Monday, 16 August 2010

Not God! Not Jerry Rawlings! Only Nigerians Can Save Nigeria From Them! Written by Kayode Ogundamisi.

Not God! Not Jerry Rawlings! Only Nigerians Can Save Nigeria From Them! Written by Kayode Ogundamisi.

You must be wondering who “they” are! Well, ‘they’ would be the political gladiators and the men and women who hold sway in Nigeria as the custodians of our destiny. I know you would also want to ask me where they want to have us. Well, they want us to feel dejected, believe there is nothing we can do.

If you go through most of the write ups by op ed writers and blogs, you find a common theme of calling on God (predominantly amongst those who believe in a supreme being) to come and liberate us from the celestial human lords who hold sway in Abuja and all the nook and crannies of Nigeria. But do you blame Nigerians? Even the most liberal of critics, in private, discuss the state of hopelessness.

One public thinker recently opined that only a bloody Jerry Rawlings model revolution can save us from the blood sucking vampires we call political leaders in Nigeria Those who have tried every democratic option from civil disobediences, open letters, lobbying, campaign, blogging are now so tired that some simply say they will not mind a Thomas Sankara model military coup to save us from a leadership long on facebook promises and short on delivering even the most basic of needs and electoral promises. What is most appalling are those who surround the current president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan. The same men and women who fret at the mention of the name of certain cabals of few months past, have now turned themselves into a new cabal.

They who kept quiet when the constitution of our Country was being trampled upon, are now the ones who feign surprise when we question the profligacy of the new man in the saddle. Like Musa Yar’Adua, the current President appears to be a prisoner of some sort - imprisoned by a greedy cabal.

Let us be clear, we seem to have replaced a mild gluttonous cabal with thirsty vampires. They flock together and do whatever they like. The voice of the people is of no consequence. The legacy of the current government would probably be a post mortem of Waste! Waste! Waste! And more Waste!

Let us take a look at the borrowing from the World Bank. A proposal to get a loan of One Hundred and Thirty Eight Billion Naira from the World Bank was justified by the minister of finance Segun Aganga with some Goldman Sach coated explanation before you could say Goodluck Nigeria. Anyone calling for a review was seen to be lacking in the understanding of how modern economics work. In Britain, from where the minister was borrowed, the government is cutting down on waste and saving for the future. Well the opposite is the case in Nigeria, a government going cap in hand to international financial institutions decided to budget a huge sum of money on a 50th anniversary celebration. By the time President Goodluck Jonathan “consulted” with his over 150,000 fans on face book and coordinated some gyrations with the PDP controlled law makers, the ‘owambe’ bill had risen to 17 billion Naira.

They were not finished yet, the President’s Power committee set up to look into the power palaver in Nigeria had budgeted almost 900 million naira on food, cars and hotel bills for 73 members of staff for an assignment that will last 12 calendar months. Not completely satisfied, Mr President and the men and women who swore to protect us, fancied some modern executive jets. If the men and women of God in churches can play with executive jets, why not spend 23.2 billion naira ($154.3 million) on a Gulf stream G550 and two new Falcon 7X Aircraft. What is wrong with the jets bought by Olusegun Obasanjo? They say it’s Tokunbo, how about the jets bought by Babangida? Not good enough? Well did Abacha not buy some too? They can’t find them.

We are in trouble, but we should not be overwhelmed, the battle to save Goodluck Jonathan from his own blood sucking cabal is now. After all, Goodluck did not fight to protect our constitution; neither did his array of special advisers. It was ordinary Nigerians who marched on the streets of Lagos, Abuja, New York, London and many more who rightly called on Turai to release power to a man who was only used to being in the shadow of his ogas.

His inexperience of taking the reigns of power have been brought to the fore in his allowance of some sycophants that have introduced the ethnic card, saying Goodluck Jonathan is spending “our oil money.” Niger Delta money? Is he spending it on the people of the Niger Delta? No. This man and those who surround him are milking your common wealth.

If Jonathan loves the Niger Delta so much, we should have witnessed oil clean up exercises going on in all nook and crannies of that blessed region. Like President Barack Obama did in America, our President would be taking a dive in at least one of the local rivers in the Niger Delta. But No! Mr President wants Jets, He wants to Party and He wants more money from the IMF. Our president is either in bondage, confused or at best unconcerned as it is “our time” to have a bite of the National Cake - oh sorry, the Niger Delta cake.

But it is not too late. The president can change. He will be excused if he spends a greater percentage of the money to clean up the mess in the Niger Delta, a place neglected by his government and governments before him. Surely, the President knows that loads of Ghana must go bags filled with millions of Naira given to some self styled militants won’t solve the problem in the Niger Delta. He must stop all the waste, the unnecessary spending. He should pick on one issue - be it holding credible elections, or even nationwide security, we will be forever grateful to him. He should not fail Nigeria the way those before him have failed our nation.

GEJ can put his foot down and write his name in gold. No one is denying him his God given right to contest in 2011, but he should not sacrifice Nigeria’s development for his own ambition by abandoning governance to the politics of “catch me if you can, will GEJ run or not run?”

For those of us who get frustrated by the minute, it is not the time to moan, it is the time to let go of our differences, support this government when it is doing what is right but stand in its way when it is going down the wrong path. Unfortunately at the moment, it appears to specialise in doing more wrong than right. We must not be overwhelmed; we can not give up on Nigeria. We don’t have a Rawlings waiting in a Nigerian barrack ready to liberate us from our fellow Nigerians. We are our own Rawlings when we start holding them to account.

For every one “liking” Jonathan’s Facebook page and telling him he is the best thing after the discovery of mobile telecommunications, you should not complain when he starts taking you for granted. We can not afford to fail our children; the campaign for change must not stop. We can go a step further, identify programmes for change.

In Nigeria, the Puritan is scarce but we can get something close to a revolution as a prelude to the full blown revolution. Maybe GEJ can still change to change Nigeria. That is a long shot maybe but the least change we need is enough change to stop this slow death. Siddon look is what they want us to do; being onlookers as they milk us dry will be a disservice to generations yet unborn.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Goodluck to Jonathan But Not On Obasanjo’s Recommendation Written by Kayode Ogundamisi

Goodluck to Jonathan But Not On Obasanjo’s Recommendation Written by Kayode Ogundamisi

Recently I heard someone say that history will record Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as one of the greatest Nigerians ever. Whao! I felt my bowels do a somersault as my heart raced down to the pit of my stomach. Over and over I’ve heard people say that life is a bitch sometimes and it’s even full of revulsion but this is the mother of it all! Why in the world must fate always deal us terrible blows that leave scars that are just too hard to cope with?

So much has been said about the life and times of Gen Olusegun Obasanjo and more often than not we’ve found ourselves burdened with roller-coaster rides that we don’t need. The tragedy of it all is that we always find ourselves terribly bruised and battered at the end of each ride. Then, just as we hope we can catch our breath and heal from the bashing, he begins another ride, dragging us in without our consent.

We do our best to get over his re-emergence in this republic. We all must take responsibility for his second coming because we all were not paying enough attention to what was not so obvious and evident about this man.

He did a bang job of keeping dirt in our eyes by posturing as a David who just went through the valley of the shadow of death and was blessed to come out with his life. Of course a man who had tangoed with death should know how to live life better and show respect for his life and that of others. After all the sun was already setting on him and one would assume that a man who has been given the opportunity to re-write the story of his will make sure that every line is written in gold.

But we should have read the hand writing on the wall! I remember small talk and laughter that was milling around the camp of the PDP during the campaigns about how uncultured and crass Obasanjo was in his private space; he would throw a sandal at his wife because she erred. Some even said he was a jolly good fellow who was yet to recover from the psychological impact of prison life.

Now we know better as we watch this same man run wild in our political space in the last decade.
Going around like nothing short of an irredeemable psychopath, he has broken every law of human decorum and shocked us all beyond measure. It wasn’t enough that he ruled Nigeria like a megalomaniac on rampage in his household, when he realized that he could not perpetuate himself, he decided to cripple the country with his choice of successor. He made sure that because he couldn’t continue abusing Nigeria, nobody else would do it good.

We all know what has happened. We all heard him calling on God to punish him if he did what we accuse him of. Now fate has turned a new leaf for us and he is back with his malevolent inspiration to desecrate it. What makes Obasanjo think he could do just anything and get away with it? Who is the Babalawo that gives him the guts to go on kicking dirt into our eye? God certainly can’t be part of such evil; who is Obasanjo’s babalawo?

I remember athlete called the Undertaker back then during the World Wrestling Federation; he was simple invincible. He had Paul his vampire who smoked the arena and did the entire spook he needed to do for the undertaker to stay strong and beat his opponent! Suddenly the other athletes got wiser and decided to take-out Paul and destroy his magic jar before the fight; that was the day the undertaker was de-mystified and trounced mercilessly.
It’s time we sought out the vampire or babalawo who is beating the ugly drums Obasanjo is dancing to publicly. The man must not be allowed to dance into 2011. Let him carry his Goodluck to hell and leave Nigeria alone! Let him leave Goodluck Jonathan alone to chart a path for himself and for Nigeria.

Let him who is being deceived that Obasanjo can deliver the people of South West Nigeria in a twinkle of an eye re think again. We have learnt our lessons; Obasanjo is not the best sales man for free and fair election. The God Father of “do and die” politics should be told in very clear and loud terms that Obasanjo's Messiah is not our Messiah.

We have learnt from the misadventure of Musa Yar’Adua and the PDP. Nigerians will come out and vote not for the God Fathers candidate but for the man with the answer to the plague confronting our Nation and a solution for all of Nigeria. We are going to turn the page.