Obasanjo and his new hidden agenda, By Garba Shehu

The timing of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent attacks could not have been sharper. As with the others before this one, his attacks reflect the ailments of successive governments in the country. In the case of Jonathan administration, President Obasanjo has directly and indirectly been pointing at a syndrome of drift, corruption and denial.

Many who have paid attention to these attacks believe that the former leader is just being his mischievous self. Last week in Jigawa, at a lecture to commemorate this year’s Democracy Day, he said there is no security in the country because there is no governance. Thereafter, he moved Lagos to unleash a diatribe against the armed forces, accusing its leadership of siphoning money meant for the procurement of equipment. This, according to him, accounts for the lack of security in the country.

On Tuesday last week, Obasanjo deployed his verbal arsenal against the parliament at the centre and the states. All of them, he said, have not pursued any laws useful to the country. Obasanjo, who has always accused them of only uniting when their salary and perks are at a stake, charged that there are “rogues (and) armed robbers” in the parliament at all levels.

Obasanjo then looked at the nation’s judiciary and described it as unworthy of the name. “Now” he thundered, “the judiciary is riddled by corruption and this has affected other sectors of the country”. He accused the judges of selling cases whereby “the highest bidder takes all. That is what we have now.”

One must not forget the adage, “As you sow, so shall you reap”. It is hard not to blame the former President for being the architect of this unwanted situation. He is the master planner and a beneficiary and his comment begets curiosity. In fact, he can’t deny a vested interest in the preservation of the status-quo. Yet, he confounds you the more when he consistently attacks and does not offer any solution. In the circumstance, those grating criticisms become open to suspicion that they are coming from mischief or self-gratification. What could be the explanation for why all of these are happening at this time?

There are suspicions that the guru President may be trying to let the world know that he has problems with our current rulers who may have veered off his laid down track. Uneasy with his own shadows, bereft of brave ideas and bold moves within party and government, the former President may have found the platform of public speeches as his last resort to vent private anger and frustration.

Two, It is a known fact that the pre-eminence of the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the affairs of the politics of South – Western Nigeria must be a source of political indigestion for the former military Head of State. To upstage Tinubu, Obasanjo must now struggle to show himself not just as an alternative but a leader who is credible and can be relied upon. This is a deficit that Obasanjo brings to a contest for the South-West political space. He cannot contend with the idea of a giant being supplanted by a perceived midget, the very midget that turned out to be a giant killer.

A third scenario speaks of a contest for the economic domination of Nigeria. The new alliance in our unpredictable politics, one that has brought together the oil – producing Niger Delta with their immense earnings and the Igbos of the South-East, driven by their entrepreneurial spirit and a competent diaspora. This is a matter that has set the stage for a major economic rivalry between the East and the West. Forget the North, which has never been an important factor in the economic equation. Northerners have always been left to eat the crumbs of the Nigerian economy.

Moreover, held down by Boko Haram and other internecine warfare, the Northerners do not even have the potential of posing a threat to these major economic powers. For the Yoruba, a kinsman of theirs, Obasanjo may have done all eight years in office but all of that may not have given his people the kind of dividend that power has yielded to the South-South and the East in just one year of the Jonathan Presidency.


So deep down, there is really more at a stake than what people will see as public criticism by a godfather cum guru Head of State. A wise man says you cannot wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep. Obasanjo is deeply cunning and knows what he is doing. Yes, this country may be paying a price for what is at best, government’s incompetence and at the worst, political weakness in dealing with issues in national security. The northern cities, including Abuja, the nation’s capital, have been lurching from one bomb blast to the next while southern towns are grappling with armed robbery and kidnapping. Chosen ministers are free to loot while the opposition is asleep. Shell says up to a third of crude oil produced in the country is stolen. Those who know him say these issues worry OBJ as they do every patriot but there is more to it than meets the eye.

All of the things said here do not diminish the right of President Obasanjo as a leader and free citizen to have sharp opinions. In private, a lot of our leaders will give you unprintable perspectives on everyone and everything. The difference the former President makes is that he can’t avoid being caught in hyper-aggressive postures. He sees himself as the god of this democracy who won’t say sorry for trampling on sensitive toes, although some say that he built himself on the labour of others.

Those who know him say he doesn’t care if it infuriates anyone whenever he speaks and that he genuinely doesn’t care what they say.

While he is entitled to his views, it is no less important to say that it diminishes our democracy when those entrusted with protecting it, undermine it.




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  • Wilfred Edet

    What else should OBJ do now that he is out of office? He encouraged this dance of thievery and now the robbers don’t want to recognise him as the chief thief

  • KenMani

    FIGHTING CORRUPTION IS REMOVING NORTHERN MUSLIM HAUSA-FULANI “FEEDING BOTTLE” === I am waiting for that Nigerian bold enough to come out and tell me how the unproductive Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani will survive in Nigeria and maintain their luxurious lifestyle and high taste without corruption. The world already knows that the only thriving industry owned and managed by the unproductive Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani in Nigeria is corruption. Therefore, Nigerians must come to terms with the fact it would be inhuman for President Jonathan to forcefully remove the “feeding bottle” (which is corruption) of the unproductive Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani. The Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani must be rehabilitated and re-orientated before anybody can fight corruption in the vigorous sense that most people especially from the South want. Methinks Jonathan understands this fact. If Nigerians do not want to be accused of genocide against the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani we must thread softly on corruption but yet doing all we can to make the best out of a very bad situation.

  • KenMani

    FIGHTING CORRPTION IN NIGERIA IS GENOCIDE AGAINST NORTHERN MUSLIM HAUSA-FULANI ==== The reason for corruption in Nigeria resides with the fact that the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani are completely unproductive and contribute nothing to the national cake. Yet they live a luxurious lifestyle and maintain extremely high taste that is not supported by any form of positive productivity known to human kind. Regrettably, they are the same people now using their malicious propaganda machine coordinated by IBB, Atiku and El Rufai to unjustly blame Jonathan for the corruption that favours them alone and without which they cannot survive. They have nothing positive to contribute to the national cake. They live and breathe corruption without which they die. IBB, Atiku, El Rufai etc. etc etc are the epitome of this endemic corruption culture of the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani. Those that are shouting that Jonathan must fight and completely eradicate corruption in Nigeria must first tell us how the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani will survive in Nigeria when corruption is eradicated.

    • Yakubu ashiru

      you are simply a pig, that’s how best you can be described, you just can’t see and reason. i bet you are just a fish inside deep wel not knowing what is outside, ask your brother in the north they will wise you up, bushman

  • KenMani

    I have vowed not to allow myself to be sucked into the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani malicious propaganda machine coordinated by IBB, Atiku and El Rufai and aimed at falsely and unjustly labeling Jonathan as incompetent and as wells as incapable of fighting corruption in Nigeria. We Nigerians must stop being gullible and must refuse to allow rogues and stinking corrupt men like IBB, Atiku and El Rufai to mislead us. The Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani are determined to make the country ungovernable and start a violent revolution and they are staging their war on three platforms for now. {No.1} Violence, Destructions and mass killing of Southerners and Christians from the North. {No. 2}. Unjustly label Jonathan as incompetent and as a nonperformer {No.3}. Over exaggerate the problem of corruption in Nigeria and blame it all on Jonathan. The fourth platform which they are contemplating is what I call “1966 Reloaded”: give Jonathan the “Ironsi treatment” and blame it on Boko Haram.

    • Yakubu ashiru

      Ken Mani what else can you do? it is crystal clear than Jonathan can not rule with out the North, it is with your open eye Jonathan spends in billion to the North. You will die with your bad bele!

  • Abu

    kenMani ur deep seated hetreat for northen muslim Hausa-fulani is too much.It semse you are very naive when it comes to Nigerian politics.may be you are ”AJEBO”you are always at home eating junk food playing video games.wait and see 2015, GEJ will, wit his own hands take the power and give it back to the northerners.this is b/c we are d one who voted for him,ppl like you are sleeping on the election day as a result of staying late in the night playing video games.so pls stop wasting ur time joing us in prayers that let THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH give us good leaders who have niger and its ppl at heart so that we can enjoy our country.ken you and i go to any petrol station n buy fuel at 97naira p/L,we dont have electricity,no good roads n schools etc etc etc.my friend wake up.All what you are saying are mere sentiments

    • KenMani

      Yes, that is all you people want….power. Because of power you killed Ironsi and Abiola. Thank God you said Jonathan will be alive in 2015 to hand power back to the North with his own hands. But please mark this and take my words very seriously: the days are gone and over. Goodluck Jonathan will be the last President of Nigeria as we know it. Nigeria will have ended a long time ago but for Goodluck Jonathan. The day he quits power just wait and see what happens to Nigeria as we know it today.