Adeniyi’s book and how history will judge Jonathan, Obasanjo in nation building
By Comrade Newton Chigozie
There are obviously two people who have been enthusiastically celebratory since last week, when a new book on the 2015 elections entitled, ‘Against the Run of Play’ was unveiled. One, understandably so, is the chairman of This Day editorial board Segun Adeniyi who has every cause to savour the widespread attention his latest effort is receiving across the nation.
The other is ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, a main respondent in the book. His excitement is also not strange because of his proclivity to cling on every straw to massage his vaunted ego and promote his usually exaggerated fantasy on his questionable heroism and patriotism.
As the confessed lead undertaker, exuberant for his kill in the failed Jonathan return in 2015 elections, with all the caustic reversals of our collective fortunes as Nigerians, many Nigerians thought his magical prescription of AOBJ (any other but Jonathan) is fully tested and should be rested.
But we are sourly mistaken. This much is apparent going by the trending fusillades from Obasanjo to Jonathan, so royally captured in Adeniyi’s new book which is currently trending.
In this captive narratives of pre-2015 elections role players, betrayers and conspirators, Obasanjo who squeezed the final fatal shot on the Jonathan project is still reveling to cremate the body and possibly spread the ash on his farm for his ultimate spot of fun. Really?
In this same book, Obasanjo harboured no qualms in dramatically denying any fore knowledge of late President Yar’adua ailment prior to his election, yet refused to allow him rest in peace as he went ahead to insinuate scorn on him ‘as a fickle and feeble person widely known to be ruled by his manipulative wife.
Not done, Obasanjo descended a base lower by graphically adorning President Jonathan as “incurably inept, who cleverly appropriated Boko Haram malaise as his ATM to our national treasury alongside his lieutenants” Etcetera.
These are the mirthless toxins with which a former president and chancellor of his University serenades his colleagues in the public place, ironically those he boasts of playing the unchallenged godfather to locate, profile and recruit.
We are appalled and scandalized that a greying past president who has a farm, a university and infact the only presidential library in this country, is not famed for the development ideas he generates, food he produces or scholarships he endowed to mitigate our dire national emergencies, but rather a profound faculty for unravelling persons he helped make and those that made him.
This is why Nigerians must wake up, and I purposefully urge them to so do now, to completely and totally ignore him. We have seen and tasted enough of his ‘mixes and potions’ notorious for absence of elementary positive potency.
His latest offerings and explanations on that book ‘Against the Run of Play’ are no less useless to our development as a people. They are soiled excuses where apologies should have been neater, tasteless gravitas where decency would have been braver. It is sadly pointless to stay glued to a masquerade whose habitual entertainment is build and destroy, raise and cut down, nurture and neutralize.
Of course former president Jonathan is not a man without sins of political missteps. He does have enough, but obviously less perilous than our high horse Judge Advocate. Jonathan gave his word that his victory in 2015 is not worth the blood of any Nigerian, he kept it. He had executive powers but never used it to sabotage our electoral process. Rather he entrenched Nigeria in the comity of growing democracies.
He never gagged the judiciary or the legislature. He respected free speech. He energized Nigerian democracy the way no other has done or attempted by organising the best elections yet. He quit the scene noiselessly and went into personal hibernation without fuss or fury. He is not throwing tantrums left right and centre to pull down individuals or legacies. What then is the heck?
What are Obasanjo’s comparisons to these sterling records? Obasanjo derobed his vice president publicly, demystified the institutions of the National Assembly, cowed the judiciary, denied assent to Freedom of Information Bill, compromised the electoral body INEC, stunted opposition, ruined our national assets, and above all moved in to mow down our democracy through an illegitimate third term bid. Of course it failed, but not without dragging the nation deeper into the gorge of corruption with the Ghana-Must-Go bags of bribe money displayed openly on the floor of the National Assembly. Charming credentials indeed for the then ‘trending father of a new Nigeria’.
- Comrade Chigozie is President, Network for National Development (NENADEV)