Retired General Obasanjo, p-l-e-a-s-e let Nigeria be! – Tola Adenle

November 14, 2012

Arts & Culture

What to make of  the former Nigeria’s head of state’s recent “revolution” speech at  OECD’s Dakar Conference is not that difficult.  The former Nigerian president is not just  forever looking for how to be in the news and be relevant but sadly, he seems to forget that he ruled Nigeria for eight of its first back-to-civilian-government since 1999 AS WELL AS ruled the same country as a military leader back in the 1970s.  Perhaps more than those facts, the present chaotic presidential system which is unsuited to Nigeria’s multi-ethnic composition and its very expensive structure was foistered on the country by the same man.

Recently, he blurted out a fact known to most Nigerians – to the whole world – that “Nigerian legislators are thieves …

Now, he has criticized Jonathan for being slow in the handling of the Boko Haram terrorism and Jonathan and his predecessor, Late Alhaji Yar Adua for being “soft on corruption”!Mr.

Former Mr. President,

  1.  who threatened death to Nigerians if Yar Adua’s (s)election was protested “the prerogative of violence” being government’s and warned those protesters that they would regret it after chaos broke out after the 2007 charade of elections?
  2. Who catapulted Jonathan from deputy governor of a tiny state to governor and then vice president AND president, and what leadership qualities did you see in him then that have now disappeared?

Sir, as a newspaper essayist during your presidency, I was a supporter even though I, like most in Yoruba-land did not vote for you because of the company you were in – the PDP which had from the beginning a motley crowd of mostly questionable characters in its leadership and had never lived its ugliness down; it was not long before you lost that support and it showed in my writings to the end of your presidency.

I remember many people close to me and a few of my fellow newspaper writers did suggest I should not take the approach that you were the one to blame for most of the country’s problems.  I disagreed.  The top is where the structure of a country can be affected; leadership by example is what I think it’s called.

You talked grandly of fighting corruption but the reality on [your presidency’s] ground was anything but and this is not a forum for all those missed opportunities you had to show you meant what you preached.  You did not walk the talk in zillions of reported cases:  your Obasanjo Library for which governors  supposedly “donated” N50 million each from their states’ meager resources; Andy Uba – he later “won” Anambra’s governorship … Ribadu’s EFCC which apparently only pursued your political opponents, etcetera.  Of course I wrote about all these.

Mr. Former President, DO, LEAVE NIGERIA ALONE because you set the table at which her citizens are now dining on the wastes from the ruling class’ greed & corruption that you had the chance to fight but did not.

You conducted a head count that worked to an answer arrived at NOT in the cities, towns and villages of the country but in some darkened room where men and women with eyes on their pocket books took their orders.

You conducted the worst elections in the country’s history and forced a lot people who were either incompetents and/or known fraudsters, people with reported  questionable credentials, jail returnees from America, etcetera on a country that accepted your election as president even though it was a very flawed election.

All Nigeria ever wanted at the time – and even now – is a chance for this country to be allowed to achieve its potential as a nation and then a great nation.  You deprived us that chance and so have lost ALL moral right to what has now become posturings for ALL TIME.

TOLA ADENLE, November 14, 2012.

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