I watched former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Channels TV speak on the insecurity in the country and how decomposing and fast dissolving Nigeria is. On the same occasion he unapologetically declared the “mad passion” he has for Nigeria, stating that Nigeria needs a leader with mad passion for his country to take us out of the mess we now find ourselves
For me the elder statesman does not deserve an applaud because the ex president is one of those that destroyed the unity of Nigeria and laid down the foundation for the destruction of Nigeria.
Under the Nigeria’s 1960 independence constitution and 1963 Republican constitution, the over two hundred and fifty nationalities in Nigeria expressed in three and later four regions led by the founding fathers of Nigeria, agreed to live together as one Nigeria on the conditions that each region shall be autonomous. That each region shall have it’s police. That each region shall own all the natural resources on its land, generate revenue and pay tax to the central government while keeping lion share for the development and advancement of each region. This evidently brought about healthy rivalry amongst the four regions.
Unfortunately and regrettably came the military interregnum in Nigeria during which period Nigeria was converted from a true fiscal federal state to a unitary state. In 1979 when it was time to return power to a civilian government, out of providence General Olusegun Obasanjo was the head of the military junta in charge of the transition. He had the opportunity to restructure the country back to a true fiscal federal state but he failed to do so. Instead he and his cohorts under the guise of changing Nigeria from parliamentary system to presidential system of government destroyed the unity of Nigeria.
With the Nigerian 1979 constitution they robbed the component parts of their autonomy by creating a central government with over concentration of powers. They robbed the component parts of their natural resources by placing them in the control of the central government. They also destroyed the policing system of the country. In fact, they ended up branding Nigeria as a Federal State when in actual fact we are a unitary State. Here lies the problem of Nigeria to this day.
In 1999 under the fraudulent, deceitful, dubious and evil document called the Nigerian constitution which was fashioned after the 1979 constitution, Obasanjo again out of providence was elected president of Nigeria. He went on to govern Nigeria for a two term of four years each. During his eight in office he once again had the golden opportunity to restructure the country but refused to. He instead involved himself in pursuing his third term agenda which crashed. No sooner than he left office he became an emergency activist, wailing all over the place, playing to the gallery and writing love letters to the government on things that he should have ordinarily corrected while in office. Issues like the establishment of state police, the autonomy to the states, decentralisation of powers, resource control, revenue allocation and the secularity of Nigeria.
By the way have you heard Obasanjo make any public statement condemning the gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel for blasphemy by some religious fanatics? Oh no, he will not make any, after all poor Deborah is just one of the inconsequential victims out of several millions affected by his inaction and compromise. Between 1999 and 2000 Obasanjo allowed 12 Northern States to declare themselves as Sharia States using public funds to institutionalise and implement the Sharia criminal law justice system in flagrant violation of the Nigerian 1999 constitution. Instead of welding the big stick Obasanjo looked the other way because he wanted a second term and also wanted to please the North who hand picked him from jail, sponsored him and massively voted for him unlike in the South were he lost even in his own ward.
Under Obasanjo’s watch Nigerians got their arms, legs amputated for stealing, flogged, sentenced to death by stoning to death for blasphemy and adultery while he refused, failed and/or neglected to sanction these States or take steps to protect the fundamental rights of the minorities, non Muslims and Muslims alike in these States. He laughed over the treasonable act of the 12 Northern States governors describing their declarations and actions as political Sharia that will die a natural death. Today, we all now know better that President Obasanjo’s inaction has helped in no small measure to create a bench mark for the implementation and institutionalisation of the Sharia criminal justice system in Nigeria. which if not checked can lead us to a ethno – religious war .
Still on the secularity of Nigeria, Obasanjo did not help matters when he endorsed Nigeria’s membership of the rganisation of Islamic Cooperation. Got Nigeria to subscribe to the body and attended the OIC conference when in actual fact Nigeria is a secular state as per section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (As amended.)
Come to think of it, why will Obasanjo not have mad passion for Nigeria when from his very poor background, out of providence and not out of the dint of hard work, reaping where he did not sow, he became the head and number one citizen of Nigeria twice?
Why will Obansanjo not have mad passion for Nigeria when nobody has been able to call him to account on many allegations? Why will Obansanjo not have mad passion foNigeria when he is being celebrated by Nigerians who like he rightly noted in his recent press conference have short memories? Obasanjo introduced laziness to Nigeria’s governance where many states without contributing anything to the national purse are entitled to monthly allocation from the center.
As palliative to the people of the Niger Delta, Obasanjo established the Niger Delta Development Commission in the year 2000 with the sole mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria and to him that is more than enough as he recently declared that all the oil in the Niger Delta belongs to Nigeria . Tell me where in the world that this can happen except in the Nigeria where the government can seize the property of a region and claim that it belongs to the entire country?