Last week when this column opened this discussion, it focused only on the sunny side of things. This week, it seeks to balance the equation by looking at the other side. No pun intended, the crass lack of creativity in deploying what I call the OBJ 2019 Case and Stratagem, coupled with its all too glaring monumental weaknesses, can only second-guess the impending rare failure of an Obasanjo enterprise. However, it is necessary first to bullet-point the strengths of the anti-Buhari re-election statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo: one, nothing to fault in what he wrote; two, he spoke the national mind; and three, President Muhammadu Buhari’s management of the statement has hitherto been epic.
Yet, it is unlikely that any of both men would succeed. To be sure, Dr. Obasanjo does not want his incumbent successor to have a second term because of his current output, which alarms even the latter’s own wife. On the other hand, the president secretly craves that finishing tenure; yet, less than a year to the ad hoc polls he has not mustered the will to face the people with that declaration. Fortunately for Nigerians, it is not only the president who dilly-dallies.
The alter ego of the president’s 2019 challenger -you know who- does not as we speak seem to have a clear idea who to supplant President Buhari with. On four previous occasions when Nigeria was stranded at this same political T-junction, Baba Sege left no one in doubt from the first whistle where and with whom he stood. Here’s the roll call: 1979, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; 2007, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua; 2011, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and 2015, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, retd., as he then was. With this not being the case now, something tells me that the gods may have withdrawn that talismanic grace from the perennial kingmaker!
There’s no better way to explain the foregoing than the Ota farmer’s hide and seek over 2019. Desperate to witness the genesis of the post-Buhari era, he brought about a movement to enforce that ambition; but choosing the day of his registration to repeat that he would back out the moment the movement transforms into a political party creates confusion, lowers the morale of the Buhari-must-go mammoth crowd and kills the spirit of the movement. If the president succeeds in regaining confidence, strength and support in time to gather enough momentum to sail through all the fog and uncertainty accentuated by the Obasanjo statement, the former president would only have taught us some don’ts in the circumstance. In politics, no one succeeds who plays ostrich after the baby had been born at the marketplace!
Alas, that’s not the only sign that the third force may draw blank. In 2019, Nigerians would not be five-times stupid. We trusted Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s leadership recruitment judgment in 1979, 2007, 2011 and 2015 but what did we have? On each of those tenures, as he himself laments always, Nigeria fared poorer.
Meaning: the great leader is a horrible recruiter of leaders. If on all four previous occasions, he later regretted the choice he imposed on Aso Rock, what guarantees are there that an encore would not be our lot if we entrusted him with our golden 2019? And, since he has never to the end rallied behind even one of the four men he sold to us for this same office over time, is it this once that he would put his hard-to-please character trait in check? In 2019, Nigerians can’t, shouldn’t and shan’t listen to our former president having now proved conclusively that the octogenarian serial writer of powerful political literature is himself a huge part of our national problem!
That is it. We are tired of watching Olusegun Obasanjo, PhD. pulling down people he made. We are tired of being taken for a ride; being misled with wrong human answers and being asked afterwards to cry along over that same choice. We are tired of being pushed around by one man; we are tired of being dictated to by a man who would soon grumble over his choice; we are tired of being breastfed by a mother-man who isn’t so sure of the brand of milk he markets!
The Third Force, a recycled party in the making, cannot be our long-awaited harbinger of El Dorado seeing how its promoters are busy wooing the spent forces of PDP, APC et al. What empty, foolish deceit is that, parading mostly the same people responsible for our pains? Perhaps, rather than continue with the OBJ merry-go-round, we should go with a man like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or anyone else opposed by the former president (that is, outside the current man who has performed abysmally): they may have the magic formula that he never wanted us to experience. God bless Nigeria!
Still on covered number plates of tinted cars
Just last week, a state lawmaker in the south-south forced my attention back to this troubling shot-in-the-foot mannerism. He said stuff about being permitted by policemen because they recognise him. Imagine that!
Just what do people in tinted cars want to hide from, when they cover their number plates: shame, pride, what? The authorities must do everything to kill this habit by mighty and small big people on our roads. We cannot allow scoundrels to keep taking advantage of this traffic violation!
Goodbye, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, GCON
I shall miss our former Vice President who left the other day exactly the way he lived: quietly, humbly, peacefully. Many thanks to the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Enugu, Most Reverend Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, who presided at the burial, for his uncanny forthrightness!