(OPINION) Obasanjo’s Second Epistle To The President


Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo a moment ago released a second ‘special letter’ to the Presidential Villa. The former was directed to the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013 after their amiable relationship turned sour.
The leading episode that closely burlesqued the missive was an open letter from his daughter; Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello with sarcastic accusations. This time, President Muhammadu Buhari got his dose for purported inactions, and the presidency alongside All Progressives Congress (APC) has, accordingly responded. However, the responses weren’t as confrontational as earlier, rather more of answerability, responsibility or appraisal enumerating accomplishments and actions.
Significantly, Obasanjo equally zeroed the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) he led for over a decade until he distanced during Jonathan’s era after some mafias hijacked the party thereby made him practically irrelevant. In a nutshell, the so-long-a-letter called for a new political movement to salvage the nation from APC and PDP monumental failures.
The foulest blow was that the scorecard came after a leading presidential aspirant defected from the ruling APC to PDP, and if Obasanjo’s verdict must stand, it implies that the defection amounted to nothing, and there may be need to dump PDP again for a new political movement.
By Obasanjo’s assessment, the two dominant parties are no-go areas for incompetence. Incidentally, APC is still in power and therefore could take advantage of it to redeem itself but for PDP, a difficult task.
Besides, Obasanjo gave APC a pass mark in most areas but critically pointed out that its performance wasn’t satisfactory at the moment, hence, more or less exigent call for improvement. Of course, as elder statesman, Obasanjo is eligible to give advises to government, nonetheless more statesmanly when handled confidentially and unceremoniously.
As a matter of fact, some of the points raised in the letter are obvious to the people and global community. This is on account the economic recession was apparent and the citizens excruciatingly paid for it.
Similarly, President Buhari in his New Year broadcast highlighted the points albeit assured of a new dawn with litany of interventionist and capital projects spread across the nation.
By implication, any verdict on the government less than a month after the broadcast is flimsy, unjustifiable and biased, especially as the year’s appropriation bill hasn’t been signed into law.
Such assessment is aptly judicious towards the end of the year vis-à-vis the year’s blueprints as presented by the President. Conversely, the former President arguably, circuitously punctured PDP that ruled for sixteen years than APC that is less than three years in power.
A salient point patriotically made by Obasanjo that cannot be overemphasized is the increasing number of lives that have helplessly gone to early graves, and several others subjected to pathetic conditions in various Internally-Displaced Persons camps across the nation by man’s inhumanity to man.
Arising from that, the questions begging for answers are; could the ceaseless killings be politically-motivated for blackmails or truly communal crisis?
Indisputably, human lives are too precious, sacred for mere political intrigues and conspiracies. It isn’t convincing that the Russian Avtomat Kalashnikov assault rifles (AK-47) which range from $200 USD to thousands of dollars are acquired and operated by the herdsmen.
For example, the average global price of the assault rifle was valued at $574 in 2005 according to Oxford University economist, Phillip Killicoat. If the monetary values are as high as presented, logically, some affluent individuals with criminal and clandestine tendencies may be responsible for the supplies and selfishly mastermind the evil acts.
Probably, the vulnerable herdsmen are often misled, incited by unknown arrowheads through cohorts to attack other communities with assurances to fight in their defence. If not, could the itinerant herdsmen effectively and overpoweringly organize themselves to strike during critical periods?
Furthermore; where do the nomadic herdsmen secure the rifles after destructive operations, and why is the heinousness mostly interminable during political era especially when general election approaches? It is the height of wickedness for humans to be subjected to such brutality if for mere political power. Needless to say that politician that asininely generates tragedies for campaign purposes is a great disappointment.
Emphatically, leadership is characterized by vision, mission and altruism, and not despicability or braggartism. Whilst it is pragmatically germane for federal government to calibrate on its security tactics, it is imperative that state governors collaboratively supplement by setting up accessible conflict resolutions agencies in the local government areas in their respective states as preventive mechanism such that communal crisis could be amicably resolved before they metamorphose to mayhems.
As for 2019 presidential election, the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) is the sole determining factor, and not anyone’s opinions, hence pointless requesting or advising any eligible citizen to refrain from the race. With card readers and INEC’s determination as observed so far, the electoral umpire will do justice to the ultimate wishes of the people. Perhaps, Obasanjo is still living in the past when voters queue for queuing sake under the sun, and their votes never counted but who the powers that-be anointed.
That’s the greatest achievement; restoring power to the people which the memo failed to accentuate. In contemporary Nigeria, it is no longer business as usual but one-man; one-vote.
Umegboro, public affairs analyst wrote from Abuja / he can be reached via umegborocarl@gmail.com / 07057101974 (SMS only)
Opinion articles published by the New Nigerian Newspapers Online do not necessarily reflect the views of its management and staff, but remain solely those of the writers. You can reach our Online Editor via 08028332521 or newnigeriannews@gmail.com


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