Published On: Tue, May 24th, 2022

President Olusegun Obasanjo And His Mad Passion For Nigeria

By Chief (Barr.) Malcolm  Omirhobo

LAGOS MAY 24TH (URHOBOTODAY)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 .

To the uniformed Nigerian  , the elder statesman  deserves an applaud   but for me he does not deserve  one because the ex president  is one  of those that destroyed the unity of  Nigeria and laid down  the foundation for the destruction of Nigeria if we don’t wise up . More annoying is the  audacity and impunity with which he goes about  playing on the  intelligence  of Nigerians , misinforming  and disorientating them .  

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 declared 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  Organisation 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 citizen of Nigeria twice  ?

Why will Obansanjo not  have mad passion for Nigeria when he like many of our leaders of his generation  have  amassed wealth that he does  not need   and cannot defend ?

Why will Obansanjo not  have mad passion for Nigeria when he has corruption allegations   hanging on his head and nobody have being able to  call him to account ?

Why will Obansanjo not  have mad passion for Nigeria when he is being celebrated by Nigerians who like he rightly noted in his recent press conference  have short memories  ?

Yes indeed Nigerians have short memories because if they don’t they should have remembered that Obasanjo is the one that created the problem of restructuring that we are all talking about today . Restructuring is all about undoing the injustice done by Obasanjo and his cohorts. If Nigerians memories are  not short they would have remembered  that Obasanjo introduced laziness to Nigeria’s governance  where many states without contributing  any thing  to the national purse  are  entitled to monthly allocation from the  center .

.As palliative to the people  of the Niger Delta,   who have been robbed of their oil and whose land and waters have been and is being polluted by oil exploration and thereby  depriving them of their  source of livelihood , 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 kind  of  banditry 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 ? Just thinking aloud ,  If the oil deposits in Nigeria were found in the North or West of Nigeria  would they have agreed to share with others ?

Fellow Nigerians , I urge us  to always read and research about our  ex leaders , our  serving  leaders and would be leaders so that we  can be well  informed and knowledgeable . With knowledge,   nobody can insult our  intelligence,  fool us or push us  around  like the gullible  Roman mob .

Chief (Barr.) Malcolm Omirhobo  a lawyer and human right activist writes from Lagos


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