In Defence of General Obasanjo, By Joe Igbokwe

obasanjoFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo remains one of the luckiest Nigerians that is still transversing the political landscape today, all things considered. He is one General that has ruled Nigeria for almost twelve years – three years plus as a military head of state and eight years as a civilian president.

General Obasanjo is the first Nigerian to serve as a military head of state and as well as a civilian president. On those two occasions, the man never struggled to be president. He became president in 1976 when General Muritala Muhammed was assassinated. History again threw him up in 1999 when he left the prison to Aso Rock in circumstances which only God can explain.

If any prophet had predicted by February 17, 1998 that General Obasanjo would be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Arned Forces, that prophet would have been dismissed as one of those drunken fable bearers that litter Nigeria. If General Obasanjo had been told when he was handing over the instrument of authority that somewhere towards the very end of the millenium, he would be receiving the same instrument from General Abdulsalami Abubakar, who was a Lieutenant Colonel then, he would have dismissed it as the ranting of an ant.

He would have been killed the way General Musa Yar’ Adua was poisoned but Lucky must have been the second name of this retired General. He survived against all odds and has remained an elder statesman since he left office in 2007, intervening in matters of national significance when the need arises.

Obasanjo is well respected by world leaders, including past presidents and serving presidents. He sits among the greatest leaders in the world. He has been very outspoken and the world knows him for it. His words carry a lot of weight and he throws them when the need arises. He is controversial, he is a good fighter and he is fearless.

Today February 16, 2015, this man added another drama to his long history. He tore into shreds his PDP membership card in the full glare of the Nigerian press. Why? The retired General is totally disgusted with President Jonathan and his party, the PDP. He has been screaming from the mountain top that the PDP and President Jonathan are not getting things right in Nigeria but they will not listen. He has offered useful advice to help strengthen the party but the characters in the party will rather call him names.

He single-handedly brought President Jonathan to where he is today but anytime the man rebukes Jonathan for not taking the right steps, he gets abused. For instance, General Obasanjo kicked and kicked when Kashamu Buruji was appointed the South West leader of PDP. Obasanjo raised an objection to that appointment but the presidency and the PDP did nothing. This international drug baron, who has remained a wanted person in the United States for many drug offences, has taken pages of newspapers to abuse the former president and yet the presidency rather allows Buruji Kashamu to be the one importing and distributing the President’s rice to impoverished Nigerians.

In Obasanjo’s very eyes, the PDP, working in tandem with the Military, rigged another rascal and political liability called Ayo Fayose as Governor in Ekiti state. All the tainted characters Obasanjo rejected in the South West are now working for President Jonathan. Former President Obasanjo is still in possession of a document where the president said in 2011 that he will not seek a second term and today Jonathan is seeking a second term.

Obasanjo raised an alarm when the Foreign Reserves he left in 2007 is mercilessly and shamelessly being depleted in the past six years without any tangible thing on ground to show for it. Obasanjo also raised an alarm that the Presidency has been building attack mercenaries to deal with political enemies and irritants and Nigerians thought he was raising dust for nothing until we saw the State Security Service, SSS, in our own very eyes, becoming a department for repression, oppression and suppression. Former President Obasanjo did his best to help President Jonathan to succeed but dangerous elements from Niger Delta, especially the arrogant and greedy like Edwin Clark, Asari Dokubo, Tompolo, Boyloaf etc will not allow Jonathan to listen to wise counsel.

Under Jonathan’s watch, these characters abused Northern leaders and called them names such as parasites and lazy fools and yet he did nothing. If President Jonathan is trounced on March 28, 2015, (and it is sure to happen) these characters above created 50 per cent of the problems that led to his defeat.

President Jonathan did not only fight the retired General through proxies and surrogates, he sometimes threw insults on the former president with reckless abandon. In his home base in Rivers state, Jonathan and his wife descended on Governor Rotimi Amaechi simply for doing his work. A minor disagreement between Governor Amaechi and Mrs Patience Jonathan, which the president could have resolved maturely by rebuking his wife to realize that Amaechi is an elected Governor and his wife not elected. Soon the matter got worse when Amaechi won the chairmanship of the Nigeria’s Governorship Forum. President Jonathan sponsored Governor David Jang to break the once powerful Forum, and things were never the same again. Soon President Jonathan unleashed AIG Joseph Mbu (then commissioner of police) on Amaechi and the bubbles bust. A president who should have kept his home base intact played to the gallery and fought Amaechi with all the energies at his disposal and the rest is now history.

In the North, President Jonathan did not build friendship and he did not sympathize with them on the death of their son, the late Umaru Yar’ Adua. If he did, he would have just completed the two years Yar’ Afua left and return power to the North as agreed in the power equation. If he managed to get additional four years as he did, he would have been satisfied with it than to begin to look for another four years thereby making the south rule for 18 years by 2019 assuming he succeeds.

This is the last straw that broke the camel’s back. To make matters worse, President Jonathan played up ethnic and religious cards to the letter. He showed bias to Muslims by allowing some greedy pastors to deceive him that the whole North hates him because he is a Christian. He has been visiting Jerusalem and churches without caring to visit mosques. He sees the North as another political enclave and this is the reason why he did not fight Boko Haram with every sense of seriousness it deserved. He did not believe that the Chibok girls were kidnapped until after 14 days. Now if Jonathan scores 10 per cent votes in the whole North on Saturday March 28, 2015, I would not be surprised. His ambition to rule Nigeria for 10 years will cause him a big loss in the North. In fact, Jonathan has lost this election in the first ballot and he will be defeated mercilessly.

Today March 16, 2015, former President Obasanjo has completed history by tearing his membership card as a national leader in PDP. A friend told me that a big anointing has broken the yoke of PDP in Nigeria and things will never be the same again. The anointing of the Lord has set the captives free. PDP has been torn into shreds. PDP is collapsing. PDP IS FINISHED IN NIGERIA.

The New York Times, one of the greatest and most influential institutions in the world, has described President Jonathan as a lousy president. Christiane Amanpour described Jonathan as a failed head of state. The Economists magazine described the Jonathan government as a failed regime. General Theophilus Danjuma says Jonathan is rewarding crime and encouraging more people to go into it. Senator McCain says Jonathan’s government is practically not existing and therefore America should just help Nigeria. Hilary Clinton says Jonathan is running a government that is supervising the siphoning of Nigeria’s resources. This is the verdict of the world and there is no hope again for President Jonathan and PDP in 2015.

1 Comment

  1. Permit me to borrow the writer’s statement” President Jonathan is running a government that is supervising the siphoning of Nigeria’s resources. No more no less. Let’s be wise and not be deceived again, vote for CHANGE.

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