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Thursday, 25 January 2018


*By Ajogwu Jerry Ochada*

Winnowing through Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s missive to President Muhammadu Buhari, an average citizen of Nigeria would not hesitate to read between the lines for a better grasp perhaps because the author purged the truth at a time when the masses are starving to read or hear a compassionate appeal to the plights of the nation.

No doubts, times are hard; we are witnessing one of the most difficult phase in our nation’s history but we must learn from our mistakes by retracing our steps to better the path of the glorious past. Nigerians cannot repeat the same order of political worship and expect events to take the right shape. No! We must trash sheer ignorance by embracing integrity and sincerity of purpose before it is too late.

It is a routine for Baba Iyabo (OBJ) to hit the nail on the head at intervals and in turn many gullible minded fans are on standby to applaud the improvised political carpenter whose hammer is wobbly ineffective.

Recently, OBJ ordained himself a Saint through his political motivated essays and Nigerians are applauding his guts in a hullabaloo melee, forgetting that the acclaimed repentant sinner is one of the major architect of our nation’s problems.

With all sincerity, I have never in life supported Buhari (PMB) because I have not seen reasons to switch tents but I still hold OBJ in high reverence because to some greater extent he contributed his quota, however it was not without a stain.

Be that as it may, we must argue in line with the limited ethical reality because the duo (PMB and OBJ) are not in the class of the Talakawas where by virtue of divine existence and human exploitation the bulk of our nation’s populace fall.

Remember the old parlance: when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. Nigerians should not be quick to take sides without reminiscing on the past to evolve a practical approach that is all encompassing and people oriented.

The political intents of Baba Iyabo’s latest missile may not be considered as a tool for assessment in this discourse because he did not hold brief for any political party but it is pertinent as nationals of our beloved country – united in the struggle for good governance – to ask mind boggling questions in an attempt to X-ray the worrisome imbroglio of the retired but not tired General.

One may ask:
What prompted OBJ to write without resolving to keep mute owing to the fact that he was one the brains that ushered PMB to power through his aligned campaigns?

Remember he blasted GEJ at a very sensitive period when election was by the corner. Nigerians celebrated his thoughtful bashing which gained widespread apathy against GEJ at that time as a result of the trending inimical aberrations of the Boko Haram insurgents.

He labeled GEJ as an outright failure. The shadows of that letter reflected in the poll results that kicked GEJ out of power.

In my opinion, OBJ’s letter when GEJ was in power deserved scrutiny and investigation especially when he allegedly opined the training of snipers but we are citizens of a country where some selected few are above the law enacted before their birth or strategized by their cronies to haunt perceived political opponents. So many politicians are above the law and the National Red Line can easily be altered to consider their excesses.

It is baffling to read a 13 paged letter from a man who once tore the membership card of a party he rode to ascend political power for eight years and was on the verge of pushing for a third term.
Politically assessed, it was the intervention of Atiku’s aspiration to contest against his boss that thwarted the moribund zeal of Obasanjo’s third term agenda. Come to think of it, had it been Atiku was on the same page with OBJ, a three tenure of accumulated twelve years would have been the scenario at hand. We can picture the gnashing effects of such a power drunk encounter in a corrupt rated nation.

It is shamefully pitiable and chronically distasteful that the same OBJ is coming out to warn PMB against contesting for another term in office.

What were the over rated achievements of Baba Iyabo before he attempted to contest for a third term in 2007? Nigerians are quick to forget the evil tendencies of their rulers and that is the major reason we are still romancing in the vicious circle of recycling dignified failures.

PMB is not performing according to the expectations of those who voted him to power hence they are in the best position to call him to order but for how long will OBJ continue to write essays as if he is a repented sinner?

In a nutshell, he may have his reasons but Nigerians should be mindful of his tactical affliction before embracing the contents of his letter.
With all sincerity, elder statesmen like Obasanjo are supposed to be on the neutral paths of our political terrain, rendering committed and experience garnered services for the growth and development of our beloved nation. Unfortunately, these are the bandwagon shopping for leaders that can be subdued by them to take orders without disagreements.

Political interference does not feature the breeding of political stooges for egocentric benefits. It requires the cooperation of past and incumbent leaders to steer a formidable course that can deliver Nigeria from the abyss of economic frustration orchestrated by the weak ineptitude of leadership idiosyncrasies.

The task of liberating our country from the vestiges of old cabals lies in the hands of the youths but unfortunately they are still basking in the musing effects of youthful exuberance.

To be candid, I always accord stereotypical meanings to the litany of letters authored by Baba Iyabo. Reasons not farfetched, if a ‘third class citizen’ like me can embrace the last option of an open letter, I do not expect OBJ to do same because he is accessible to his friend. In essence, we should not trash the entirety of Baba’s new scope but we must filter the contents to arrive at a suitable standpoint.

Is Obasanjo writing to mock the neglected situation of the commoners thereby scavenging for applauds or he is writing to exonerate himself? Time shall tell.

God bless Nigeria

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