E O EkeWednesday, July 3, 2013




nly a fool will not know that the struggle for 2015 presidential election has kicked off in Nigeria. The clandestine political activities of Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president, is in top gear as he crisscross’ the country under the guise of condolence visit, marriage etc., to meet with his allies and plan how to unseat Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. He is currently focusing on getting the support of north and recently met with traditional rulers in the north. While Obasanjo as a free citizen has the right to engage in these meetings, it is thought that as an elder statesman that he would have realised its destabilising effect at this time in Nigerian political cycle and conducted himself with more decorum.

He is once again employing Machiavellian political strategy which has characterised his involvement in Nigeria politics. He has a new target that must be destroyed for daring to chart a course different from the one he wants. He must be saying to himself, I made him, I can destroy him. I plucked him from obscurity, how dare he challenge the godfather of all godfathers. He is no longer content to undermine him from behind; he has to up his antics to make sure that he gets his revenge. His gross is that Jonathan did not allow him to call the shots from Ofa farm, and now he is bent on fermenting more troubles for Nigeria and ensuring that no Igbo becomes president while he lives as some have said he boasted. He seems to want to achieve these by feeding the North’s sense of entitlement to the presidency of Nigeria and setting up a three way horse race between Niger delta, East Nigeria and the north and ensuring that whoever the Yorubas supports wins. This is a simple political strategy which can be thwarted by an alliance between Igbos and Niger delta which would eat into minority votes in the north and middle belt delivering the presidency to the coalition or ensuring a stalemate. Obasanjo’s, tactics presents the dominant political parties in the regions opportunity to forge a coalition of hope for Nigeria to bring an end the current PDP domination of Nigerian politics and it consequent endemic corruption and bad government.

The way Obasanjo plays his politics makes me wonder if he really loves Nigeria as a country or simply because the contraption gives him opportunity to take as much as he wants without accountability. I suppose it is time to tell Obasanjo that the presidency of Nigeria is not his property which he can decide to give to whoever he wants. He may be deceived because he gave it to Yar ar dua and Jonathan and may have forgotten that the presidency of a democratic country is decided at free and fair elections, and, not at clandestine meetings of corrupt and self-serving leaders.

Nigeria will need to understand the political calculus of Obasanjo and his permutation. He is on mission to appease the north with the presidency of Nigeria in 2015, having displeased them by supporting Goodluck Jonathan after the death of Yar A dua. It was Obasanjo that deliberately created a situation that made Jonathan president knowing very well that Yar dua was a very sick man. He had underestimated Jonathan and thought that he could have a third term by indirect rule. Fortunately Jonathan tends to be mindful of his place in history and wish to show that while he may be of quiet disposition that he can use power the same way Obasanjo used it during his term, which was to deal with those who oppose him. Obasanjo and his likes have meddled enough in Nigeria politics. Their era has been characterised by the worst corruption leaders can perpetrate on a country. He and his colleagues have done very well for themselves at the expense of Nigeria. They all have hill top houses, both in Nigeria and abroad, own private schools and universities and nauseatingly very wealthy all without any clear evidence of how the wealth were generated outside their term in government. Their aim is to buy Nigeria back with the money they stole from Nigerians by their so called privatisation.

In a way, they now own Nigeria which is what gives them the audacity to act in the way and manner they do. However, Obasanjo and his likes must realise that their time is over. While it lasted, the people were cowed and subdued. Now Nigerians have found their voice and with the finding of voices, comes serious resistance to oppression, autocracy and corruption. The likes of Obasanjo and those who meet with him in secrete to plan how to steal the presidency of Nigeria in 2015, should study carefully what is happening in Syria and what has happened in Libya. There is a new generation of Nigerian who wants opportunity to see if they can put right what the Gowon, Babangida and Obasanjo generation destroyed and Obasanjo must now accept that it is time to retire from active politics and give way for a new vision. His generation is very ethnically and religiously prejudiced generation who do not understand the virtues of multi ethnicity and tolerance of plurality of world views and morality.

I suppose it is time for Goodluck Jonathan to realise that Nigerians voted for him and to focus on what Nigerian want which I wish to remind him once again

  1. Nigerians want him to crack down on corruption in a transparent honest and just manner and not to use EFCC to pursue his political enemies. Selective justice is injustice. Sylvia is not the only one,

  2. To stop selective use of EFCC to destroy his political opponents rather to reorganise the agency, empower and appropriately resource it to go after all corrupt politicians.

  3. To stop protecting corrupt PDP politicians

  4. To enable the Courts carry out its statutory functions and end the abuse of the court by politicians.

  5. If he really loves Nigeria and wants to do his best for Nigeria he should embrace leadership by example and public declare his assets and ready to answer any question about his activities and those of his wife.

Once he does these, and convinces Nigerians that he is not corrupt and that he is doing all in his power to end corruption in Nigeria, Nigerians will support him and no gang up of corrupt ex-military millionaires, and Boko Haram will unseat him. Jonathan’s problem is not Obasanjo; it is his inability to convince Nigerians that he is serious about corruption, and the level of corruption going on in his watch. Unfortunately, President Jonathan does not seem to have clean hands. He may be afraid that he would also be exposed. He has refused to publicly declare his assets the minimum any honest and sincere leader would have done and has failed to provide the leadership and impetus the war against corruption needs. Moreover, there are so many people around him who are not loyal to him and he has failed to weld the knife. Because of this, Obasanjo may cause sufficient trouble for in in PDP that he would be seen as a divisive figure and a compromise candidate would be selected in 2015.

This is the time for Jonathan to counter Obasanjo. He has everything he needs to counter Obasanjo. He needs a national security adviser he can trust and the one that would report back to the Kaduna mafia, Sultan of Sokoto and Babangida. Obasanjo does not have a strong political base in West Nigeria. Many Nigerians do not like him for wasting 8 years and what happened to Bola Ige during his time. Jonathan should use this for his political advantage to call Obasanjo to order. He should reopen the case of Bola Ige by instituting a public judicial inquiry into his death. This would earn him the approval of many people from the west Nigeria. Uncle Bola Ige was loved by many, and the People want justice for Cicero. This move alone will keep Obasanjo very busy until 2015. I simply do not understand why those who have power often fail to see how to use it. With EFCC very active against corrupt politicians and Obasanjo and many like him answering for the extrajudicial killings that took place during their time, Jonathan will gain the breathing space he needs to do the work Nigeria has elected him to do.

I will not be charging the president for this advice it is all in the name of service to Nigeria. Goodluck, Goodluck Jonathan. I suppose you need your name now.

E O Eke is qualified in medicine. At various times he has been a General medical practitioner, Medical missionary, Medical Director and senior medical officer of health in Nigeria. He specializes in child, Adolescent and adult psychiatry and lives in England with his family. His interest is in health, religion philosophy and politics. He cares for body and mind.