Opinion: Pray Obasanjo does not endorse you – A rejoinder

by Demola Rewaju

To be certain, OBJ is neither God nor a god but to say he is a political pariah is far from the truth. The man has his own failings but as those who have worked with him will testify, he is a great friend to those who are friendly to him but a terrible enemy once you cross him politically.

I write this piece as a rejoinder to “Pray Obasanjo does not endorse you” by Iyobosa Uwugiaren, a much respected journalist and one with high intelligence. I am familiar with his articles and I know his anti-Obasanjo stance but this piece is one that is politically misleading and fraught with errors. I have no issues with his pending political affiliation but we must not mix facts with sentiments on historical issues even if politics can be sentimental.

In the piece, Iyobosa relies heavily on the personal testimony of the late chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (and other sources unnamed) and concludes that Chief Obasanjo is a wicked person and a corrupt one. He also lays the blame for the death of Chief Bola Ige and perhaps S. M. Afolabi at the same doors as well as the destruction of Atiku’s political career and machinery. While these may have a semblance of truth, every political analyst knows that they are the reality of politics, except perhaps the death of Bola Ige which I will like to avoid for the sake of space but I will say that Chief Audu Ogbeh owes us the truth about who insisted that Iyiola Omisore must be made candidate for the senatorial seat he occupies even while he was in prison. That truth will shed light on who sent Omisore to embarass Ige and wanted so badly to reward him.

As per Chief S. M. Afolabi, it is a matter of historical fact that the man died on his sick bed in an hospital while facing prosecution in an alleged $241 million national identity card scam. The Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, detained him and four others and he was alleged to have collected $345,600 as gratification from one Niji Adelagun, a representative of Sagem SA, the company that won the identity card contract. He was also one of Chief Ige’s sworn enemies.

The issue of Chief Sunday Awoniyi, a man who tried to be more northern than the northerners, and because of his name which is a Yoruba one, the ACF encouraged him in his bitter assault on the then President Obasanjo.

As per Atiku, he is still alive and can testify that Obasanjo gave him free reign from 1999-2003 when he proved disloyal and said in an interview with BBC Hausa service that he had three options: either to go with OBJ, go with Ekwueme or stand alone at the PDP primaries which was just few days away at the time he gave the interview. It was after this episode that OBJ moved against his deputy and did not stop until he’d stopped him from becoming president, an ambition that Atiku has nursed since 1993.

It would interest Iyobosa to know that Otunba Fasawe has gone to Otta to prostrate to OBJ just as Atiku is seeking his political favour. These are not the signs of a politician who is on the decline. Ask President Jonathan for whom OBJ campaigned and mobilised for perhaps only less than Pa Edwin Clark.

To be certain, OBJ is neither God nor a god but to say he is a political pariah is far from the truth. The man has his own failings but as those who have worked with him will testify, he is a great friend to those who are friendly to him but a terrible enemy once you cross him politically.

OBJ’s relevance in the polity is obvious from the number of governors and political elite who made their way to Otta recently to contribute to the mosque he is building at the presidential library. Just last week, he was in Osun state at the behest of the ACN governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola after returning from Ghana as the head of the ECOWAS electoral observation team. Only a blind political analyst or one with a mischievous agenda will say the man can be ignored.

I have never met OBJ neither have I received anything from him by proxy. This argument is not about his goodness or his personality so I have restricted my comments to his political stock only and that, in recent times, not of his policies (some of which I disagree with) or his lack of loyalty to his own people which makes him more loved outside the southwest than within, a sure sign of a detribalised leader.

With 2015 around the corner, we would not need to wait too long to know the relevance of OBJ’s endorsement at the national level as well as Iyobosa Uwugiaren’s political disposition.

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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.

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One comment

  1. Allah knows best. He has knowledge of everything.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail