he ex- president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has remained in the news and now and then for the wrong reason. He continues to exercise his fundamental human right to free speech which he did very little to protect in the days he ruled from Dodan Barracks and Aso rock. Some month ago, it was reported that he called Chekwas Okorocha, a failure because the later referred to him as a colleagues. Recently, he claims to have access to the leaders of Boko haram. Looking at the evidence, one wonders why Obasanjo would reply to a guest who had come to honour him in such a rude and inconsiderate manner and why does Obasanjo want Nigerians to know that he has access to the leaders of Boko haram? has he approached the government with this information or is it one of his ways of continuing to undermine the government of Goodluck Jonathan? It would be impossible to find any statesman of his stature in developed countries, talking to anybody the way Obasanjo talks to people. He seems to believe that being rude and inconsiderate of other people feeling is a mark of his honesty and appears to take pride in being discourteous to people who differ from him in some way.
The question is who is a failure. Is a man a failure because he tried something and did not succeed when there is evidence that he has succeeded in other things? What is the difference between failing in something and being a failure? The fact is that no one is a failure; rather people may not succeed in certain things. The characterisation of another individual as a failure is in itself pejorative, prejudicial and a reflection of the level of emancipation and enlightenment of the person making the statement. It is a denigration of another because of his or her inability to succeed at a particular task and it is judgemental. Wise men do not call fellow human beings failures. If one has the need to boast about one’s achievements one can simply state what he or she has achieved. There is no need to denigrate those who were not as successful as one by calling them failures. At worst, one can say that he succeeded in a particular task and another person did not. Indeed, no one lacks in ability that there is not something he can succeed at. The Bible says that those who compare themselves with themselves are not wise.
Obasanjo’s statement says so much about his personality and the way he thinks. The guests came to honour him. He should have exercised restraint with his utterances, even though Okorocha should not have said the things he was reported to have said. These were two very egoistic people on ego trip, which back fired disastrously. Why would Okorocha claim that all the good things Obasanjo did was what he told him? Does it mean he is the repository of wisdom? I can understand Obasanjo being irritated by it and deciding to respond. His silence would have showed that he is really wise. He should have waited for an opportune moment to give Okorocha a measured response. That would have been dignified.
Unfortunately, he would not be Chief Obasanjo, the vindictive, all knowing and all powerful general, who must have the last word and fears no one.
I have therefore decided to produce a report card of Obasanjo to see how he has fared in his role as the leader of one of the most corrupt countries in the world to see if we can describe him as a success. In this report card, the name of Obasanjo’s school is Nigerian presidency.
Student’s Report card School Presidency of Nigeria
Name of student: General Olusegun Obasanjo Registered in February 1976
Principal: Mr History Posterity
Teacher: Mr Truth Integrity
Period / time spent in school 12 years.
Teacher’s remark: OBJ as he is known by his peers is a very remarkable student of Nigerian politics and presidency. I was his teacher at Dodan barracks and Aso rock. He showed initial promise and potential but suddenly everything changed and he did not excel in the most important areas. In spite of his inability to achieve in the important subjects, he became very rich especially in areas, like agriculture and educational institutions, where he failed to make impact for the benefit of the people. A remarkable feature of his time at the school is that some institutions which were independent when he became president became less independent and ones that were under government ownership ended up in private hands. He has since acquired substantial interest in many area of the economy through the privatisation policy, which he started while at the presidency. It is remarkable how, during his time at the school as he was running down the schools educational and agricultures departments; he was at the same building a formidable private farm and private educations. While the whole college has suffered, he has done very well for himself by attending the presidency.
Recommendation to Nigerians: In the future. I would suggest that Nigeria should send to the presidency students who have been thoroughly screened and subjected to selection interview to determine, if they have the character, and temperament, which the rigors of the work and challenges at the college requires.
Our experience at Nigerian presidency in the last 50 years is that all presidential students like Babangida, Gowon, Abacha, Shehu Shagari, etc., have performed very poorly indeed. However, at some point, there were students like Murtala Mohammed and Mohammed Buhari who showed a flicker of hope, but were suddenly withdrawn from the college. It is really difficult to say that they would have performed differently considering what those who replaced them achieved. The presidency wishes the current student all the luck and hopes that they would learn from the experiences of his predecessors.
The principal’s comment: Mr Obasanjo is a very intelligent, able and articulate student of Nigeria’s presidency and politics, who showed great potential and raised hope, while he was at the college. The staff and students thought that he had a great future at the presidency. He applied himself to the challenges and tasks. Unfortunately as the report card shows he failed in all indexes of leadership and did not contribute to the development of the area he studied. For some reasons, which we are unable to fathom out at this time, he left every single area of his interest at the presidency worse than he met them. Surprisingly, he does not seem to reckon with the result and goes about bosting and frequently calls people failures. He left many problems unsolved at the school and still believes he is the only person who can solve them.
Principal Mr History posterity Teacher: Mr Truth integrity