It was Yakubu Gowon who once crafted the statement “To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done” Our current Commander-in-Chief may be coming up with his special cliche by replacing the Gowon dictum with a more apposite description of his gimmicks as a sit-tight Dictator. Left to him alone, “To keep Nigeria guessing on his third term bid, is a task that must be done”
If Obasanjo is only keeping Nigeria guessing on that issue alone, this commentary would not have been called for. But I am seeing a clear pattern here that should worry many of us who still have some abiding faith in the unity of our country. To keep Nigeria guessing is fast becoming an instrument of policy under Obasanjo. Even in his declared War against Corruption, our deadliest cancer, the best our Commander-in-Chief is doing, is to keep Nigerians guessing on whether or not his war is only against his perceived enemies in Government or a principled war against all forms of Corruption in our country, regardless of who may be involved, when the chips are down. No Commander-in-Chief ever wins a war like that without destroying himself in the process. He may win a few battles going in, but he would surely lose the War.
This Commander-in-Chief, I am told has a list and a dosier on corrupt past and present Nigerian leaders and public servants, but he is keeping the list close to his chest, because in his own egoistic mindset, no Nigerian leader, dead or alive, loves or cares about Nigeria more than he does. By the same token, he believes he understands our psyche and political instincts better than our past and present leaders combined. He alone knew who the Messiah in Nigeria was. He just could not name him until the Nation had to find out, when he was later taken out of the dungeon to be crowned king for the second time in 20 years. The Northern power brokers who had made him king, on a quid pro quo basis, were desperately looking for a docile Southerner who could serve out an interregnum, to appease the South while still maintaining the status quo ante Bellum like the Romans say.
Left to his base, the South West alone, if they had a choice in it, Obasanjo would never have been the man they would have wished to serve their own turn in the leadership of Nigeria. if you need any proof of that I refer you to the result of the polling in much of the old West in 1999 when Obasanjo had run against Chief Oluyemi Falae of Akure. The choice was forced on the South West by the powerful North, on the presumption that to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done. The only southerner who could do that, at the time, in their convoluted mind, was Obasanjo who had been tried once in 1976 to 1979, and had lived up to expectation. Obasanjo had not only deceived the Northerners to trust him, he had also pulled a fast one on the Western world as champions of Democracy, by becoming the first military man to voluntarily hand over Government to a civilian Government without anyone pointing a gun to his head. The Northerners had thought that Obasanjo was going to be a uniter, but if his current antics and records in office are anything to go by, he may well become the greatest divider in Nigerian History and a big embarrassment to the Yoruba race.
Information is now coming out to confirm that Obasanjo’s third term bid is not just a dream but a done deal which has been carefully planned and executed by the Annenihs of this world, the Mantus of this world and 30 out of the 36 Nigerian Governors, the majority of them from the PDP. Most of them have been rigged to power in a steamroller of an election in 2003 through a carefully orchestrated coup bankrolled by the Federal Government, with the Nigerian Police led by Tafa Balogun as a major accomplice. Now the year 2007 is around the corner, and Obasanjo the so-called champion of Democracy in Africa is talking and behaving as if he already knew how all or most of the Nigerian voters are going to vote. You have got to be a UFO, if that does not tell you something about what the 2007 Election is going to be all about, regardless of what could be the fate of the PDP when it implodes or crashes under its own weight.
I have lived in America now for upwards of 20 years, I have never witnessed a situation where the Government in Power is already taking the electorates for granted by behaving as if their votes do not count any more. In America or Britain that would have been a reason good enough to reject such a Government at the polls. Why for goodness sake would Nigeria not try the opposition right now, if Democracy is truly a game of choice like we know it is.
I can almost tell you the Abacha days are here again. Just imagine the news that 30 Nigerian Governors are already on board on the third term bid, and getting ready their different Houses of Assembly to simultaneously pass the motion to amend he Constitution to give room for a third term for Governors and the President regardless of the consensus of the silent majority in our country. It was a major effort on their part that is being financed by sources known to, and approved by Obasanjo himself who keeps Nigeria guessing about what his true intentions are. Here was a President who had bankrolled the last Federal Government sponsored Confab without any appropriation from the House of Representatives or the Senate. Such a behavior is likely to warrant the impeachment of a President in America or some of the western democratic countries we pretend to copy.
This President does not respect the Constitution, unless in areas where the Constitution serves his own goal and purpose. It should not be like that at all.
Obasanjo has now managed to incite the South against the North, and for once the South appears united, and they now appear to speak with one voice. If the South maintains that stance, and are resolute about it, Nigerian Unity can begin to sing its “Nunc Dimitis” and that may, in the fulness of time, be the end of Nigeria, as we know it. In a country where all or much of the mineral resources that financially sustain the nation, comes from only one region of the country, a wise President would avoid knocking heads, and would concentrate on seeking common grounds to consolidate and solidify the unity and understanding of our country. It seems to me that Obasanjo is much more interested in his own survival than the survival of the nation, regardless of what he may be saying to the contrary.
Obasanjo is an expert in double talk. When he is saying “No” or “Yes” to anything you have
to carefully watch the decibel or the intensity or emphasis on how he is saying it just like the late Samuel Ladoke Akintola once said that a “no” could sometimes mean a reluctant “yes” Obasanjo saying “No” to anything could be likened to a woman saying “No” to sex. Nine cases out of ten, that “no” could really mean “yes”
There really may be no vacancy in Aso Rock come 2007. And there may not be in any of the states presided over by the 30 Governors who have found themselves in the same boat with a President who thinks that without him Nigeria cannot survive. If Nelson Mandela had felt that way, he probably would have preferred to die in office.
The moment I saw Obasanjo actively courting and propagating a one party democracy in Nigeria, I instinctively knew he is the wrong man for the job of institutionalizing Democracy in our country. He could end up the worst divider in the history of our country and wipe off all the few legacies of achievements he has had in close to 12 years of ruling Nigeria.
I rest my case.