There appears no doubt that Chief Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo has so far lived a fulfilled life. Very few human creations even across the globe have been privileged to be so favored by provident with such a life of massive achievements. Obasanjo came into national consciousness when in 1970 he received on behalf of Nigeria the surrendered baton from Biafran soldiers, a historic development that signaled the end of civil war after three years of huge human carnage and destruction of properties particularly in the eastern part of the country.
Meanwhile, his romance with the nation leadership indeed came in 1975 when military coup swept away General Yakubu Gowon from office. Obasanjo subsequently emerged as one of the ruling triumvirate. Six months later, he indeed assumed leadership of Nigerian government when the head of that triumvirate was assassinated. His reign as Head of States which lasted for about three years heralded the first Nigerian democratic government in 1979. At that time, this was indeed a symbolic gesture for a nation that had been locked in the military captivity shortly after the Independence.
Obasanjo appeared 20 years later when he got elected as the nation’s democratic president to drive the governance of the 4th Republic. It’s a clear indication of someone who enjoys divine grace and favor.
The aforementioned achievements were no mean feats by any standards. In-fact, there is no Nigerian living or dead with that record of achievements. The only Nigerian very close to him is the incumbent president, Muhammud Buhari. On the global stage, Obasanjo commands an awesome influence amongst the world leaders and indeed, in the comity of nations. His voice on any issue resonates across the globe.
However, despite these impressive achievements at home and at the global stages, there is a gulf in relationship between the Owu high chief and his Yoruba kinsmen who accused him of denying the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo golden chance to become the nation president in 1979.
They also did not like his pronouncement that ‘Abiola was not the Messiah Nigeria needed’, believing that the statement invigorated IBB and his group to eventually draw curtains on all valiant and spirited efforts made by all democratic groups for the realization of the mandate.
The people of the South/West were also appalled with the way Obasanjo presidency maltreated Tinubu while he was in charge of Lagos, by not only stalling at the national assembly the ingenious creation of additional 37 LGCs, but equally seizing the federal allocation meant for the state’s councils throughout his second term tenure as president.
Instructively, as the preparation for the forthcoming election gains momentum, the recent visit of Obasanjo to London is being seen as declaration of war on Yoruba nation. Report filtering out from Obasanjo’s London meeting with politicians indicated a largely unproductive session. Obasanjo carries on as if he doesn’t want any Yoruba man to beat or equal or even comes close to his record.
The nation has gone beyond primordial sentiments that Chief Obasanjo might be harboring in supporting a candidate. As the country economy is going through a torrid and very difficult period in its annals, the populace is in dire need of a candidate that could cause social engineering and renewal in all the gamut-economy, financial and real sectors as well as the infrastructure capable of jumpstarting the sectors.
To avoid the huge mistake of the past, the nation needs pragmatic developmental plans that would take care of the country 10, 20 and even 30 years ahead. The future must be planned from now. Nature endows Nigeria with the amazing resources in Niger Delta ostensibly to launch her into the comity of the greater nations but till date, the successive administrations have squandered the resources coming therefrom.
Besides the fact that they’ve refused to institute framework to cause optimal returns from the resources of oil and gas from the zone, they’ve also mismanaged the region.
Oil bunkering and theft in immeasurable proportion on-going on hourly basis in the region is mindboggling and devastating. Gas resources are being wastefully flared away. There is urgent need to cause implosion in the Small and Medium scale enterprises if the country must emerge from the wood. That’s the developmental strategy in place in Asian countries. That’s the main stay of their economies.
The happenings in developed economies have eloquently proved that Infrastructures is the driving force of the contemporary economy. President Buhari has remarkably done well in this area. We expect the next presidency to take it to a new level. This is the only path the nation must take in order to rub shoulders with the great nations.
Amzat, (FCA, FCIB) is a
Lagos based financial consultant,