By Comrade Newton Chigozie
There are obviously two people who have been enthusiastically
celebratory since last week, when a new book on the 2015 elections
entitled, ‘Against the Run of Play’ was unveiled. One, understandably
so, is the chairman of This Day editorial board Segun Adeniyi who has
every cause to savour the widespread attention his latest effort is
receiving across the nation.
The other is ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, a main respondent in the
book. His excitement is also not strange because of his proclivity to
cling on every straw to massage his vaunted ego and promote his
usually exaggerated fantasy on his questionable heroism and
As the confessed lead undertaker, exuberant for his kill in the failed
Jonathan return in 2015 elections, with all the caustic reversals of
our collective fortunes as Nigerians, many Nigerians thought his
magical prescription of AOBJ (any other but Jonathan) is fully tested
and should be rested.
But we are sourly mistaken. This much is apparent going by the
trending fusillades from Obasanjo to Jonathan, so royally captured in
Adeniyi’s new book which is currently trending.
In this captive narratives of pre-2015 elections role players,
betrayers and conspirators, Obasanjo who squeezed the final fatal shot
on the Jonathan project is still reveling to cremate the body and
possibly spread the ash on his farm for his ultimate spot of fun.
In this same book, Obasanjo harboured no qualms in dramatically
denying any fore knowledge of late President Yar’adua ailment prior to
his election, yet refused to allow him rest in peace as he went ahead
to insinuate scorn on him ‘as a fickle and feeble person widely known
to be ruled by his manipulative wife.
Not done, Obasanjo descended a base lower by graphically adorning
President Jonathan as “incurably inept, who cleverly appropriated Boko
Haram malaise as his ATM to our national treasury alongside his
These are the mirthless toxins with which a former president and
chancellor of his University serenades his colleagues in the public
place, ironically those he boasts of playing the unchallenged
godfather to locate, profile and recruit.
We are appalled and scandalized that a greying past president who has
a farm, a university and infact the only presidential library in this
country, is not famed for the development ideas he generates, food he
produces or scholarships he endowed to mitigate our dire national
emergencies, but rather a profound faculty for unravelling persons he
helped make and those that made him.
This is why Nigerians must wake up, and I purposefully urge them to so
do now, to completely and totally ignore him. We have seen and tasted
enough of his ‘mixes and potions’ notorious for absence of elementary
His latest offerings and explanations on that book ‘Against the Run
of Play’ are no less useless to our development as a people. They are
soiled excuses where apologies should have been neater, tasteless
gravitas where decency would have been braver. It is sadly pointless
to stay glued to a masquerade whose habitual entertainment is build
and destroy, raise and cut down, nurture and neutralize.
Of course former president Jonathan is not a man without sins of
political missteps. He does have enough, but obviously less perilous
than our high horse Judge Advocate. Jonathan gave his word that his
victory in 2015 is not worth the blood of any Nigerian, he kept it. He
had executive powers but never used it to sabotage our electoral
process. Rather he entrenched Nigeria in the comity of growing
He never gagged the judiciary or the legislature. He respected free
speech. He energized Nigerian democracy the way no other has done or
attempted by organising the best elections yet. He quit the scene
noiselessly and went into personal hibernation without fuss or fury.
He is not throwing tantrums left right and centre to pull down
individuals or legacies. What then is the heck?
What are Obasanjo’s comparisons to these sterling records? Obasanjo
derobed his vice president publicly, demystified the institutions of
the National Assembly, cowed the judiciary, denied assent to Freedom
of Information Bill, compromised the electoral body INEC, stunted
opposition, ruined our national assets, and above all moved in to mow
down our democracy through an illegitimate third term bid. Of course
it failed, but not without dragging the nation deeper into the gorge
of corruption with the Ghana-Must-Go bags of bribe money displayed
openly on the floor of the National Assembly. Charming credentials
indeed for the then ‘trending father of a new Nigeria’.
Comrade Chigozie is President, Network for National Development (NENADEV)