Opinion: Obasanjo, he who lives in glass house must not throw stones

by Samuel Chiaba

Obasanjo-Jonathan1

So why is Baba throwing stones when it’s obvious that he is also living in a glass house? Why instigate a war you fought and failed to win before passing it on to Jonathan

As a child, I heard stories about our leaders; stories about how they embezzle public funds, and of how they run the government without much concern for the average Nigerian. A couple of years ago, I sat under a tree with some of my friends, while we tried to convince each other that indeed there is no hope for a better tomorrow. I was particularly of the opinion that corruption is now a norm to be upheld; the shortest means of filling your pocket with billions of taxpayer’s money. We are running a democracy that widens the gap between the rich and the poor. We are being ruled by a bunch of fools who desperately need a dose of vaccine against corruption. And we are on a journey that leads to nowhere. The seed of corruption in this nation was sown decades ago, and they now bare themselves in the full glare of the public because our leaders are nothing but hedonists and epicures.

I read through Obasanjo’s letter addressed to Jonathan and I totally agree with almost everything Baba threw at him and accused him of. But then I ask; is the Jonathan administration not a product of the Obasanjo administration? Is Jonathan not trying to pick up the pieces from the rot which the foundation of our dear country has been reduced to? Is Jonathan not fighting a war we are already used to? Baba’s letter to Jonathan is no doubt a product of the current administration of which Jonathan is the head, and the performance so far shows they still have a long way to go as regards pulling the nation out of the quagmire it has been plunged into. Obasanjo leveled a lot of accusation against Jonathan when he is equally guilty of all or most of them.

Baba raised the issue of armed robbery, kidnapping, piracy, and also accused Jonathan and his team of fighting a war against violence without understanding the root causes. Kidnapping is a product of a lot of things, one of which could be tied to political clashes between party leaders and their members, and between rival parties. Looking back, you’ll realize that kidnapping has been like a plague for quite a number of years, long before Jonathan became president. Armed robbery is no doubt the fruit we harvested for not investing adequately in education and in programs designed to empower our youths, which resulted in mass unemployment, and also dates back to tenures before that of even Baba. The issue of piracy is a topic that has been debated during and after the Obasanjo administration. So why is Baba throwing stones when it’s obvious that he is also living in a glass house? Why instigate a war you fought and failed to win before passing it on to Jonathan? Also, Baba’s statement that Jonathan is fighting a war against violence without understanding the root causes is rather unfounded and unnecessary. What I expected from a man as vastly experienced and well respected as Obasanjo was a way out on how best to tackle the menace the nation has been enslaved to. And to also tell us what he thinks is the root cause of the war which Jonathan said his administration is fighting assiduously, even though it appears nothing is being done.

Have we forgotten the Halliburton and Siemens scandal under the Obasanjo government? Or the fall out between Baba and Atiku when Baba went back on their agreement of not running for another term in office? What about the shenanigans of Iyabo Obasanjo perfectly aided by “you know who”? Why should Baba expect Jonathan to act differently when they are clearly one and the same? Why is Obasanjo trying to repaint a picture of which he is a part of? Jonathan is clearly a product of Obasanjo, so why throw stones at a man who is fighting a war you couldn’t complete successfully?

Obasanjo failed to lay a solid foundation of equity, transparency, ethics and integrity for the Jonathan administration, and the result is what we are still debating today. So it’s only natural for Jonathan to hit back at Baba by writing a letter of his own which I personally consider a waste of time. With a war at hand, we can certainly do without another letter circulating the internet.

Except you are God who reigns supreme and eternally over everything, we as humans must understand that power is transient and temporary. And as a leader in whatever capacity, it is not a thing to be used for personal gratification at the expense of the people you serve. Our leaders need to understand this, else we will keep chasing shadows and corruption will continue to eat up the foundation upon which our integrity was built. Obasanjo and Jonathan must understand this, else this silly drama will continue. And until I can be convinced that Obasanjo and Jonathan are not one and the same, I think it’s safe to say that the exchange of letters is merely a case of the pot calling the kettle black!

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

One comment

  1. Good write -up from a sagacious observation. Yet, let's take a view of it this way:

    1. That foundation of equity, transparency, ethics and integrity obj failed to lay, Yar'Adua (JONATHAN'S IMMEDIATE BOSS, as it were) ardently emphasised. He (Jonathan) should know better. Yet, remember that His first major boss in politics in person of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was convicted and sentenced for matters not worthy of a responsible human – what do you expect from his subordinate for goodness' sake? You can't separate a river from its source. The foundation is so important that it affects the building throughout its existence. Jonathan has a choice to learn from good leaders yet, he seems to be inactive and incapable.

    2. Concerning Obj, the way and manner he has portrayed himself since 2007 or so, has been encouraging. Yes, his past may be next-to-nothing to write home about, yet, age and maturity do change persons. Probably, he saw how he had gone with his life and the affairs of Nigeria over the years, and decided to make a u-turn. I am of the opinion that we should give him a chance; 'once bad' does not connote 'always bad'. The fact that he was bad does not in anyway mean he would always remain bad. Just like every other person, change is only natural. I'm not saying he is now a saint, yet, that doesn't mean he should keep silent over the way things are going.

    I'm sure, in one way or the other, He (obasanjo) would have tried to intervene in one way or the other to ensure that issues don't get out of hand (maybe futile or otherwise), before decided to write this letter. Obasanjo can still be a good person (that notwithstanding some good deeds of his) except in the hearts of some who find forgiveness uneasy.
    Thanks, Sam.

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