Well, Obasanjo’s government has come and gone and yours truly is still out here in
I am therefore paying this tribute in the firm belief and conviction that honour is due to whoever deserves it, whether it’s Obasanjo, Okonjo Iweala, el Rufai, Charles Soludo, Oby Ezekwesili, Dora Akinyili, Nuhu Ribadu, ex-governors Attah, Duke, Odili, Saraki, Muazu, and and many other bright stars, who have made a difference in the lives of their peoples in their respective offices. Obasanjo led the pack. There is no question, even in the camp of his political foes, that ex-President Obasanjo deserves our honour for his selfless service to his fatherland. And, even Obasanjo’s most acidic critic who had been pouring out vitriol on him knows that he was no more than a pathetic ant tugging at the feet of the elephantine Obasanjo.
Obasanjo is not only a Nigerian but a continental institution. He was the greatest African of his time. This is no praise singing but simply acknowledging a fact and reality that was embraced by the world. World leaders such as Bill Clinton, George Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair, UN Secretary General, Anan, World Bank Chief, Paul Wolfowitcz, and many others, have severally, publicly voiced their admiration for and acknowledgement Obasanjo’s un-quantifiable achievements for Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. Who am I then to withhold my compliments to this great son of
The former president introduced desperately needed reforms. High oil prices have given
But nothing in
Is it true that Obasanjo is a misunderstood leader who really meant well in the eight years he was president? Those who eulogise him say the hallmark of leadership is the ability to take hard decisions without minding whose ox is gored. And because Obasanjo, according to them, took very hard decisions, he therefore qualifies to be inducted into the country’s hall of great leaders. But isn’t that too simplistic an argument to make? Nothing could be more fallacious. If the ability to take hard decisions – whatever that means – is the trademark of leadership, then General Sani Abacha also qualifies as a great Nigerian leader. Or who could have taken harder decisions than acclaimed African villains such as the late Mobutu Sese Seko of
Little wonder that most world leaders who, indubitably through their intelligence network knew how rancid things became in the country even when the man was busy lying to himself and all who cared to listen that he was taking Nigeria to the next level, are treating him like a leper. While other African leaders who served their people selflessly are being rewarded with continental and global awards, Obasanjo, the man who sees himself as the best thing that happened to Africa after Nelson Mandela, has been ignored. The former leader of the most populous black nation in the world, a man who hugs international limelight as if his life depends on it, is today no longer invited to any gathering of world and African leaders even when he makes overtures. Who says the evil that men do does not live with them?
Today, Obasanjo looks up to the
Nigerians must just take the bull by the horn and put their arms around their destiny. They must take money from anyone one who offered them money but refuse to vote for them. They must ask for the basic things of life other than elephant projects that are making those in government richer and the poor masses poorer. Those abroad who are more feckless than the ones in
With this kind of mentality, Nigerians would continue to be scorns everywhere in the world. Nigerians at home, must once and for all, decide to fast and listen carefully to those seeking elective offices and stop asking for money for votes. This is the only way we can get out of shackles of want, bad leadership and disease. The police must also know those fighting for their rights are fighting for all of us, and thus must be seen to be enforcing the laws for national interest and not for the interests of the people in power. One must give kudos to the Judiciary, they have tried and I have high hope that they will continue to try.
The same thing I told my own aging father and mother. This is the situation created by your parents, if you don’t learn from it, your own children would be worse. To keep hope alive is in your hand and there is no way you can be hopeful when you ask politicians to give you money for votes. Your hopes would be dashed, if your parents keep praising current governors because they know them personally, or because they are benefiting from them. Your hopes would be dashed if you keep bugging relatives abroad to keep sending you money without encouraging them to help you fix the system so that you would not continue to be liabilities on them. Your hopes will be nipped in the bud, if your relatives abroad allow you to put so much pressure on them to the extent that they start having heart attacks as we are witnessing in Nigerian community abroad. Your future is in your hand my fellow sojourners in life.