BY: Femi Robinson
Ask most Nigerians why they do not like OBJ, they will give you a lot of personal reasons. Those in politics will tell you he hates them because they did not support his third term bid. Those not in politics will tell you they hate him because his anticorruption campaign was selective and vindictive. Let’s face reality, OBJ is not God; he is human and he can make mistakes.
The Yoruba’s claim he has not done enough for them. The Igbo’s say he marginalized them, while some have not forgiven him for ending the Biafran dream. The Hausa’s say they have never had it so bad. His friends say he failed to come to their assistance when in trouble. So did no one benefit from OBJ’s regime?
To date nearly all the intellectuals in our institutions of learning in Nigeria benefited one way or the other from OBJ’S regime. The University lecturers never had a better deal from past administration. Today they are earning fat salaries and find themselves competing financially with their counterparts in the world. Brain drain has reduced tremendously. Now how does this reflect in their efforts to make life better for their students? Students are still complaining. The industries are complaining about the quality of products from our institutions of learning.
The business sector has now been given back its’ voice and direction. Some people never had a better deal before OBJ. Some bankers became billionaires over night, owning living homes everywhere. Some no longer ride in cars; they fly in helicopters for short rides and jets for distant trips. The owners of some religious organizations, churches, schools never had a better deal. Yet they are always the first to sharpen their teeth to have the first bite. Those who benefitted call him “Baba” when they see him. They call him as “Baba Ke” when they are not benefitting.’ Thank God OBJ himself identified the famous “Pull Him Down” gig about Nigerians, “If na Phd Nigeria get am plenty”.
We all agreed that Nigeria needed a bit of dictatorship to save the nation from disintegration. That was why many people eagerly embraced the military. They ended up failing us woefully. It became obvious years later that what Nigeria needed was a bit of dictatorship to fight corruption, an endemic disease in Nigeria and Africa. So why are we complaining because OBJ fitted the bill during his two terms as President and Commander in Chief? Was that not what the nation prayed for? Where on earth has man been known to record one hundred percent success in a business? Why have we become so ungrateful because a leader could not deliver one hundred percent of what he promised?
Some of those who looted the nation came out accusing OBJ of being cruel to them. Did OBJ give an order for their arrest if there was no accusation against them? They say OBJ is vindictive; but is that not one of the traits you find in an army man? For goodness sake the man is an army man not a reverend gentle man. If you have dipped your hands and body into sin why blame him for not forgiving you? Those who know OBJ will tell you. “Brother you are on your own. I will not follow you to Baba” to beg.
I have heard people say that OBJ was selective in dealing with those who looted the countries treasury when he was in office. Our elders say you do not remove a damaged structures holding up a building until you have put a replacement in place. We should thank OBJ for keeping the military and their civilian financiers out of Government and for successfully handing over power to the civilian government of Musa Ya Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
Why are some people afraid of OBJ? It is obvious that OBJ has their number. I read in one of the newspapers some politicians and leaders telling President Goodluck Jonathan to distance himself from OBJ. In business you ask for advice from your predecessor and even an opponent but you are not bound to take it. Who should benefit from the volumes of dossier that kept the hounds away from governance all these years, if not Presedent Goodluck Jonathan? We must not forget that the hounds were roaring for action during the months Nigerians were agitating for his swearing in as Acting President. They are all back rearing for political relevance come 2011.
I have not forgotten the statement credited to a political leader, which some years ago would have been an order to kill. It was such an order which sent the likes of the Late Connel Banjo, Ifeajuna and others to be shot; an action which many believe broke the sympathy many had for the Biafran course. We know that such statements could still be regarded as order by some psychotic minded people in the country today. Remember the statement made by a religious leader on the writer of the so called satanic verses.
God will not descend from heaven to effect changes on earth. God will not come down to help us conduct a credible pool. God would anoint those to do the job. OBJ is not a saint and he has never claimed to be one. He came when the nation needed a change. He has done what he could do. Whatever means he used to cage the hounds and the ‘crooked business men’ that had made it difficult for Nigerians to unite, we should be grateful. The Nigerian public must begin to say no, to blackmailers who criticize government with no alternative suggestions. We must say no to political blackmailers who use criticism as weapon for relevance. Religious leaders and politicians must stop telling President Jonathan who and who to associate with or dine with. They must stop planting the seed of disrust among our people. That is what started the civil war years ago. To keep Nigeria One; Is a task that Must be Done.
Mr., Femi Robinson