|Monday, March 8, 2021|
"He who seeks equity must do equity" and "he who comes into equity must come with clean hands." -- Maxim
efore the 1999 presidential election in Nigeria, this writer ruefully told candidate Olusegun Obasanjo during an NTA phone interactive program that OBJ was a master at political prostitution. This writer suggested the quintessential candidacy of Chief Olu Falae who was a policy wonk in management and a better choice for President at the auspicious time. I asked candidate Olusegun Obasanjo why he wanted to be President after collaborating with Babangida to thwart the most peaceful, freest, and fairest election in Nigeria's history. The quibble NTA moderator did not allow Mr. Tortoise to answer my question at the time. Up to date, Mr. Tortoise hasn't proven me wrong for tagging him as a master and genius at political shenanigans. Mr. Tortoise has serially prostituted the collective minds of unsuspecting Nigerians.
General Olusegun Obasanjo is the man I had christened way back in 1999 as Mr. Tortoise. As a Yoruba "ponbele," we all know the various stories of Tortoise--Ijapa Oko Yannibo in the art of cunningness. Baba is bestowed with artful subtlety and deceptiveness. Baba is a man who ditched and dished out Yoruba pedigree as political recipes and meals for power-hungry northern oligarchs. Mr. Tortoise is also a willing political tool in the hands of these Fifth Columnists of Nigeria.
In the seventies and eighties, Obasanjo betrayed Chief Obafemi Awolowo, "the best president Nigeria never had." The then Head of State of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo, helped the northern oligarchy to rig the 1979 general election. Baba Iyabo through northern cohesion (un)willingly handed over power to these Boa constrictors who have been politically assaulting our collective intelligence since independence. Chief Obafemi Awolowo's denial of the Nigerian presidency sentenced Nigeria to political oblivion. AWO predicted our current quagmire and state of anomie before he died. He also prescribed political prescriptions that our leaders continue to reject at our collective perils.
Mr. Tortoise's vindictiveness towards the genius and business mogul Chief MKO Abiola denied the agent of "Farewell to poverty" in Nigeria the presidency. June 12, 1993 election was a popular freest, and fairest election ever in Nigeria. The annulled June 12 mandate was convincingly given to late Chief MKO Abiola by the overwhelming majority of Nigerians. Baba Tortoise was used as a political stoppage by the evil genius to fulfill the seemingly endless curses over a troubled nation.
In 1999, Baba was elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to return Nigeria to the clique or club of militaricians. A pseudo-democracy returned to Nigeria. During Baba Tortoise's presidency, he ruled like a dictatorial king. President Obasanjo denied Tinubu's Lagos state government for several months' federal allocations. Mr. Tortoise also aborted Tinubu's independent power plant project in Lagos state with grandstanding and jealousy. A power plant project that would have solved the epileptic power supply of Nigeria's bedeviled federal government. During his time in government, every progressive inch the envisioned Yoruba sons, daughters, and leaders made to advance Yoruba's interests was always aborted by Mr. Tortoise.
Meanwhile, during the gestation or transition periods of Nigeria's pseudo-democratic dispensation of 1999--and the twilight administrations of Babangida, Abacha, and Abdulsalam, Mr. Tortoise, was surreptitiously making cynical moves to derail the symbol of June 12, 1993 (MKO Abiola) efforts to claim his presidential mandate. Obasanjo guffawed at MKO Abiola that: "Abiola was not the messiah Nigeria is needed at the moment." After his historic pronouncement, Mr. Tortoise made a premeditated pilgrimage to Aso Rock to meet with the Evil-Genius over the annulment of June 12 results. Mr. Tortoise and his cohorts dragged Nigeria into chaos and the abyss of time. Nigeria has never recovered from the injustices of the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election. Providence was kind on Mr. Tortoise---by dint of luck, he escaped the ultimate price in the gulag of evil-dark-goggled Abacha. Mr. Tortoise does not seem to have never learned any lessons. The more opportunity he has, the more antics and grandstanding he displays to squander the grace in the marketplace of Nigerian hypocrisy.
While Mr. Evil genius-Babangida and the snake under the green grass-Abudulsalam of Minna installed modern infrastructural amenities in Minna and Abuja metropolises while leaving power, our own Mr. Tortoise-OBJ, was busy tormenting our sons and daughters in Yorubaland. He established division, deceits, and ignorance amongst Yoruba citizens. The major roads that connect cities to his rural hometown and rustic townlet are deathtraps. Electricity is nonexistent in his village as I write this piece. The questionable multibillion naira library he built was the poor masses' sweat who do not have access to the library. Baba Tortoise willfully disrespected Reverends, clergymen, and other progressive individuals trying to help bring sanity to the system. He ruled like there was no life after his presidency; and lived like tomorrow was not going to come forever.
In 1999, in Bayelsa state, the Odi community was agitating for economic respite due to the degradation of their environment by oil exploration. It was said that some of the soldiers patrolling the oil-rich area were ambushed and killed. In retaliation, state terror was unleashed on the Odi community. The Odi massacre was also an assault precisely executed on November 20, 1999, by the Olusegun Obasanjo's soldiers on the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa State. In the Odi genocide, Mr. Tortoise's "hitleric" army openly raped young and older women in the public's full glare and wiped out the Odi village. Up till now, the psychological scars and trauma of the Odi community massacre still dot our collective conscience and consciousness. Sadly, the same cunning man has severally and continuously assaulted our psyche and sense of history. The people of the Odi community or town are permanently taunted, scarred, and bereaved. But those who cried more than the bereaved at the genocidal time do not even remember the victims anymore! Unfortunately, the same hypocrites and pseudo-bereaved individuals are the ones hailing the opportunistic tendency of Mr. Tortoise today.
In reality, when people with the hypothesis of hypocrisy populate a nation, they will deserve the kind of leaders they have in power. When you have a region serially raped by another region through born-to-rule leadership in a contraption, and the despoiled region is pushed to the wall. All kinds of good troubleshooters will evolve to defend their people against the killings by herdsmen, injustices, and government inequities. The offshoot of people like unlettered Sunday Igboho will be a "necessary trouble." to wake the sleeping giants to demand their rights.
Henceforth, Mr. Tortoise has no moral justification to sanctimoniously deafening our taunted ears with his grandstanding and political opportunism. Interestingly, Yoruba people seem to have got the hanky-panky and cunningness of Mr. Tortoise and his political exchange and trade with the northern oligarchy. The statements and grandstanding of Baba Tortoise are now like voids in the catacombs. No one reckons with his m?`náfìkí---cunningness anymore.
Consequently, no amount of Mr. Tortoise's preachments or dogmatic instructions and exhortations through letter writings and loquacity can sway the fertile minds in Yorubaland to believe him anymore. For decades, Mr. Tortoise has numerous opportunities to transform the Yoruba region with our commonwealth and help other resourceful Yoruba leaders to get to the mantle of power. Baba Tortoise squandered those opportunities at the altar of greed, vengefulness, hatred, opportunism, grandstanding, and personal aggrandizement against his kin. At Baba's twilight years, he seems to be in the realm of realism about his unprofitable antecedents against his own kith and kin in Yorubaland. At Mr. Tortoise's midnight, the window of opportunity seems to have closed for him to "right the wrongs" of the past (O ti pari Pata Pata?). Baba Tortoise can redeem his image and be forgiven for his political misdemeanor and unpleasant history. All Baba needs to do is publicly apologize to Yorubaland's sons and daughters and the lineage motherhood. The time has come for Baba's minions and Nigerian youth to wake up from deep slumbers, take back their future, and stop being used as pawns or ping-pong in the hands of political opportunists, any government in power-AGIP, and men of yesterday.