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OWNERS OF NIGERIA

-PART 1

 

By

 

Seyi Oduyela

seyioduyela@aol.com

 

 

August 15, 2004

 

After the 419 Gubernatorial and Presidential elections last year ( by 4/19 I mean April 19, coincidentally it means Advanced Fee Fraud and that was exactly what the election was), Chief Bisi Akande, former Governor of Osun State, the man adjudged as one of, if not the best Governor of 1999-2003 said that his defeat was like a thief coming to rob you of your possession, you are harmless, the only thing you can do is just keep qiuet and allow it.

 

I thought about this and I have come to the conclusion that our situation in Nigeria is like that. But I think I disagree with him in the area of not doing anything to it. This we talk about later on.

 

Nigeria in the last 44 years has been stolen by a cabal and turned to their own. These few robbers have created dynasties for themselves and they pass us round. I have to call them owners of Nigeria because that is what I think they are and the rest of us are tenants.  Who are these people and why are they owners of Nigeria?

 

They cut across all the geo-political zones of Nigeria. We have them in the West, North, East and South-South, also the Middlebelt. Our living has been subjected to theirs, we live how they want us to live, do what they want us to do, sneeze when they ask us to, eat what they offer us. This is pathetic, but I think we caused it. They are able to do this to us because we allow them to have access to wealth while we remain complacent. We hail them, worship them, sing their praises, kill ourselves because of them, fight each other for them to live. They enjoy seeing us dying, suffering, queueing at the gas stations, running after commuter buses, begging for crumbs from their table, even when it demands that we struggle with their dogs to get it.

 

We live in the midst of plenty yet we are poor. Many of our children abandoned their school for embassies, because they need visa to go and be slaves in another manís country. They succeeded in driving our good brains out, so that they will turn our land to a jungle. Nothing works except what they want to make work. They control everything including the air we breathe. While we pay the NEPA bill and donít enjoy the power, they donít yet never experienced power failure. We donít have good water to drink, they waster the ones they have. They make the refineries unworkable and import petroleum products for us with the money going back to their different purses from their refineires outside the country. Many of them have been in the system since the birth of an Independent Nigeria and they are still there, some are replacing themselves with their sons and daughters, and we fold our hands watching helplessly.

 

They kill and get away with it, maim nothing happens. They call the shots in all facets of our lives. They tell us who is going to be out next President and where he will come from, they write constitution for us, a constitution that has the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob. A constitution unitary in all its features but called federal.

 

They are not faceless, they are people we see daily, meet daily and sing their praises. Their empire is big. They have the media, banks, police, military, state security and above all government.

 

One edition of publication cannot talk about these people, but it has taken me time to come out with this and I intend to write a book on these owners of Nigeria.

Though I was born 6 years after the so-called independence, I think as a history student both at my elementary and high school I learnt about Nigerian history and now as an adult I can talk of what happened since independent to date. At a forum in New York on 6/12, I mean June 12 I maintained a position that we only have one Republic in Nigeria, because we have only be ruled by one set of rulers under same system that is cyclic. What I mean is that since 1960 we have been going round the vicious cycle. Or how do you explain the presence of Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, a graduate of History from the University of Ibadan who was appointed a Central Bank governor and has been featuring in one government or the other be it military or civilian, up till 2003. even when he was sick Obasanjo kept his portfolio. Or that of Asiodu Phillip.

 

Let me start with the present President of Nigeria and Balogun of Owu, the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces and Chairman of the Owu King makers.

 

Olusegun Matthew Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo- became a household name in 1976 after the coup that killed Murtala Mohammed on the fateful day of February 13, 1976, I was in primary six then. As we were made to know, Obasanjo had wanted to turn down the offer of ruling Nigeria but had to accept at gun-point. This fable sounds ridiculous, because under no circumstance will a brave man compromise his principle for anything. A soldier as we are made to know do not fear death, they know this from their day one in the military. Let us leave that aside.  He ruled Nigeria for 3 years, with iron hand.

 

It was in his tenure that Akintunde Ojo, who incidentally was is god-son was killed at the University of Lagos in 1978. Professor Ade Ajayi, then Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos lost his job because he attended Akintunde Ojoís burial. Ebenezer Babatope, Ola Oni and many others lost their jobs as lecturers in various Institutions over the students unrest then. He launched OFN, then called Operation Feed the Nation, little did we know that it was a sample of what we were to seelater as Obasanjo Farms Nigeria ( OFN). While Operation Feed the Nation failed, Obasanjo Farms Nigeria did not. It has branches in Ota, Igbo-Ora, Owiwi, and some other places I cannot remember now. He added a secondary school to the farm project Bell School, one of the most expensive high schools in Nigeria. I learnt he is planning to establsh a University. I wonder what knowledge the university will impart on its students. A president that does not have regards for education,  who kept university students at home for over 6 months, now planning to establish a university, we need to check on his Bell school to know the minimum wage there first.   

 

I n his books ďMy CommandĒ and ďNot My WillĒ he painted himself as the hero of the Civil war. He stated that what some people struggle all their life to get and they didnít he got it without sweat. He also confirmed that he voted for NPN in the 1979 elections.  When he was the Head of State, one of the Yoruba senior officers had gone to him to discuss the need to restructure the military to favour all ethnic nationality, he called Yaradua and Danjuma to the meeting and asked this man to repeat it , the officer a Major-General repeated it, he left but heard of his retirement on the radio on his way home. Why was he chosen as Head of State in 1976? Not because he was the next to Murtala, no, Babangida gave the reason in 1996 or 1997 when Obasanjo was jailed for the 1995 phantom coup. According to Babangida,  Obasanjo is a conformist. They see him, someone who can sell his own brother for a plate of porridge, he did in 1979, did in 1993, 1998, 2001, 2003 and 2004.

 

In 1979, he saw the rigging and closed his eyes,  Awolowo lost not at the poll but at the desire of Obasanjo and those who put him there. In 1993 he sold out and supported the annulment of June 12 1993 elections. We all remember that there was a movement he ste then on good governance- Buhari and idiagbon were members, they pulled out after seeing that OBJ supported the annulment and was also talking of new elections and not the de-annulment of the election. This issue caused a rift between him and his childhood friend Onoolapo Soleye, a Sociology lecturer at the University of Ibadan who served as Buhariís Finance Minister, we still remember the 53 suit cases scandal. Soleye on hearing of the imminent annulment dissgreed with OBJ, the argument heated up that Soleye walked stomed out he got to his before he remembered that he has left his agbada in OBJís house. In 1998 Abiola was killed for him to become President. In 2001 December 23, Ajibola Ige was killed. Ige until his death was the Minister of Justice and  Attorney-General  of the Federation, and it is sad that he did not get justice, his killer is not at the National Assembly making laws. In fact he won his election while in jail, unprecedented, it is only in Nigeria, Giant of Africa , in the biggest Political Party in Africa that a murder suspect would be nominated for a position as high as Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria and the Un-Independent Electoral Commission will clear him. According to Audu Ogbeh he warned them against it.  It is sad. And this is what we call democracy. A kind of democracy being administered by robbers, people who stole our mandate through the barrel of gun, made Governors over us stole our money. These are bunch of informal and formal illiterates. What they know about governance his looting of treasury. And in 2004 Igeís killer was set free.

 

His recent shameful act  at Owu has shown that the man is on a journey of self-destruction. Tunde Bakare came up to speak that Obasanjo was not God sent, he was condemned, but I told people then that they should wait, that Godís time is not our time, it was too early to write off Bakare, I think a lot of people will not see reason in Bakareís prophecy. Forget about those other pastors fallings on themselves to gain access to the villa. In Old Testament studies, some prphets are categorised as domesticated, they are official prophets, politicians go to them for prophecy to win elections and they bless them. I  wonít mention names, but it is unfortunate that we found them in such positions, they see the truth and avoid it because they want recognition. That a countryís president or his wife attends any  churchís convention does not make the gathering acceptable before God.  God does not respect position. Will Adeboye, Oyedepo, Okonkwo tell the world that Nigeria is okay? What in their own observation works well in Nigeria? Power failure, water failure, crime, insecurity, unemplyment and underemployemnt still persist, under democracy.

 

They cannot see all that because they are too high to see what those at the lower level are going through. They ride the best cars, have guards, they do not know if there fuel crisis because they wontí queue at the filling stations, there church workers do all that for them, even if the workers will have to join Molue to church. The poor in Nigeria pay tithes, spent by the Pastors for ďGOD.Ē

 

Well we shall come back to the religious leaders later.

 

Now the President of Nigeria doubled himself as the head of King makers in his town Owu, someone was picked bythe majority of the kingmakers and just one person said NO! This is the man leading Nigeria to the promise land! Sad! Pathetic! What does he  know about democracy? 

 

Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida-  After the coup that brought in Aguiyi Ironsi in 1966, a group of young Northern military officers decided to embark on ethnic cleansing, because they believe the earlier coup was Igbo concentrated as a result tyey want to avenge the killing of their ancestors. This led to the killing of Aguiyi Ironsi in Ibadan and Adekunle Fajuyi who was the Governor of the Western Region and host of Aguyi Ironsi was killed with him. This brought in  29 year-old Yakubu Gowon as Head of State, by that time, Gowon was a bachelor,  one of the members  of the group is  Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida who, 19 years later became the first Military President of Nigeria.

 

Before 1983 not much was known by the Nigerian public about Ibrahim Babangida, even in 1983 when he was made the Chief of Army Staff, not many people still know him. He seemed like and underdog, a new face, but this is not true. Even Buhari and Idiagbon did not know much about him. He played a vital role in the coup that toppled Shagariís government, this he did with the help of his man who was then the Director of Military Intelligence, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau.

 

Babangida is an adroit politician, he knows his onions, he knows what he wants and how to get it. He pretends to be used when in actual fact he is using his user.

 

It was not in the plan to make Babangida the Chief of Army Staff after toppling Shagari, the position was for Bako who was to deliver Shagari, but because Babangida needed the position for his eventual take over of government form Buhari, he manouvered and got it. How did he get it? What did he do to displace Bako? All these I wil lasnwer in the second part of this article.

 

This article is in series, I cannot finish in one edition, this is what I have been doing since May. Sit back and relax.

 

Continues....... 

 

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