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Permit me to correct Obasanjọ

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[FILES] Chief Olusegun Obasanjo


Sir: The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Ọlayiwọla Adeyẹmi III, has shouted that Yoruba security is not to be compromised, speaking one voice with the former president, General Olusẹgun Ọbasanjo (OBJ) and the Ọọni of Ifẹ, Ọba Ogunwusi, Ọjaja II. On what do I disagree with OBJ? In 2014 when their government was proposing economic summit to resolve the economic deficit of the nation, I told the Ghanaians that no economic summit would solve the crisis, rather the government should work against corruption (Boko Haram) and put the nation’s priorities right. The summit never held. I said a similar thing to Nigerians when the former President, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan was going to organise his own national summit around the same time. I said he should prioritise ending governmental terrorism against the Boko Haram Islamic sect-community of men, women and children that did not attack anybody until attacked and to tame corruption (Boko Haram). I added that the recommendations of the Abacha and OBJ national conferences had not been implemented (even till date).

Unlike in Ghana, Jonathan bribed some powerful traditional rulers and religious leaders (Islamic and Christian) and the summit held with whopping sums of money squandered, as usual. As could be envisaged, Jonathan did not implement the recommendations of his summit. Notwithstanding the carnage and economic destruction of Nigeria, coupled with unbridled corruption, Jonathan expected to get reelected by all means, hoping that Nigerians would vote for him based on the conference he organised. The current President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB), learnt from him and put everything in place to rig the election by holding clandestine meetings with the Chairman of the electoral commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu and removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria by all means, etc.
Prof. Olojeede Oyeniran Abioje, University of Ilorin.

The latest letter by OBJ to GMB is as commendable as ever. But I disagree with OBJ stating that, “government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society.” I hold that Nigeria already have enough of conferences; what remains is implementation. There can be no solution without peace with Boko Haram and the Shiites, implying depoliticisation of Islam and Christianity, and getting herdsmen to create ranches for themselves rather than roaming agrarian communities. And of course, GMB must stop doubling himself as the Petroleum minister and recovering looted funds without accountability for anything to anybody.

The Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive arms of government can transform Nigeria by changing their own approaches to governance without any security summit that would be distractive and financially strangulating. No security summit will make any difference if Boko Haram and the Shiites are not allowed to exist as peacefully as under the presidency of OBJ; if Islam and Christianity are not depoliticised; if winners continue taking all without any qualm, etc. Is Nigeria financially sustainable with 36 states and 774 local governments? We are told that too many Nigerian children are out of school. Are too many Nigerian adults not out of job and faced with skyrocketing hyper inflation due to all forms of governmental terrorism? Why must GMB order a military General to drive in the direction of the processing Shiites? Etc, etc, etc.
Prof. Olojeede Oyeniran Abioje, University of Ilorin

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Olusegun Obasanjo
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