjo murdered in cold blood a formidable political opponent. We folded our hands, and allowed Obasanjo to get away with this high profile murder.


P.S.The news that Mend have kidnapped workers of foreign oil companies is pleasant. There should be no sympathy for these people. They are part of the problem. Moreover, they have been warned to leave. My next article about the Niger Delta (part 5) will focus on what exactly MEND should do with these hostages, and the next action plan in general. Meanwhile, MEND should only agree to “an unconditional ” release of Dokubo.I will be obliged if anybody that knows the web site or e-mail address of MEND or any of his members, could send all parts of my articles concerning the Niger delta crisisto the address.

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