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Nigerians are usually too quick to forget. I don’t know if there are any people in the world that are quick to move on, almost as if nothing really had happened. If September 11, 2001 terror attack in the United States had happened to be in Nigeria, I doubt if we would still observe the yearly remembrance the way America/Americans do. I believe we would have forgiven Osama and everything would have gone back to normal. Why am I saying this? At some point, we all agree that our politicians have been the biggest obstacle to our development as a nation. We have debated this matter; and we have concluded that the old generation of Nigerian politicians has failed woefully, and have failed Nigerians as well.
At other times, we forget we have said that and then, celebrate these same rogue politicians, because of their new alliances just to defraud the nation forward. What exactly is wrong with us as a people? We cannot continue to go back and forth the way we do here, and then expect any iota of change. Yesterday, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate; was endorsed by his formal boss and a former PDP leader as well, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Both, in the past, had been saddled with the responsibility of leading this nation. Between 1999-2007, Chief Obasanjo was the president, while Atiku Abubakar was his deputy.
Their supposed fight began even before their administration (8 years of two consecutive terms), came to an end. Although, many believed that the fight was as a result of Obasanjo trying to seek a third term bid; others have said that was just on the surface, and their fight go way back. Both have called themselves unprinted names in every available means possible. But as they say, wonder shall never end, Atiku’s presidential ambition in 2019 was officially endorsed by the same Obasanjo in an elaborated press conference yesterday in Abeokuta. And I began to wonder, what really happened? What suddenly changed Obasanjo’s mind towards Atiku all of a sudden?
It then dawned on me, that Nigerian politicians are the same, they are united in purpose. They may claim they are sworn enemies today, but tomorrow; you will see them together in parties exchanging pleasantries; laughing with one another. It is us, the Nigerian people, that are not united. We are even more divided than these few politicians themselves. We give them room to manipulate us, to lie to us, to make us believe they have changed, but alas; they are the same. They do this every election period. They paint themselves to Nigerians as saints, reformed democrats, change agents and what have you. Sooner than later, we then realise they are not what they claim to be.
Many of you will agree with me that Obasanjo has this record of endorsing candidates for president since he left office in 2007. He single-handedly chose the late Musa Yar’Adua to succeed him, then endorsed Jonathan to take over from Yar’Adua when he died. Obasanjo endorsed Buhari in 2015. The same Buhari, that is struggling to deliver on his promises. We were told all manner of things concerning him back then. They said he’s a changed man, he is a reformed military man who now, is a democrat. They said he will fight corruption to a standstill, he will root out Boko Haram; he will transform the economy, make the naira and dollar to be at par; and take Nigeria to the promised land.
But Nigeria is yet to get to that promise land anyway, maybe there is traffic on the way. This shows that Obasanjo’s judgment cannot be trusted, because we have seen from his records of endorsements so far, that they end up not performing as expected.
So, why should any Nigerian trust Obasanjo or an Atiku Presidency or PDP this time around? Even the said Obasanjo and Atiku have been tested in the past and have been found wanting. Obasanjo and Atiku led Nigeria for 8 years under PDP, and the said PDP ruled Nigeria between 1999-2015, a whopping 16 years of uninterrupted democracy. What exactly did they achieve? For sixteen years, the PDP could not resolve Nigeria’s electricity problem. As much as N2.7trn Naira was spent in that sector alone by the Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan administration.
For sixteen years, the PDP could not deliver to Nigerians the dividends of democracy. For sixteen years, PDP institutionalised corruption. For sixteen years, the PDP could not fix Nigeria’s educational sector. For sixteen years, the PDP could not fix Nigeria healthcare system. Out of these sixteen years, this same Obasanjo and Atiku spent 8 years! Nigerians must be wise this time around, and dissociate themselves from all these political manoeuvrings by these politicians. They have shown to us over and over again, that they don’t mean well for the people.
I rest my case.