President Jonathan is Obasanjo’s political son and to some extent, his pupil. After their celebrated Kenyan private breakfast and about two weeks of waiting, Jonathan replied his master. In the letter, he averred that Obasonjo did him grave injustice by accusing him of deceit, deception, dishonesty, incompetence, clannishness, divisiveness and insincerity. He also denied all charges, compared Obasanjo’s track record with his own, accused him of being worse n all the domains and challenged the Ota farmer to substantiate some of his allegations.
Specifically, President Jonathan declared that there was no need for this unprecedented and unconventional form of open communication because there were more dignified ways of communicating between them and that they had discussed those issues before. He also reminded his former boss that the invasion of Odi escalated militancy in the Niger Delta and that the various criminal tendencies in the country were not a creation of the Jonathan Presidency. He accused Obasanjo of peddling falsehood in the case of Atlantic oil and Shell and purveying spurious allegation as regards the missing $50bn which the originator had since recanted. President Jonathan also accused Obasanjo of being the brain behind the crises in the PDP by instigating the rebel group and attempting to harass him out of an undeclared 2015 candidature. He also insisted that Obasanjo lied by claiming that he begged 6 African leaders to lobby OBJ on his behalf over 2015 and referred him to an
earlier discussion that had on the matter. In other words, the former president was engaging in a ‘kiss and tell’ tactics!
So, what did President Jonathan say about the weighty allegations contained in Obasanjo’s letter? Obviously, the message has value and the only issue is that it came from a messenger of questionable credentials.
As I had argued in my November treatise on the relationship between yesterday’s men and today’s men, the issues have been obscured by the letters and counter-letters while the people are shortchanged. The reality is that there is corruption in the land; criminality and militancy is on the rise and governance is generally weak. Letter-writing cannot solve these problems; they need concerted strategic response and commitment. Personal example is also essential. Arguing that Obasanjo was worse than Jonathan in all the aspects raised in Letter 1 does not solve any problem. It is like arguing that “I am a thief but you are a bigger thief’ or like the National Assembly asking Nigerians to leave them with their meager allocation and go after the executives who control the larger chunk. President Jonathan must respond to the issues raised, not by more letters, but by positive action and positive results
Meanwhile, Obasanjo’s letter bomb has thrown up some strange political developments. Obasanjo now becomes the arrowhead for Jonathan’s opponents and critics, attracting the ubiquitous APC crowd who instead of growing their own base, want to capture from the top, big names and a group of disgruntled PDPians. The question of why they were disgruntled with the PDP and to what extent APC different from PDP in that regard is left for another day.
Tinubu, whom Obasanjo has repeatedly and publicly accused of corruption, suddenly becomes an ally, declaring that ‘to realize a stable Nigeria, we want to encourage you to continue the truth. We are resolved and determined to rescue Nigeria and we want you to be the navigator’[during APC marketing drive to Abeokuta, 21/12/13]. So Obasanjo now speaks the truth and Tinubu is now a worthy guest. Before long, they will tell us that Obasanjo is a progressive! All Jonathans ‘enemies’ in the north, south,
east and west are hailing OBJ who has suddenly become a saint. Leo Sobechi believes that Obasanjo has been outfoxed by his former pupil and that it reflects the personal frustrations and confessions of the author; calculated to distract, deceive, divert attention of the reading public from the failings of the writer [Obasanjo/Jonathan:Outfoxing the fox; Guardian, 15/12/13, p27] .
A mad man in my town-Ezenjo-[the ugly one] set his house on fire and gleefully told those who cared to listen that he had already escaped before the whole commotion commenced. The response that seems suitable for Ezenjo[given his circumstances] is obviously not acceptable from OBJ who is sane enough to understand the implications of setting his house on fire or even then, the futility of finger-pointing because invariably, at least three fingers will do a ‘return to sender’.
By: Ik Muo