Obasanjo’s Storm In A Tea Cup
Last week, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo raised the alarm that President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to frame him up on some trumped up charges and arrest him.
Knowing fully well, the person of Obasanjo, I dismissed the report as another tantrum from Obasanjo, who always wants to be the centre of attention. The reasons for his recent tantrums are not far fetched – a day before President Buhari did what Obasanjo couldn’t do for eight years – recognising June 12 as democracy day and conferring the GCFR to the acclaimed winner of the June 12,1993 election, MKO Abiola. The move by Buhari was seen as a slap on Obasanjo, who had publicly said Abiola was not the messiah Nigeria was looking for.
In Obasanjo’s mind, he is the next best thing to Jesus Christ, a messiah with the divine mandate to rescue Nigeria. To him, 1999 to 2007 was Nigeria’s Utopia years.
While he succeeded in chasing Goodluck Jonathan out of office, which I think is due to bad governance on the part of Jonathan, Obasanjo has taken up his divine mandate to demarket and install a new president in 2019. He has succeeded in hoodwinking some Nigerians to see his personal interest as national interest.
In the past four months, the former president has taken the gospel to all nook and cranny of the country, with the fevour of John the Baptist, preaching against relecting President Buhari in 2018. According to him, Buhari is not the messiah; the messiah will be the person he will install in 2019. And his gospel has started gaining traction in some parts of the country.
Then out of the blue, Buhari played his best hand. In football terms, he scored a Ballon Dor winning goal. Obasanjo must have had nightmares last week, all his plans came crashing down, the president’s dwindling popularity shot up overnight. In one fell swoop, he became the beautiful bride of the south West, people began to see the president in a new light, many began to think, the president is not a bad politician after all.
The former president knew he had lost this particular battle and what does he do to change the current narrative- he raises the alarm that his life is in danger. Obasanjo wanted the attention back on him. His vituperation reminded me of a James Hadley Chase novel – The Guilty are Afraid. The point is if Obasanjo’s fears are genuine and his hands are clean, then he should not be scared of anything. If his hands are clean, he should sleep easy, knowing the administration can’t hang anything on him but the million-dollar question is, ‘are his hands clean?’
Nobody is above the law in Nigeria and we need to start seeing former presidents being put on trial in this country.
In Croatia, Ivo Sanader, who was prime minister from 2003 to 2009, was arrested in late 2010 on charges of corruption, embezzlement and abuse of power.
Sanader served time in 2011 and again in 2012-2015, when he was released after a court overturned a nine-year sentence and ordered a retrial. Other trials are due.
In Israel, Ehud Olmert, the 2006-2009 prime minister, entered jail in February 2016 with a 27-month prison term for taking bribes, fraud, corruption and obstructing justice. Olmert was freed in July 2017 on parole.
In April this year, South Korea’s former president, Park Geun-hye was jailed for 24 years for corruption.
A trial, which lasted more than 10 months, ended with Park being found guilty on multiple criminal charges, including bribery and abuse of power.
In Nigeria, former presidents need to start accounting for their sins during their stint in office and we should stop treating former presidents as sacred cows.
NASS 12-Point Agenda To PMB
Two weeks ago, after an executive joint session, the National Assembly issued a 12-point warning to President Buhari with a subtle threat of impeachment.
We all know in Nigeria it is almost impossible to impeach a president and the 8th National Assembly should stop clowning because we know they don’t have the numbers to impeach Buhari.
We all know it was one point demand but others were added to give it a national appeal. The face off between Senate President Bukola Saraki and Inspector General Of Police, Ibrahim Idris was the bone of contention. All those demands that the president should address unemployement is balderdash.
The members of the legislature should stop confusing their personal cases with the police or EFCC as an affront on the legislature. Anybody who has a case to answer should stop dragging the whole National Assembly into a private matter. Lawmakers don’t have immunity and at the same time, they are not above the law.
At the same time, there are more important cases pending for the police to solve – the daily kidnapping in Birnin Gwari, herdsmen and bandits killing and the rise of kidnapping in the country and embarrassing Saraki should not be a priority because it will be a big slap on their institution and integrity of the police if this Saraki’s case turns out to be another wild goose chase. Both parties should stop overheating the polity.
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