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Obasanjo Ever Playing God by Tai Emeka Obasi.

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After reading the interview the former president, HE Olusegun Obasanjo granted Premium Times regarding his thoughts on his former deputy, HE Atku Abubakar’s aspirations to become the nation’s president in 2019, my mind went straight to Dr. Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

HE Obasanjo, I understand, is an avid reader. And I believe he must have read all books on the late South African and indeed African idol. My question is – what has this man from Ogun State learned from reading such histories of men he should emulate?

The Waziri Adamawa’s response, through his spokesperson, to the ex-head-of-state’s statements made in terrible bad faith, has ironically won new converts for the ex-Custom’s big gun.

When Obasanjo first rejected President Muhammadu Buhari via his customary letter, he rejected People’s Democratic Party, PDP too. He instead called for a third force.

But of late one thought this octogenarian had aligned with the new coalition in the course of a new Nigeria. But apparently, Obasanjo is still bent on stopping Atiku one more time.

Much as I respect Obasanjo as an elder statesman and fully understand his reach in terms of influence, I equally know he is not God. He is nowhere near God and somebody should please tell him to stop playing the creator.

Keeping Obasanjo aside, the PDP and the Coalition, CUPP must appropriately appraise the political situation on ground, understand that the incumbent president they are preparing to unseat does not play by the rule books and has shown clear signs that he could be both violent and ruthless.

This is therefore no battle for the inexperienced. In this battle there will be many turns where party as a vehicle will get stuck and individual influence takes over. This is a time all favours of the past would be paid back without much prompting.

A former head-of-state and a president must have a lot of quiet allies that will just execute duties without asking questions. The nearest of the aspirants in this regard is undoubtedly the former two-term vice president, who whatever influence he lost in not being inside the caucus of any military junta, he must have made up during a meritorious career as a Customs officer and, of course, as a very successful business billionaire.

The incumbent won’t spare resources in this ‘war’. The PDP and the Coalition should know this and then be wise to stand behind a man who can personally spar eyeball-to-eyeball in the spending game.

But besides personal resume, the Waziri Adamawa has been the only aspirant who has not only sold his blueprint anchored on restructuring to Nigerians but also has visible structures in every constituency in the land for the task ahead.

The PDP might think they are a big party that have structures in every ward in the country. True but that would be foolhardy. Atiku has over 600 support groups all over the nation, each group raising funds on their own and been mobilising for this man from Adamawa since he came back to PDP last year. These groups are not party-based and it will be a huge error for PDP to think they will inherit these support groups if Atiku is unjustly denied ticket.

Never before have Nigerians of all ages been this united in the quest to have a befitting president as they are queuing behind Waziri Adamawa. And never before has an opposition party been presented with this clear opportunity to get back to power. If they mess it up by not consolidating every defection ground gained as quickly as it is gained, they may lose the gains as quickly as they came. This is Nigeria!

And one route to getting back to Aso Rock is via a transparent primary. Any Nigerian knows that in such free-and-fair exercise that Atiku will emerge.

PDP should therefore forget Obsanjo’s latest antics and give Nigerians the president they want – Atiku.

If Obasanjo insists on going to the grave with his vendetta, then truly he has things to settle with the creator, for He is not a partial God.


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