Still on Obasanjo’s letter and Babangida’s statement
The Good people of Nigeria, would recall that first, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo it was that began the uncharted venture of always writing open letters to all Heads of State and presidents after him; a method he invented rather than follow proper channels of reaching out to, and advising sitting Heads of State and presidents, whenever and wherever he chooses to display his usual lack of patience with the leaders who he sees as not conforming to his biddings…
Fortunately, Nigerians have come see and trust President Muhammadu Buhari as someone who abhors corruption and also rebuffs profiteering.
Nigerians will not also forget in a hurry, the way and manner General Babangida hurriedly shoved aside the administration of Major General Muhammadu Buhari in just about 20 months of massive anti-corruption shake-up between 1984 and 1985 when Buhari was a military Head of States, in what was meant to affect Babangida himself, who as the Army Chief of Staff was accused of many corrupt practices.
That Babangida has, therefore, joined Chief Obasanjo in this letter writing exercise designed to impugn upon President Buhari’s integrity is therefore understandable.
The President Obasanjo that was indicted in the Haliburton bribery scandal, who was indicted in the National Assembly probe into the Energy sector in which sums of money to the tune of $16 billion was largely unaccounted for, the same Obasanjo of the illegal unconstitutional third term venture in which he became not only complicit by giving support to illegality, but actively colluding in offering bribes to National Assembly members, cannot therefore stand on any moral ground upon which to launch an attack on a very Forthright and Hardworking administration of President Buhari.
In the same way and manner, a very involved, conniving, collaborating and manipulating Babangida that annulled the June 12, 1993 Election — an election which to date is seen as the fairest and freest in the history of this nation, which by the very act of annulment of it, plunged this country into a serious political crises, cannot be said to possess a moral platform upon which he also can become a voice of the people, let alone be grounded in a moral podium upon which to become the people’s ombudsman.
We as a group, geared toward eradicating terrorism and planting good governance in Nigeria, therefore frown at these attempts, coming from both ex-military generals, Heads of state and presidents, wishing to have their personal grievances become national tribulation.
It is simply not going to happen
The real reason why both of them are doing this:
As we have established these cogent facts regarding the unsuitability of both Obasanjo and Babangida to invest upon themselves the unfit, decrepit and inappropriate garb of the conscience of the nation, it also becomes pertinent to state why these past leaders are at this time launching their written attacks on the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari.
One would have reasoned that both Obasanjo and Babangida would have written personal letters to President Buhari if indeed they meant good.
What stops them from seeking an audience with their former colleague in the Military?
But they choose to do a publicity stunt to create an impression that they meant well for Nigeria… But do they?
When we consider that President Buhari put an end to the nearly N3 trillion subsidy payments to the independent oil marketers that mostly were paper invoices without actual deliveries, we should expect corruption to fight back.
If we consider the very important fact that Buhari also put an end to the payment of several billions of naira that monthly went into the hands of ghost workers the beneficiaries of corruption will reach out to their enablers and that is exactly what we are seeing already.
Also considering the giant strides President Buhari has taken in the areas of agriculture and growth in the agricultural sector where Nigeria no longer depends on imported rice, salt, sugar, flour, it is also to be expected that those involved in racketeering entrenched into the system throughout the period of these past rulers will naturally find a way to bring the government of President Buhari down, so that Nigeria can go back to the old ways that stifled growth, concentrating instead, the control and monopoly of trade in a few hands.
Again, to be expected will be opposition to Buhari’s strict enforcement of such policies that cut off corruption and exposes corrupt practices, the enforcement of BVN in the banking industry, which stopped the illicit fraud perpetrated by private and public officials…..
Also, the enforcement of TSA where government ministries, agencies and parastatals operated unabashedly multiples of different accounts, without checks through which unauthorised funds without remittance to the Federation Account, we’re constantly being syphoned.
Again these important achievements were overlooked by Obasanjo and Babangida, that one will be forced to ask if these leaders truly love Nigeria enough to push aside their personal grievances in order to help consolidate all of these gains under the current administration of Muhammadu Buhari that has shown tremendous courage and integrity in fighting corruption from its very roots.
To give honour to whom honour is due
In stating the facts above, it is only pertinent to give honour to whom honour is due. Buhari, more than any of his predecessors, and certainly not Babangida who constantly tampered with the Judiciary as a military president and was rumoured to have procured judgement a few times, especially during the days of the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN), the fraudulent organisation he prodded, founded, funded to prolong his stay in office, was said to have procured the various judgements in favour of the annulled June 12 elections, likewise was Obasanjo not the president he was in his eight years of office bold enough to tackle corruption in the Judiciary, which Buhari did, by exposing the corrupt practices in the Judiciary, which has led to a certain sanity in the third tier of government and many corrupt judges flushed out of the system.
So, why will President Buhari, not be despised…?
We all can now see reasons why his detractors would prefer to spread false reports against him, ostensibly out of envy..!
Fortunately, Nigerians are now wiser — It is arguably the people who benefitted greatly from the corrupt practices of the past, who will support the habitual letter writers.
The right thinking good people of Nigeria are solidly behind the government of President Buhari.
At this juncture, Nigerians must answer; If by their letters and quest to pull Buhari down, what exactly are the implications;
We as a group, we are certain, if the duo of Obasanjo and Babangida succeed in pulling Buhari down, the following will follow:
1. Nigeria will be replacing a temporary hardship with permanent suffering…
Certainly, a fertile ground for the old corrupt brigade to regroup will germinate.
Nigeria will simply regress… Much like giving up on the fight against corruption and simply rolling over playing dead to the war on corruption.
2. We as a group, we are very certain that if President Buhari is stopped from recontesting, Nigerians will be replacing a rare and honest man, full of integrity with a serial Liar and Deceiver.,
Nigerians will be replacing a man of impeccable character with a man of painful impunity.
3. If by any chance President Muhammadu Buhari is railroaded into not seeking a second term, all the gains of economic recovery seen after just coming out of a bad recession will be lost and a bigger more intense recession will certainly follow.
Racketeering, roundtripping and other economic vices will be back and unashamedly too.
All the gains in improved revenue collections at the various ports will dwindle. The steady growth we have now will simply give way to a regression.
4. We as a group are again of the firm opinion that the country will suffer for it, if the coordinated plans and selfish machinations stand, to deprive Nigerians of the services of our most serious corruption fighter in Muhammadu Buhari… And not only Nigeria but the whole of Africa and the African Union, in their wisdom appointed President Muhammadu Buhari to head the African Commission on the fight against corruption.
An incorruptible man, Buhari, is a symbol already as the face of the anti-corruption crusade in Africa, and our country will simply look bad in the sight of the AU and other nations, if our greatest anti-corruption President is himself, defeated, by corruption.
It is our joint inference to conclude this statement by saying, individual liberty, freedom and justice will be the first casualty if Nigerians succumb and yield to the whims and caprices of these two old men in their very advanced age.
We are certainly better than being mere spectators and pawns in some intricate game in which, we the people are exactly the ball being played.
We, therefore, say, “No”, to the extent that, our Coalition is by this statement calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to be steadfast in support of President Muhammadu Buhari, to continue with his enviable positive strides upon which a golden future is to be expected.
Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi, the Convener of the Coalition of Civil Society Groups against Terrorism in Nigeria sent this piece from Lagos