OBJ and the stable door
Sir: In recent times, the activities of Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in the nation’s political space have become more visible than ever. Apart from the fact that his country home in Abeokuta is now a Mecca of some sort for political stalwarts belonging to different parties, he has also been sighted in the United Kingdom holding meetings with different groups of people and leaving a lot of people guessing as to what necessitated such meetings outside Nigeria.
Viewed from a point of what has now become an issue of national interest and concern drawing out almost all key senior citizens out of their shells, the first response is for anyone following happenings in Nigeria with keen interest to applaud in glowing terms the moves by the former president to reconcile with his former adversaries in a bid to chart the way forward for the country.
Events in Nigeria in the last couple of years have thrown up such a wide spectrum of issues that most citizens are confused about which leader to support. On the one hand, there are those deeply in agitations for secession while on the other, many are also in the camp of those who believe firmly in the indivisibility of Nigeria.
How the agitators of division hope to realise their aim is difficult to understand and going by the approach each seems to adopt, it is doubtful if anything tangible can ever be achieved. Because anyone who thinks any sitting president will be ready to preside over a divided country must have his head examined. Besides, is it even possible for any single individual to take such unilateral decision without inputs from the legislature at both the national and state levels? If therefore any division is going to have any measure of success, shouldn’t the process begin from the legislative houses so that once it receives an overwhelming support and it’s passed, the president will only need to assent to it for it to take effect?
With due respect, Obasanjo had the first eight years of the current democracy to himself and if he had laid a very good foundation, Nigeria by now would have recorded a very great level of success in almost all its sectors and citizens would have started reaping the dividends of democracy. Mind you, it’s not as if Obasanjo’s regime was a colossal failure. But the simple truth is that he left many things undone and even what can be said to be his major achievements are neither here nor there. A proverb says that it’s unwise to lock the stable door after the horse had bolted. This is exactly what the former president is currently doing.
Jide Oyewusi, coordinator of Ethics Watch International, wrote in from Lagos.