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BACKLASH:Merciful Lord, Let OBJ Live Forever




I WISH our former President Chief (General) Olusegun Matthew Aremu Obasanjo, also called OBJ for convenience, could live forever. The man is absolutely, I repeat, absolutely, central to the survival of Nigeria. If it is not possible to beg God (or even the devil) to make OBJ live forever to keep Nigeria alive, we should at least do everything that is humanly possible to give him long live and, I can add, prosperity.

He should not lack anything. If he feels like abusing a sitting president, we should collectively appeal to whoever that is sitting in Aso Rock Villa to oblige him. If he eventually becomes a member of the APC and changes his mind after a brief or long stay and wants to tear his membership card, we should make the card tearing ceremony bigger than the other time he tore his PDP card, by inviting CNN, BBC, Aljezera and other international media to do the coverage.

If he wants to expand his marital empire, we should ensure he gets the best, a lot better than the new one Comrade Oshiomhole has got. To make his unparalleled by whatever measurement, we should package a honeymoon for him and his heartthrob in space. If in addition to being the Balogun of Owu, he desires to become the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, the Sardauna of Sokoto and even Eze Gburugburu of Igbo land, we should appeal to all the concerned traditional authorities to grant his request.

The man is a great man and nothing whatsoever should be allowed to deflate his ego. Even if it requires shuttling outside planet Earth to get what he wants to be happy, let’s try and do so. Just for the records, he is the first Nigerian to move from prison to the presidency. He is also the first Nigerian to be begged twice to become head of state; first in 1976, after the failed February 13 coup, in which then military head of state, General Murtala Mohammed, was killed, and again, in 1999, at the dawn of this democracy. He holds exclusive titles in so many other things. He is the first military leader, in the whole of Africa, I suppose, to willingly surrender power to an elected government.

Actually, OBJ loves exclusivity. That is why I am not particularly pleased with the ascendancy of General Buhari, who is coming after 30 years, as the second Nigerian, after OBJ, to rule the country as military and civilian head of state. Maybe what we can do to create a difference, no matter how small, is to get back to the military authorities and ask that OBJ be promoted to the rank of a Field Marshal.

This will bring in several firsts into his bag honours. He will be the first Nigerian soldier to be promoted to that rank. He will also be the first to be promoted 36 years after leaving the service and the first, outside Idi Amin of Ugandan, to be named Field Marshal in peace time.

To retain this exclusivity, we must ensure that no other Nigerian soldier, serving or retired, living or dead, including General Yakubu Gowon, is promoted a Field Marshal. This is not too much to do in appreciation of the patriotism Obasanjo has exhibited since independence. He has been the only one showing the way forward at critical national crossroads. When the civil war was not making good progress with the likes of the Black Scorpion, Benjamin Adekunle and even Murtala Mohammed in the frontline, he swiftly stepped in, and in no time, got one Colonel Philip Effiong to hand over the Biafran State to him on January 15 1970.

After the June 12, 1993 presidential election had been annulled by General Ibrahim Babangida, and everybody’s head was uprooted by the upheavals that attended the annulment, and there was trouble in the land, OBJ was the only one, who still had his head sitting on his shoulders. He saw far beyond others, and calmly counseled Nigerians that Chief MKO Abiola, who won the election and for whom the people were prepared to lay down their lives, was not the expected Messiah.

His prophesy of a coming Messiah was fulfilled in himself in 1999. When he returned in 1999, after 20 years, Nigeria was breathless under a choking burden of external debt of tens of billions in dollars. He rallied the creditors, bargained very hard like a street hustler and got a handsome reprieve of about 50 per cent of the total debt stock. He, thereafter, issued a cheque to pay the balance of $20 billion, the same way I will issue a cheque to pay my rent or a ward’s school fee at the beginning of an academic year. He had performed many other miracles, including building the foreign reserves from almost zero degree to a whooping $67 billion.

BUt Nigerians are not convinced. It is nothing new; it is the fate of all Messiahs. They are almost always misunderstood by the subsisting generations. For instance, till date, the Jews are still waiting for the coming of the Messiah more than 2,000 years after the death of Jesus Christ. The sociological counter forces notwithstanding, Messiahs do not usually give up and it has been so with OBJ. He had genuinely, in the national interest, wanted a tenure extension to do more for Nigeria as president, but he was rudely checkmated by these counter forces.

He was not discouraged because Messiahs must live through their purpose anyhow. He still searched diligently through the colony of presidential aspirants, in 2007, and got a good combination that would continue from where he was stopped by the counter forces. He graciously offered the vessel of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan to take Nigeria to destination. When the ship ran into a turbulent storm midstream following the incapacitation and eventual demise of the captain, the Messiah was woken up from a quick nap to speak to and calm the raging storm.

Unfortunately, the PDP became either blind or too drunk with power to understand that the exit of Saviour Obasanjo from the state ship could spell doom. The ship became rudderless in high sea heading in no definite direction. When time came for another intervention to point the way forward, OBJ abandoned his own vessel to completely go under. It was probably to teach the stubborn captain a bitter lesson for refusing to follow the established navigational rules. The Messiah has bluntly refused to heed calls by the frightened passengers on board of the PDP ship for help.

OBJ has since moved on board the new ship. Ever selfless and ready to serve his fatherland, he does not wait to be solicited before he offers his services free of charge. He has dutifully counseled the incoming captain on possible locations of cataracts in the vast water way. One of his many service outlets called Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library has conducted an extensive research on “major social challenges facing Nigeria.”

The resultant report was described in one media mention as a “strategic development plan containing templates that would assist the incoming government to rapidly achieve its objective of taking the nation a notch higher.”

Last week, Prof Akin Mabogunje, who is chairman of the Governing Board of the Centre, submitted the report to the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) in Abuja. He stressed that the document would help the President-elect to restructure Nigeria. I have not seen the report and so I cannot say if the Prof is talking about restructuring this country into a true federal system.

All the same, the President-elect was said to be full of praises and thanked the living messiah for ‘useful tips’ that even President Jonathan in his ‘cluelessness’ has not been able to offer less than two weeks to hand-over.

OBJ will always be there for Nigeria and Nigerians when it matters most. Can you now see why he has to live forever? Who would play this vital role of a national pathfinder if OBJ were to someday yield to the mortality of this physical world? May you live and rule forever, dear Messiah!

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  • Emancipation

    Thank you. Aremu is the man.

  • Alex Walker

    True talk, for this is the bitter truth. OBJ is a ‘down to earth’ man

  • Fairgame

    Apt. Well written. And we will see what becomes of the ‘messiah’ . Obj like many African rulers Mugabe for instance have remained the clog in the wheels of national progress because of their messiah complex.but soon their folly will be evident to all. God not Obj is in control in Nigeria. Even the scheming of evil men will not stop God’s purpose from coming to pass on Nigeria. We continue to watch and pray.

  • Sunshine

    ???????????. NO COMMENT. ??

  • olamide

    What is your point after beating around the bush,don,t forget gej said that their is three president,one elected the order two is unelect ,count obj as second ,guess the third …….sanusi lamido

  • amador kester

    Now its time for practicals test..Since you like this man so much i suggest you quickly draw up an implementation timetable to : get him the most beautiful bride from the moon and arrange the ultimate honeymoon trip to the moon, or just buy him the moon outright if you did not encounter anyone there to buy you instead , then bestow on him if you can , the kakanfo of all yorubaland, next award him an exotic grand order of niger star thus warning any pretender tussling for that new order you just created to hold his mouth shut for now, promote him a field marshall in retirement though not tired yet, prepare his possibly favourite dish of amala,gbegiri,ewedu and others on daily basis to grace his equally possibly heroic appetite, buy him a boeing jet to facilitate his global shuttles as a global,emminent personality and finally did you claim or mention long life too? I am sorry only the grace of GOD can do that.As well as any good thing we ever accomplished in life

  • OBJ, the thing that undermined and sabotaged the platform that facilitated his becoming President of a country with population of allegedly >150 million people, twice. The thing that allegedly slept with his daughter in-law. Definitely not a desirable creature. Bad deeds never overwhelmed good deeds.

    Time shall tell.

  • GE

    OBJ, one of the greatest Nigerian ever

  • Izeobor

    I am beginning to think that OBJ is transcendental If care is not taken, this writer would nominate OBJ as Nigeria’s ambassador to Hell.

  • Jimmy Essiet

    Your satirical pieces are really driving the point home. Attaboy!

  • Emeka

    Hahahahhhahahhahh!!!! I can stop laugh, so satirical and hyperbolic filled ,that one can posses these quality. Obj live oooooo forever !!! Onye amuma Elijah and the only nigerian messaiah.

  • Mazi JO

    Well, the narrative of humans. It is never out-rightly good or woefully evil. OBJ is human and has done many things that stand out perfectly and others that stand to be deplored. That’s the enigma in references for judgment, prompting the saying that, sometimes, there is a goodness in things evil. Now, the research handed to the fledgling Administration by Prof. Akin Mabogunje of the OBJ Presidential Library, as the National affairs get bogged down in the Legislative and Executive branches of our government, questions the mind, the purpose in this piece. The Election is just concluded, the Administration is feeling its feet, the Legislators are at each other’s ‘dashikis’ tugging so tightly to strangle and the people, watching helplessly in horror. Hope you are not suggesting it is time once again for the OBJ’s windows of rescue. Nothing has gone wrong yet; not terribly wrong. We realize the public has little patience but it will be wise to have it(the public) see through to an extent, the reposed mandate on the present leadership before this nostalgia of the past conductors of our affairs. We must hunker down now, set our branches of government ready, take off in unison and watch these elements for a year into action at least, before the comparative resonance of past situations.