President Obasanjo has repeatedly expressed his lack of interest in self-succession as events and all eyes turns toward the 2007 presidential elections in Nigeria. Unfortunately, however, some Nigerians have chosen to exhibit their happy ignorance of President Obasanjo’s clear and concise denunciations of the idea.
First and foremost, it should be clear to Nigerians and the world that President Obasanjo’s antecedents precludes the sort of character that enables and has in the past enabled some to seek self-succession in political helm of affairs in Nigeria.
It must be recalled that it was this man, President Obasanjo, who willingly and voluntarily relinquished political power, even as a military head of the Nigeria state in 1979 to a democratically elected President Shagari.
Unless you are a person or a Nigerian born after 1980, and you have a particular preference for ignoring the history books, as you enjoy your glorious self-inflicted amnesia, you would have to have known, you would have to have heard or read about President Obasanjo’s epoch making and ground breaking willful hand over of political power, even as a military man in 1979.
President Obsanjo’s act of voluntary hand over of power, from the military to a civilian president in Nigeria was an unsurpassed demonstration of patriotism and commitment to Nigeria’s national cause. And it was acclaimed and hailed as a first in Nigeria, Africa and most of the world!
It ought to be very clear to Nigerians and the world therefore, that the speculations and rumors of a planned self-succession by President Obasanjo have no basis in fact or reality! It is falsehood aimed at tarnishing and besmearing President Obasanjo’s exemplary service to Nigeria, at all levels, including as the time he served as a military head of state and now, as a civilian president. A civilian president, who has been laying foundations, institutions and systems which are dedicated in all ramifications to, and will sustain Nigeria, now and for a very long time to come.
Nigerians with a good memory of Nigerian history will tell you that it is not in President Obasanjo’s DNA to plan self-succession in 2007. It is against our constitution, it is also against every moral fiber that constitutes President Obasanjo the man!
But why then have the rumors and speculations gained such acceptance? Perhaps this is as a result of misperception or propaganda by enemies and detractors? And those who loathe the current reforms that have been initiated and instituted by President Obasanjo, such as the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Could this be because there are some Nigerians and their cohorts who benefited and seek to continue to benefit from the evils of corruption, regardless of corruption’s detriment to our common good in Nigeria? There are some Nigerians who are unwilling to change from their old nefarious ways, and so, they seek to malign and lampoon President Obasanjo, the champion of the reform programs. These leeches and parasites have constituted themselves into a cabal that continue to seek to destroy the President Obasanjo’s federal administration, all in order for these enemies of Nigeria to be able to return to the old corrupt ways, corrupt ways that benefited them and their friends at the expense of the generality of the citizens of Nigeria.
Regardless of region, religion or ethnicities, the average Nigerian is confronted daily with identical plight and predicament of desperation and hopelessness. Some Nigerians who now are quick to whip up ethnic, regional and religious sentiments are the same Nigerians who are quick to forget that the several decades old abandonment, neglect and mammoth decadence and decay suffered by public infrastructures in Nigeria actually affected all Nigerians identically. Whether such public infrastructures are roads, schools, hospitals etc, inefficiency and ineffectiveness know no region, religion or ethnicities. Corruption and criminal behaviors have no ethnicities, religion and region.
Those who seek only selfish and parochial interests are now whipping up these negative sentiments, a panoply of common denominators for some Nigerians, even in the face of evils, evils that ought to, and should be condemned by all. Frequently, however, some seek to explain evil away by presenting a façade, a cover for their own negative common denominator that tend to bind some Nigerians, as opposed to the sustained pursuit of Nigeria’s national interests, as priority and foremost objective.
It has been quite clear that President Obasanjo does not intend to engage in any self-succession activities. He has on several occasions vehemently rejected it. He has stated that there is no third term ambition on his part. President Obasanjo has been unequivocal and emphatic on this matter of his lack of desire for self-succession and yet the unsavory rumor persists! Even though so, he is on record as having publicly stated that he was looking forward to his retirement to his Otta Farm, as he said something to the effect that he missed his stay on the farms, upon which commentators and cartoonists, joked and derided him, with swipes and snide remarks regarding his plans to retire and return to his “chickens” or “birds” etc.
At other times, I recall clearly, when the president had again restated the absence of desire on his part to seek extension of his final tenure, which ends in 2007, he emphasized that point when he said anyone engaged in such third term project was doing so at their own peril, and further, that such persons were surely on their own! For the purpose of mischief making, for the purpose of causing chaos and distraction from Nigeria’s national interests and purpose, this garbage about third term agenda has been recycled ad nauseam!
Every effort by President Obasanjo to deflate the rumors and speculations about this phantom third term agenda is completely ignored, and in fact, the greater the effort in this regard that has been made by the president, the more redoubled the efforts on the part of the rumor mongers and mischief makers, who have been busy, spreading the falsehoods against President Obasanjo.
There is now a new twist! As it has become obvious that President Obasanjo has no third term agenda whatsoever, his political enemies have changed and embellish the
third term rumor to include something like, if President is not scheming for a third term, it must be because of the welter of opposition that the mention of a third term agenda has received. Oh, it must be because of the resistance and vociferous oppositions from powerful individuals, organizations, political blocs, and it must be because America and Europe are not supportive, etc. What hogwash!
There have been all sorts of orchestrated efforts by political enemies and those who no longer have access to political power and spoils of office of the old corrupt way of life, they are seething with rage and so, they have set themselves the task of denigrating and disparaging President Obasanjo. These cabal who are uninterested in Nigeria’s national interests have aggressively sought to drag President Obasanjo’s good name, integrity, good character and credibility to the mud. All in order to blindfold the average Nigerian, blindfold Nigerians into thinking that the problem with Nigeria is the president himself, a man who is known to have dedicated himself to the cause of Nigeria, 18 hours a day. Why does President Obasanjo get such bad press in Nigeria?
Why? Despite all the reforms being undertaken by President Obasanjo’s administration, an administration that reflect Nigeria, an administration that is suffused with talented Nigerians, young and old, but seasoned world-savvy technocrats! Why is it our current president never get credits for the successes of his sundry reform efforts? Why is it that there is always some political motivation or ethnical motivation or third agenda motivation or some unexplainable motivation for everything our current president does?
President Obasanjo has said it himself, that he will not be blackmailed or intimidated away from the task of continuing and sustaining the direly needed reforms in Nigeria. He has said that he will not falter, fail or be cowed by those who are apparently not focused on our national interests.
May providence and God protect and preserve President Obasanjo and Nigeria