Olusegun Obasanjo is a defining character in Nigeria’s politics. For many years he has hovered like a wraith over the political cumulus. He is without doubt one of the many Nigerian leaders who’ve profited prodigiously from the rustic’s enterprise, and he has lived an entire life at the Nigerian privilege.
Destiny passed Obasanjo the brick and mortar to set Nigeria on a fine-grained basis in 1999 – after years of army vandalism. However did he saddle as much as the importunities of future? Smartly, I consider we will not be at the present trajectory as a rustic if Obasanjo had implemented his good fortune judiciously. He had the danger to redefine the process our historical past – even supposing I admit it was once now not all as much as him – he represented an hobby.
Obasanjo’s management was once like a reprise of the army generation. Political assassination, a burdensome luggage of the army epoch, was once rife beneath Obasanjo. So far, there’s nonetheless no piece to the puzzle within the homicide of Bola Ige and Harry Marshall – and a few different politically-linked killings around the nation all the way through Obasanjo’s presidency. It was once because of the ineffaceable enormity of the bloodletting that the Northern Elders Discussion board and the Arewa Consultative Discussion board requested Goodluck Jonathan to prosecute Obasanjo in 2013.
We can’t excise this bankruptcy from our political historical past. It stays an everlasting blot at the former president. There have been additionally incidences the place Obasanjo was once abstract and borderline ruthless in execution. The instances of Odi and Zaki Biam the place the previous president dispatched troops on a murderous challenge are nonetheless a speaking level. In reality, I discovered it fiendish when Obasanjo accused President Muhammadu Buhari of tyranny whilst he himself had trafficked in uncooked autocracy.
Corruption and pursuit of vendetta have been additionally the hallmark of the Obasanjo management. The sale of public belongings was once closely ruled via insular hobby. In truth, the preliminaries of the present wobbly state of the ability sector have been via the failed efficiency of that management. The Obasanjo executive reportedly forged $16 billion into the ability black-hole – now not one residing light-bulb to turn for it.
Attesting sooner than the senate advert hoc committee investigating the privatisation of presidency companies from 1999, in April 2011, Nasir el-Rufai, who was once the director-general of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) beneath Obasanjo, stated the previous president and Atiku Abubakar, his deputy, influenced the sale of public firms to their friends who didn’t have the wherewithal to shop for them. He stated the failure of the workout was once in large part because of ‘’executive interference’’.
“The president and I have been all the time quarrelling over problems with privatisation. Each and every time I informed him now we have a procedure … that they must advise their pals to be the very best bidder,” el-Rufai stated to the panel.
Possibly, the place Obasanjo chalked up notoriety is in his pursuit of vendetta. The previous president is a recognized ‘’grudgist’’. He spares no foe – even in loss of life. His grating ‘’condolence’’ letter at the loss of life of Buruji Kashamu whom he knocked posthumously is the vintage ‘’Obasanjo the vengeful’’. He stated the past due ex-senator, who was once sought after in the United States for alleged drug dealing, escaped justice however may just now not evade the sceptre of loss of life.
I don’t spar with Obasanjo over his judgment at the deceased. Hagiography isn’t the easiest way to ship off any departed. Our deeds live to tell the tale lengthy after now we have looked at of this aircraft. However I’m most effective occupied with Obasanjo’s duplicity. His executive gave proof within the drug-dealing case in opposition to Kashamu in the United Kingdom, securing his unlock. And the past due flesh presser was once Obasanjo’s best friend till a sour divorce owing to divergences in Ogun politics.
And whilst the comradeship subsisted, Obasanjo exalted Kashamu above iniquity in one of the most Omo Ilu Basis programmes of the deceased in Ogun. ‘’We respect your entire excellent paintings. God will bless you on your excellent deeds,’’ he stated on the match.
In his pursuit of vengeance, Obasanjo ‘’retired’’ some politicians who stood in the best way of his ambition. He numerous with Peter Odili, former Rivers state governor, who was once angling to be Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s deputy. Obasanjo most well-liked Jonathan – for ‘’positive causes’’. He thwarted the challenge of Odili and weighted down him with a corruption case. The Ikwere flesh presser procured a ‘’perpetual injunction’’ to avoid wasting himself.
Additionally, the previous president exerted himself dismantling no matter recognition Atiku Abubakar, his deputy, who challenged his second-term bid, had. He summarily costumed Atiku in a corruption garb which haunts the political long run of the previous vice-president thus far. Obasanjo checked Ghali Umar Na’Abba, former speaker of the home of representatives, and Chibudom Nwuche, his deputy, out of politics once they initiated impeachment complaints in opposition to him. He was once deft in ensuring they didn’t go back to the home in 2003.
I will have to upload, Obasanjo was once ready to vary the political development of those males as a result of their closet was once now not dirt-free.
Obasanjo admitted he made some errors, however he stated they have been ‘’authentic’’ omissions. “I by no means say that we didn’t make mistake or we’re best possible, however no matter mistake we made was once a real mistake. It wasn’t a mistake we made on account of selfishness,” he informed the Level Newspaper in an interview in July 2020.
I feel, whether or not the errors have been ‘’authentic’’ or now not, historical past shall be as dispassionate and grating on Obasanjo as he has been on others.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a creator and journalist
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