• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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‘Why Obasanjo could be the ‘Nostradamus’ of our time’

Obasanjo advocates single-digit loan for farmers

On February 25, 2023, Nigerians will be going to the polls to elect a new president that will preside over the affairs of the country for a fresh four-year term.

The election, whether successful or not, will mark the 24 years of sustained democracy in the country since 1999 when the Abdusalami Abubakar-led military junta, handed over power to civilians.

As much as the 24 years should be celebrated as a landmark achievement in the history of Nigerian democracy, these years also remind the country of the little or nothing to show for it, the injustice and the lopsidedness of the democracy in Nigeria.

For 24 years, all the geopolitical zones have either produced a president or vice, except the South East zone.

The need to correct the glaring abnormality seems to have aggravated personal campaigns by some notable Nigerians for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.

One of the most equivocal supporters of South East presidency in the 2023 election is Olusegun Obasnajo, former president of the country.

Obasanjo’s support is despite the fact that Bola Tinubu, his kinsman, is also running for presidency under the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar, his former vice, who is also running for the same position under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Obasanjo’s seemingly hard stand against his kinsman and all other candidates, apart from Peter Obi, is also supported by some others in his mind frame and also from his geopolitical zone.

Even before the presidential primaries, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, a Yoruba elder statesman, and leader of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, has always urged parties to field candidates from the South East to balance the democratic equation in the country.

When Peter Obi emerged the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, Pa Adebanjo quickly affirmed his support and since then has been reaffirming his loyalty for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party despite criticism from his geopolitical zone.

But while Pa Adebanjo’s support is strong, Obasanjo’s support seems stronger as the former president is even canvassing for votes for the LP’s presidential candidate.

This stirs a rhetorical question of what is Obasanjo seeing that many are not seeing?

Well, the answer is not far-fetched, while Pa Adebanjo is calling for fairness in Nigeria’s democracy, Obasanjo thinks an Eastern president will bring stability to the country, while denial of the geopolitical zone the opportunity to produce a president come February 25, 2023, may worsen the insecurity situation in the country.

Read also: Lagos 2023: I’ll ease your burden if elected governor – Jandor

According to Melvin Ifewodor, a security expert, there is urgent need to address the insecurity issue in the country and Obasanjo has long seen it and that the older folks in the presidential race cannot get the easterners and the agitators to listen to them if their candidate did not emerge winner of the 2023 elections.

“If APC or PDP wins the election, it will send signals to the agitators of Biafra that Nigeria does not regard the Igbos, hence the opportunity to further their agitation.

“Call them secessionists, agitators or whatever name, the result of the 2023 election will fire their efforts and destabilise the country further if Peter Obi is denied the presidential seat,” Ifewodor said.

Considering Obasnjo’s vast experiences as both military and civilian president of the country, better knowledge of the people and security issues, Abidemi Adeniran, a lawyer and human right activist, thinks that the former president is right because the country needs to douse tensions across the country, starting with the South East.

“For fairness and justice’s sake, how can a geopolitical zone be left out for the 24 years of the country’s democracy.

“If you say power is wrestled for and not given, it was given to the South West in 1999 when Olusegun Obasanjo and Olu Falae contested in the two major parties at the presidential election. The best thing the major parties would have done would have been to field candidates from the South East.

“These guys voted Obasanjo, they voted Yar Adua, they voted Jonathan, many of them voted Buhari, so why can’t one of their own be voted for by others to lead Nigerians,” Adeniran said.

The activist from the South West geopolitical zone noted that the South West has had Obasanjo for eight years, Osinbajo for eight years by May as well as the North with Yar Adua, Namadi Sambo and Muhammadu Buhari and for equity and stability of the country as Obasanjo has since seen and soliciting for, the South East should be allowed to test presidency this 2023.

For Lukas Yakubu, a retired soldier from Pankshin, Plateau State, Obasanjo is the most respected of all Nigerian presidents within and outside the country, as well as the fiercest of them is addressing insecurity, “so he is seeing with an elder’s eye.”

He insists that Obasanjo may probably be seeing that after the 2023 election Nigeria’s insecurity, agitations and other challenges may escalate out of hand as the agitators have more reasons to ask for their own country.

“Imagine you having children that cannot attain the highest office in their country, imagine you being sidelined in sensitive issues in your country because of where you are from, we all heard a president telling the South East that they should not expect anything from his government because they did not vote for him, imagine a people being threatened to be thrown into the Lagos Lagoon by a royal father and you still tell them that they are Nigerians.

“The approach of the secessionists will definitely take a deadlier dimension that will affect all Nigerians if their own is not elected into power in 2023.

“You cannot beat a child and ask him not to cry and this is what Obasanjo seems to have seen and is predicting Nigeria post 2023 election, while giving reasons to avert calamities,” the retired soldier who served across Owerri, Enugu, Ibadan and Makurdi warned.

Others like Emeka Anyaoku, former secretary general, Commonwealth, think that Obasanjo is not the type you take for granted because his is “the most visionary political leader Nigeria has ever voted into political power since the return of democracy in 1999,” according to Anyaoku.

Recalling some of the major saves by Obasanjo, Chijioke Umelahi, an Abuja-based lawyer and former Abia lawmaker, noted that it was under Obasanjo that Sani Yerima, former Zamfara State governor came up with Sharia law and Obasanjo told Nigerians that it would die a natural death and that happened.

“He has fought to see the country united. He saw trouble coming up at Odi in Bayelsa State and Zakibiam in Benue State and handled them perfectly. I think he sees more than every other Nigerian and his view that the Igbos should be allowed to rule the country from 2023 is in line with equity and justice, and most importantly, for the unity of Nigeria,” Umelahi said.

Some concerned Nigerians think that most of Obasanjo’s predictions about the country’s politics have come to pass, hence his warning that denying the South East presidency in the 2023 election will further destabilise the country, should not be taken for granted.