Obasanjo And The Two ĎArmed Robbersí
culled from THE SUN. Monday, December 20, 2004
For the past three years or so,
Anambra state has known no peace and from all indications, the situation could
remain the same for the foreseeable future unless something urgent is done to
restore the area to normalcy.
Since the protracted face off between former governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju and
Chief Emeka Offor in the last dispensation to the present ugly situation between
Governor Chris Ngige and his estranged godfather Chief Chris Uba, nothing has
been normal in that state and the madness that is going on is beginning to
affect the rest of us. Not that the two Anambra warlords have carried their
fight to other states, but they have succeeded in taking it to the centre of
governance in Abuja and the fabrics of our existence as a democracy is being
torn apart, and those that know are covering up the truth of the matter,
directly or otherwise aiding and abetting what is going on.
Whether we like it or not, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the face
of our democracy today. Apart from controlling the rein of government in Aso
Rock, the National Assembly is in its pocket and about two thirds of the states,
including the state assemblies are run by the party. The picture is not
different with local government administrations across the country. So whatever
happens to the PDP today would have a telling effect on our democracy.
So it is in this vein that all lovers of democracy in Nigeria must be concerned
about the on going civil war in the PDP. This war has the tendency to snowball
into a larger conflict that could ultimately destroy the polity. At the root of
this in-fighting is greed for power, which has led the leadership into
committing so many atrocities including lies and falsehood, all in a bid to
remain in power. There is absolutely lack of truthfulness in the leadership of
the party and this has spilled over into the seat of government.
Both the leaders of the PDP and President Olusegun Obasanjo know the cause of
the Anambra crisis, yet they have refused to say the truth. Instead they have
been busy deceiving the rest of us into believing that they are doing something
about it. The truth is that the PDP stole the governorship of Anambra state from
the people and nothing good should be expected from a stolen mandate.
As the Yoruba would say, even if a
lie had been traveling for the past twenty years, it would only take the truth
one day to catch up with it. Now the truth has caught up with the PDP lies over
the governorship of Anambra state. Now we know the PDP did not win in Anambra
state and this came from the mouth of the President himself. Now we know how the
so called PDP victory in south west was achieved. We now know, courtesy of the
government of Plateau state, that most state had their purse ripped open on the
orders of the party leadership to finance the purported PDP conquest of
Yorubaland. The truth is coming out and I say we have not seen anything yet. By
the time the whole truth is told, I am sure we would know the killers of Chief
Bola Ige, Marshal Harry, Aminasoari Dikibo and other high profile politicians
felled by assassin bullets in the past few years.
Everybody, I believe, has a conscience and at the appropriate time that
conscience would come to the fore and force the owner to say the truth. I
believe President Obasanjo and PDP national Chairman Audu Ogbeh are being driven
by their conscience to come out with the truth about some of the problems they
and their party have caused this nation, especially in Anambra. If Ogbeh had not
been forced by his conscience to write Obasanjo about the drift in governance of
the country, the president I am sure would not have been annoyed to write that
powerful reply of his that was full of venom. To the few paragraphs written by
Ogbeh, Obasanjo replied with several pages. And in an attempt, albeit futile, to
give a lie to Ogbehís eye opening letter, the President let it slip from his pen
what they have been hiding for long from the rest of us, that is Dr. Chris Ngige
never won the governorship of Anambra state. See what annoyance and quick temper
can do. This is the good in evil. If Ogbeh had not provoked Obasanjo, the
president wouldnít have told us what we all know or rather suspect about the
elections in Anambra state. Thank you Ogbeh, but you are equally as guilty as
our president and governor Ngige. All of you know the truth but you kept it from
us, thinking that over time, the lies you have consistently told us about
Anambra, we would come to accept as the truth. Things donít necessarily work out
like that. You canít build something on nothing. Again as the Yoruba would say,
the house built with spittle would be destroyed by the dew.
According to President Obasanjo, Ngige admitted in his presence, to Uba, his
godfather, that he did not win the governorship election in Anambra. And what
did the president do? He sent them away. Pray, what kind of a leader is this?
Mr. President likened what is happening in Anambra state to the actions of two
armed robbers, who are trying to out do one another in the sharing of the booty.
So if these guys are indeed Ďarmed robbersí, what has the President done to
them? What do we do to armed robbers? What do we do to someone who took what
does not belong to him? What do we do to someone who has stolen? What do we do
to a politician who has stolen another politician mandate?
As I was writing this piece last Friday, my attention was attracted by a live
broadcast on the NTA network service from Aso Rock, showing a pre Christmas
interdenominational service. I was quite fascinated by the religiosity of the
atmosphere and at a point I was tempted to see the President the way he had
always presented himself; a man divinely chosen to lead Nigeria. The way he
conducted the menís choir with gusto and in absolute control, and at the same
time with a humble disposition, I couldnít but think, if only this man would
apply himself fully to his job, stay on top of it and at the same time be less
arrogant and stop playing God or as Chief Olu Falae said, stop seeing himself as
Mr. Nigeria, may be some of our problems wouldnít have arisen. I asked myself,
how can someone profess so much Godliness and yet allow ungodly acts like
election rigging and some less than honourable people around him.
The Presidentís aides have said so much about him being a man of high integrity.
They said he meant well for Nigeria and he is the best thing to have ever
happened to this country. Good talk but I ask them, why are they the only people
seeing these fine qualities of our president? Why have the rest of us not seen
these things? It is either they are lying or the president has not openly
demonstrated his good intentions for us to see or has not convinced us he meant
well. Or may be the rest of us are blind.
Obasanjo has a very good opportunity now with the Anambra issue to show to us
that he is above party politics, and as the father of the nation, he will do
what is best for the country, irrespective of whose interest is at stake. He
should do the right thing now by causing the two Ďarmed robbersí he has
identified in Anambra state to be made to face the law. He should cause all
relevant documents relating to the stolen governorship in Anambra to be made
available to the relevant judicial authorities to assist them restore the stolen
mandate to the rightful winner. He should demonstrate his Godliness in
governance too, not only from the pulpit, so that when he talks and acts,
Nigerians would believe him and follow him. After all, no matter what anybody
would like to say about President George Bush of the United States of America,
most Americans believe in his moral leadership and see him as a leader who is
guided by his Christian faith in all his action. We too would like to say this
of our president. The ball is in your court Mr. President. We know you can do
it. Stop listening to those jesters around you.
I canít but continue to talk about the December 7 general elections in Ghana. I
think it was a good signpost for democracy in Africa. Obasanjo should call for a
briefing on how the whole thing went from INEC chairman, Abel Guobadia, he was
there with some of his commissioners. We should not be Giant of Africa by mouth
alone, letís show good examples for the rest of the continent to follow. In the
area of free and fair election, Ghana has taken the lead. Nigeria should not be
ashamed or feel too big to learn from the Ghanaians. And by the way, Ghana is
relatively peaceful in comparison with Nigeria. The social infrastructures are
equally better. How they achieved these I donít know but the President can find
out from his brother in Accra, President John Kufuor.