Viewpoint by Larry Peters
Olusegun Obasanjo has probably lost all common sense or is probably so mentally twisted by delusions of false grandeur that he imagines himself the ultimate godfather and hypocrite who must continuously lie through his teeth and at the same time dictate what should happen in the nation to the new misrulers whom he so callously imposed on the nation knowing that nothing other than failure would be the consequence. If his mental faculties were still functional, he would have the wisdom to realise that he needs nothing other than to retire quietly, cease every political activity and go into charity to raise money for orphans, for the sick, disabled, poor and deprived as most leaders in saner climes do. That would at least have removed much of the undue attention accruing to him and dimmed the gravity of his destruction of the 4 republic and failure as president.
Obasanjo has been so much of a disappointment that he needs to respect the citizens he has condemned to misrule and quietly retire. For starters, his second coming in the aftermath of the retreat of the military carried much hope. There is every reason to have imagined or expected Obasanjo to be a transformational leader particularly in his 2 coming. He is after all, a man who lived through the election rigging saga, the violence and other tragedies that truncated the 1st republic and engendered a civil war. He handed over to the fledgling democrats of the 2 republic and lived through the tragedies that buried the 2 republic. He is also a man who has been a victim of government persecution, spending many years on death row in Gen. Sanni Abacha’s gulag until Abacha expired and the new regime set him free.
Such a man with a wealth of experience would in the least be expected to avoid the mistakes of the past and to provide focused and dedicated leadership. But for Obasanjo there was no learning from the past. He was practically given the PDP on a platter of gold, a political party that evolved from the G34 group of pro democracy activists headed by the former vice president Dr Alex Ekwueme, Solomon Lar and others who risked their necks insisting that Gen. Sanni Abacha must go at a time Abacha held the whole nation in a grip of assassinations and terror. Obasanjo thus became the beneficiary of a party he had no hand in creating by virtue of the Northern cabal who rather than allow the normal evolution and transition of the democratic process choose the injustice of imposing a robot that they calculated would protect their vested interests.
After a long, arduous and bloody struggle to get the military out of power, many heaved a sigh of relief in spite of the irregularities of Obasanjo's emergence in the hope that his experience would guide the new order and nurture a truly democratic, just and prosperous nation. That expectation proved to be a fluke as Obasanjo quickly began unleashing all the same demons that truncated earlier republics and experiments in democracy. From election rigging, thuggery, godfatherism, assassinations, political violence and general lawlessness, Obasanjo broke new records in organized violence and lawlessness to the extent of orchestrating the kipnap of governor Chris Ngige and of using thugs to chase governor Rashid Ladoja of Oyo state from office at the behest of the notorious godfather Lamidi Adedibu, Ladoja consequently became the first governor in the nation’s history to be kicked out of office by thugs at the behest of a godfather aided and abetted in such illegality by no other than the president in the person of Olusegun Obasanjo who is supposed to maintain law and order.
Obasanjo's 8-year tenure was a practical exercise in madness as he waged proxy wars with almost all the principal officers of his regime including the vice president. In spite of abundant resources accruing from an unprecedented oil boom, not a single infrastructure was built. The roads remained death traps; electricity remained epileptic and subject of a $16 billion scam. Pipe borne water remained a pipe dream, hospitals, schools and other public institutions continued their collapse, while unemployment, poverty and insecurity reached apocalyptic levels. He committed serial acts of mass murder and crimes against humanity by wiping out whole communities in Odi and Zaki Biam. At the end of his tenure after a failed third term bid, he consolidated his agenda of nation wrecking by orchestrating a record breaking fiesta of election rigging which ushered in a terminally ill, incompetent and clueless Yar Adua who was not fit to herd a colony of goats together with a confused and bewildered vice president; both brazenly handpicked. The consequence of that conspiracy haunts the nation to date.
After a shameful outing, marked most significantly by misrule, lawlessness and corruption which is fast burying the 4 republic, Obasanjo wants to have no break from his evil plots and designs for the nation. He continues to plot intrigues that will lock the nation in a perpetual circle of misrule and self immolation. It is obvious that the Obasanjo’s of this world, while pretending to be patriots are actually the greatest enemies of the nation. Obasanjo cannot claim to be ignorant of the fact that great nations cannot be built through injustice, hand picking of incompetent candidates, lawlessness, godfatherism, election rigging, thuggery and corruption. America became the greatest nation on earth through the rule of law and sustained democracy devoid of election rigging, hand picking of candidates, thuggery and other such vices, so also did the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other successful nations. By setting up the democratic experiment of the 4 republic with such vices, Obasanjo deliberately plotted the ruin and ultimate collapse of the 4 republic.
Nations such as Indonesia, South Africa, Chile, Ghana and others that became freed from military rule and Apartheid, some of them at about the same time as Nigeria have remained successful democracies devoid of election rigging, thuggery, godfatherism and other such corrupt acts that Obasanjo wilfully sponsored in Nigeria. While those nations as a consequence have become better for it with social stability and prosperity, Nigeria is sinking further into instability and social chaos which might in the end prove fatal for the nation.
It's time for Obasanjo to retire from politics and cease his assault on the sensibilities of the long suffering masses. Hosni Mubarak is serving life in jail just for alleged complicity in the police killing of three rioters during the Egyptian mass revolt. In saner climes around the world, many in the mould of Obasanjo are in jail for lesser crimes. He should consider himself lucky that Nigeria’s contradictions and national insanity have kept him free thus far. But since there is nothing written in stone, being free today does not guarantee his being free in the future. Wisely retiring into charity and solitude are the only things that might mitigate his crimes when eventually the sword of Damocles falls.