Obasanjo as the longest serving Head of Government in Nigeria was one Nigerian who could easily have changed Nigeria with a stroke of his pen, if he had any motivation to do so. Murtala Mohammed once tried to do that for only 200 days before he was cut down, execution style, by
Dimkar’s bullets in broad day light at Alagbon Close Ikoyi on that fateful morning in Lagos. My office was a stone throw from the spot. I literarily saw Dimkar and his boys, from a safe distance; bombard his official car with AK47. There was no way the General would have escaped.
His assassination has earned him martyrdom forever in our country, because we knew he died for Nigeria in much the same way like Tafawa Balewa, Aguiyi Ironsi and Adekunle Fajuyi have done. Adekunle Fajuyi in particular didn’t have to die, if he had willingly surrendered Aguiyi Ironsi. He refused to do that as a true Yoruba soldier and he would forever remain a hero in our estimation till the end of time. Any leader who truly wants to redeem Nigeria, must be willing to die for Nigeria or losing his popularity to do what is right for our country. Awolowo was that kind of man by refusing to join forces with the Northern People’s Congress at the time, because the ideological divide between the conservatives and the progressives was far too big for Awolowo to swallow or compromise
Rigging elections at every opportunity is never going to salvage our country. It is going to destroy it. That is the powerful lesson that Ghana our next neighbor and South Africa, to mention a few, have embraced, thanks to Jerry Rawlings and Madiba Nelson Mandela Neither Obasanjo nor his self-appointed successor has fully understood that concept. In more civilized countries where election rigging are never so blatantly institutionalized like Nigeria, Obasanjo’s Party, the PDP could never have won the202007 elections in a landslide based on her track record. Yar’adua would never have been elected President based on his poor health and his inability to articulate what is it he really wanted to do for Nigeria.
Yar’adua is a leader without a plan or a vision unlike his senior brother whose track record and loyalty in public office was probably the only factor Obasanjo had considered in picking him over and above firebrands like Abubakar Rimi and other well qualified Nigerians from the North. The point Obasanjo has failed to publicly admit was his determination to just impose on the nation a subordinate he could manipulate and push around after leaving office.
That was the reason the three Nigerians I am putting on the spot, in this article, are still in office today, following the Obasanjo script with the persistence of a demon. Obasanjo is therefore the fourth Nigerian, but I refuse to dwell much on his role right now, because he is out of office as President, and his credibility as Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees has been seriously damaged or compromised by some of his inequities in and out of office.
His latest was the selection of Ayoka Olusola Adebayo as electoral commissioner for Ekiti. You can clearly see the handwriting of Obasanjo in the sudden retreat of Mrs. Adebayo from the previous position she has taken in her purported letter of resignation she herself has not denied.. I knew she was railroaded into announcing fake results proclaiming candidate Oni as the winner of an election that Dr. Fayemi has clearly won as we are going to prove shortly. Even though desperate efforts are being made by the PDP hoodlums and Obasanjo’s thugs to destroy all forensic evidence of ballot tampering, as we speak, Dr. Fayemi and the AC have enough evidence to prove their case against the PDP.
As a former Head of State, a 4 star General and Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Obasanjo has assured Mrs. Adebayo that nothing is going to happen to her. Once Mrs Adebayo got that assurance, she forgot all about her widely publicized resignation letter, and what it says, and how that letter might come back to haunt her when the case goes back to court.. As a matter of fact, Mrs Adebayo has anticipated that move when she bold-facedly advised the AC and Dr. Fayemi they are free to go to court, if they do not like what she did. That was Obasanjo at work. Make no mistake about it.
Obasanjo only pays lip service to Democracy and how it should be practiced in the third world. He does not believe in sanitizing election fraud in Nigeria. He loves himself and his wallet far more than he loves the Nigerian nation. I often wonder how he managed to get invited as an observer to the South Africa elections. His track record at home on election malfeasance ought to have disqualified him, I thought. I can understand Jimmy Carter playing the observer role around the world, sending Obasanjo is like sending Idi Amin, the conqueror of the British Empire to consolidate democracy around the world.
Obasanjo would be the first to always swear by the Bible how much he loves Nigeria and how much sacrifice he has personally made to keep Nigeria one. But ever since Obasanjo failed to appreciate the relevance of a sound electoral reform to the survival of Nigeria, nothing else matters, in my judgment. Obasanjo would go down as a failure for not standing up for the sanctity of electoral justice in our country. I draw your attention to the full ramifications of the election rigging in Ekiti all in the name of Democracy, 20and the pivotal role of Obasanjo in that development as we speak.
I respectfully submit in this article that electoral reform has become the front and back and centre of Nigeria’s problems today. Some might argue it is lack of faith in God or lack of education or literacy for the great majority of our citizens that is holding our country back. Some may even attribute the malaise to lack of patriotism on the part of Nigerians. I concede that those who make such excuses may have a point, but if you really think about the subject like I do with passion, there is more to the Nigerian problem than either faith or religion, or education and patriotism per se.
We cannot claim to practice representative and participatory Democracy in Nigeria as long as our electoral base or foundation remain ever so fraudulent and totally bastardized by our leaders only pay lip service to the concept of free and fair elections with what has just happened in Ekiti, there is nothing to hope for in 2011. Yar’adua would be proclaimed the winner again whether Nigerians like it or not.
The abracadabra that has just emerged in Ido Osi Local Government for candidate Oni of Ekiti would be multiplied nation-wide to20return Yar’adua by a landslide, one more time, even from his sick bed in Mayo Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Some of the returning officers in those elections are going to be dye-in-the-wool Church goers and Muslims like you and me. We can change the country, if we refuse to go along to get along.
The Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Report surely got it right when it recommended that the status quo was totally unacceptable but our good-for-nothing President is saying no because there was no way he could win a free and fair election in Nigeria with his track record. Winning elections is no Rocket Science. If you have performed well, you win, like Governor Fashola is going to win if he runs a hundred times in Lagos because people can see what he has done. Fashola is the candidate who ought to run for President in Nigeria. I take off my heart again for the next leader of the Yorubas who has given us Fashola to redeem the good name and reputation of the Yoruba in Government just like Awolowo, Jakande , Ajasin, Tinubu and Fashola have done in Lagos to their everlasting credit. Elections are not about the past but the future but using the past as a side view mirror to predict the future.
I can tell you that Nigeria will change and make progress where it matters the most, if we do something about our electoral misfortunes and instability. There can be no political emancipation without crossing that Rubicon. I am talking about the freedom to let Nigerians pick and choose those who would govern or lead them out of the political wilderness we now find ourselves, despite the limitless human and material resources it has pleased God to give our country. Nigeria has the resources and the intellectual capabilities to be the leading country in Africa, but our country is being held to ransom today because of poor leadership.
If you want to know the “fons et origo” of that problem today, you have to think of Obasanjo and his 3 musketeers in President Yar’adua, Maurice Iwu, our Chief Electoral Commissioner and of course our current Inspector-general of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro.
The three of them working together can easily change Nigeria, if they want to, by doing their jobs with total honesty and dedication. The three have conspired to rig for their favored candidate, the recent elections in one of the smallest and poorest states in Nigeria. They have conspired to falsify the figures and to force Madam Olusola Ayoka Adebayo, an Obasanjo look-alike and confidant from Ogun State to be their hatchet woman for that job. If Mrs. Adebayo drops her wig, you will see a striking resemblance between her and our former President. In fact you will think they are identical twins.
I hear the woman is from Owu which has now become the centre of political gravity in the South West, if not the whole of Nigeria. The observation is due in large part to the Balogun of Owu, the one and only General Olusegun Obasanjo who has masterminded the takeover of the South West from the progressives even though he once lost to Ondo State, Oluyemi Falae in his Local Government in the 1999 elections in Nigeria. You have to wonder what has changed in ten years.
I can tell you a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.20Obasanjo is without any question one of the richest Nigerians, dead or alive today and he remains one of the kingmakers in our country whether you like it or not. I used to think Obasanjo was the Messiah. Not any more! He has become part and parcel of the Nigerian problems.
He has single-handedly picked Maurice Iwu, Okiro and Yar’adua for the jobs they all hold today, and they are totally following the script from the grand master of deception who sees himself, for better or for worse, as the founding father of modern Nigeria. Yar’adua Maurice Iwu and Okiro working together have perfected their strategy to institutionalize election rigging in Nigeria in preparation for 2011. Ekiti was a good testing ground for their strategy and a rehearsal for 2011. The result of the vote count at Ido Osi and Ifaki areas of Ekiti is a first in the History book of election rigging in Nigeria. The PDP was planning to add 18,000 votes from Oye Local Government but only 3000 showed up to vote. But for public outcry, the 18,000 would have been added to the final count for Oni because that was what Obasanjo had wanted.
The three musketeers have just decided to inflate the tally for candidate Oni at his own Local Government on the presumption that they can easily prove to the Court that Oni got that many votes in the area because he comes from there. What a silly logic? Ido Osi has suddenly becomes the most politically sophisticated Local Government in Nigeria where the voters just decided to turn out in huge numbers to honor their son just like Dr. Olusegun Agagu has decided to use Ilaje Ese Odo Local Government of Ondo State to widen the gap between him and Mimiko in the 2 007 gubernatorial elections. Of course, the Tribunal and the Appeal Court nullified the result as pure abracadabra, and that is why Mimiko is Governor today.
I strongly believe that the tribunal and the Appeal Court are going to nullify the recent election and proclaim Dr. Fayemi the winner when the chips are down, but for how long is Dr. Fayemi going to wait and at what cost to his wallet in the pursuit of justice? In the meantime Governor Oni who has previously held the job for two years without any legitimacy as seen by the Appeal Court is now back on the saddle again for another 2 years before he is thrown out again. You are now going to have a situation where Oni would have been Governor for 4 years without winning. Is this the right way for any country to make progress? Nigeria is always one step forward and four steps backwards, if you get my logic.
Yar’adua by his silly electoral reform Bill he has recently submitted to the House and Senate has totally mortgaged the electoral future of our country and he should be condemned for it. There will never be electoral sanity in Nigeria as long as the Yar’adua’s proposed Bill remains the20Law of Nigeria. The opposition parties can forget taking over power from the ruling PDP unless there is a revolution.
The PDP will always work to the answer like they have just done in Ekiti. Since Dr Fayemi was already leading Oni by roughly 12,000 votes, all Maurice Iwu and Okiro and Yar’adua had to do is find a Local Government to bridge the yawning gap between the two candidates and proclaim Oni the Governor by a narrow margin That is all there is to it. To your tents O Israel! Dr. Fayemi must seek redress in Court again and I promise to bankroll that effort with a pledge of one million Naira as my own widow’s mite to that effort. Dr. Fayemi must get justice.
The whole nation must rise against Yar’adua’s Electoral Reform Bill and put pressure to bear on the House and the Senate to do the same. The Ekiti Election outcome is only the tip of an iceberg. It must be seen for what it is. Wole Soyinka is right to lead the opposition to do just that in Nigeria. We all must rally round Wole Soyinka to salvage our country. The three musketeers must be stopped by all means and Maurice Iwu and Mike Okiro must go!
I rest my case
Dr. Wumi Akintide.