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Obasanjo’s coalition: Third force or farce

By Chijioke Mbaka Ogonnaya
09 February 2018   |   3:45 am
Olusegun Obasanjo and his cohorts have launched his proposed third force, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement. But Nigerians will take only one look at it before tossing it into the garbage dump.

Olusegun Obasanjo

Olusegun Obasanjo and his cohorts have launched his proposed third force, the Coalition for Nigeria Movement. But Nigerians will take only one look at it before tossing it into the garbage dump. This is no third force! This is no real coalition of Nigerians! This is a farce: the third farce. The purveyors are just rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic: their undertaking is never meant to serve any useful or enduring purpose. It is a sham, a front put up to deceive innocent Nigerians and lead them once again down the already treaded path of confusion, illusion, pain and regret. The coalition is a product of deception and will bring forth nothing good. The chief proponent has no moral background to ever think he can lead Nigeria in a new direction. He has never ever had that noble intention nor ever tried to do so. He has just embarked on another narcissist induced sojourn in which the innocent hopes of Nigerians will be brutally traded for political ends, ends completely personal and highly parochial. Propelling him on this journey is a devilish impulse to cut down real and imagined personal political enemies, regardless of how Nigeria fares in the process.

It is really ironical that Obasanjo, a former president and former leader of PDP, would wash his hands off the rot in a party he single-handedly derailed and spoiled, and then present himself as a paragon of beauty and the harbinger of a new Nigeria. It is strange that he should give the impression that PDP deviated from the right path, turned foul and became an eyesore to Nigerians only when he left the party. This is a big lie. The notion is only an evidence of great deception. The truth is that Obasanjo was the personification of PDP at the height of its rottenness. He was in charge when the party throw away internal democracy, rigged elections massively, made thugs and hit men out of our youths, introduced Ghana Must Go into our socio-economic and political life, embezzled our resources, sold off our national assets, institutionalized the importation of fuel, crushed our growing hopes in a better Nigeria after the military debacle, trampled on our goodwill, and deified and placed itself above the law. He oversaw all these. The fact is that, now in his absence, PDP is slowly beginning to remake itself.

But that does not mean Nigeria does not need a third force. Sure we do. But that force should not be another platform peddled by politicians who grew and benefitted from the old order, and who have since lost the capacity to accommodate new ways of doing things.

The third force should rather be a force of Nigerians from every station and walk of life, armed with their PVCs, ready to troop out en masse to vote out a clueless and nonperforming government, and enthrone another who to them shall seem most likely to ensure their security and prosperity. It should be a force of diligent and politically conscientised Nigerians who will no longer be taken for granted by their political leaders, and who are capable of recalling errant and ‘unrepresentative’ representatives and frustrating bad leadership at all levels of governance. That force should be the rising of ordinary men and women of this country with a new belief in ‘people power’ and a conviction that they can demand and get the best from any government, anywhere and anytime.

Surely, Nigeria does not need another platform whose main aim is to juggle for power. No! Not a force of erstwhile raiders and pillagers of the country who are seeking a fresh ground to begin a new game; not a force of disgruntled politicians looking for the cheapest way to achieve political ends; not a force proposed and led by a man who was a bad leader in his time, who was frustrated in his dubious tenure elongation bid, and who seeks at all times to put a leader of his own making on the throne. This third force is a farce and a charade. The intention behind it is misrepresented. It does not and will never represent the interest of Nigerians. It wants to ride to pre-eminence on the wings of popular sentiment. This coalition is only interested in 2019. It is now masquerading as a genuine non-party platform for national good but will in no time metamorphose into a political party with the members out to grab power for themselves. These people want to take Nigeria on a ride and Obasanjo is on the driver’s seat.

However, Obasanjo will certainly not find the grounds on which to stand and convince Nigerians of the genuineness of his quest. It will take a lot more for all Nigerians especially us youths to be deceived. To a few, though, his current acts of shenanigans may seem like an indirect atonement for his long years of misrule and missed opportunities. But they need not be deceived; the Ota farmer is never repentant. He thinks Nigerians are stupid. If not, why does he force himself into our national psyche at every political twist and turn? He thinks Nigeria is a servile political landscape where he would continue to practicing his dark art of presidential pick and drop. Fortunately Nigerians now see through his gimmicks. They are wise to his every move and would not allow him to sell them short again. Once bitten, twice shy.

Nigerians will definitely have their way in 2019 despite Obasanjo’s third force, coalition or any other thing he may concoct. We know he is plagued by chronic fears: fears of his nemesis, Atiku Abubakar, becoming the president of Nigeria. His attack on PDP was informed by this very fact. And if Obasanjo thinks that his current misadventure will decimate the opposition and pave the way for Buhari’s re-election, he should better be prepared for the greatest disappointment of his political life.