“I cannot surrender the sovereignty that was given to me by the Nigerian people”. President Olusegun Obasanjo, Oyo State February, 2001.
As a direct consequence of the gradual degeneration of the Nigerian state, the passionate campaign and vigorous agitation for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) is once again steadily gathering momentum. For even though we have a “democratically” elected government in power today, the fact remains that the “National Question” is yet to be answered. And until we have searched our souls and settled some outstanding fundamental issues that still exist among our varous nationalities, until the brutal role of internal colonialism has been completely and irrevocably shattered, Nigeria cannot possibly prosper and neither can she achieve her full potentials. This is because there can be little doubt that the many problems that this country faces cannot be solved simply by the establishment of democracy, the provision of good government and the equitable distribution of ministerial portfolios.
There is far more to it than that and anyone that seriously believes otherwise must have been living on another planet for the last 41 (forty-one) years. And with all due respect to President Obasanjo’s efforts, it is painfully obvious that a sovereign national conference remains the only permanent solution to the myriad of complex problems in this country. For example, when did we as a people ever agree to stay together as one? And even if we ever did what were the terms of our union? Did the people of the south ever agree to become perpetual slaves to the Fulani ruling class and their military collaborators? And even though we have a southerner in power today, what happens in 2007 after Obasanjo goes? Or can he remain there forever? Will the hegemonic forces, at that point, not insist on taking the Presidency back to the core conservative north? And in the event of this happening will we not have come back to square one? And in any case when did the south ever agree to assume the role of a wealthy yet submissive and timid wife that has been systematically and consistently cheated, raped and sodomised by a parasitic, domineering and arrogant northern husband?
Again, could the Yoruba ever seriously agree for a man like Obasanjo to adequately and honestly represent their interests at the centre? A man who saw “political sharia” and rather than face it squarely instead tucked his tail between his legs and ran. Can anyone dispute the fact that the young Ganiyu Adams is steadily acquiring the status of the William Wallace of Yoruba politics? And in case anyone has forgotten, William Wallace was the courageous and heroic morning-class Scotsman who gallantly led his people against the brutal tyranny of their English overlords in the 15th century but who was eventually betrayed by some unscrupulous members of his own Scottish ruling class (see the film titled “Braveheart”). Even though Wallace was eventually caught and executed by the English, the irresistible flame of rebellion to tyranny that he had effectively and selflessly kindled eventually led to the liberation of Scotland and to the establishment of an independent Scottish monarchy. Let no one be in any doubt that, despite the “shoot to kill” orders and the ongoing yet covert “elimination” policy of the federal police, there are literally millions of closet Ganiyu Adams in the west today who are simply waiting for the right time to manifest their outrage and disgust about what is still happening in this country.
If you kill Ganiyu Adams today one thousand will rise up in his place and whether anyone likes it or not the truth is that Nigeria is once again silently on the boil. Consequently, I have no doubt that sometime in the not too distant future a set of circumstances will unfold that will ensure that a sovereign national conference is finally called and its recommendations will be implemented to the letter. It is only a matter of time. Again, the truth is that nothing has happened today that has encouraged those of us that share this view to have cause to change our minds: economic conditions in the Nigeria of today are far worse than they were 22 (twenty-two) months ago. And sadly it is a notorious fact that as despicable and heartless as the Abacha administration was, it at least managed to keep the exchange rate at approximately N80 (eighty naira) to $1 (on dollar for almost 4 (four) years running. Yet by way of contrast, the present administration has allowed the naira to drop to N125 (one hundred and twenty five naira) to $1 (one dollar in just 22 months). Now let me state categorically and clearly that this is not an indirect endorsement or an expression of supprt for General Sani Abacha’s luciferian dictatorship. Rather it is merely a noteworthy and pertinent observation and an irrefutable statement of fact.
And even if some believe that this is “no big deal”, can anyone disagree with the brilliant Ajose Adeogun when he recently said “this country is on its knees and in a state of crisis and yet the President is busy junketing all over the world.” And even though this writer may not be prepared to go as far as my respected friend and “Egbon” Kanmi Ademiluyi, who recently said that, from an economic perspective, he believes that the present administration is “the worst since Nigeria’s independence,” I would certainly acknowledge the fact that there is considerable cause for concern. And just as one small example, in places like Apapa and Ikeja today (which are both primary industrial areas) the Federal Government cannot even supply more than three to four hours of electric power per day. Again in many other less “privileged” areas the residents have not had any power supply at all for days, weeks and, in some cases, even months. Of course, the dire implications of the fuel scarcity is an old story but even more worrying than that is the very serious problem of the newly acquired personality traits of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The President now seems to be gradually relapsing to his old, pre-1995 dictatorial self and there can be little doubt that the man suffers from what the British would describe as a “debilitating character flaw.” The truth is that is appears that of late our President has cultivated what we in Pentecostal circles have come to recognise as a “Saulian anointing.” He started well but he is progressively deteriorating. And if he is not careful like the biblical Saul he will end in utter disaster and shame. Frankly, and in my humble opinion, he would do well to once again remember the chilling words of Pastor Tunde Bakare’s “Agagian prophecy.” Again it is clear that Mr President feels unduly threatened by everyone and anyone. He does not listen. He does not care and he appears to growl with a deep and disembling rage whenever anyone looks at things from a different perspective to his own. He finds it difficult to tolerate any form of criticism (even where such is constructive) and he has cultivated an obvious and relentless contempt for intellectual discourse. Again he has absolute disdain and contempt for those of us that contribute to public debate and intellectual discourse and that spend some of our time writing books or publishing articles. For people like Mr President the influencing of public opinion through the auspices of the print media does not matter and neither does public opinion itself count for anything. And this is to be expected from the likes of him for there is nothing that a soldier fears more than a powerful and loaded pen, and this is the case for one reason and one reason alone. The bullet from a soldier’s gun can kill but only once but a well-primed shot from a powerful pen can wound and maim from generation to generation. Mr President’s attitude is further worsened and compounded by the fact that he, for some reason or other, actually sees himself as not only an intellectual but also as a “messiah.”
He believes that he has all the answers. He believes that he can never be wrong. Yet, sadly, the bitter truth is that in his first coming Obasanjo sold us to the Fulani caliphate and now, in his second, he is selling us not only to his American and Western European backers but also to his friends at the IMF and the World Bank. The president has turned himself into something that is akin to the proverbial heartless and extremely wicked African slave trader who actually takes pleasure in selling and humiliating his own people and of course when they begin to complain he attempts to intimidate and cowed them into silence and submission and he lashes them with his cruel whip. The truth is that this writer is sick and tired of attempting to gloss over and rationalise the gross inadequacies of the Obasanjo administration simply on the grounds that Obasanjo is a southerner and a Yoruba man. The fact of the matter is that if Mr President had happened to be a northern there would probably have been rioting in the streets of the west by now as a consequence of the sheer incompetence and insensitivity of the Federal Government, and in any case Obasanjo was never the Yoruba candidate so he must stop taking the Yoruba support that he has recently cultivated for granted. We cannot whip the children of others when they do wrong and at the same time spare our own child the rod when he has failed. As a matter of fact, if things do not improve I can confidently say that he will be forced by the electorate to wave “bye’bye” to the Presidential Villa by 2003.
Things are that bad. Yet I have absolutely nothing personal against the president and I say all these things out of love simply because I do not want him to fail in his endeavours. And when I cast my vote for him in 2003 I want to be able to do so in good conscience and as a consequence of his policies and not just because he is a devout Christian and a Yoruba man that I feel that I am obliged to support for primordial reasons.
Culled from the Comet newspaper of March 18, 2001.