Cover Feature – THOUGHTS ON POLITICS – May, 2017
Thoughts ON POLITICS
NIGERIA, IN THE EYE OF THE STORM:Series 1.
NIGERIA AND THE POLITICS OF GUILIBILITY (1)
Former President Barrack Obama and his party_ the Democrats alleged that Russia’s interference in the American General Election of 2016 has significant influence and skewed its outcome in favour of the Republican’s (GOP) Donald Trump. As I write this piece , Michael Flynn, National Security Adviser and Stephen Kelvin “Steve” Bannon, White House Strategist who are linked to the issue have resigned and demoted in Trump’s Government respectively. Steve Bannon was hitherto a member of the Security Council. He has since been stripped of that privilege. The Congress is currently investigating the allegations . President Trump’s rating has dropped significantly.
In Nigerian parlance
” heads are already rolling ”
even when investigation has not been concluded.
All Americans are all united irrespective of party leaning against Russian involvement in their election. They condemned it in its entirety . The American public sees election as their domestic affairs and should be handled domedtically. And Nigerians _ home and abroad are hailing the American spirit _ describing it as nationalism and patriotism _ true democratic ethos in action .
But in Nigeria ,
Former President Good Luck Ebele Jonathan and his Peoples Democratic Party made the same kind of allegation against some foreign countries _ Nigerians and the ruling party are asking for their heads. We are all hailing the US, Britain, Italy and France for interfereing and influencing the outcome of the 2015 general election instead of outright condemnation and the Nigerian Parliament like the American Congress direct the allegations to the relevant Committee of the Senate or the House to begin the probe but we are playing politics with the independence and non_aligned integrity and posture of Nigeria in international politics.
I challenge Sen.Shehu Sani, Sen.Dino Melaye, Sen . Prof. Adeyeye, Sen Boroface in the Senate and Hon Leo Ogor, Hon Doguwa, Hon Nnena Ukeje in the House to see the allegations of foreign interference in our general election as a direct affront on the independence and sovereignty of Nigeria and Africa.
We urge the Nigerian civil society to see the Jonathan/PDP allegation from a non partisan binoculars and do the needful. The CSO must insist that a probe be initiated . Jonathan and everybody who alleged must be invited to appear before the Committee to substantiate and prove their allegations. He who alleges must prove beyond reasonable doubts.
Hon Abike Dabiri , former Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora and Senior Special Adviser to President Buhari on Diaspora and Foreign Relations should also initiate some form of investigation. This probe has nothing to do with Buhari as an individual. This probe will test the strength of our institutional capacity in technical matters of this nature.
Literary giant Prof Whole Soyinka, Femi Falana, NBA, NLC, TUC, Prof Itself Sagay , Chairman on Anti_Corruption, Col Dangiwa Umar, Joe Odumakin should all show more than a passing interest on this issue.
The sleeping giant in us must wake up today.
Comrade Victor Arogunyo
Organizing for Action .
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OLUSEGUN OBASANJO ON JONATHAN’S FAILURE: IT IS TIME FOR BABA TO EXIT THE PUBLIC SCENE
Speaking to popular personal development expert, Anthony Robbins, President George W. Bush said “I can’t criticize President Obama, he is my president, he is the president of the United States. I remember when Nixon was impeached I thought this man destroyed the American democracy, destroyed the presidency, destroyed the reputation, but you know what I discovered when I became president? The office is bigger than the occupant.”
The office of President of Nigeria derives it’s powers from the people of Nigeria and any attempt to disparage the person of the occupant of such an office is an insult on the sensibilities of over 180million Nigerians.
Indeed the office [of President of Nigeria] is bigger than the occupants because we have three arms of government and even Obasanjo is no exception, but to single out Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and heap all the blame for Nigeria’s woes of almost 60 years on him is a tired line that Nigerians will not buy any longer.
Specific actions or failure to act can be criticized but to attempt to reduce a complete person to an object of caricature is unacceptable in AFRICA’S most populous country, and it is even more unacceptable when such criticism comes from a man who has held same office and whose failures are still with us to this day.
If Nigeria Has failed to fulfil her enormous potentials, then Obasanjo is more responsible for the state of affairs than any other former leader, having held office longer than any other person. The Obasanjos of this world would do well to look to China, Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai to see what Nigeria could have been and tender unreserved apologies to the suffering masses that have been driven into poverty in ever increasing numbers from 1978, when he served as military Head of State, while China has taken over 400million people out of extreme poverty.
Since the time of Obasanjo’s first coming, China has transformed itself into a manufacturing hub, while Nigeria cannot even provide power for 24hours, leaving even the smallest households to rely on generators. Obasanjo should first explain to Nigerians what happened to the 16billion dollars he spent in the scam called National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) before making himself into a measuring tape for who is big enough to occupy the office of President.
Obasanjo, who served as petroleum minister for 8years and couldn’t fix the basic issue of adequate and steady supply of products to consumers talk more of fixing the parody of the largest producer of crude being a perennial importer of the refined products, cannot be a good judge of who is qualified to occupy the office of petroleum minister. It is easy for him to criticize the inevitable failings of his successors, but he cannot deny that he crafted and ran the very system that he condemns today.
Great leadership isn’t about baseless criticisms of others but doing something yourself, and Obasanjo, more than any other Nigerian has had the opportunities to right the wrongs that ail Nigeria and failed woefully.
While he goes about brazenly calling others corrupt, he pretends that the Otta Farms, Bells University and his Presidential library were acquired with legitimate earnings.
It is on record that despite expending hundreds of billions of Naira on road construction, the Jonathan administration he today disparages actually inherited a Benin – Ore road that wasn’t motorable, but today those who ply that route have a different story to tell. The whole world knows that President Jonathan revived the NIPP which Obasanjo created but poorly planned and corruptly executed: the Honourable Ndudi Elumelu committee report of the house of Representatives would still be available for a posterity to refer to. Projects like the Geregu plant, Kashimbilla Dam amongst others were due to Jonathan’s commitment.
The big question is whether President Jonathan was answerable to Obasanjo or the teeming masses of Nigeria, that led him to part ways with him as he said for failing to follow his instructions. It is clear that Obasanjo and other principalities perpetually delight in holding Nigerians in utter disregard and don’t factor them into their thinkings when they play their power struggle games. It is clear that for Nigeria to make progress, we must purge our political class of mercenaries who will trade up our aspirations to remain relevant in the corridors of power.
We do not need men who try to play God in determining the best solution for us when they themselves are the problem. As shown over the years and decades by Nigerians who Excel all over the world, there is nothing inherently wrong with the Nigerian DNA but it is a failure of leadership by Obasanjo and his class. Time for him to quit. ***SERIES CONTINUES.