On Obasanjo's Desire To Die For Nigeria


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On Obasanjo's Desire To Die For Nigeria




Gani Fawehinmi



February 27, 2006



Nigerians woke up this morning, Tuesday, 28 February, 2006, to read in virtually all the newspapers that the president, General Olusegun Obasanjo, threatened that he is prepared to die to ensure the attainment of his reforms programme.

I consider this threat a demagogic propaganda and blackmail of the nation by a third term presidential schemer – General Olusegun Obasanjo. This will not work. Every reasonable Nigerian can and will see through this cheap political stunt.

What the President does not know is that Nigerians do not want him to die. They expectantly want his constitutional exit in 2007 when, by then, he would have served his full two-term presidency as prescribed by the 1999 constitution which he swore on oath on the 29th of May 1999 and 2003 to preserve, protect and defend.

Nigerians in general and the civil society in particular will, in the interest of our cherished democracy and its due process, ensure that the President respects the presidential oath of office he swore to in 1999 and 2003.

They simply want him to be a man of his oath. And the President should be manly enough to appreciate this basic constitutional contract he has with the Nigerian people. However, if he breaches the eight-year constitutional contract he has with the people from 1999, then Nigerians have the inalienable right and indeed duty to disown him as their president. He will then be on his own and he will be responsible for the consequences of his action. And that is what the Japanese call hara-kiri – self immolation or suicide.
The basic reason from Mr. President for wanting to die is his reforms programme, which he said he would see to its logical conclusion. But the President must be told that governance of the country is a continuum.

A nation has a permanent or near-permanent span of life. No individual has. Governments come and governments go. Heads of government or state come and they exit from time to time. No particular government or head of government can conclude all matters of the society or the nation within a particular period because all societies and all nations are dynamic.

And the affairs of state are never static because human nature, like human activities, must change from time to time. Consequently, no government has a final solution to all matters of the moment and all matters of the future.
It is therefore, a political fraud sugar-coated in propaganda of martyrdom for General Olusegun Obasanjo to tell Nigerians that he is prepared to die to achieve his so-called reforms.

The President should be told in clear terms that he is living in a cocoon world of self- delusion if he does not know that most of his reforms have brought untold hardship, abject poverty, rampant unemployment, high cost of fund (interest rate), collapsing education and its standard, degenerating infrastructure, traumatising health problems, gross insecurity of life and property, lack of water, lack of electricity, to mention but a few.

His reforms have turned Nigerians into mere spectators in the economic activities of their country instead of being participants.

Anybody who dies for these negative reforms dies a “ye-ye” (disgraceful) death.
I therefore advise the General to be a man of his oath and exit honourably on the 29th May, 2007. That is the only path of honour left for him.


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