By AHMED ‘LATEEF
“The impending transition has made the hitherto sworn foes to drop swords of Damocles they wielded to outdo each other, one time quisling has suddenly turned a man with pure heart, the then pull him down syndrome has been abandoned and the diatribe, which was the order of the day has been consigned to the dustbin of history”
One phenomenon that has haunted Nigerian polity too long, and which is yet to abate, is needless indulgence and massaging of ego. A common practice in the nation’s polity, especially when you are aspiring for public offices is to either massage ego, idolise, worship and create in a mere mortal, god-like image through which your aspiration can come into fruition.
While it is not out of place to accord respect to whom is due in line with our cosmological belief, it is not just utterly bemusing but amusing that certain individuals in our society have arrogated to themselves alpha and omega posture, the divine power, the I am that I am and the inevitable path that you must tread before arriving your destinations. What theatrics!
As a mere mortal that he is, Obasanjo seems to have been overwhelmed with deluge of eulogies poured on him without appropriate reflection and reading between the lines that the praises were carefully orchestrated to push him to his early grave.
In the journey of life therefore, one must come to terms with those realities that cannot be wished away and of import among them are death, life and power, of which they are exclusive preserves of Almighty God, the creator of the universe. Thus, a mere mortal that plays God is heading for perdition.
For Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, another transition is imminent. It is no longer news that the 2019 general elections are barely four months away. What has therefore dominated the political space in recent times is alignment and realignment of forces. There have been rapprochements and alliance of some sort.
The impending transition has made the hitherto sworn foes to drop swords of Damocles they wielded to outdo each other, one time quisling has suddenly turned a man with pure heart, the then pull him down syndrome has been abandoned and the diatribe, which was the order of the day has been consigned to the dustbin of history.
Such development should not be perceived as impossible but taken with a pinch of salt because what usually congregates political actors and gladiators is interest.The moment that is set aside, then vitriolic attack and assault on personality creeps in.
In today’s polity, former President Olusegun Obasanjo is a phenomenon. His words, actions and inactions cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand. He has literally arrogated the role of oracle, who must be consulted frequently on issues pertaining to polity and governance in the country.
For political watchers, a mere pronouncement of Ebora Owu as fondly called, becomes authority in itself. And whoever Obasanjo denounces or demarkets, only the divine power can save such an individual from either shame or trouble lurking around for him. Obasanjo has a way of bringing down people to their kneels. It usually begins with toxic letters and whoever falls victim of such letters is in for the battle of his life.
Those who fell victim of Obasanjo’s catalogue of sins letters include the late tyrant Sanni Abacha, late Umaru Musa Yara’dua and of late was former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Through the poison-laced letters, Obasanjo denigrated the victims and in no time, their governments became history. The incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari has also got his fair share of the pull him down letter with swift response in quick succession, notwithstanding his performance that has fallen short of expectations of curious Nigerians.
Another individual that the Ogun State born former President has often demarketed is his erstwhile Deputy Atiku Abubakar because of the latter’s quest to be President of Nigeria. Obasanjo did not only denounce him but insisted that Atiku is unfit and therefore could not be seen as a presidential material. Sins he listed against Atiku are unbridled quest for power, disloyalty and corruption.
And for years now, Obasanjo has maintained his stance and remained vociferous in his sustained attack against Atiku, who few days ago, clinched the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) preparatory to the 2019 general elections. The former President, in his utmost discontent for his former deputy, even declared that God will not forgive him if he supports Atiku to be President.
However, in what could be described as an unusual volte-face, Baba Iyabo said in Abeokuta on Thursday that Atiku, that he identified unfit for the office of President, has become penitent and got the knack required to be the number one citizen. He even addressed Atiku President to be.
With this declaration, Obasanjo seemed to be approbating and reprobating simultaneously, and this could be tantamount to speaking from both sides of his mouth. Atiku has just like that turned a beautiful bride that Ebora Owu, in his insatiable lust, is desirous to share bed with.
But one fact that cannot be taken away is the fact that the power to decide who becomes the next President, which Olusegun Obasanjo has personally arrogated to himself, is traceable to the Northern part of the country. The power brokers in the North have always supported him even at the time he was almost left in the lurch and turned a political orphan.
In his voyage in power, Obasanjo has never received the support of his home state of Ogun talkless of South West, which is primary region as far as classification of Nigeria is concerned.
Now that he has moved against the incumbent President from the Northern extraction where he usually gets gamut of support, could it be predicted that Obasanjo is heading for oblivion politically? Or is he treading on the path to political perdition? Or is he on the verge of digging own political grave? Time will surely tell.
AHMED ‘LATEEF, an Ilorin based Writer and Journalist