Putting Obasanjo’s Advice In Perspective

Putting Obasanjo's Advice In Perspective

Nigeria News takes a look at the 18-page letter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo as he stirred the beehive.


Characteristic of him, having dissected the failings of President Muhammadu Buhari, offered his best advice: retire honourably at the end of this tenure and join the growing list of former leaders whose wealth of experience can come handy in running the country.


Of course, he added a caveat; that Mr Buhari reserves the right not to heed his advice. He was not expecting that the President would heed anyway, not with a huge followership of hangers-on who would want to shoe him in.


In an 18-page statement issued on Tuesday, Obasanjo practically tore the Buhari myth, took him to the cleaners and came with a damning verdict: “You’ve failed.” He also carpeted Buhari for being somewhat an expert in a blame game.


Coming in the very first month of an electioneering year, the statement’s timing is instructive. Like an oracle, many Nigerians, politicians and non-alike, have been waiting to read what Obasanjo’s assessment of Buhari would be.


Many who thought he would be patronising were roundly defeated for the former ruler again showed he remains completely detribalised and fully sold only to the progress of Nigeria.


Those who thought Obasanjo have every reason to continue to support Buhari are right, was it not for him he committed political hara-kiri, and tore his party card? For such a man, you should stay blindly committed.


But that may not be the right reading, Obasanjo seemed to say. For him, elders cannot be around and lacked the voice to chide against misconduct. If nobody can say it, he is eminently qualified to do so, and that, he has done.


But really, did Mr Buhari deserve such blistering assessment from a man he hugely benefitted from?


Events of the last 30 months showed Nigeria could be better run. Not only are there obvious gaps in our politics, the economy seems to be in a very bad shape. The fight against corruption is being replaced by a more grievous sin of nepotism and like OBJ puts it “clannish tendencies”.


The government that set out to fight corruption is itself aiding and abetting same. The government suddenly went cold to fight the menace within its ranks, even despite the glaring evidence.


Its fight against corruption has at best remained a beer parlour joke. The nation is more deeply polarised today as the government seem incapable of taking decisive actions to stem the tide.


There is also the insecurity albatross. The crisis of insecurity is worsened by the activities of Fulani herdsmen who brazenly kill innocent people across the country with no one halting their killing spree. As the Boko Haram takes the back seat, herdsmen seemed the latest terrorist group battling the soul of Nigeria.


The best we saw, was the government set up a committee to probe the senseless killings that have suddenly overtaken the country as the lives of cattle seemed to have suddenly become higher than human beings. This is even as government battles federating states to embrace cattle colonies for the use of the rampaging herdsmen. Suddenly, colonies have taken over the ranching template.


The height of it was the insensitivity to the plight and anguish of her people. Barely 24 hours after 73 people killed in Benue communities were given mass burial, some governors were at Aso Rock to endorse the President for a second term. Such insensitivity compares with non-anywhere in the world. Lives are of no meaning, it’s worthless in Nigeria during President Buhari’s administration. Probably because the President is also a Fulani man.


While his ‘Rome’ burns, Mr President says he is not, (read never), in a hurry to take any decision. If you can’t take any decision, why not leave the stage for those who can?


Nigerians, like Obasanjo, must have overestimated President Buhari’s capacity to deliver. Three years on, the fact is that he is deserving of some rest, and Nigerians must be courageous enough to accept that much as we love him, he should be shown the way to his bedroom.


As a former leader, a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology, Olusegun Obasanjo may have his foibles, but he should be commended for his ever constant capacity to speak truth to power. For the second time in recent history, he has staked his name to defend the right of the people to good governance. He has stayed as one of the nation’s redeeming lights, anxious to see Nigeria great again.


I applauded his commitment to his fatherland. After all, there are those within the pantheon of ex-rulers who would rather be mute to development around them.


Like Obasanjo concluded, Nigeria’s redemption lies not within APC or PDP, but with Nigerians.


The wall gecko has birthed, the responsibility of dancing must remain that of the baby and not the mother. As one who, like the door, sees in and out, Obasanjo, has given Nigerians tip of what to do. Whether we would heed his advice is another matter altogether.

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