I adore the man Olusegun Obasanjo.
OBJ, as we call him, is a phenomenon I could never get over. Exposed to some of his writings early in life, I have followed his every move, travail and victory with religious loyalty.
It is hard for me to see the wrong in anything that the Ebora of Owu does. I even had justification for his third term venture. Oh well, I have had to question Obasanjo’s opinion on some issues lately, but that has not diminished my respect for him in any way.
Oh, Obasanjo loves Nigeria. He wants the good of Nigeria and pursues that. He is brashly courageous. Even when he is wrong, he would say it anyway, no matter whose ox is gored. He also has humour, which is uncommon among Nigerian leaders.
So when I read OBJ’s verdict on the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan over the weekend, I saw my hero hitting the goal again. Finally, the Navigator (apologies to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu) has spoken up about the trouble between him and President Jonathan.
And to the utter shame of bad people who think that Baba’s anger is about his exclusion from everyday governance of Nigeria, he is only disappointed that the man he helped into office has not lived up to the expectations of the benefactor, a sentiment that is not unholy.
It is of course not out of place that the basis for the assessment of Jonathan would be the assessor’s own performance in office, especially as the Jonathan administration succeeded Obasanjo. So Baba Iyabo spoke!.
As is usual with Nigerians, before OBJ completed his statement on Friday at the Ake Book Festival, people already started querying the old’s man qualification to reach such conclusions about Jonathan. I differ from these critics and will identify a few areas in which Obasanjo succeeded but the man from Otuoke has failed woefully.
Do not worry about it, I understand that while Obasanjo spent two full terms of eight years, Jonathan has only spent about five. So for the sake of fairness, we are going to look at this things that OBJ accomplished in the first five years of his administration where Jonathan is still fumbling and wobbling.
Here we go:
Five years into Obasanjo’s administration, Nigeria already had three Senate Presidents, each of them helped into and removed from office with the tacit approval of the Ebora himself. In Jonathan’s five years, there has been only one man in that office. So how could Jonathan’s performance on his score be anything near average?
Concerning the House of Representatives, there was also a record of four speakers in the first five years of Obasanjo, now we have had only two, none of whom has been impeached. What a woeful student of Obasanjo Jonathan has proved to be. This point is even more obvious given that the Jonathan administration made a poor show of the tear gassing business much unlike the result that the OBJ days produced.
What about the use of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a weapon of massive oppression and torment of opponents. By 2004, Obasanjo had more than half of the governors in Nigeria in line with the aid of the Nuhu Ribadu led EFCC. Even his deputy, Atiku Abubakar was not spared!
I cannot imagine any governor, perhaps with the exception of Bola Tinubu of Lagos who could look Obasanjo in the eye and say stuff like the Rotimi Amaechis of this world say to Jonathan every other day. Ayodele Fayose, who tried it was reportedly smart enough to find his escape in a tiny space among loaves of bread brought into the government house Ado-Ekiti by a kind supplier. Without that, he would have been too battered to contemplate a return to office. Has any governor been kidnapped and forced to confess his sins against the state under Jonathan?
How many impeachments of governors has Jonathan been able to enforce? How many national chairmen has he been able to impose and remove in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). How many elections conducted under his watch and won by the PDP has any court in the land reversed as a result of manipulations?
How many court rulings has the Jonathan administration disobeyed? Was Jonathan sleep-drinking when a young man known as Aminu Tambuwal took the mandate of the PDP to the opposition party, months after the party lost five governors and 37 House of Representatives members to the same opposition party?
Did he take any lessons from the former Commander- in- Chief’s sanction of the military attack on Odi and Zaki Biam, what manner of state of emergency has allowed governors remain in their states in the past one a and half years when he was alive when his mentor wielded the big stick.
Frankly, it is impossible to exhaust the number of ways in which this Biology Teacher has failed to utilise the lesson notes of his erstwhile mentor. Now he has incurred the wrath of the man, to the effect that he would go into the next general elections without the support of the Navigator. Unless, of course he retraces his steps and rushes back to the master to learn how to become an above average performer.