A certain pot-bellied former Nigerian ruler has an autobiography (most likely ghost-written for him) to promote and an over-bloated ego to massage.
He has been making all sorts of pronouncements on the non-performance of Goodluck Jonathan, the corruption of the regime, how Goodluck is destroying his “good works”, endorsing the APC presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari, and so on.
His latest offering is that Goodluck is scared that Buhari will jail him if he loses, and that Jonathan is playing “do or die” politics.
I am talking about none other than two-time ruler Olusegun Obasanjo, who is so utterly shameless that he is chronically incapable of being embarrassed by his brazen hypocrisy.
For starters, if there is one former ruler that should be afraid of being jailed by an incoming ruler, it is Obasanjo. He was rotting in Jos Prison until his jailer and dictator Sani Abacha died in office. Nigerians’ delight in Abacha’s passing turned into misfortune when it unleashed a chain of events that led to Obasanjo’s release from prison and his becoming president in 1999.
Not long after his ascension, Obasanjo was to send soldiers to commit mass murder in the Niger Delta town of Odi. He repeated this in Zaki Biam and neighbouring villages in Benue State in which over 200 civilians were massacred by soldiers, ordered by Obasanjo. Obasanjo’s response to this crime against humanity was that “soldiers are trained to kill”.
He was in London last week promoting his book, but should have been hauled before the International Criminal Court. This failure in delivering justice for Obasanjo’s victims was like a licence for this “pot” to pontificate about black “kettles”.
What “good works” of Obasanjo is Goodluck ruining? Goodluck’s is a continuation of the Obasanjo regime. Obasanjo handpicked Umaru Yar’Adua to replace him as president in 2007 and chose Goodluck as Yar’Adua’s Number Two. This was precisely because he saw them as his stay out of jail card. After a major falling out with his vice president Abubakar Atiku, who himself had eyes on the presidency, Obasanjo was concerned that Atiku could jail him for corruption if he succeeded Obasanjo.
In eight years of Obasanjo misrule, power supply got worse despite about $16bn invested in fictitious projects, Nigeria’s four refineries stayed out of action despite billions of dollars spent on maintenance, our federal highways deteriorated despite billions spent on contracts to improve them, while Obasanjo’s kleptocracy exploded to previously unseen levels. In his eight years, it was estimated that $4-8bn was lost a year due to corruption.
Obasanjo now claims that Goodluck wants to turn this (s)election into a “do or die” affair, forgetting he was the one that introduced that phrase into Nigerian political lexicon in 2007, as he deployed the machinery of state in massively rigging the (s)elections that swept Yar’Adua and Goodluck into power. Poet Niyi Osundare wrote at the time “you have done and Nigeria has died”.
Why is Obasanjo visiting his hypocrisy on us? It has precious little to do with him being upset because of Goodluck’s failures as a president. It is purely because after the “do or die” to impose Goodluck on us, the puppet that Obasanjo thought was going to dance to the depraved tune of his puppet-master, chose to do his own thing. And hell hath no fury like an arrogant godfather scorned. His preening, thieving, pampered, massaged and overinflated ego has been hurt and Obasanjo is throwing all his toys out of the pram.
In the well-upholstered bubble of his “Hilltop Mansion” built with stolen funds in Abeokuta, surrounded by a retinue of flunkeys and court-jesters, with a backdrop of having misruled and mismanaged Nigeria for a total of 11 years, and even trying to bully and bribe legislators into changing the constitution to extend his tenure, Obasanjo has convinced himself that he is some sort of “emperor” of Nigeria. It’s time he got a reality check that the “emperor has no clothes”.
He claimed he has given up on politricks and was now a “statesman”. No sir. You are not. You are a mass murderer and deserve to spend the rest of your wretched life in jail, paying your debt to Nigerian society for your multitude of crimes against our people. Fela Kuti called you, quite rightly, an “International Thief Thief”.
In Nigeria we have a saying, “many days for the thief, one day for the owner of the house”. Thief Obasanjo, your day of reckoning is coming, hopefully sooner rather than later.