Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is in pains. He is lamenting. Obasanjo is sad. He is very bitter, worried, troubled. His heart is bleeding. The former President is disturbed about the current state of affairs in Nigeria, about the socio-economic and political challenges affecting the country.
Obasanjo, who ruled Nigeria for eleven and half years (three and half years as military dictator, and eight years as democratically elected President), says the current challenges besetting the nation run contrary to the dreams and aspirations of the founding fathers, and what God had destined the country to be.
Receiving a book titled The Man, The General, and The President, written by Femmy Carrena at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Obasanjo said, “My prayer is that all of us will have something to contribute to making this country what God has created it to be – a land flowing with milk and honey.
He however regretted that “right now, the country is a land flowing with bitterness and sadness, that is not what God wants this country to be. We must change the narrative, we must talk to ourselves in the civilized language.
Speaking on how to set Nigeria on the right track, the former President, said education must take the forefront and must be accorded its rightful position to reduce the numbers of out-of-school pupils which at the moment is put at about 14 million.
While we sympathise with Obasanjo and lament along with him about what is currently happening in the country, about the despicable state of affairs in Nigeria, we however believe that the former President bears part of the blames of what is now happening to us.
One, Olusegun Obasanjo is the longest serving Nigerian leader. For eleven and half years, out of a little over sixty years of Nigeria’s existence as an independent nation, he had occupied the highest office in the land. It is a rare privilege God had given him out of the over 200 million Nigerians. So, if Obasanjo had used that golden opportunity to reposition the country, a lot of what we are currently witnessing wouldn’t have been there.
Two, Obasanjo was a key player in the creation of the present monster that is holding us captive. He told us to vote for the man and his political party. So, out of pettiness and short-sightedness, he destroyed the house that he built.
Obasanjo was serving a jail sentence for treasonable felony, when they brought him out from prison and made him President, with the hope that he would reposition and stabilize the country. But he bungled it, and messed up the opportunity.
For eight years, Obasanjo could not put his acts together on how to set the country on the right path. Rather, he sought to run foul of the Constitution by seeking to extend his tenure. When that venture failed, he hurriedly brought in somebody he knew was not healthy, and imposed him on the country as President.
Not only that, Obasanjo because he did not like somebody who was there as President and who wanted to do his second tenure, decided to team up with other people to bring in a revisionist, somebody they knew his antecedents, his sordid past, and imposed him on the country.
Now, they are all complaining, lamenting, that the man had ruined the country. From North to South, and from East to West, Nigeria is on fire, burning. Most people have lost hope in the system, with no confidence in the leadership. A lot of people are agitating, demanding to go their separate ways.
But why are they now lamenting? Why are they complaining, including our dear former President Olusegun Obasanjo? The deed has been done. So, there is no need complaining. There is no need lamenting. It is crying over a spilt milk. You cannot call back yesterday.
But this is a good lesson. Next time around, let us not be carried away by our sentiments, by our emotions, by our ethnic or religious biases, by monetary and material interests. In philosophy, we make distinction between appearance, how a thing looks like in our sense objects; and reality, what the thing actually is.
In most cases, we fall for the former. Next time, let us be more careful and painstaking in making our choices.