I’m sure it must gladden the hearts of millions of Nigerians to learn that the former civilian President Olusegun Obasanjo who was also head of state under the military from 1976 to 1979, the first Nigerian to ever attain such a political height may, at last, actually say goodbye to politics and all the running around he’s been engaged in since his failed attempt at a Third Term presidency in 2007.
In his usual theatrical manner, he has decided to choose statesmanship and forget politics, especially the type he’s been known for, including a public trashing of his former party, the then-ruling PDP in a public tearing of his party card.
I say, good luck, former General in this decision to be without a political base, so to say, BUT – not so fast – to the self elevation to statesman. The legacy you leave behind will decide that. TOLA.
“The President once told ‘the nation’ – not this newspaper but this country – how Chris Uba told him he rigged Anambra elections. His reported reaction to the confession has never ceased to baffle me: he ordered the errant “boy” out of his sight! Nigeria’s Number One Citizen did not think the rigger should be handed to the police …”
Apart from the unprecedented looting in the last eight years, the countless assassinations, the derelict infrastructure in spite of billions – N3.5 billion on polio eradication in 2006 – under this government, President Obasanjo has shown another reason why his party must be rejected at the polls: his government has ordered a bullet for every four or five Nigerians “to ensure peace during the elections.” Nigerians must say no to a government that disobeys court rulings while promising to “maintain law and order” with tens of thousands of guns and millions of bullets.
While selling the Heart of Africa million-dollar splashy ad campaign, I hope Nigeria’s modern day Goebbels – Nweke – will remember to also sell Nigeria as “The Heart of Darkness”. From my windows in the dead of night these days, the whole of Ibadan lies covered in darkness like London deliberately darkened at night during World War II. Mr. Nweke should also spare some of those millions to project “Nigeria’s return to medical excellence” as people continue to take all their needs along to “newly-equipped UCH” as touted by our Number One Citizen. Suckered “tourists” and “investors” – if any – who fall sick would have to compete for space with matcheted and gunned-down citizens during the elections.
The President once told ‘the nation’ – not this newspaper but this country – how Chris Uba told him he rigged Anambra elections. His reported reaction to the confession has never ceased to baffle me: he ordered the errant “boy” out of his sight! Nigeria’s Number One Citizen did not think the rigger should be handed to the police but how could we expect that, anyway, with the election “victory” of the President’s party in his Ogun state in 2003 which showed the world how X vote added to X vote could yield 100X votes! There were more votes “cast” than those on the electoral register.
When the President informed the whole world at Ibadan recently that the solution to dealing with the problems posed by Alhaji Adedibu is to advice him in private because as an old man, he supposedly cannot change, I wondered if Oyo State citizens were not being warned to stay away from the polls so that the “old man with experience” can do what he’s being worshipped for: an enforcer?
The President’s home state – Ogun – continues to worry citizens. Vet Dr. Iyabo Bello, the president’s daughter is locked in a tight race with Dr. Tejuoso from an illustrious Egba family. There are gun and matchete battles one of which has been carried right to the hotel room of the young man. While no one dare suggest Iyabo Bello sent the killers, it is still a very worrying situation. The scepter of violence hangs heavy over Ogun State where an Owu Chief was reportedly killed over Senator Amosun’s gubernatorial ambition.
When we look at the legacy that the PDP – with its headquarters at Legacy House, Abuja – has wrought and would leave for the country, we can find not much that is positive: countless assassinations – none of which has ever been solved – despoliation at all levels of government, in spite of the much-touted anti-corruption and unprecedented suffering by the masses. While rosy-cheeked PDP so-called chieftains continue to claim that Nigeria is better off, most Nigerians know that they are worse off than in 1999, including even those of us with access to some comforts of life.
The retired General Obasanjo-led PDP has forced government workers into full-blown politics: NAFDAC, The Police, Central Bank, et cetera have their heads – as integral part of the PDP machine, pardon me.
Finally, the PDP has shown that it does not care about this country despite the mouthing of “patriotic” slogans. How can a foreign-owned construction company that “bought” a chunk of Abuja Airport be the one erecting a personal home for the President? How could Julius Berger provide the air ambulance that ferried the PDP’s Yar Adua to Germany for medical treatment? As the Americans would say, there is no free lunch. Apart from these acts not being in Nigeria’s interest, they pose great moral questions: transparency, conflict of interest, corruption, all touted by this government. How can [Candidate for President]Yar Adua ride in a Nigerian Air Force helicopter while other candidates are prevented from leasing planes? Are we in a banana republic, or what?
Nigerians must reject the PDP and ensure that the party does not score more than votes cast for it.
First published as Nigerians must reject PDP/Nigeria, Inc., continued; The Nation on Sunday March 2007.
AUGUST 14, 2015. 4:40 a,m, [GMT]