Obasanjo’s Latest Romance With Old Foes
Nigeria News takes a look at the recent romance between ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo and some Yoruba leaders
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent romance with his old foes is becoming unfathomable. He now feels more comfortable among those he had denied severally in Yorubaland.
Obasanjo visited Chief Bode George, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and was in the company of Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu the daughter of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo this weekend.
These are some of prominent Yorubas that Obasanjo hardly listens to. The former president saw himself as too pious to mingle with them, having led the country as a military Head of State between 1976 and 1979. He sees himself above many with his persona and domineering attitude.
To him, some of these Yoruba political elites are tribal lords and ethnic bigots whose advice on national issues should not be taken seriously.
After he handed over to the civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979, Obasanjo distanced himself from the Yoruba political class and resigned to Ota, Ogun State to live a private life as a farmer.
His role in the 1979 election was highly criticized mostly by members of his clans, who were of the view that he actually favoured a northerner to succeed him.
No doubt, Obasanjo is one of the few former Nigeria leaders that has continued to update himself and would not shy away from criticizing successive governments.
However, Obasanjo’s criticism of the government of the late despot, Gen, Sani Abacha nearly caused him his life as he was accused of plotting a coup and consequently sent to jail.
He survived the ordeal, became the next Nigerian civilian president in 1999 but with lesser votes from the southwest. The Yorubas never voted for him. To many of the political elites, Obasanjo did not deserve to be honoured at home.
Despite Obasanjo’s holier than thou attitude, the race still accords him his due respect but has refused to spare him on issues that have to do with virtues. Yes, Obasanjo must have done some good things as a national leader, to some Yoruba political elites, he has failed to represent the interest of the southwest adequately in the politics of Nigeria.
He has always claimed to be the best president ever and has developed the audacity to call successive governments to order with some of his critical letters.
However, his last letter to President Muhammadu Buhari boomeranged as political commentators kicked against some of the issues he raised.
Obasanjo sensed that his public rating was gradually nosediving, he cried out about two weeks ago that the present government was planning to jail him, adding that his name was listed among those on security watch.
He will need people around him more than before, many of them from his clan. He will be able to get a few numbers but Obasanjo cannot convince the Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka that he is now a born-again Christian.
The professor is set to release a publication on July 3 to expose some of Obasanjo’s hypocritical lives and why the former president is the least worthy of past Nigeria leaders.