In the mid-80s, the Nigerian Television Authority was involved in televising some British comedies for viewers to share some laughter and relaxation from work. In those days it was fun waiting for the next week when one character called Frank Spencer would come on air again involved in his destructive talents. In every episode, by the end of whatever the theme it was, he would have destroyed the set and managed to create unimaginable destruction which were in themselves fun and hilarious. The program producers tried to show us that indeed, some mothers do have some funny children like Spencer.
Nigeria as a mother has some funny and hilarious characters that, if we should relax and take our minds off third term agenda for some period, could find very apt. These ones, like Frank Spencer, did their thing in unusual way. Today, I want to change my review of political update because for months, the only update in Nigeria is on the third term (or term elongation), no policy focus, no direction other than review of the magnificence of our human frailty. Over and over again, the Nigerian leaders engaged in the same structured evil script of staying longer than “a day more than necessary” and it is really absurd.
General Ibrahim Babagida attempted to perpetuate himself in power beyond what he initially offered when he took over from Buhari, but as determined as Nigerians were, he failed. Abacha employed all strategies aimed at the same thing but thank God for divine providence, he died in the process. Today all we speak about is Obasanjo staying longer in power. Very much like his predecessors, IBB and Abacha, he has not made comments to say that he would stay longer than the constitution prescribed but the handwritings are clearly on the wall: sycophants singing his praises, people without principles drumming it that Obasanjo should continue in power and all sorts of things that are typical of despotic and absurdity. In those days IBB and Abacha used intelligential, state security and politicians of easy virtues to chant their leadership qualities and appropriateness because otherwise their leadership competences are not visible to anyone else outside their cohorts. Today, Obasanjo is using crude forms of political victimization and power supremacy through “ICPC-ing” or “EFCC-ing” or “Ribadu-rising” or impeaching anyone who does not see that he is the best and only thing to happen to Nigeria since ever. The same Obasanjo who prided himself in television and several hundreds of interviews for acting against domestic and foreign pressure for him not to relinquish power to civilian rule is now the author of his own pressure- domestic or foreign (if you regard the business sectors and Senator Mantu lead bunch of obnoxious patriots as foreign pressure). By the time IBB was forced to “step aside” all his eight years achievements were totally forgotten. By the time death struck on Abacha, no one remembered how he stabilized the Nigeria Naira against other currencies, how he reformed the banking sector, persecuted thieves in bank ties and other laudable public reforms he introduced that were indeed laudable and commendable. Today, no one is speaking of the GSM or debt re-scheduling or Alamie or Dariye or Tafa Balogun again, today people are screaming; The Rise of Nigeria Hitler, Permanently Defeat President, Power Destroys Passionately, Progressively Despotic President of thePeople’s Demonic Party- P.D.P (quotes from Nigerians In America ). Nigerians want out, they want end, they want, period. And such irrationality is exactly what happened some years ago. When Abacha died, Nigerians went on the streets to rejoice, to sing and dance. No African by culture and inclination does this; react so jubilantly when a leader or an elder or a family member dies even at old and ripe ages. The man who got “one million man march” who got all political parties headed by Barnabas Gemade, died and the street erupted in jubilation and felicitation. The question is, was it worth it? All his loot are now causing problems with retrievals, his wife is totally personal non-grata, his family, his estate, and his achievements are blurred from our good book of history. Was it worth it? And again, is it worth it for Obasanjo to follow this familiar path? Is it really worth risking what one spends entire lifetime building just for the sake of power? “Oba to je, ti ilu toro, oruko re o ni pare lai lai. Eyi to je ti ilu o toro, oruko re o ni pare lai lai”. But should OBJ drop this silly ambition, he still has the chance to restore his image, return to Owu as hero. If Nigerians should force him out, then he is really out!