Obasanjo: ‘Statesman’ or rabble-rouser? By Mobolaji Sanusi - disnaija.com

Categories: Nigeria News

President Olusegun Obasanjo

He is not wise to me whoever is wise in words only, but he who is wise in deeds.”—— — Aristotle

The presidency of any nation is the apogee of political attainment that any citizen can desire in life. Thus, for anyone to have assumed the leadership position of a nation is no mean task. And to have done that thrice is even a harder and more enviable. But the Eekerin of Egbaland and Balogun/Ebora of Owu land in Abeokuta, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo, through divine grace, achieved those rare feats. He was military Head of State and twenty years after he relinquished power, he was elected civilian president in 1999 and re-elected in 2003 into the exalted position. And just by this grace, the man erroneously believes that every other living creature must worship at his feat.

Obasanjo, at the 4th Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), University of Ibadan (UI), held in collaboration with African Sustainable Development Network (ASUDNET), noted that the crop of younger generation of leaders in the country had failed the citizenry. The truth is that Obasanjo is not competent to give a talk on leadership and sustainable development because of his poor track record in that regard while he was in office. Hence, allocating such topic to him was a misnomer and an abuse of such an important platform.

The ex-president seized the platform to unleash unstatesmanly bile on his erstwhile political allies and perceived opponents. He accused his former Vice, Atiku Abubakar, of betrayal, citing it as the major reason he did not hand over to him. Yes, Atiku’s presidential ambition might have actually turned him into a political harlot, but not many would easily forget how he betrayed the Action Congress (AC) that rescued him from Obasanjo’s tyranny as when the plot to impeach him was foiled through the political ingenuity of Asiwaju BolaTinubu, then governor of Lagos State. He returned to Lagos after his medical treatment abroad and was welcomed with fun-fare at a time that a presidential booby trap was already awaiting him in Abuja. But his political harlotry should not be justification for Obasanjo to label him a betrayer. Also, the fact that Atiku possibly alerted the world about his tenure elongation agenda should not be a good reason. Atiku was Obasanjo’s nemesis and both men are driven by nothing but their inordinate ambitions.

Obasanjo also listed names of other leaders from his prejudiced failed younger generation. He mentioned Salisu Buhari, former House of Representatives Speaker; Deprieye Alamieyeseigha, former Bayelsa State Governor; Lucky Igbinedion, former Edo State Governor; James Ibori, former Delta State Governor and Orji Uzor Kalu, the former governor of Abia State. What Obasanjo didn’t tell the gathering at the lecture and the entire world that read the reports was that it was during his tenure as leader and Board of Trustees chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that his self-appraised failed leaders emerged. For the avoidance of doubt, Obasanjo should avail Nigerians of the truth about who granted Salisu Buhari state pardon despite the fact that he confessed to have forged a university degree. Let him tell us who gave Salisu his first Federal Board appointment, worse still, in an educational and research institute, after this disgraceful act.

The ex-president who wants people to believe that he is the only saint in Nigeria’s public life should elucidate more on how the money for his first election was raised in 1999. Yours sincerely and many other Nigerians will be interested in knowing the truth about the contributions, in cash and kind, of Orji Uzor Kalu; and at what point did Obasanjo realise Kalu to be a failed leader? On Alamieyeseigha, Obasanjo probably forgot to tell the distinguished gathering that the man during his tenure as governor stood up in Aso-Rock Presidential Villa to challenge him. Obasanjo summoned all the governors for a meeting and in his imperial display of impunity and contempt for others started talking down on the governors. But Alamieyeseigha stood up and bluntly told him that he was not his surrogate, but a governor of his state, who was duly elected by his people like Obasanjo.

Obasanjo didn’t like Alamieyeseigha’s effrontery that could set in his view among other governors that trembled before him. He merely waited to pay him back by masterminding his money-laundering problem in the United Kingdom and eventual impeachment, arraignment in court and subsequent conviction. The rest is now history, but the truth remains that Obasanjo’s acts in all these were not borne out of true leadership fervour but vindictive proclivity. On James Onanafe Ibori that he mentioned in his list of failed leaders, let him tell us how the money for late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s election was raised. The public needs to know the highest donor among the governors of that era when circumstances forced him (Obasanjo) to organise the 2007 general elections after the truncation of his disgraceful Third Term plan.

Obasanjo in his vindictive self seems not to have forgiven Asiwaju Tinubu for promoting ideal democratic tenets, constitutionalism and for his advancing the values of ideal federalism. More importantly, the man is not happy that Tinubu’s name has eclipsed his own in the political reckoning of the southwest. This is why Obasanjo could still not forgive Tinubu for not allowing him to capture Lagos State, like he did in other states in the west in 2003 and 2007. Obasanjo hates being floored but Asiwaju actually defeated him at the Apex Court when he won the matter over the with-held monthly allocations of Local Governments in the state over the creation of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs). Also, Tinubu rescued, like he did to Atiku, Rashidi Ladoja, former governor of Oyo State, from Obasanjo’s tyranny.

Tinubu gave Ladoja presidential treatments all through the period of his travails with Obasanjo and also got the best legal representation to challenge his impeachment. Unlike the vindictive Obasanjo, Tinubu is not begrudging Ladoja for pursuing his political aspiration in another party today.

It is obvious from Obasanjo’s reference to Tinubu in his lecture that he goaded the Code of Conduct Tribunal to come after the latter. And Obasanjo is shamefully sad that nothing incriminating was found against the former governor. Tinubu has led a pack of reputable progressive leaders to rescue the southwest and Edo State from the claws of the ruling PDP and Obasanjo seems distressed about this fact. He should look elsewhere if he needs to vent his spleen on someone. The blame game on Asiwaju and others is nothing but a manifestation of Obasanjo’s loss of touch with contemporary reality. The public sees him more as a rabble-rouser or at best, a political jester; one that still believes in his primacy long after his magical wand had been extinguished.

Yours sincerely is using this column to let Obasanjo know that effective leadership is not about making fabulously empty speeches or finding ill-motivated faults. This ex-president should ask himself if his actions, within and outside power, inspire other Nigerians to dream more, learn more and do more positively. Obasanjo is a failed leader because he could not mentor/produce effective younger leaders for the country. What he successfully did was to produce more deceitfully corrupt and incompetent followership. Most Nigerians, except the deceptive few, no longer believe him because his credibility and integrity have long taken flight.

——————————————————————————————————————————————-
Posted in Nigeria News. A DisNaija.Com network.

Source: Citizens Platform

DisNaija.Com publishes regular posts on Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Online Nigeria Gist.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Nigeria News


Your Opinion Counts. Be sure To Leave A Comment, If You Have Any.

Please Like, Share or Tweet. Your Support Is Appreciated.

Katsina govt releases and empowers 100 prisoners
APGA’s disqualification came as a surprise -Idigo

Comment Below

Top