General Obasanjo, Thank You For Your Letter To Jonathan; But We Will Not Forget By Ayo Oyalowo
“The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.”
~ William Hazlitt
It arrived like a bolt out of the blue.
When a former president writes an eighteen page letter to a sitting president, the world must sit up and take note. After reading the letter written by the former president of Nigeria, General Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo to the incumbent president, Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, only an unpatriotic and a self serving Nigerian would deny that most of what was contained therein is the truth. I have personally read that letter five times and my conclusion is, what is new? There was nothing that General Obasanjo wrote that is new, unheard of or that has not been said by many other patriotic Nigerians. The only difference this time is that those same truths have now been openly said by the man who foisted an incompetent Jonathan on Nigerians.
I will not dwell on the contents of the letter as many other writers have done justice to it. I would rather take our letter writing former president down memory lane. Don’t get it twisted, we are not going down an old memory lane, rather we will look at the recent 8 year tenure of our former president turned scribe.
Now, Dear General–Your letter started with your party and how the current president’s action is destabilizing your rag tag but organized agglomeration of rent seeking leeches called the PDP. Recall sir, how you dealt with dissents and those whose faces you no longer wanted in the PDP? Remember Audu Ogbeh? Remember Barnabas Gemade? Do not forget how you foisted your garrison politics on Oyo state using an illiterate and uneducated thug, the late Lamidi Adedibu. You must have forgotten how 8 out of twenty five members of the Plateau State house of Assembly tried to Impeach Governor Joshua Dariye in October 2006.
Let me jog your fading memory, sir. I understand that with age, people tend towards senility and forgetfulness. On the 10th July, 2003, a sitting governor was kidnapped, after you tacitly gave your blessings for his police orderly to be withdrawn. Oh yes! Dr. Chris Ngige was the governor of Anambra state who was kidnapped by thugs under the watchful eyes of the younger brother of Chris Ubah, the uneducated, unschooled and brash younger brother of your Man Friday, Andy Ubah. The state house was torched and razed down and violence was unleashed on that State. You chose to look the other way, didn’t you? Meanwhile the governor was a member of your party, wasn’t he? Isn’t it obvious that you truly love your party, dear General Olusegun Obasanjo?! You eventually made Anambra State ungovernable and you were only too happy to cede the state to the opposition APGA.
In your “private” letter to your now recalcitrant successor, you were unequivocally against his contesting for a second term because “he made a promise”. Well, generality of Nigerians aren’t privy to secrets within your cult-like band of national plunderers, the PDP. But may I remind you sir, that you actively pursued a third term option, using a kangaroo constitutional amendment? You were only displaced by the courageous act of some prominent people within and outside your government. You want to speak about ‘honour’? How ‘honourable’ were you when you planned to remain in office beyond your tenure, spending billions in bribing senators to amend the constitution, just so that your selfish interests be served?
You also berated the fedora hatted nitwit you helped foist on Nigerians for working with opposition political parties against the good of his party. Like I said, few people tend to get senile and forgetful as they grow older, especially if they don’t know their true biological age. But may I remind you of your pact with the southwest governors of the now defunct AD? Haha! Now you remember… You were intent on gaining political relevance which you never had and you never will have in your geopolitical region. Well the rest as they say is history. You outfoxed most of those governors because of their political naivety except the indefatigable Bola Tinubu who saw through your cunning and deceit.
Let me remind you sir, that the ‘Jagaban’ of a man beat you at your own game because he had a tango with another of your ilk and he saw through your plans. Tinubu was the arrowhead of NADECO, a coalition of democrats who stood against the most tyrannical despot that ever lived in the history of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha, to the detriment of their lives, businesses, families and other interests. I am sure you underrated the man because you were mostly incarcerated, while at the risk of his life, he was crossing swords with your conqueror. I am therefore at a loss as to why you are angry at your anointed for cavorting with opposition political parties. Jonathan is merely taking a cue from your political playbook of garrison and jungle politics, where nothing is sacred as long as you are able to get what you want, at whatever cost.
In your highly “secret” letter, you were also cross with your protégé for denying the people of Port Harcourt (Rivers State) a massive water project due to them. That is very patriotic coming from you, sir. But let me quickly remind you how you denied the same people of Rivers State their authentic Governor. Have you forgotten your famous ‘K-leg’ speech? It was until the Supreme Court overruled your despotic action, that the same Amaechi got what rightly belongs to him.
Also talking about using presidential fiat to deny federating states their due, have you forgotten how you illegally denied Lagos State the funds due to the State? Not even the Supreme Court judgment that deemed your action illegal could change your waspish mindset. Those allocations were held until your successor released them, several years after.
General sir, you also advised your protégé against seeing critics as enemies! I know you have always fancied yourself a (failed) comedian, but I didn’t know you could also double as a clownish jester whenever you wished. Such advise coming from you is not only bizarre, but I consider it a very silly thing to do. At the Ikeja cantonment, after several Lagosians had lost their lives due to a chain of bomb blasts, you must have forgotten your retort. Let me remind you once more. When a few of the mourners wailed beside you, your riposte was: “shut up…..I didn’t even need to be here”. Those were Nigerians, real human beings. Some of them actually voted for you. Indeed you loved and accepted criticisms during your tenure! If I hear!!!
I could go on and on, but unlike you, I am not an old retired general with billions siphoned away, having all the time to write an eighteen page epistle. I must move on now to earn my daily bread under such unbearable circumstances as created by you and your bunch of incompetent successors. But let me close by saying, when you create a monster, there is a likelihood of such a monster outgrowing you and possibly annihilating you.
You were so angry that you couldn’t get a third presidential term in office, you decided to force an infirm and a nincompoop on Nigerians. Your plan was to exploit their weaknesses so as to enable you continue to wield power, albeit behind the scenes. What you failed to realise is that history is replete with such actions and that it ALWAYS backfires on whoever set it in motion. Maybe you never thought the infirm will eventually die, because it is glaring that the nincompoop you handpicked to become his deputy is not only inept and incompetent, he is also very corrupt. He had been indicted in 2006 by a panel you set up and which was headed by the then head of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. But in your usually vengeful and dubious manner, you made him the Vice President against all known wisdom and judgment.
Like William Hazlitt quoted at the beginning of this thesis, ”The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocrisy.”
What you failed to realise sir, is that when a man is promoted beyond his level of competence, not even God can help him. Isn’t that why Jonathan is so clannish and defensive? Accuse Jonathan with facts and figures and the next thing you hear is, “oh! they are persecuting me because I am an Ijaw man from a minority tribe”. How does being a minority excuse incompetence and blatant pillaging of the national treasury? Like I earlier averred, Jonathan your protégé is taking his cue from your copybook and having surrounded himself with other men of despicable character and shady intentions, he has not only out-performed you in ignominy, he has obliterated every record know to man in thievery, stealing and official scam. There is a yourba saying that goes: “Eni a la jo, la ju” (when we take after a man, the tendency is to outperform him in all ramifications)
But president Jonathan should remember that history also teaches us that men like him not only end up badly, they are forever a byword in the footnote of obnoxious and unwanted history.
A word is enough for the wise.
I am Ayo Oyalowo.
My footprints can also be traced on twitter @Ayourb
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