LEADERS and elders are epitome of wisdom and standard-bearers of basic societal value system preservation. Leadership is a huge burden and being an elder is a tailored responsibility. A leader can be likened to a torch-bearer in a large political animal farm as it is in Nigerian politics but at same time a dust bin. Elders offer a springboard of pragmatic decisions and suggestions at the background without necessarily being derailing. Both leaders and elders show maturity, dexterity and caution in their speeches, actions and conducts so as to preserve the respect of the society they tend to represent. The recent mild drama by the former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo alias OBJ marking his terminal exit from his political party (PDP) has shown that desperation, anger, ego and pride diminished the status of the former President as a leader and elder.
Amidst an amorphous crowd of segregated supporters, OBJ, ordered his membership card of the PDP torn in public. That show of shame reveals the underbelly of OBJ’s egoistic desperation and rabid intolerance during a democracy in which he was the main beneficiary. Suffice to note that OBJ was elected twice (for eight consecutive years) as the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of the PDP.
OBJ stated angrily that he is no more a PDP member, but will be only a statesman. It is troubling to note that OBJ’s action has made his legitimate decision unstatesmanly and childish. As a former President and a beneficiary of PDP, OBJ should have shown some level of decorum and restraints in exhibiting his displeasure of whatever that may have angered him and altered his composure. If the truth must be told, OBJ has lost the moral ground and even moral fibre to behave the way he is behaving. When OBJ and late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua were arrested for alleged plot to overthrow  the regime of late General Sani Abacha in 1995, yours sincerely as the President of Arewa Foresight Front- a Northern Youth organisation made a press-release challenging the regime of Sani Abacha over the trumped up charges against the duo. Myself and the Secretary-General of the group were whisked away to Abuja for inciting the public. God Almighty preserved the righteous and He liberated me from the persecution of the late dictator under the test of time. With the twist of fate, OBJ became the first elected President of the Post-Abacha era but later transformed into the first-elected civilian-Dictator under a civilian democracy, replicating and even over bearing the dictatorship of Sani Abacha. OBJ destroyed our democratic ideals, conquered the voices of reason, humiliated all the shining lights in his regime and subjugated the tenets of rule of law and etiquette. One of the most finest Military Generals,
General T.Y. Danjuma, his Defence Minister, had a bitter pill of OBJ’s belligerence. Chief Audu Ogbeh, Chief Barnabas Gemade his chairmen of his party (PDP) suffered the draconian treatment of OBJ. General Victor Malu, a man of courage, was un-ceremonially removed as the Chief of Army staff for raising a finger of conscience. Chief Chuba Okagdibo, Chief Evans Enwerem etc. were removed as Senate President for challenging the President. Even his Vice President, Atiku Abubakar was not spared. Atiku Abubakar had to be removed by force under a democracy and till date, OBJ made sure his former deputy is permanently incapacitated in political terms. These are the few examples of OBJ’s dictatorial tendencies, which made him the most brutal dictator under a democracy in Nigeria.
OBJ hated critics and criticisms, yet he critics everything and everybody at every slightest opportunity, but honestly OBJ’s egoistic apogee is second to no Nigerian leader, past and present, in our chartered history. His rise to power is as controversial as his present astronomical descent to abyss and irrelevance in Nigerian politics. When his third-term tenure proposal failed, he made it a proviso that the chairman of the Board of trustees of the PDP must be a past President of the PDP which is obviously himself, until when President Goodluck Jonathan’s government reversed the PDP constitution to pave way for Chief Tony Anenih. OBJ’s recent outburst on the most vocal opposition within his political party which is more vocal than the main political party (APC)  voice is not unconnected to pushing him to face the reality that he is no more in power and cannot dictate to the piper. What I hate most about OBJ is not his abrasive tongue, not even his temperament of offensive menu, nor his acute tempest for contemptuous infringements and his hysterical buffoonery for apocalypse, but his interference of the concept of leadership to create a make-believe that life begins and ends with his ego and egoistic alterations at the moment of a call for national consciousness. It is too bad and sad.
One can still be a good leader and elder after his recognised power by manipulating the levers of power through maturity and good conduct by pulling the strings at the background without necessarily throwing the baby with the bath water. OBJ wants to eat his cake and still have it. It is impossible and preposterous. It is also a crude show of his insatiable ego-filled desires. The earlier that OBJ realises that power is transient and the dynamisms of lost of power is a staring reality, the better for him. If I were OBJ, I will seek the face of God and repent to fate of being a good follower after being a leader. There are many contributions a former leader can render to the society without being politically partisan. He should borrow a leave from truly statesmen like General Yakubu Gowon and Alhaji Shehu Shagari who have realised that their time is up and are contributing immensely in positive national discourse, national peace and national reformation. Trying to show by way of grandstanding will only diminish his statesmanly status in the eyes of the ordinary Nigerians. “Before it is too late”, ‘My watch’ which is an extension of ‘My command’ is nothing but ego-serving laced with annoyance and grandstanding tracks, reminiscent of dictatorial spirits. These are discourse that should be confined in the council of states meeting at worst and or as a confidential discussion with the present leaders, at best. OBJ lacks the capacity to write his biography because he mistakenly takes Nigeria as his confine of egoistic adventure, accordingly, Nigerians of professional pedigree and are asking huge questions. It was the cerebral Nobel Laureate, the ever-green Prof. Wole Soyinka who fired the first salvo. Said Soyinka while responding to OBJ recent piece “My watch”- “Our Owu retiree soldier and prolific author is an infliction that those of us who share the same era and nation space must learn to endure”. Soyinka described him as “master of mendacity”, writer of ‘Ignoble fabrication’ and an “Indefatigable peddler of lies”. “I despise humanity whose stock-in-trade is to concoct lies simply to score a point, win an argument, put up his or her own ego, denigrate or attempt to destroy a fellow being. However, even within such deplorable species, a special pit of universal opprobrium is reserved for those who even lack the courage of their own lies, but must foist them on other”. “My watch” said Soyinka “is needless, mind-boggling provocations”, which is a recent “literary” Intrusion on his peace. Nothing can be so apt in summarizing OBJ’s various ‘Interventionist’ conversations of past and present. It is worthy to note that most of OBJ’s actions are undemocratic, egoist, caustic and attention seeking. Of recent, he wants to exert his annoying pittance in form of national discourse on the nation and its psyche as a way of proving his salivating indulgence and make Nigerian democracy look as if it is part of his pet-project that must go along his influence, advises and even his self-serving pique no matter how unpleasant it will be to its’ people and Government. It must not happen.
OBJ’s recent comedy of errors has rendered him impotent politically, socially dysfunctional and a pervasive debacle of himself. Nothing can be more disastrous for a man who thinks he is at the top, only to find himself beneath in a depressing well of demystification. The chickens have come home to roost and the chicken farmer has finally chickened –out of the labyrinth he has mischievously created to boost his ego. Let no one be in doubt that OBJ is an opportunist-heretics. He rose to fame by destroying others and causing confusion in the camp of contending forces.
This, he did when General Murtala Ramat Muhammed was assassinated, he did same Post-Abacha era. Never, can a man be so selfish, so egocentric and so perpendicularly mischievous. Apart from OBJ’s specialty in native intelligence, nobody can ascertain his special talents. It is now apparent that the masquerade has been disrobed at the market square, it is time to go home. Public sympathy is the greatest asset in politics world – over and OBJ has lost it massively in Nigeria. No matter what magic wand anybody will use to revive OBJ, the levers of sensibilities and sensation has expose OBJ’s unrelenting and unlimiting rapacious and subtle disregard for communal peace, mutual respect for each other and overbearing desire for self-preservation at the expense of nationhood of patriotism. Even, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, his eldest daughter had this to say of her father’s abrasiveness. She calls OBJ a liar, manipulator and hypocrite. Said Iyabo “ I had told you  I wasn’t going to run in 2011 but you manipulated me to run,  that was my mistake. Losing was a blessing. As usual you wanted me to run for your self-serving purpose to perpetuate your name in the political realm and as a liar that you are, you later denied that it was you who wanted me to run in 2011”.  If Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello could write this about her father, being his eldest daughter, who else can know OBJ more than his eldest daughter?. The late Bashorun Moshood Abiola was once quoted in the Media that “with a friend like Obasanjo, one doesn’t need an enemy”. What is amusing about OBJ’s recent tearing of his membership card of the PDP is that, must he (OBJ) be humiliated out of the PDP for him to declare for a statesmanship status?. His ward that supervised the recent monumental show of shame, did not vote for him in 1999, and 2003 when he was the Presidential candidate of the PDP. OBJ introduced the concept of “do or die” in Nigeria politics. OBJ’s recent action is aimed at disrupting public peace, crafted to  for a diversionary tactics and anchored to  lure Nigerians to sympathize with his ignoble delirium of conquest by some  impenetrable hawks in the PDP. Unfortunately for him, Nigerians are not bothered because he is not discussing the right issues at the right time. Ego-driven trip cannot bring food to the table of Nigerians, it is not a measure to curtail our challenging insecurity-related problems, infrastructural developments can never be achieved by these inglorious motivations. Diplomacy is incongruent to a self-serving posture. So is the general progress and posterity of Nigeria. OBJ’s glaring  macabre dance  can only cast a picture of a comedian than a statesman. OBJ should provoke a new thinking of making  more friends than creating many enemies. Many Nigerians see the voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau in many challenges we are presently witnessing in Nigeria today. The body-language of most politicians in the present Nigeria is unbecoming, desperate and myopic. They are always thinking of their pockets, egos and personal interests even if Nigeria is victim of their malfeasance and insatiable thirst for mischief. To them it must be business as usual. This is not the sacrifice, patriots are dreaming of. Patriotism is a fire-power that consumes the lethal instruments of self-preservation at the expense of national interest.
Sacrifices, patience, commitment and diligence are basic ingredients that fuel the vehicle of patriotic ideals. Nigeria is bigger than any individual or group of individuals.
It is now clear that the man who, claims to know it all, has exhibited his ignorance in the public sphere, to the utter-disgust of all right thanking Nigerians. If OBJ was to be the President today, he would not have allowed any contest of ideas, no matter the constructiveness and the progressive flavours of it. His temper and obstructing cascade of broad minded views is well known. When he is bereft of ideas on how to handle the affairs of the nation, he often crafts a scapegoat to come and carry the crime of his incompetence and deliberate actions which is always repugnant.
The wiping away of Odi communities in Rivers state and that of Zaki-biam in Benue state under a very slight provocation is still fresh in our memories. These people are still yearning for Justice. With the exit of OBJ as the President, Nigerians were able to experience a semblance of a free, fair and credible elections. The freedom of expression which was denied by OBJ, is fully guaranteed  and protected. For a man who is reputed for foisting his puppets and himself  against the will of the electorates, this moment is not the best of times. OBJ’s regimes were corruption–personified, one can vividly remember the corruption index rating during OBJ’s eight years of mismanagement and open bullying of opponents with bribe even at floor of the National Assembly. But shamelessly, OBJ is today decrying corruption. Hear him “corruption must not remain part of our national life” he continued “Recklessness  and impunity must not continue to be our part of lives, whether recklessness and impurity in the management of our economic affairs, in the running of our finances and even in political affairs”. This is OBJ saying the contrary of all he stood for, during is years of leadership.  In a swift to OBJ’s recent outburst and slanderous infamy, the venerate Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu has stated that Olusegun Obasanjo has been hypocritical in his accusations of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Akiolu said Obasanjo illegally withheld the Lagos state’s allocation for several months and refused to release it even after the Supreme Court ordered him to do so. He said “ If I want to do something, I don’t pretend. God has given many people longlife so that they can get enough punishment. Let me tell you something; all the injustice they committed against Lagos state from 1999 to 2007; God Almighty is punishing them now”. The  Oba continued “All the accusations former President Obasanjo is making now, he masterminded  them, nurtured them and master minded them and now he is complaining”. “God has a way of doing something. More are still coming”,  he concluded.
Nothing can be more descriptive of OBJ’s  vain, inglorious and erratic debacle. What recklessness, impunity and dictatorship  has the nation not seen during the ravaging eight wasted years that OBJ marshaled on the citizens of Nigeria?.
Is he really saying that it is only the sin (s) committed by others not by him that will be taken as truly a sin?
When did OBJ become the barometer and model for fashioning good leadership in Nigeria?
A glossary look at the OBJ’s recent book “My watch” is no less than a verbiage of gabbages, full of fury of a gnashing and  grief-infested man, narrating his talents of gridlocked mischief and tasteless infamy coupled as an adventure, only good for the dustin of history. That book is full of fury, half-truths and deliberate lies. No good student of history will ever use ‘My watch’ as a viable reference material. It is a spurious hoodwink on the nation’s psyche, a bundle of lies, contraries and contradictions. It is a compendium of self-adulation and debilitating vile, showing the exact mark of the extinction of a dying political dictator.
The recent happenings is a watershed in political development of Nigeria and  a turning point of relief from the grip of a dictator. Let us all bid OBJ Goodbye.
Even, the current Chairman of Board of Trustees of the PDP, OBJ’s erstwhile ‘Mr Fix it’ was quoted as saying  “PDP will not Miss OBJ”. If I may ask, who else will?, definitely and obliviously, nobody is the answer.