While Babangida ran his mouth; accusing himself of being an evil genius, many knew his foolery knew no bounds. His accusations of himself were some disjointed hybrid of truth and falsehood. As for being evil, yes he was so very evil. But as for being a genius, he was pregnant with hubris. For him to classify himself a genius even in breach is a very haughty accusation. That classification was declassification of genius. And every rational computation resists that bad move with exceptional vehemence. He was not a genius, but he was evil. This guy was neither smart nor intelligent. An intelligent man would not hire hirelings like Omo Omoruyi to launder his non-democratic credentials. An intelligent man would not waste his country’s resources on an endless transition that was destined to end in the back alleys of his perfidy. A smart guy would have left his charge better than he found it. He was a thief, yes, but not a very smart one. Smart thieves steal what they need. But buffoons make away with whatever their greed can covet. While Jerry Gana, his propaganda mouthpiece ‘MAMSERED’ Nigerian with his slogans, ‘if you are a managing director, you manage and direct well’ under Babangida himself was busy failing and flunking the very same tests his administration set for others. He was stealing, but he was not stealing well. He was stealing Nigeria blind with such a capricious bout of primeval acquisitiveness that makes Mobutu look like a choirboy. His wife joined the orchestra of thievery, as his better life for rural women transformed this dangerous goon into the czarina and matriarch of a kleptocratic family. Her namesake from the Abacha stable learnt really well from her, and sought to outdo her. It is unfortunate that Miriam has come to represent the choice name for matriarchs of kleptocratic dynasties in Nigeria.
The only truthful statement ever to escape the mouths of IBB was that he was evil. And that was all. As for being a genius, that was a statement of his pedestrian bearings. He would love to be a genius, but he is suffering from a very degenerate form of self over-estimation. May be, he may attain that in his next incarnation, but if the philosophies of certain oriental religions is anything to go by, he should be appearing in his next incarnation either as a cat or a dog. This appearance by all means should not be in Europe or America, where dogs are treated even better than human beings in certain instances. As a dog he should make his incarnational appearance in Calabar or China, where the possibilities of his ending up in a pot is so very high, than in an America, where a Michael Vick would do jail time for letting the dogs do what they do better in the wilds; fight. As a cat, he may try China as well. I harbour no personal grudges against this monumental wrecker of Nigeria, but justice requires just recompense for such cosmic crimes. But who am I to suggest to the gods. They seem to know best in such matters.
That was IBB!!!!
Now to my subject: Jeremiah Olusegun Obasanjo-the Owu of Owu!!!
The similarities shared by IBB and OBJ are many. Both are pests and national disasters. Where IBB consulted smooth Machiavellian amoralities, OBJ was equally Machiavellian but a bovine bully. Both of them are asses of grave eminence. These two men contributed more than many others to the fact that Nigeria stinks like an undeodorized morgue today. But in spite of these outward similarities, I rank Olusegun Jeremiah Obasanjo a smarter ass, than IBB. Although both of them were dangerous diseases that laid Nigeria prostrate, OBJ was smarter in his wickedness. He was hyper-conscious of the judgements of history. That was why he commenced a process that would erase his evils off our collective memories. This he did by imposing a fall guy upon Nigerians. This fall guy was carefully chosen, consciously ridden roughshod into power, and cleverly chaperoned into a position that his incompetence was bound to desecrate to the highest construction of that term.
To assuage the ire of those who would chew me for breakfast, for daring to accuse OBJ of being smart, I must quickly add that my ranking was of comparative import, and that does not diminish or make him less an ass. In comparison to IBB, Obasanjo was a genius. In fact, he is Nigeria’s genius. This is the kind of crooked genius, which the accident called Nigeria throws up from time to time as its noxious by-product.
OBJ’s toxic foresight is unparalleled. This was a man, who after ‘defecating in the church’, knew that the quickest way to kill the stench in the public mind, is to get a man, who is faecal matter himself, and whose faecal stench was an olfactory Chernobyl; a man whose toxicity and malodour would assault and affront our senses more than his did or ever could. He would appoint the man to do the same job of defecating upon Nigerians; as to make his own gigantic indiscretions pale into insignificance in the face of the latter assault.
This is what I call genius.
OBJ did not need to launder his ass after making our public space his toilet for eight years. He had no need for it. He needed no toilet papers to do the job. He needed a bigger shit that would neutralize the stench of his in ‘an elimination by substitution process’ that has been the stuff of many simultaneous equations. He quietly chose a guy, whose mere fart would dwarf the sum total of his eight years of public shit. He chose Yar Adua. That is the strategy of genius. Today, no one remembers that Obasanjo made mincemeat of our institutions. No one remembers that he inaugurated a dubiety in public life that transcends Babangida’s monumental thievery. No one remembers anymore that his eights years of fighting corruption cloned more corrupt cows in our polity than has been the case in recent times. No one remembers that Nigeria witnessed more political killings, with each case sealed with the signatures of power under the Owu, ordering a hit. No one remembers that Nigeria’s properties and public utilities were auctioned off to his friends under the ruse of the BPE. No one remembers that Odetola and Dangote became billionaires under his corrupt watch. No one remembers that Mr. Tesler, the British goon bribed his presidency to auction off our LNG project to a consortium of international rogue companies. No one remembers today that OBJ was a failure both in terms and in fact. No one remembers that the money requisitioned off the Abacha thieving dynasty was not accounted for. No one remembers that his presidency was fingered as the nursery bed of corruption by the Auditor General-Vincent Azie’s report. No one remembers that this general sacked Odi and Zaki Ibiam to terrorize his opponents; an action which amounts to genocide and has landed some people from other circumstances at The Hague. No one remembers that OBJ was globetrotter in chief, while he presided over the handing over of Nigeria to his friends. No one remembers that his friend Tony Mr. Fix-it Anenih spent 300 Billion Nigerian Naira constructing roads in the world of fiction, while Nigerian roads were deconstructed by old age, decay, over use and official corruption.
If Babangida in his evil majesty desires to see what evil genius is, he should look at OBJ’s cookbook. Evidence of that could be gleaned from his confecting the PDP with doughs of perpetual corruption. He concocted a PDP primary that has been described as the worst of political charades that Nigerian history has ever witnessed. It was the highest benediction that pretence ever paid to democracy.
OBJ’s smart-assed-ness could equally be gleaned in the smart move he spawned to deal with the ‘garrulous indiscretions’ of Audu Ogbe. Ogbe dared criticize the august emperor on the pages of Nigerian newspapers. Nero and his descendants never take such criticism lying low. They avenge it to the fourth and fifth generation, like only gods of wrath would. OBJ true to his nature, rose like Po
seidon from the seas of moral filth, resolved on making Ogbe shut the f..k up, after his open letter to him on the danger of letting lose a clique of renegades on Anambra State.
One must remember that on the day Ogbe’s fate was sealed; that is, on the day OBJ was decided on dealing ruthlessly with Audu Ogbe’s effrontery, in challenging a mad emperor; he was in Audu Ogbe’s house gorging himself fat on the pounded yam dinner, convoked by Ogbe’s wife in a last minute effort to broker a peace deal, save his husband’s neck from OBJ’s incipient noose, and mark the end of hostilities. The Owu of Owu descended on that meal with a vengeance. Present on that occasion were mounds of pounded foo-foo that would challenge Everest for a place in the sun. One would really need to level the peaks of those mountains of scrumptious delicacy before one could ever realise that other guests were equally attacking the same hills from the other side of the table. Such was the expanse of the feast thrown by a condemned man to avert the hangman’s noose. He thought his food bribery would appease the vortex of a tyrant’s wrath. He thought he was dealing with a human being.
That meal was the last supper for Ogbe. Reminiscent of the actual Last Supper, OBJ, like Judas, left the supper chamber, and went about his betraying duties with the assurances and comportment of a Judas incarnate. For Ogbe, the biblical prophesy of Acts of Apostles 1:20 nearly became a perfect reality. Fortunately only the second part of that prophesy, came to pass for this retired apostle of tyranny. “His habitation was nearly made to lie desolate” as the bible prophesied, when armed robbers attacked him, but missed assassinating him by whiskers, after his confrontation with Obasanjo. But the second part of the prophesy-“his office let another take” became a living reality, as he was forced to yield his position of party leader to Ahmadu Alli of the Alli must go fame.
The blood-curdling implication of this was that OBJ got to Ogbe’s house, put his hands in the same plate with him; signifying friendship. He ate Ogbe’s food, pretended that all was well, only for him to garner enough energy to order his decapitation. If that is not Machiavelli in action, then you have not really read him. This is simply a biography of a Caligula. I used to think that Caligula and Nero were conceptual hangovers of an expired world-namely ancient Rome. I used to think that they were historical fictions offered for the didactic edification of students. That was until OBJ and IBB deconstructed Nigeria into timeless poverty and under-development.
Ogbe’s decapitation by the man who ate his food has historical precedence. Don’t forget that David in Psalm 40:10 lamented bitterly to his God that even the man.., in whom he trusted, who ate his bread, hath greatly turned against him”. King Duncan was murdered by Macbeth and his Lady, after feasting him with all the splendour of false hospitality. The list is endless. Obasanjo learnt these crooked lessons well.
Ahmadu Alli’s emergence was another pointer to OBJ’s genius. It testifies to the fact that Obasanjo was so very adept in whitewashing and recycling retired bandits and chaperoning them into posts, where they could displays their mediocrity with reckless abandon, so as not to dim the brightness of his glow. Whenever he can he surrounds himself with mediocrity, as he cannot abide the upright odours of genius. Whenever genius, due to public pressure was imposed on his consideration, he takes it with an eye for the next exit for the irritant. Ask Okonjo Iweala and he would tell you. Obasanjo’s great genius-in-breach and foresight was superlatively canonized in his appointment and imposition of Umoru Yar Adua onto the Nigerian Presidency.
If that move was not smart, then we need to redefine smartness.
The emperor was not to be outdone in arrogating omnipotence to himself. Just like the Hebrew Bible stated in Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 11:23) that it is easy for God on a sudden to make the poor man rich, so did OBJ suddenly and instantly banished poverty in the life of Andy Ubah, his houseboy. OBJ was on hand to miraculously transform fake-Dr.Andy Ubah his houseboy; a failed erstwhile California-based entrepreneur into a naira trillionaire in eight years. This miracle bespeaks of the greatest racket of political bootlegging ever conjured by the crooked minds of men. No one would wonder if the pimps that were procuring made-in-India “Ashawos” for Abacha became billionaires. At least they, like every capitalist, were capitalizing on the sexual insecurities of a syphilitic-crazed butcher, to sell their wares of pleasurable and sado-masochist-laced illusions to him. They had something to sell. All they need was a market for their wares. Abacha was a ready market for the kind of wares they were peddling. To be honest with you, I have not been able to decipher the kind of wares that Andy had to sell to OBJ as to make that relational transaction so very tight the way it became. I wouldn’t know the kind of wares that Andy Ubah was pimping for OBJ as to make OBJ arbitrarily transform this nobody into a moneyed arsonist in Anambra State; and a member of the dishonourable clique of renegades, that Achebe indicted for the evils in that Igbo heartland. But whatever it was, OBJ thought it worth the price. And Nigerians should know that since OBJ is not a stupid man, whatever he paid Andy Ubah to keep for himself, or do for him must be gigantic. Risks are proportional to pay-offs. Wherever the risks are too high, the pay-offs are equally too high. If Andy Ubah could become filthily rich in a short space of time for being OBJ’s houseboy, that job must have entailed something that was worth sacrificing an army for. Moreso, If Andy Ubah, the agent got off with a reasonable sum of a trillion naira, what did his principal OBJ get away with?
OBJ redefined smuggling, when he allowed Andy Ubah the services of his presidential jet; Nigeria’s version of the Air-force 1, in the smuggling of foreign currencies into the US, in utter violation of diplomatic protocols. Little wonder then that our diplomats are asked to dress down to be search at foreign airports equally in utter violation of diplomatic protocol. Ask Prof. Rebrand Nigeria about her Chicago airport experience. I wouldn’t go there!!
His farm-Obasanjo Farms Nigeria (OFN) was another heist pulled on the Nigerian people. No one has been able to account to the Nigerian people for Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) since 1977; a programme many suspected that Obasanjo cleverly transformed into Obasanjo Farms Nigeria, OFN, Otta. Before OBJ became president, his farms were at the brink of bankruptcy. But in office, the Farm miraculously started to generate between five to six digits of profits in dollars. Who says miracles don’t happen anymore?
I would not talk about his appointment of Iwu and the conversion of INEC into PDP Annex, which started under him. Neither would I discuss Iwu’s conduct of the freest and fairest non-election in the history of electoral malpractices. To accuse Iwu of being a sane man is an inglorious accusation, let alone for the guy that appointed him.
Today, due to OBJ’s smartness, we are about to crucify Umoru Yar Adua. Umoru was a sick political featherweight from Katsina, whose only stake to political relevance was the name and relationship he shared with another member of the military elite that destroyed Nigeria; who unfortunately fell to the needles of Abacha’s wickedness. Obasanjo achieved nothing in power save seating Nigeria firmly on the tracks to retrogression, and then insisting on his divine right to rule ad infinitum. It was not until the senate and the pressures of the civil society forced him to beat a retreat to his farm, that it fully dawned on him that Nigeria would not need his services
anymore. But before then, he chose Yar Adua to come and show Nigerians that he is a bigger failure than OBJ, so that we would forgave OBJ and view his time as the seven years of pharonic plenty, in comparison to the inanity that Yar Adua was destined to offer us.
Before we crucify Yar Adua, let us not forget that Umoru never wanted the presidency. To that end, he couldn’t have come up with a blueprint for it. He could never have articulated what he intended to achieve when he attained the presidency. That explains his knee-jerk reaction to all areas of governance. His seven-point agenda was a hasty cut and paste, lacking the coherence characteristic of a plan. He was a failure primed by default. He cannot but fail. He was brought out of irrelevance and exposed to the klieg lights of the big stage. The trappings and responsibilities were unfamiliar to him and too big for his weak frame. He was bound to be intimidated by the office. And he is. So, any consideration of the Yar Adua years in power must take cognizance of the fact that he was a man who was set up to fail. This unfortunately is thanks to the crooked genius of Olusegun Jeremiah Obasanjo, the Nigerian genius.