By Abiodun Israel
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) is more restless than a grasshopper on green fields. He is inexplicably an excited elder statesman, meaninglessly loquacious and implicitly spats at himself, with his self-centered criticisms, but thinks he is upbraiding incumbent leaders.
Agreed, Nigeria has been messed up since independence; but more intensely, during the 16 years PDP held power in the country, after the return of democracy in 1999. And OBJ is a focal person in laying the foundation of this decay and degeneration in the system for eight years as democratic leader of Nigeria. He flagrantly created and nurtured some of these national problems plaquing Nigeria to smothering limits.
But OBJ has not brought himself to apply the simple Christian wisdom of recognizing his faults to apologize to the nation. He knows that true penitence comes when a Christian confesses his sins against someone or a nation, seeks God’s face and genuine forgiveness.
However, OBJ does not believe he has wronged Nigeria; he does not believe he is responsible for Nigeria’s current afflictions for which President Muhamamdu Buhari is spending sleepless nights to rectify. He looks at the multiple national malaises such as the hyperbolic unemployment, a collapsed economy, festering corruption and a crippling multifarious insecurity threats assailing the country.
ObJ prefers sanctimonious outbursts in worship places and public fora, where he blames other leaders and exonerate himself. Based on this pride, he mocks leaders who have dwarfed his accomplishments in the leadership of Nigeria.
No act of wickedness’ surpasses this sort of posturing; in fact, it is outright evil and that is what OBJ has personified insistently. So, when he does not mouth evil or unfairly scold other, his soul finds no peace.
A few days ago, the OBJ known to Nigerians and the world as a thoroughly evil, wicked and self-centered leader; a leader devoid of any sanctity to speak from a moral prism, elected upon himself to advise President Buhari on insecurity.
His comments on the spate of the resurgent insecurity in the land were contained in a paper he delivered titled, ‘Mobilizing Nigeria’s Human and Natural Resources for National Development and Stability’, an event which held last Saturday at the second session of the seventh Synod of the Anglican Communion, Oleh Diocese, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, had the tapestry of OBJ satanic offensives against other leaders. To the astonishment of all, OBJ mouthed his usual self-righteousness, laden with felonious mischief against Nigeria’s current leadership by President Buhari.
Funnily, OBJ indicted himself unconsciously with these words; “Every issue of insecurity must be taken seriously at all levels and addressed at once without favouritism or cuddling. Both Boko Haram and herdsmen acts of violence were not treated as they should at the beginning. They have both incubated and developed beyond what Nigeria can handle alone. They are now combined and internationalized with ISIS in control. We could have dealt with both earlier and nip them in the bud, but Boko Haram boys were seen as rascals not requiring any serious attention in administering holistic measures of stick and carrot.”
Nigerians know Boko Haram started under the administration of OBJ, but he folded his arms and supervised it to blossom to the monster it is today. The ethno-religious conflagrations in parts of the North were exacerbated under his eight-year reign as President. But he did nothing to contain the crises.
In 2004, OBJ resorted to open altercations with Christian leaders who complained to him when he visited Plateau state over the ethno-religious crisis in the state. But he preferred to refer Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as “my foot.” He publicly insulted the then Plateau state CAN chairman, Rev. Yakubu Pam as an “idiot.” He either overlooked or bickered over these crises, instead of confronting it headlong with enduring solutions as Commander-In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
To really know OBJ is cursed, he applauded President Buhari on his marvelous tackling of Boko Haram insurgency in one of his open letters. But today, he indirectly knocks Buhari by insinuating, he is favouring and cuddling insecurity to promote the agenda of Fulanisation and Islamisation of not just Nigeria, but West Africa and Africa. Ironically, OBJ blamed himself for the lack of initiative in handling a crisis that had every trapping and potential to threaten the African continent in the nearest future. He has absolved himself and feels heaping the blame on other leaders now is wisdom.
Experts have pointed to sociological conditions such as unemployment and illiteracy as influencing the massive recruitment of youths into violence, killings and other repulsive crimes. But OBJ had a chance of revamping Nigeria’s ailing industries/companies.
Unfortunately, he reneged on it and conspired with his political godson, his then Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to gamble off Nigeria’s national assets to themselves through proxies. The high rate of unemployment in Nigeria which has made youths susceptible for recruitment by foreign forces of destabilization and crisis merchants is because of the lack of jobs enabled by OBJ’s gang of looters of Nigeria’s patrimony. His selfishness has blinded him from accepting these faults.
It is very strange and disappointing that at the age of OBJ and his status, he is still behaving like local football spectators who see brighter scoring chances than players on the field. He is foolishly playing safe, with the egoistic contentment he voiced out. But merely voicing out now is senseless and useless, as he had a chance of making the difference, but ignored it. A man who has truly discovered himself should be pinned by conscience to be circumspect in utterances.
But Nigerians do not need his commentaries to understand and appreciate President Buhari’s determined and impactful measures in taming Boko Haram and the resurgent insecurity challenges troubling the country. OBJ intends to push the agenda that Buhari is an Islamist. But it is the same President who has clampdown on Shiites in Nigeria led by Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. And it is under his Presidency that Boko Haram and ethno-religious crises are sternly confronted in a manner OBJ, as Christian could not do as a sitting President.
Nigerians should never bother about OBJ. He is famed for brandishing artificial and fake passion for Nigeria. He is a diluted Nigerian leader and when he spews his usual vituperations, it functions more from the angle of mischief than national interest and public good.
Former Lagos state commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav has these kind counsel for OBJ. He said, “Obasanjo’s sermon on security is a misplaced priority. He is part of the problem. He belongs to the class of those foreign interests who don’t want to see the continuation of Nigeria the way it is today. These agents are ready to do anything.”
Tsav has made a lot of sense. OBJ has rendered himself as a leader who hates his country by sowing the seed for today’s unemployment. He sold all national assets and today, teeming Nigerian youths are jobless. And he is excited at the massive indulgence of youths who are contracted by foreign agents into violence and killings. He dug the grave for the citizens and the current level of insecurity in the country.
Nonetheless, the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Buhari must remain firm and resolute despite the evil plots of people like OBJ. There should be no going back on keeping the peace and unity of the people or in pursuing greater prosperity for the nation’s ordinary people.
Buhari must not feel frustrated in working to return Nigeria back to her common citizens. Good programs to keep youths so as to divert their attention from crimes , violence and killings should continue to be initiated or vigorously pursued.
Nigerians should not flinch either, but must always remember that they have only one country to call their own, which is Nigeria. It is therefore the sacred responsibility of every patriotic citizen to stand up for this nation in her troubling times by supporting government to entrench peace and progress.
Abiodun wrote from Ibadan, Nigeria.