The Obj dance

In war, when the enemy camp keeps quiet, danger looms. When Obasanjo dances, expect a letter bomb. When he was in government, his foes fidgeted because, within 24 hours, impeachment dangled.
In the military, surprise is a stealth bomber. The enemy with superior army and armoury can fall to bombs from the blues. Neither the President nor even the public saw the Owu chief’s latest incarnation of public rage.
As President, he danced with a senator’s wife, and knifed the fellow, Chuba Okadigbo, hours later with impeachment as Senate president. He even sweetened the dress rehearsal for another senator at a party by tossing a piece of cake in Adolphus Wabara’s mouth. It was a mockery of homosexual romance. The next day, his fellow senators dismounted him.
So, when Obj graduated with PhD from the Open University, he had to dance. In his life, PhD has not always meant a doctorate degree. It means pull him down. He loves to lionise himself by bringing down foes in high places. Since he vacated office as military head of state, he has ripped apart others from Buhari down. His book, My Command, was an egoistic trip in self-promotion.
The video portrayed the old man spinning on the dance floor with his wife. His feet looked lithe, dabbing about with the lightness of a teenager. With something like bole (roast plantain) in hand, he embodied an omen: his impish smile as he moved from one part to another in a magisterial sway of the dance floor. Obasanjo does not know an innocent floor or dance. Muhammadu Buhari was to find out soon in his epistolary umbrage. The Owu chief is the most dangerous dancer on earth. His dance beats the Oro in Yorubaland or agbasa dance in Warri or the others around the country. They don’t rattle presidents.
Obj’s interventions never sheds new light on the state of the nation. It sheds new light on the scheme of the old man. He did not say anything original in his verbose, long-winded sentences. But he summarised, ironically, the state of the nation. There is a certain mood of reluctant gratitude that cheers to the public heart when an Obasanjo intervenes. He takes advantage of some facts. Unlike other former heads of state, he is articulate. Two, he knows how to spice it with a certain dose of what the Hausa people call dan iska, a reckless guttersnipe’s bravado. But his carries a high dose of respectability. He is sincere in the words, and that is the danger. But he is not sincere in his motive. Obasanjo often flips out a two-edged sword: one side to the opponents’ chest; the other to clear the way for his agenda.
So, when he says Buhari should not run again, he reflected the mood of a significant swath of the land. When he says, the man runs a nepotistic style, you just need to look at how he recruited men of the SSS and wrapped it around his Katsina roots. Or why he has failed to rejig the security apparatus, or why he asked his Benue elders to embrace their neighbours after herdsmen’s rapine.
When the Okikuola says Buhari’s health disqualifies him, he is referring to the lack of transparency in the publicity of the state of his physical wellbeing. He is no doctor. He has no inkling what the man’s health is. But he exploits public ignorance for good effect.
He excoriates the President with lethal broadsides on the war on corruption and needles him about Mainagate, perhaps the most burlesque act of official buffoonery. It is anti-corruption laughing at itself. How an attorney general becomes the anchor man in defence of corruption is perhaps, like the NNPC saga with Baru and Kachikwu, the most foolish emblem of self-indictment in the government.
So, Obj knows how to fight. But we can even see, in his false attempt to be a hero, that he was not fair on the subject of the economy. He did not get the word out that Buhari has stabilised the naira, boosted our foreign reserve, galvanised our agricultural production and reined in the vanity of imported excesses, such as rice and toothpicks. He should have highlighted these while showing that the statistics point in the right direction. But statistics are not satisfaction. The table graph of high performance does not translate to the luxurious aroma of the dinner table.
But what is more important in the letter is Obj’s solution. He says he wants to start what he called a third force. I laughed when I read that. The first time the idea of a third force was mooted was when he was in charge of the Nigerian Army in Ibadan during the civil war. Wole Soyinka had advanced the idea to him with the late Biafran soldier, Victor Banjo. Obasanjo, playing the fox and military toady to his bosses, frustrated and paralysed the move. Soyinka relates in graphic detail those sly and heady days in his memoirs, You Must Set Forth at Dawn. So, Obj took that term from his arch foes, Wole Soyinka, and wants to appropriate it to himself. Does he believe in the third force, his coalition of the willing Nigerian, called the CN?
Obj’s public life has not been about building. He has been about taking. He never worked for any triumph of his life. Benjamin Adekunle worked the Third Marine Commando into a heroic machine. The swashbuckling commander was fired on the battle field and redeployed. The war was almost over. Obj, who took a bullet in the buttocks, took over and claims the credit for winning it. He became second man in command to Murtala Muhammed. The fierce general was overthrown. Obj enjoyed the benefit, his army fatigue immune to even the smell of gunpowder.
He was in jail during the Abacha junta. He was released and everyone, including IBB, begged him to run for President. He won even though he mocked NADECO and other forces that fought and died to flush out the military.
Obj has been an opportunist and a beneficiary of other people’s sweat. He is the Paulo Rossi of Nigerian political history. He is sweatless in struggle but he wears the crown. He has never lost because he has never gambled. He has been like the opportunist tiger who takes over the carcass of other less-sinewed cats.
So when Obj came out to lash out at Buhari, it was all in character. He installed Yar’adua, knowing of his imperfect health. Yet, he came down on him before the man succumbed to illness. He descended like a predator bird on Jonathan because, as a source told me, Jonathan was not listening to him. He tore his party card in an extravagance of public disavowal. Yet, he knew the Vice President he gave to Yar’adua.
Now, Obj has never built anything in his life, except relatively sweatless projects, such as Otta farm. The throne has always been ready for him. He asked Buhari to dismount. But he has always mounted free horses others trained and decorated. Even in pushing for a third force, he says he wants to “join.” A founder does not join. The use of that word is a Freudian admission that it is a strange territory for him. He is the vulture, not an eagle. He does not kill, but waits and whets his appetite until the meaty prize arrives. He did same in the third term bid. He baited and waited. But when it failed, he played Peter and denied any hand in it.
He said both PDP and APC are now cesspools. He wants a third force. But where is he going to get the so-called new breed? The bigwigs of APC will not leave their party. As Achebe wrote in A Man of The People, who will spit out a sweet morsel that good fortune has tossed in his mouth. Many top APC men are happy and “chopping.” The PDP guys are not happy. But he already condemned them. If he succeeds, then Obj will have turned opportunism into a genuine trophy. Just as he took the term “third force” from Soyinka as a form of revenge. Or is he going to build a party of malcontents. Can malcontents rescue a nation of discontents?
Lai Mohammed’s response was cynically self-celebratory but did not address the issues of nepotism or MainaGate or other matters of moral temperature. That was a clever copout written with the African backhanded deference to age, but not without a jibe. So, if Obj said the right things, the question remains, is he the right person to say it?
  Credits; Sam Omatseye

Open Letter to Dr. Olusegun ObasanjoWritten by Iyabo Obasanjo, DVM, PhD

It brings me no joy to have to write this but since you started this trend of open letters I thought I would follow suit since you don’t listen to anyone anyway. The only way to reach you may be to make the public aware of some things. As a child well brought up by my long-suffering mother in Yoruba tradition, I have been reluctant to tell the truth about you but as it seems you still continue to delude yourself about the kind of person you are and I think for posterity’s sake it is time to set the records straight. I will return to the issue of my long-suffering mother later in this letter.

Like most Nigerians, I believe there are very enormous issues currently plaguing the country but I was surely surprised that you will be the one to publish such a treatise. I remember clearly as if it was yesterday the day I came over to Abuja from Abeokuta when I was Commissioner of Health in Ogun State, specifically to ask you not to continue to pursue the third term issue.
I had tried to bring it up when your sycophantic aides were present and they brushed my comments aside and as usual you listened to their self-serving counsel. For you to accuse someone else of what you so obviously practiced yourself tells of your narcissistic megalomaniac personality. Everyone around for even a few minutes knows that the only thing you respond to is praise and worship of you. People have learnt how to manipulate you by giving you what you crave. The only ones that can’t and will not stroke your ego are family members who you universally treat like shit (sic) apart from the few who have learned to manipulate you like others.
Before I continue, Nigerians are people who see conspiracy and self-service in everything because I think they believe everyone is like them. This letter is not in support of President Jonathan or APC or any other group or person, but an outpouring from my soul to God. I don’t blame you for the many atrocities you have been able to get away with, Nigerians were your enablers every step of the way. People ultimately get leaders that reflect them.
Getting back to the story, I made sure your aides were not around and brought up the issue, trying to deliver the presentation of the issue as I had practiced it in my head. I started with the fact that we copied the US constitution which has term limits of two terms for a President. As is your usual manner, you didn’t allow me to finish my thought process and listen to my point of view. Once I broached the subject you sat up and said that the US had no term limits in the past but that it had been introduced in the 1940s after the death of President Roosevelt, which is true.
I wanted to say to you: when you copy something you also copy the modifications based on the learning from the original; only a fool starts from scratch and does not base his decisions on the learning of others. In science, we use the modifications found by others long ago to the most recent, as the basis of new findings; not going back to discover and learn what others have learnt. Human knowledge and development and civilization will not have progressed if each new generation and society did not build on the knowledge of others before them. The American constitution itself is based on several theories and philosophies of governance available in the 18th century. 
Democracy itself is a governance method started by the ancient Greeks. America’s founding fathers used it with modifications based on what hadn’t worked well for the ancient Greeks and on new theories since then.
As usual in our conversations, I kept quiet because I know you well. You weren’t going to change your mind based on my intervention as you had already made up your mind on the persuasion of the minions working for you who were ripping the country blind. When I spoke to you, your outward attitude to the people of the country was that you were not interested in the third term and that it was others pushing it.
Your statement to me that day proved to me that you were the brain behind the third term debacle. It is therefore outrageous that you accuse the current President of a similar two-facedness that you yourself used against the people of the country.
I was on a plane trip between Abuja and Lagos around the time of the third term issue and I sat next to one of your sycophants on the plane. He told me: “Only Obasanjo can rule Nigeria”. I replied: “God has not created a country where only one person can rule. If only one person can rule Nigeria then the whole Nigeria project is not a viable one, as it will be a non-sustainable project.
I don’t know how you came about Yar’Adua as the candidate for your party as it was not my priority or job. Unlike you, I focus on the issues I have been given responsibility over and not on the jobs of others. It was the day of the PDP Presidential Campaign in Abeokuta during the state-by-state tour of 2007 that Yar’Adua got sick and had to be flown abroad. The MKO Abiola Stadium was already filled with people by 9am when I drove by (and) we had told people based on the campaign schedule that the rally would start at noon.
At 11 am I headed for the stadium on foot; it was a short walk as there were so many cars already parked in and out. As I walked on with two other people, we saw crowds of people leaving the stadium. I recognized some of them as politicians and I asked them why people were leaving. They said the Presidential candidate had died. I was alarmed and shocked. I walked back home and received a call from a friend in Lagos who said the same and added that he had died in the plane carrying him abroad for treatment and that the plane was on its way to Katsina to bury him.
I called you, and told you the information and that the stadium was already half-empty. You told me to go to the stadium and tell the people on the podium to announce that the Presidential candidate had taken ill that morning but the rest of the team, including you and the Vice-Presidential candidate would arrive shortly. I did as I was told, but even the people on the podium at first didn’t make the announcement because they thought it was true that Yar’Adua had died. I had to take the microphone and make the announcement myself. It did little good. People kept trooping out of the stadium. Your team didn’t arrive until 4pm and by this time we had just a sprinkling of people left.
That evening after the disaster of a rally, you said you had insisted that the Presidential candidate fly to Germany for a check-up although you said he only had a cold. I asked why would anyone fly to Germany to treat a cold? And you said “I would rather die than have the man die at this time.” I thought of this profound statement as things later unfolded against me. Then I thought it a stupid statement but as usual I kept quiet, little did I know how your machinations for a person would be used against me. When Yar’Adua eventually died, you stayed alive, I would have expected you to jump into his grave.
I left Nigeria in 1989 right after youth service to study in the US and I visited in 1994 for a week and didn’t visit again until your inauguration in 1999. In between, you had been arrested by Abacha and jailed. We, your children, had no one who stood with us. Stella famously went around collecting money on your behalf but we had no one. We survived. I was the only one of the children working then as a post-doctoral fellow when I got the call from a friend informing me of your arrest.
A week before your arrest, you had called me from Denmark and I had told you that you should be careful that the government was very offended by some of your statements and actions and may be planning to arrest or kill you as was occurring to many at the time. The source of my information was my mother who, agitated, had called me, saying I should warn you as this was the rumour in the country. As usual you brushed aside my comments, shouting on the phone that they cannot try anything and you will do and say as you please. The consequence of your bravado is history.
We, your family, have borne the brunt of your direct cruelty and also suffered the consequences of your stupidity but got none of the benefits of your successes. Of course, anyone around you knows how little respect you have for your children. You think our existence on earth is about you. By the way, how many are we? 19, 20, 21? Do you even know? In the last five years, how many of these children have you spoken to? How many grandchildren do you have and when did you last see each of them? As President you would listen to advice of people that never finished high school who would say anything to keep having access to you so as to make money over your children who loved you and genuinely wished you well.
At your first inauguration in 1999, I and my brothers and sisters told you we were coming from the US. As is usual with you, you made no arrangements for our trip, instead our mom organized to meet each of us and provided accommodation. At the actual swearing-in at Eagle Square, the others decided to watch it on TV. Instead I went to the square and I was pushed and tossed by the crowd. I managed to get in front of the crowd where I waved and shouted at you as you and General Abdulsalam Abubakar walked past to go back to the VIP seating area. I saw you mouth ‘my daughter’ to General Abdullahi who was the one who pulled me out of the crowd and gave me a seat. As I looked around I saw Stella and Stella’s family prominently seated but none of your children. I am sure General Abdullahi would remember this incident and I am eternally grateful to him.
Getting back to my mother, I still remember your beating her up continually when we were kids. What kids can forget that kind of violence against their mother? Your maltreatment of women is legendary. Many of your women have come out to denounce you in public but since your madness is also part of the madness of the society, it is the women that are usually ignored and mistreated. Of course, you are the great pretender, making people believe you have a good family life and a good relationship with your children but once in a while your pretence gets cracked.
When Gbenga gave a ride to help someone he didn’t know but saw was in need and the person betrayed his trust by tapping his candid response on the issues going on between you and your then vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, you had your aides go on air and denounce the boy before you even spoke to him to find out what happened. What kind of father does that? Your atrocities to some of my other siblings I will let them tell in their own due time or never if they choose.
Some of the details of our life are public but the people choose to ignore it and pretended we enjoyed some largesse when you were President.
This punishing the innocent is part of Nigeria’s continuing sins against God. While you were military head of state and lived in Dodan Barracks, we stayed either with our mum in the two-bedroom apartment provided for her by General Murtala Mohammed or with your relatives, Bose, Yemisi and your sisters’ kids in the Boys Quarters of Dodan Barracks. At QueensCollege, I remember being too ashamed to tell my wealthy classmates from Queen’s College, Lagos we lived in the two room Boys Quarters or in the two room flat on Lawrence Street.
No, we did not have privileged upbringing but our mother emphasized education and that has been our salvation. Of my mother’s 6 children 4 have PhDs. Of the two without PhD, one has a Master’s and the other is an engineer. They are no slouches. Education provided a way to make our way in the world. You are one of those petty people who think the progress and success of another takes from you. You try to overshadow everyone around you, before you and after you. 
You are the prototypical “Mr. Know it all”. You’ve never said “I don’t know” on any topic, ever. Of course this means you surround yourself with idiots who will agree with you on anything and need you for financial gain and you need them for your insatiable ego. This your attitude is a reflection of the country. It is not certain which came first, your attitude seeping into the country’s psyche or the country accepting your irresponsible behavior for so long.
Like you and your minions, it’s a symbiotic relationship. Nigeria has descended into a hellish reality where smart, capable people to “survive” and have their daily bread prostrate to imbeciles. Everybody trying to pull everybody else down with greed and selfishness — the only traits that gets you anywhere. Money must be had and money and power is king. Even the supposed down-trodden agree with this.
Nigeria accused me of fraud with the Ministry of Health. As you yourself know, both in Abeokuta and Abuja I lived in your houses as a Senator. In Lagos, I stayed in my mum’s bungalow which she succeeded in getting from you when you abandoned her with six children to live in Abeokuta with Stella.

I borrowed against my four-year Senate salary to build the only house I have anywhere in the world in Lagos. I rent out the house for income. I don’t have much in terms of money but I am extremely happy. I tried to contribute my part to the development of my country but the country decided it didn’t need me. Like many educated Nigerians my age, there are countries that actually value people doing their best to contribute to society and as many of them have scattered all over the world so have many of your children.
I can speak for myself and many of them; what they are running away from is that they can’t even contribute effectively at the same time as they have to deal with constant threats to their lives by miscreants the society failed to educate; deal with lack of electricity and air pollution resulting from each household generating its own electricity, and the lack of quality healthcare or education and a total lack of sense of responsibility of almost every person you meet. Your contribution to this scenario cannot be overestimated.
You and your cronies mentioned in your letter have left the country worse than you met it at your births in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Nigeria is not the creation of any of you, and although you feel you own it and are “Mr Nigeria” deciding whether the country stays together or not, and who rules it; you don’t. Nigeria is solely the creation of the British. My dear gone Grandmother whose burial you told people not to attend, was not born a Nigerian but a proud Ijebu-Yoruba woman. 
Togetherness is a choice and it must serve a purpose.

As for Nigerians thinking I have their money, when it was obvious I was part of the Yar’Adua (government’s) anti-Obasanjo phenomenon that was going on at the time. The Ministry of Health and international NGOs paid for a retreat for the Senate Committee on Health. The House Committee on Health was treated exactly the same way. The monies were given to members as estacode and the rest used for accommodation, flights and feeding. While the Senate was on the retreat in Ghana, the EFCC asked the House Committee to return the monies they received for their retreat and asked us in the Senate to return ours on our return which I refused, as it was already used for the purpose it was earmarked for in the budget that year which was to work on the National Health Bill.
The House Committee had not gone on their retreat. I did nothing wrong and my colleagues and I on the retreat did our work conscientiously. I asked the EFCC not to drag my colleagues into it and I am proud I suffered alone. As is usual in a society where people who are not progressive but take pleasure in the pain of others, most Nigerians were happy, not looking at the facts of the matter, just the suffering of an Obasanjo.
As the people that stole their millions are hailed by them the innocent is punished. When the court case was thrown out because it lacked merit even against the Minister, no newspaper carried the news. The wrongful malicious prosecution of an Obasanjo was not something they wanted to report; just her downfall. But it really wasn’t about me, it was about right and wrong in society and every society gets the fruit of the seeds it sows.
How do you think God will provide good leaders to such a people? God helps those who help themselves. I have realized that as an Obasanjo I am not entitled to work in Nigeria in any capacity. I am not entitled to work in health which is my training, or in any field or anywhere in the country or participate in any business. I have learnt this lesson well and there are societies that actually think capable, well-educated people are important to their society’s progress. Apparently, unless I am eating from the dustbin, Nigerians and possibly you will not be satisfied. I thank God it has not come to that based on God-given brains and brawn.
When I left Nigeria in 1989 for graduate studies in America, you promised to pay my school fees and no living expenses. This you did and I am grateful for because, working in the kitchen and then the library at University of California, Davis and later, working on the IT desk and later as a Teaching Assistant at Cornell gave me valuable work ethics for life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a black woman in the early 21st century, I have achieved much and done more than most. My wish is that black girls all over the world will have the capacity to create their lives, make mistakes, learn from it and move ahead.
Moving back to Nigeria, thinking I wanted to serve was obviously a grave mistake but one brought about by the tragic incident of April 20, 2003. This was the day five people were shot dead in my car. The mother of the children was an acquaintance I had met only one day before the incident.
We had attended the same high school and university but she was there ten years earlier than I. She had also studied public health in the UK as I had in the US. It was these coincidences that made us connect on our first meeting and then she decided to visit on theSaturday of the election of 2003 when the incident occurred. I am scarred for life by that incident and I know the mother was too as we both looked back to see two men on each side of my car shooting.
I understand her trauma and her behaviour since then can be judged from that. Nigeria is a nasty place that pushes people to lose their compass. I participated in the campaigns leading to the elections that day, more because this was my first experience of electoral process in Nigeria. Growing up there were no elections and I was too young in the 1979 and 1983 elections. It was interesting to see democracy at work. When Gbenga Daniel who I campaigned for offered me a job, I probably would have declined it, if not for the memory of the dead.
I felt I had to engage in making the country progress and to avoid such incidences in the future. I don’t need to tell you or anyone what kind of governor and person Gbenga Daniel is. As usual when I found out, you would not listen to my opinion but found out for yourself. I also campaigned for Amosun for the Senate in 2003. I have had some wonderful Nigerians do good to me, I will never forget the then Minister of Women Affairs, who saw me talking in the crowd at a campaign event and was alarmed and said “bad things can happen to you out there, I will give you one of the orderlies assigned to my office to follow you”. This was the police man that died in my car that day. I never really thought bad things would happen to me, I moved around freely in society until that shooting scarred me and I accepted a police detail. I was constantly scared for my life after that.
You called me after your vengeful letter as usual, looking out for yourself and thinking you will bribe me by saying the APC will use me for the Senate. Do you really know me and what I want out of life?
Anyone that knows me knows I am done with anything political or otherwise in Nigeria. I have so much to do and think to make this world a better place than to waste it on fighting with idiots over a political post that does no good to society. That letter you wrote to the President, would you have tolerated such a letter as a sitting President? Don’t do to others what you will not allow to be done to you. The only thing I was using that was yours was the house in Abuja where I left my things when I left the country. I eventually rented it out so that the place would not fall apart but as usual you want to take that as well. You can’t have it without explaining to Nigerians how you came about the house?
As I said earlier, this is not about politics but my frustration with you as a father and a human being. I am not involved with what is currently going on in Nigeria, I don’t talk to any Nigerian other than friends on social basis. I am not involved with any political groups or affiliation. You mentioned Governor Osoba when you spoke to me, yes I was walking down the street of Cambridge, Massachussets a few months ago, when I looked up and saw him reading a map trying to cross the street.
I greeted him warmly and offered to give him a ride to where he was going. This I did not do because I wanted anything from him politically but because that is how I was raised by my mother to treat an adult who I really had no ill-will towards. Some said he was part of the people that manipulated the elections for me to lose in 2011. I don’t have any ill-will to him for that because I think they did me a favour and someone has to win and lose.
I had told you I wasn’t going to run in 2011 but you manipulated me to run; that was my mistake. Losing was a blessing. As usual you wanted me to run for your self-serving purpose to perpetuate your name in the political realm and as the liar that you are, you later denied that it was you who wanted me to run in 2011.
In 2003 I ran because I wanted to and I thought getting to the central government I will be able to contribute more to improving lives and working on legislation that impacts the country. I found that nothing gets done; every public official in Nigeria is working for himself and no one really is serving the public or the country.
The whole system, including the public themselves want oppressors, not people working for their collective progress. When no one is planning the future of a country, such a country can have no future. I won’t be your legacy, let your legacy be Nigeria in the fractured state you created because, it was always your way or the highway.
This is the end of my communication with you for life. I pray Nigeria survives your continual intervention in its affairs.

Sincerely,
Iyabo Obasanjo, DVM, PhD

Massachusetts,

USA.

​May Obasanjo Never Write me a letter. 

I’m not a fan of OBJ but one of my prayer points has always been that may Obasanjo never write me a letter. Obasanjo may have done exact or more evil than whoever he’s writing to admonish, but while OBJ always escape repercussions, whoever he writes to admonish is not always lucky. OBJ’s involvement in any issue signifies the imminent end of that issue. First he wrote to Shagari when the latter was soaked in mismanagement of the economy. Few months later the military smashed Shagari government in 1995. He then wrote to Abacha and described him as a stone age dictator. The letter landed him in trouble, He was almost killed. But after his death sentence was converted into prison terms, he wrote another letter to Abacha titled NO CONDITION IS PERMANENT, Where he said, “I was a head of state yesterday, today, I’m in jail. You’re the head of state today, tomorrow, your condition may be worse than mine…”. Indeed, Abacha’s future was worse as he ended inside the grave!!! OBJ didn’t write himself while in power but instead wrote his deputy, Atiku Abubakar. Atiku has become a shadow of his pre-1999 self since then. It wasn’t clear whether he wrote Yar’adua, a terminally ill former Katsina Governor he imposed on Nigeria….but he came out publicly and asked him to resign!!! He also didn’t spare GEJ he wrote him in a letter titled BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE, But it was actually late before the letter was written. Jonathan, today, has become a sorrowful history. His latest letter to Buhari is no joke, Take it or not, Buhari needs absolute care else the letter becomes his political albatross. Beg Obasanjo for me whenever you see him, may he never write me a letter.

​Full Text Of Obasanjo’s Letter To President Buhari

Full Text Of Obasanjo’s Letter To President Buhari
 http://www.nairaland.com/4307209/full-text-obasanjos-letter-president

Full Text Of Obasanjo’s Letter To President Buhari

THE WAY OUT: A CLARION CALL FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIA MOVEMENT
Special Press Statement
By
President Olusegun Obasanjo
Since we are still in the month of January, it is appropriate to wish all Nigerians Happy 2018. I am constrained to issue this special statement at this time considering the situation of the country. Some of you may be asking, “What has brought about this special occasion of Obasanjo issuing a Special Statement?” You will be right to ask such a question. But there is a Yoruba saying that ‘when lice abound in your clothes, your fingernails will never be dried of blood’. When I was in the village, to make sure that lice die, you put them between two fingernails and press hard to ensure they die and they always leave blood stains on the fingernails. To ensure you do not have blood on your fingernails, you have to ensure that lice are not harboured anywhere within your vicinity.
The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today. With such lice of general and specific poor performance and crying poverty with us, our fingers will not be dry of ‘blood’.
Four years ago when my PDP card was torn, I made it abundantly clear that I quit partisan politics for aye but my concern and interest in Nigeria, Africa and indeed in humanity would not wane. Ever since, I have adhered strictly to that position. Since that time, I have devoted quality time to the issue of zero hunger as contained in Goal No. 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. We have set the target that Nigeria with the participating States in the Zero Hunger Forum should reach Zero Hunger goal by 2025 – five years earlier than the UN target date. I am involved in the issue of education in some States and generally in the issue of youth empowerment and employment. I am involved in all these domestically and altruistically to give hope and future to the seemingly hopeless and those in despair. I believe strongly that God has endowed Nigeria so adequately that no Nigerian should be either in want or in despair.
I believe in team work and collaborative efforts. At the international level, we have worked with other world leaders to domicile the apparatus for monitoring and encouraging socio-economic progress in Africa in our Presidential Library. The purpose of Africa Progress Group, which is the new name assumed by Africa Progress Panel (APP), is to point out where, when and what works need to be done for the progress of Africa separately and collectively by African leaders and their development partners. I have also gladly accepted the invitation of the UN Secretary-General to be a member of his eighteen-member High-Level Board of Advisers on Mediation. There are other assignments I take up in other fora for Africa and for the international community. For Africa to move forward, Nigeria must be one of the anchor countries, if not the leading anchor country. It means that Nigeria must be good at home to be good outside. No doubt, our situation in the last decade or so had shown that we are not good enough at home; hence we are invariably absent at the table that we should be abroad.
All these led me to take the unusual step of going against my own political Party, PDP, in the last general election to support the opposite side. I saw that action as the best option for Nigeria. As it has been revealed in the last three years or so, that decision and the subsequent collective decision of Nigerians to vote for a change was the right decision for the nation. For me, there was nothing personal, it was all in the best interest of Nigeria and, indeed, in the best interest of Africa and humanity at large. Even the horse rider then, with whom I maintain very cordial, happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard. He has a role to play on the side line for the good of Nigeria, Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally, but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again.
The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again. First, I thought I knew the point where President Buhari is weak and I spoke and wrote about it even before Nigerians voted for him and I also did vote for him because at that time it was a matter of “any option but Jonathan” (aobj). But my letter to President Jonathan titled: “Before It Is Too Late” was meant for him to act before it was too late. He ignored it and it was too late for him and those who goaded him into ignoring the voice of caution. I know that praise-singers and hired attackers may be raised up against me for verbal or even physical attack but if I can withstand undeserved imprisonment and was ready to shed my blood by standing for Nigeria, I will consider no sacrifice too great to make for the good of Nigeria at any time. No human leader is expected to be personally strong or self-sufficient in all aspects of governance.
I knew President Buhari before he became President and said that he is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy but I thought that he could make use of good Nigerians in that area that could help. Although, I know that you cannot give what you don’t have and that economy does not obey military order. You have to give it what it takes in the short-, medium- and long-term. Then, it would move. I know his weakness in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector and again, there are many Nigerians that could be used in that area as well. They have knowledge and experience that could be deployed for the good of Nigeria. There were serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the Presidency which would seem to have been condoned. I wonder if such actions do not amount to corruption and financial crime, then what is it? Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands.
I thought President Buhari would fight corruption and insurgency and he must be given some credit for his achievement so far in these two areas although it is not yet uhuru!
The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it. And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term! The timing was most unfortunate. The issue of herdsmen/crop farmers dichotomy should not be left on the political platform of blame game; the Federal Government must take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community.
But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? How many similar cases are buried, ignored or covered up and not yet in the glare of the media and the public? The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security. The third is passing the buck. For instance, blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so and blaming past governments for it, is to say the least, not accepting one’s own responsibility. Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game. Our Constitution is very clear, one of the cardinal responsibilities of the President is the management of the economy of which the value of the naira forms an integral part. Kinship and friendship that place responsibility for governance in the hands of the unelected can only be deleterious to good government and to the nation.
President Buhari’s illness called for the sympathy, understanding, prayer and patience from every sane Nigerian. It is part of our culture. Most Nigerians prayed for him while he was away sick in London for over hundred days and he gave his Deputy sufficient leeway to carry on in his absence. We all thanked God for President Buhari for coming back reasonably hale and hearty and progressing well in his recovery. But whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his self-serving, so-called advisers, who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria say. President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured. Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7. 
I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.
I have had occasion in the past to say that the two main political parties – APC and PDP – were wobbling. I must reiterate that nothing has happened to convince me otherwise. If anything, I am reinforced in my conviction. The recent show of PDP must give grave and great concern to lovers of Nigeria. To claim, as has been credited to the chief kingmaker of PDP, that for procuring the Supreme Court judgement for his faction of the Party, he must dictate the tune all the way and this is indeed fraught with danger. If neither APC nor PDP is a worthy horse to ride to lead Nigeria at this crucial and critical time, what then do we do? Remember Farooq Kperogi, an Associate Professor at the Kennesaw State University, Georgia, United States, calls it “a cruel Hobson’s choice; it’s like a choice between six and half a dozen, between evil and evil. Any selection or deflection would be a distinction without a difference.” We cannot just sit down lamenting and wringing our hands desperately and hopelessly.

http://www.metronaija.ng/full-text-obasanjos-13-page-letter-president-buhari/

​Full Text Of Obasanjo’s Letter To President Buhari

Full Text Of Obasanjo’s Letter To President Buhari
 http://www.nairaland.com/4307209/full-text-obasanjos-letter-president

Full Text Of Obasanjo’s Letter To President Buhari

THE WAY OUT: A CLARION CALL FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIA MOVEMENT
Special Press Statement
By
President Olusegun Obasanjo
Since we are still in the month of January, it is appropriate to wish all Nigerians Happy 2018. I am constrained to issue this special statement at this time considering the situation of the country. Some of you may be asking, “What has brought about this special occasion of Obasanjo issuing a Special Statement?” You will be right to ask such a question. But there is a Yoruba saying that ‘when lice abound in your clothes, your fingernails will never be dried of blood’. When I was in the village, to make sure that lice die, you put them between two fingernails and press hard to ensure they die and they always leave blood stains on the fingernails. To ensure you do not have blood on your fingernails, you have to ensure that lice are not harboured anywhere within your vicinity.
The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today. With such lice of general and specific poor performance and crying poverty with us, our fingers will not be dry of ‘blood’.
Four years ago when my PDP card was torn, I made it abundantly clear that I quit partisan politics for aye but my concern and interest in Nigeria, Africa and indeed in humanity would not wane. Ever since, I have adhered strictly to that position. Since that time, I have devoted quality time to the issue of zero hunger as contained in Goal No. 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. We have set the target that Nigeria with the participating States in the Zero Hunger Forum should reach Zero Hunger goal by 2025 – five years earlier than the UN target date. I am involved in the issue of education in some States and generally in the issue of youth empowerment and employment. I am involved in all these domestically and altruistically to give hope and future to the seemingly hopeless and those in despair. I believe strongly that God has endowed Nigeria so adequately that no Nigerian should be either in want or in despair.
I believe in team work and collaborative efforts. At the international level, we have worked with other world leaders to domicile the apparatus for monitoring and encouraging socio-economic progress in Africa in our Presidential Library. The purpose of Africa Progress Group, which is the new name assumed by Africa Progress Panel (APP), is to point out where, when and what works need to be done for the progress of Africa separately and collectively by African leaders and their development partners. I have also gladly accepted the invitation of the UN Secretary-General to be a member of his eighteen-member High-Level Board of Advisers on Mediation. There are other assignments I take up in other fora for Africa and for the international community. For Africa to move forward, Nigeria must be one of the anchor countries, if not the leading anchor country. It means that Nigeria must be good at home to be good outside. No doubt, our situation in the last decade or so had shown that we are not good enough at home; hence we are invariably absent at the table that we should be abroad.
All these led me to take the unusual step of going against my own political Party, PDP, in the last general election to support the opposite side. I saw that action as the best option for Nigeria. As it has been revealed in the last three years or so, that decision and the subsequent collective decision of Nigerians to vote for a change was the right decision for the nation. For me, there was nothing personal, it was all in the best interest of Nigeria and, indeed, in the best interest of Africa and humanity at large. Even the horse rider then, with whom I maintain very cordial, happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard. He has a role to play on the side line for the good of Nigeria, Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally, but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again.
The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again. First, I thought I knew the point where President Buhari is weak and I spoke and wrote about it even before Nigerians voted for him and I also did vote for him because at that time it was a matter of “any option but Jonathan” (aobj). But my letter to President Jonathan titled: “Before It Is Too Late” was meant for him to act before it was too late. He ignored it and it was too late for him and those who goaded him into ignoring the voice of caution. I know that praise-singers and hired attackers may be raised up against me for verbal or even physical attack but if I can withstand undeserved imprisonment and was ready to shed my blood by standing for Nigeria, I will consider no sacrifice too great to make for the good of Nigeria at any time. No human leader is expected to be personally strong or self-sufficient in all aspects of governance.
I knew President Buhari before he became President and said that he is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy but I thought that he could make use of good Nigerians in that area that could help. Although, I know that you cannot give what you don’t have and that economy does not obey military order. You have to give it what it takes in the short-, medium- and long-term. Then, it would move. I know his weakness in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector and again, there are many Nigerians that could be used in that area as well. They have knowledge and experience that could be deployed for the good of Nigeria. There were serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the Presidency which would seem to have been condoned. I wonder if such actions do not amount to corruption and financial crime, then what is it? Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands.
I thought President Buhari would fight corruption and insurgency and he must be given some credit for his achievement so far in these two areas although it is not yet uhuru!
The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it. And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term! The timing was most unfortunate. The issue of herdsmen/crop farmers dichotomy should not be left on the political platform of blame game; the Federal Government must take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community.
But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? How many similar cases are buried, ignored or covered up and not yet in the glare of the media and the public? The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security. The third is passing the buck. For instance, blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so and blaming past governments for it, is to say the least, not accepting one’s own responsibility. Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game. Our Constitution is very clear, one of the cardinal responsibilities of the President is the management of the economy of which the value of the naira forms an integral part. Kinship and friendship that place responsibility for governance in the hands of the unelected can only be deleterious to good government and to the nation.
President Buhari’s illness called for the sympathy, understanding, prayer and patience from every sane Nigerian. It is part of our culture. Most Nigerians prayed for him while he was away sick in London for over hundred days and he gave his Deputy sufficient leeway to carry on in his absence. We all thanked God for President Buhari for coming back reasonably hale and hearty and progressing well in his recovery. But whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his self-serving, so-called advisers, who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria say. President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured. Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7. 
I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.
I have had occasion in the past to say that the two main political parties – APC and PDP – were wobbling. I must reiterate that nothing has happened to convince me otherwise. If anything, I am reinforced in my conviction. The recent show of PDP must give grave and great concern to lovers of Nigeria. To claim, as has been credited to the chief kingmaker of PDP, that for procuring the Supreme Court judgement for his faction of the Party, he must dictate the tune all the way and this is indeed fraught with danger. If neither APC nor PDP is a worthy horse to ride to lead Nigeria at this crucial and critical time, what then do we do? Remember Farooq Kperogi, an Associate Professor at the Kennesaw State University, Georgia, United States, calls it “a cruel Hobson’s choice; it’s like a choice between six and half a dozen, between evil and evil. Any selection or deflection would be a distinction without a difference.” We cannot just sit down lamenting and wringing our hands desperately and hopelessly.

http://www.metronaija.ng/full-text-obasanjos-13-page-letter-president-buhari/

​6 Areas Obasanjo Scored President Buhari Low In His Warning Letter

​6 Areas Obasanjo Scored President Buhari Low In His Warning Letter

 http://www.nairaland.com/4307214/obasanjo-warning-letter-president-buhari

Elder statesman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, slammed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for performing below the expectations of Nigerians.
Obasanjo, who ruled Nigeria at different times as a military and democratic president, had in a strongly worded letter titled: ‘THE WAY OUT: A CLARION CALL FOR COALITION FOR NIGERIA MOVEMENT’, highlighted the failings of the ruling All Progressives Congress-led government.
The PUNCH brings you six quotes from the former Peoples Democratic Party stalwart.
Poverty

“Already, Nigerians are committing suicide for the unbearable socio-economic situation they find themselves in. And yet Nigerians love life. We must not continue to reinforce failure and hope that all will be well. It is self-deceit and self-defeat and another aspect of folly.”
Insecurity/Herdsmen menace

The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it. And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term!

The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security.
Poor economic management

“The third is passing the buck. For instance, blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so and blaming past governments for it, is to say the least, not accepting one’s own responsibility. Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game. Our Constitution is very clear, one of the cardinal responsibilities of the President is the management of the economy of which the value of the naira forms an integral part. Kinship and friendship that place responsibility for governance in the hands of the unelected can only be deleterious to good government and to the nation.”
Nepotism

“One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? “

Condoning misdeed

“There were serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the Presidency which would seem to have been condoned. I wonder if such actions do not amount to corruption and financial crime, then what is it? Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands.”
http://punchng.com/quotes-six-areas-obasanjo-scored-buhari-low/

There Must be an Alternative to Buhari and AtikuBy Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

Notes From Atlanta: There Must be an Alternative to Buhari and Atiku

http://www.farooqkperogi.com/2017/12/there-must-be-alternative-to-buhari-and.html?m=1

【from Next Browser】

There Must be an Alternative to Buhari and Atiku

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

Twitter: @farooqkperogi
If former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (or anybody the PDP presents as a presidential candidate) is the only alternative to President Muhammadu Buhari, then Buhari’s victory in 2019 will be a definite shoo-in, and that’s terrible for the future of Nigeria.
As a political party, PDP is a hopelessly damaged brand. It’s too soon to forget the agonizing blight that the party inflicted on Nigeria. However hard one tries, it’s impossible to get past the insufferable arrogance, insensitivity, and impunity of the henchmen of PDP. To be sure, APC (which is actually old PDP wine in a new bottle) is continuing where PDP stopped. In fact, APC is a crueler, less transparent, and more sinister monster than its older PDP brother.

That’s why presenting Nigerians with a choice between PDP and APC is a cruel Hobson’s choice; it’s like a choice between six and half a dozen, between evil and evil. Any selection or deflection of these two options would be a distinction without a difference.
Like Buhari, Atiku has no new ideas, is barely educated, is deeply invested in the same retrograde politics of patronage that has held us back, disdains the poor (recall his boast about how his private secondary school students speak better English than UniZik students who are products of public schools?), and is a classic, untrustworthy flip-flopper. When he wants to wrest power from southern politicians, he is a closed-minded northern chauvinist, but when his opponent is a northerner, he suddenly transmutes into an exhibitionistic nationalist who plays to the (southern) gallery. It reminds one of Buhari’s theatrical and faux nationalism in 2015 that saw him donning the symbolic ethnic attires of numerous Nigerian ethnicities, even going so far as to attend church functions, but we all know what he has turned out to be.
If Nigeria must make progress, it must search for a future outside PDP and APC— and outside Buhari, Atiku, and all the familiar old stagers of Nigerian politics. But why hasn’t any transformational, forward-thinking, truly educated, and energetic non-career politician emerged yet as a presidential contender? Why is our country’s fate perpetually left in the hands of insouciant, doddering, uninspiring, incompetent, and provincial gerontocrats who have no earthly clue what it takes to govern a modern, multi-ethnic nation?
As it stands now, if fractured and feuding PDP is the only alternative to Buhari’s APC, I can bet the farm that Buhari’s second term would be a blowout. I hope I am wrong because I doubt that Nigeria can survive four more years of Buhari’s dreadful ineptitude.
Just like in 2015, the Southwest may determine the outcome of the 2019 election once again—if the election is free and fair, that is. As of now, Tinubu appears to control the intellectual and cultural elites of the region, who in turn influence public opinion in the region. Tinubu is alternately in the good graces of Buhari and silently pissed with him, and this is reflected in the endless vacillation between muted criticism of Buhari and visceral defense of him by Tinubu’s minions in the Lagos-based legacy news media and on social media. Tinubu’s mood swings toward Buhari dictate the pendulum of mainstream Southwest public opinion about him. This isn’t a dig at the southwest intellectual and cultural elites; it’s an acknowledgement of a reality, one that frankly unnerves me.
Buhari is smart enough to know that Tinubu holds the key to his reelection, and has been careful to not alienate him—or to quickly retrace his steps when he inadvertently alienates him. He has practically handed the commanding heights of the economy to Tinubu and is banking on him to “deliver” the Southwest to him.
If no one stops him, Buhari will win the majority of the Northwest, the plurality of the Northeast, and make a significant dent in the Northcentral, particularly in Nassarawa, Niger, Kwara, and Kogi states. That’s what I characterize as the “Muslim North.” He will certainly lose the Southeast and the South-south.
But with two regions already in the bag, which he has always won handily, all he needs is the Southwest and a good chunk of the Northcentral. The lack of a viable alternative to Buhari and Atiku would make Tinubu’s campaign for Buhari in the Southwest a cinch.
Given Buhari’s provable incompetence and undisguisedly subnationalist proclivities, which have plunged the nation to the nadir of fissiparity, allowing him to rule for another four years could sound the death knell for the country. This is no hyperbole.
This is the time for a fresh, viable third force to emerge. I don’t know who that would be, but I know it wouldn’t and shouldn’t be the usual suspects; it must not be from the same cast of cancerous characters that have held sway in our polity these past 18 years.
When I shared my preliminary thoughts on this on Facebook, several people challenged me to suggest names of people who might be considered as alternatives to Buhari, Atiku, Saraki and all the expected contenders, but I don’t want to get caught up in the web of petty squabbles about personalities. This is a challenge for all who give a thought to the future of Nigeria.
People have talked about the outsized influence of money in politics and how this fact makes the emergence of the kind of presidential contender I am advocating impossible. I get that. But the election of Buhari has shown us that it’s possible for someone to win election in Nigeria on the strength of the notions of his “integrity” and “modesty of means.” This has turned out to be untrue of Buhari, but these were the most significant motive forces for his acceptance outside his traditional base.
How about we try someone else? Off the top of my head, I can think of retired Colonel Dangiwa Umar widely acknowledged as just, fair, principled, hardworking, cosmopolitan, widely traveled, and well-educated. I’m not suggesting that he is perfect. He is not. No one is. It is our imperfections that make us human, but we all know what sorts of imperfections ruin nations and its people. I don’t think anyone can accuse him of those sorts of imperfections—sloth, lethargy, corruption, clannishness, incompetence, indecisiveness, etc. He may decline to throw his hat in the ring. But there are many like him.
 I have no interest in partisan political contest. That’s not my strength. I am only an observer of power. An English proverb says the onlookers, not the participants, see most of the game. Coaches and technical advisers are needed in games not because the coaches and technical advisers are better than the players (several coaches and technical advisers, in fact, don’t have half the talent of players), but because the coaches and technical advisers have the benefit of technical knowledge and, most importantly, critical detachment from the field of play.
I am by no means a coach of people in power, but my critical distance from the field of power play allows me to see what people ensconced in the easy chairs of power don’t and probably can’t see. And I am not alone in this.

​PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, ON WEDNESDAY, 24 JAN. 2018

We have read the press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the State of the Nation.

For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again. We appreciate what he said concerning the Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We thank him for this.
Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises.
We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area, this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury.
Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up. Permit me to say, however, that Nigeria would not have exited recession through a mere order or if the Administration had not made use of ”good Nigerians” who could help.
This Administration is making steady progress in its determined effort to revamp the economy, and the results are showing:
* Foreign Reserves have peaked at $40b, the highest level in about four years, and up from $24 billion just a year ago, even though when we came in, the price of oil had crashed woefully.
* According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC), headline inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months, standing at 15.37% as at Dec. 2017. This is the lowest inflation rate since Jan 2017, and it has met and surpassed the target set for inflation in the Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
* Our determined implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has stopped the hemorrhaging of the treasury. Some 108 billion Naira has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA. The nation is being saved 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the full implementation of the TSA.
* The elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira
* At about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.
* In the wake of a stable Naira and increased investment inflows, Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.
* Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world.
* According to Q3 2017 figures, agriculture export is up year-on-year by 25%, solid minerals exports are up year-on-year by 78%, raw materials exports are up 70% year-on-year and manufactured goods exports are up 22% year-on-year.
* Government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service are reporting highest-ever revenue collection, while JAMB, under the new management appointed by President Buhari in 2016, remitted N7.8billion to the coffers of the federal government. The total amount remitted by JAMB between 2010 and 2016 was a paltry N51 million!
These positive indices may not have immediately impacted positively on Nigerians, but Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a short while from now. This is because the good news from the agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, will bring down the cost of foodstuffs, especially such staple as rice, and our massive Social Investment Programme will ease the pain of the most vulnerable in the society.
When we assumed office in 2015, some 6 million farmers were involved in rice production. Thanks to the Anchor Borrowers’ programme of this Administration, we have grown that number to over 12 million farmers. The result is that our rice import from Thailand alone has dropped from 644 metric tonnes to 22,000 MT in just two years. This is phenomenal.
Apart from rice, Nigeria is also doing well in other grains, especially Millet, Sorghum and Maize. We are now the second largest producer of sorghum after the US, the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities.
For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13 million tons for both human and animal nutrition. Nigeria leads the world in the yam and cassava production. We account for 70% of the world’s yam production. In two years, we hope to be the world’s largest exporter of yam! Overall, our ambition is that agriculture should rise from 25% to 40% of GDP, so that we can banish poverty and overcome our economic anxiety.
Our Social Investment Programme is Nigeria’s most ambitious social welfare programme ever. Currently, 5.2 million primary school children in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily; 200,000 unemployed graduates have enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme, and a quarter of a million loans already distributed to artisans, traders, and farmers.
Finally, our investment in infrastructure is simply unprecedented. This is because infrastructure is key to faster economic growth and development.
Here is a synopsis of what we have done in this area:
* Power Generation at an all-time high of 7,000mw and all can be transmitted
* RAIL: Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge is on. Lagos-Ibadan sector ready 2019, Kano-Kaduna ready 2019; The entire stretch ready 2021; Negotiations on for Coastal Rail covering 15 cities from Lagos to Calabar.
* ROAD: 25 major highways being funded with the N100b Sukuk Bond, and all geo-political zones are benefitting equally
This Administration is not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but we are up to the task. We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits. We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason.
On the Herders/Farmers’ clashes, this Administration is determined to end the crisis resulting from this once and for all, not minding the fact that the clashes predate us. we urge Nigerians to have faith in the Administration’s ability to resolve the crisis, and to watch out for concrete measures in this regard.
On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return.
However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at

this time. This is because Mr. President spends every waking hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his Administration by successive past Administrations.
He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in

2015. And that’s where we are right now!
Finally, we have no reason to believe that former President Obasanjo has any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his Special Press Statement. We have also taken his admonition in good faith, and we thank him most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement.

​OBASANJO AS NIGERIA’S MORAL COMPASS

OBASANJO AS NIGERIA’S MORAL COMPASS

Simon Kolawole Live | THISDAY | 18 January 2015
For the life of me, I will never understand how former President Olusegun Obasanjo does it. When you think he is done, he has just begun. I have watched in utter amusement how he has, yet again, wangled his way into the front page of newspapers on a daily basis. I don’t know of any other former head of state elsewhere who has turned himself into the subject and object of national attention long after he has left power. Obasanjo is always there, always scheming, always screaming. It is his luck, I must say, but, as a mere mortal, I often wonder why some guys have all the luck.
Obasanjo, amazingly, has become a god or a saint to many Nigerians. Many politicians, commentators, journalists, activists and youths who used to criticise him are now celebrating him as our moral compass. The people he has brutalised before — such as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi — go to Abeokuta to genuflect to him. Even Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, of all people, goes to Obasanjo’s house to pay homage. And President Goodluck Jonathan goes to Abeokuta to kowtow to him, with two respected pastors in tow.
How does Obasanjo do it? Can anyone help me out? He has a word on every issue. He expresses his opinion so forcefully, so eloquently and so mischievously that you just cannot ignore him. He loves to criticise what he is patently guilty of. He loves to vilify anyone who does not worship at his temple. There is no accusation Obasanjo throws at anyone that he himself is not double guilty of.  He has launched ferocious media attacks against most of his successors — President Shehu Shagari, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Jonathan. Only Gen. Sani Abacha pre-empted him by throwing him into jail before he could open his mouth.
Obasanjo complains about corruption and Nigerians hail him. What’s his moral high ground? Can someone tell me? Has anybody never heard about the Halliburton and Siemens scandals? The damning reports are there in the attorney-general’s office. Does the name Dr. Julius Makanjuola ring a bell? Under Obasanjo, he was the permanent secretary of the ministry of defence implicated in a N421 million scandal. Mysteriously, the case was abruptly closed with Nolle Prosequi (no further prosecution) — the first in Nigeria’s history. 
Well, Obasanjo went on to set up the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), headed by Malam Nuhu Ribadu, which — in fairness — did kick the backsides of many politicians. But EFCC could not tackle Obasanjo’s own corruption: from the obscene fundraiser for his private library to his shareholding in Transcorp — a company that was getting juicy stuff from a government superintended by Obasanjo. Have we all forgotten the scandalous waivers granted to all kinds of human beings, officially defrauding our treasury billions of dollars? 
Does anybody remember that Obasanjo was in power for eight years and we kept importing fuel, with PDP financiers getting the contracts through local and foreign fronts? Forgotten so easily? Does anybody remember how much we spent on repairing refineries that kept “knocking” for the eight years that Obasanjo was in power? Does anybody still remember Obasanjo saying on national TV that he did not know the price of kerosene and it was “unacceptable” that it was more expensive than petrol? How does Obasanjo get away with hoodwinking Nigerians?
Do we still remember that Obasanjo did not resolve the electricity problem for eight years? Do we still remember the “$16 billion spent on power without results” for which Obasanjo arrogantly refused to appear before the House probe panel? Is it that we have forgotten that the damning report was killed? Do we still remember that Obasanjo did not add one coach to the railways throughout his tenure despite spending billions of dollars? Does anybody still remember how many federal highways were in terrible state for the eight years that Obasanjo spent in power? Have we forgotten the Benin-Shagamu road saga? Just like that?
When Obasanjo discusses insecurity, I cringe. From every available evidence, Boko Haram started right under his nose. If he had aborted the foetus, maybe we wouldn’t be engaged in fire-fighting today. I have heard many Nigerians say, perhaps innocently, that if Obasanjo had been in power he would have crushed Boko Haram by now. Really? How well did he crush the less complex militancy in the Niger Delta? Was it not under Obasanjo that the militancy started in 2004 and flourished?
To the best of my knowledge, militants were bombing oil installations and kidnapping oil workers with ease under Obasanjo. At a stage, daily crude oil production fell to about 900,000 barrels — from the height of 2.5m. In fact, we were later told that why Obasanjo picked Jonathan as the running mate to Yar’Adua was to appease the Niger Delta. Of course, nobody was appeased. The attacks continued until Yar’Adau offered an amnesty deal. How these facts conveniently escape us is beyond my understanding.
Insecurity? Abacha’s regime aside, more Nigerians were assassinated under Obasanjo’s watch than at any time in our history. The abridged roll-call: Chief Bola Ige, a serving minister; Chief Marshall Harry, co-ordinator of the Buhari presidential campaign in 2003; Chief AK Dikibo, PDP chieftain and ally of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; Chief Uche Ogbonnaya (OGB), an ANPP senatorial candidate in Imo state in 2003; and Mr. Barnabas Igwe and his wife, Amaka, in Onitsha. The assassins were never unmasked. What is insecurity?
How did Obasanjo become our moral compass? How did he become such a highly sought-after role model? Has anybody ever managed to read the affidavit Obasanjo’s own son, Gbenga, filed while seeking a divorce from his wife on the ground of incest and adultery? It doesn’t matter? Has anybody ever taken time to read the letter Iyabo wrote to her father, giving graphic details of his megalomania and duplicity? It doesn’t matter? Has anybody ever done a recap of the blatant rigging of elections under the “saint”? It doesn’t matter?
Obasanjo pontificates on impunity and we hail him. What happened to us? Dr. Chris Ngige, as governor of Anambra state, was abducted by Obasanjo’s associates. Have we forgotten the illegal impeachment of Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja as governor of Oyo state? What about the impeachment of Chief Joshua Dariye as governor of Plateau by eight out of 24 lawmakers? For three years, Obasanjo unconstitutionally withheld Lagos council allocations because of political differences. It took Yar’Adua only a few days in power to undo the impunity.
They say, ‘Oh, Obasanjo is a patriot. He has the best interest of Nigeria at heart.’ Really? Can Obasanjo look up to heavens and say, solemnly, that he had the best interest of Nigeria at heart when he was picking his successor? Such a character cannot be my own moral compass. With a moral compass like Obasanjo, though, Nigeria is doomed and damned.

WHAT IS CATTLE COLONY?  The stories of Zamani Lekwot and Col. Yohanna Madaki

Cattle colony is not a new thing in Nigeria. It has existed long before independence and it is called Zango. Zango has existed in many areas of Yoruba land. Till today, there is Sango Otta, the home country of our former president. Sango is a corruption of Zango.
  There is Zangon Kataf in Zonkwa, Kaduna State. When the Fulani’s came there, they did not tell the natives that they were coming to settle. They just asked for a small land by the market as shed to sell cattle. This was granted them.

  The Fulani’s soon gained entrance into Kafanchan town and before long, they turbanned one of themselves and addressed him, Emir of Jemaa. Jemaa in Hausa means, ALL. When the natives raised eye brow, they said the empire was going to be their own king, not the Kafanchan people.

  During the military, the Southern Kaduna people got a local government with the name, Jemaa Local Government. Later, Zonkwa got a separate local government and the local government was named Zangon Kataf Local Government.

  The emir of Jemaa got a first class stool and the entire Southern Kaduna became tribute paying enclave of the Zazzau emirate. The cunning jihad became a success. The Southern Kaduna people were banned from buying or selling commodities in Zangon Kataf local government save for what the Fulani’s permitted.

  In the process, burukutu and pork meat were outlawed. The protest to regain the market from the Fulani became the greatest Zangon Kataf crises that consumed many southern Kaduna lives leading to the arrest and unlawful imprisonment of the most prominent Kataf son, General Zamani Lekwot and many other Christian leaders.

  The people of Ilorin cannot tell their story as Kwara State without their Fulani emir in a Yoruba speaking state. So is the emir ilof Muri in Jalingo who was deposed leading to the forceful and untimely retirement as well as removal from office as governor of Col. Yohanna Madaki.

  The Fulani’s have history of claiming wherever they had Zango as their own territory and from there begin expansion by bringing more Fulani’s from Niger, Chad and Senegal. The sole aim is to drive away all other tribes from Nigeria or waste their lives and take over the land.

  When NTA broadcasted for several weeks that one Alhaji Maikudi founded Makurdi, they are most probably talking of a Zango by River Benue. Anywhere they stayed, the first Fulani to enter the town is the founder of that Zango and wherever they had Zango, they will host a Fodio flag for occupation.

  Those states opening up colonies or new Zangos for Fulani do not know what they are doing because in no time, they will get an emir and Fulani will claim the whole state as their own.

  For so long as Nigeria permit voting Fulani to be their president, federal monetary allocations will be made to buy more arms for Fulani to come from Agades and other desert places in Africa to come and live in their new colonies and begin fresh ethnic cleansing.