“Two Skunks At The Picnic”

by Dr. Wunmi Akintide

There are some striking similarities between President Bush and President Obasanjo that qualify them as identical twins, in my judgment, if you compare their track record as leaders and forget their skin color, their background or the yawning gap in the level of development their two countries have seen. I guess you can epitomize America as the giant and Nigeria as the midget. The two leaders are identical twins in their politics and their first term rise to power in two presidential elections which have been massively rigged, and where the two Presidents have literarily seized their victory from the jaw of defeat thru a very narrow margin. They both have secured their second term in what is being touted as landslide victories through a carefully orchestrated strategy of perfidy predicated on their exaggerated ability to secure their nation and secure the world.

Bush has become President in 2000 through an Electoral College abracadabra deliberately improvised by the founding fathers to embrace an element of dictatorship that says a candidate can lose the popular vote by more than half a million votes and still become President by winning the Electoral College Arithmetic by a single vote. By the same token Obasanjo has won a very narrow victory in 1999 by losing by a wide margin in his own Local Government and State to be declared the overall national winner and head of a ruling party where his Vice President had more clout and was more politically savvy and relevant than his President. Obasanjo has risen to power riding on the coattails of his Vice President Abubakar Atiku,and the likes of Theophilus Danjumah to mention a few, just like President Bush has risen to power as a mediocre riding on the coattails of the four musketeers namely Dick Cheney, Don Rumsveld, Carl Rove and Colin Powell, but more importantly on the gravitas and experience of Dick Cheney.

President Bush and President Obasanjo had come to power counting on the low key approach and appeal of their first ladies and the fact that they could argue that they were backed by the political juggernauts and power brokers of their two countries even though thy have been literarily rejected in the polls by the majority of voters in their two countries by more than half a million votes which should be seen as a major defeat by the conventional principle of Democracy elsewhere in the world, but the Leader of the Free World. Bush was backed by the powerful minority in America and Obasanjo was backed by the powerful minority in the Nigerian Military and the powerful oligarchy to the North of our great divide in the mighty River Niger.

By far the most striking similarity between these two leaders is their ego and reluctance to ever admit they can make mistakes. They see themselves as being more patriotic and wiser than all of their compatriots combined. They both believe and want their fellow country to just trust them on anything they say and not verify. They both value any advice from their aides or subordinates only if the advice fit into their own preconceived agenda. Anything contrary to that is considered as disloyalty and sabotage, and they will go after you with vengeance or total disdain. They don’t believe in the Winston Churchill adage that none of us is better than all of us combined. Because they have been lucky to be elected President, they are better than the rest of us. They both believe they have a monopoly of wisdom, and without them their two countries cannot survive. They don’t believe like Socrates that anything made by man can be infinitely improved. You are either for them or against them and they have turned that prism into an instrument of policy that informed all their actions in Government. They want the whole world to believe that anything is fair and legal because they have done it. Therefore there must be no complaint against anything they do.

They both want the whole world to view them as the very champions of Democracy in their country around the world, and the world’s or their regions police men and the foremost peacekeepers. They believe they are leading the crusade against Corruption in their country, and their words and assurances should be taken at face values because they never lie. But they are two of the greatest liars, but they want the world to view their lying as consummate diplomacy or at worst as a subtle exaggeration, which in their own mind set should never be seen as breaking the Law. They never break the Law they only sugarcoat or window-dress the Law to fit their whim and caprices. They have one of the most hypocritical views of what constitute Corruption and they think that selective justice and the notion of right and wrong only exist in the figment of the imagination of their detractors and the opposition, especially when such selective justice is deliberately designed to protect themselves or their cronies or supporters across the board, regardless of their crimes again our commonwealth.

Their arrogance of naked power stinks to the high heavens, and they push their two countries to taking high voltage risks that often throw away the baby with the bath water while tarnishing whatever limited legacies they believe their leadership may have set in motion or put in place, The quagmire in Iraq and the quagmire in the disastrous attempt to undermine Democracy in Nigeria by refusing to play the role of the elder statesman who is out to craft a system that would outlive their regime and put their two nations on the path of sustainable development and everlasting security. They like to disparage the contributions of other leaders before them and see themselves as the only game in town and the only answer to the nation’s problems. They forget that if they die right now, God forbid, the sun will still rise and set tomorrow as if nothing has happened.

Theirs is a one-man show that does not believe that Governance is a continuum, and can never be subject to the whim and caprices of one individual, no matter how intelligent and powerful. Sooner or later they must let go. If they do not leave the presidency, the presidency will leave them. That is the Law of Nature that any human being cannot subvert or totally ignore. That is why President Bush is ever so reluctant to fire any of his

ardent supporters even when he knows they have been a disaster to the Nation. Our own President Obasanjo (I dey kampe} shares the same DNA with Bush in that regard, I might add. As long as his supporters remain loyal to him their jobs are secure. He cares more about his own interest than the overriding interest of the Nation, although he will be the first to tell you he is ready and willing

to die for the survival of Nigeria for which he has sacrificed so much to put in place.

I just cannot for the life of me understand why a President to whom the Nation has given so much, can turn round to want to destroy the edifice he claims to have joined others in building. Amending the Nigerian Constitution for the frivolous and self-centered reason of prolonging his tenure in office is about the greatest crime any leader can commit in a nascent Democracy like ours crying for selfless leaders and statesmen like Nelson Mandela who knows how to quit the stage while the ovation is loudest and before becoming the offensive skunks at the picnic like the Bush and the Obasanjo identical twins have become in their two countries, as we speak

I rest my case.

You may also like

Leave a Comment