Sunday, May 22, 2016

Obasanjo’s Endless Pontifications: A Case Of Uncontrollable Verbal Diarrhea?

By Ola Balogun

The recent outburst credited to retired General Olusegun Obasanjo on the occasion of a lecture he is said to have delivered    at Covenant University Otta (Ogun State) on May 14th 2016 regarding the competence or lack of competence of President Muhammadu Buhari in the areas of economic policy and foreign affairs visibly represents a gross indiscretion that deserves to be strongly condemned by all right-thinking citizens of Nigeria.
*Obasanjo and Buhari 
In the first place, it is very unfair that Obasanjo should take undue advantage of the fact that President Buhari once served under him in the Nigerian military to make unguarded statements based on his alleged assessment of Buhari’s characteristics as a military officer. The people of Nigeria did not elect President Buhari to perform military duties, so we have no need whatsoever to know how he was graded by retired General Olusegun Obasanjo in the course of his military career. WHO CARES?
In the second place, among all the people in Nigeria, General Obasanjo is probably one of the least qualified to offer opinions on the current state of the country or on the quality of President
Buhari’s performance in public office.

The fact of the matter is that General Obasanjo hardly achieved anything worthwhile in the course of his two stints as Nigeria’s Head of State, first as a military ruler from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979 and as a democratically elected president from 29 May 1999 to 29
May 2007. The vast majority of unbiased political commentators agree with the observation that has been made that all through his years in public office as Nigerian Head of State, retired General Obasanjo consistently revealed himself to be an inadequately educated, poorly informed, stubbornly self-opinionated, unpatriotic and thoroughly incompetent ruler.
As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: If Obasanjo had any meaningful contributions to make to the running of Nigeria’s national affairs, the time for him to have made such contributions was while he had the power to put his ideas into practice while he was Head of State.
Why didn’t he do so then? It makes absolutely no sense for General Obasanjo to start pontificating now about what ought to be done or not done by the current Nigerian President.
Obasanjo has had his turn: What he should now do is to withdraw peacefully to his farm and his so-called African Leadership Centre in Otta and allow his successors to implement their own solutions for Nigeria without any further interference from him.
After all, can retired General Obasanjo be said to have been successful during his lengthy cumulative terms of office as Nigeria’s Head of State? Did Obasanjo leave any worthwhile legacy behind after his stints in office? If the truth is to be told, one must conclude that over 70% of Nigeria’s current problems should be laid at General Obasanjo’s doorstep. Obasanjo’s sins against the people of Nigeria are simply too many to be recounted in detail!
To begin with, he might have been forgiven for having been a lacklustre successor to General Murtala Mohammed if he had not gone out of his way during the build up to handing over power to an elected civilian leader to do all that lay in his power to prevent Chief Obafemi Awolowo from being elected as Nigerian President, choosing instead to foist a weak, incompetent and confused leader in the nation in the person of Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
It is entirely symptomatic that in the detailed account of this sorry episode in Nigeria’s recent history in his carefully researched book entitled “People, Politics and Politicians of Nigeria 1940-1979 (published by Heinemann Educational Books), the late Chief Bola Ige had no hesitation in designating General Olusegun Obasanjo as the real mastermind of the obnoxious 12 two-thirds fraudulent Presidential election formula that was maliciously concocted by the master political trickster Chief Richard Akinjide, and which permitted the 1979 Presidential elections to be stolen by a cabal of reactionary political adventurers led by Obasanjo, who handed the Presidency over to Alhaji Shehu Shagari, thus setting the stage for Shagari’s disastrous performance as a do-nothing and know-nothing Nigerian President...
A few years later, during the uproar over the annulment of the free and fair Presidential election that was won by Chief Moshood Abiola in 1993, retired General Obasanjo provided strong backing for General Ibrahim Babangida’s illegal and highly reprehensible act by publicly declaring that Abiola was “not the messiah”... Within this context, retired General Olusegun Obasanjo must bear some degree of responsibility for the subsequent emergence of General Sanni Abacha as fascist ruler of Nigeria.

Most ironically, Obasanjo’s eventually fell out of favour with Abacha because he felt that, having helped to install Abacha in power, he could order this evil military dictator around and talk down to him.
However, rather than agree to dance to Obasanjo’s tune, Abacha promptly clamped him in jail! As often happens to the proverbially over-clever tortoise trickster (ijapa) in Yoruba folktales, it was a situation in which Obasanjo eventually fell victim to his own convoluted over-clever manoeuvres...
Quite tellingly, on his release from prison following the providential demise of Sanni Abacha, General Olusegun Obasanjo did not turn over a new leaf or endeavour to learn from his past mistakes!
Instead, he entered into a secret agreement with General Aliyu Mohammed (the security operative) and the wily gap-toothed militaro-political adventurer and unscrupulous trickster Ibrahim Babangida to secure backing and funding from the two of them (acting in concert with General T.Y. Danjuma) for his bid to be elected President of Nigeria.
It is easy to guess that in order to achieve his aims, Obasanjo must have engaged in his usual tortoise-style wily manoeuvres by promising to hand over power to Maradona style dribbler Ibrahim Babaginda after one term in office, a promise that he naturally failed to honour!
How well did Obasanjo perform in office after he wangled himself into power in 1999? The fact of the matter is that in many respects, retired General Obasanjo’s two terms in office as civilian President proved to be an unmitigated disaster for the people of Nigeria!
On becoming President, one of Obasanjo’s first acts was to allow himself to be persuaded by a number of western leaders, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (a smooth-talking con artist if ever there was one!) to appoint a fake economic “expert” and unrepentant western puppet and imperialist stooge named Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The hidden purpose of the abundant praise that assorted leaders from the western political world poured unceasingly on Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala soon became evident when this glib-talking lady promptly acted out the script written for her by her western puppet masters by persuading the gullible and highly ignorant General Olusegun Obasanjo to hand over a whopping N12 billion dollars from Nigeria’s hard-earned financial reserves to a gang of rogues operating under the emblem of the Paris Club of creditor nations, under the pretext of paying alleged debts that these unscrupulous gangsters claimed that Nigeria owed them (a totally mendacious claim!).
In actual fact, it was the western countries that were owing Nigeria and other African countries hundreds of billions of dollars as payment for the exploitation of African slave labour to generate untold wealth for European settlers in North and South America, the West Indies and in Caribbean islands like Haiti during the evil era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, to which must be added the vast sums of money owed for the large-scale criminal looting of raw minerals and agricultural products from Africa by Western European countries during the colonial era...
Interestingly enough, it has been postulated in some quarters that it was Abiola’s insistence on the need for reparations to be paid to the descendants of the African slaves whose labour was
viciously exploited free of charge to develop the United States of America, Canada, Latin America and the West Indies, as well as to the peoples of black Africa as compensation for the criminal looting of their natural resources during the century of direct colonial rule of Africa following the Berlin conference that prompted the western nations to instruct their stooges and henchmen Ibrahim Babaginda, Sanni Abacha, Ernest Sonekan and Olusegun Obasanjo to do everything in their power to ensure that Abiola would never rule Nigeria.
It is also highly instructive to note that, in order to mislead Obasanjo about the true position of things with a view to justifying the spurious contention that Nigeria owed accumulated external debts to the Western countries, the gang of highway robbers operating under the aegis of the so-called Paris Club of creditor countries invented the hitherto unheard of manipulative economic wayo that created an approach that can best be described as a doctrine of: “The more you pay, the more you owe!”
Naturally, General Olusegun Obasanjo, who knows no history, economics or political science was quickly taken in by the fraudulent justifications relayed to him by the Western leaders though their docile puppet Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to justify their spurious claims about debts allegedly owed by the people of Nigeria to their countries.
Had General Obasanjo been better educated and more perceptive, he could easily have found out that Nigeria had paid these alleged debts several times over in the past, only for our gullible and weak leaders to be told on each occasion that we were only paying the interest on the alleged debts, and not the principal!
The fraudulent manner in which these debts originated in the first place also makes for interesting reading: As anyone who has taken the trouble of carrying out some basic research on the true facts surrounding the alleged external debts that the imperialist nations fraudulently claimed that Nigeria owed them, the entire situation had its roots in the immediate the aftermath of the successful move by OPEC countries in the 1970’s to increase the price at which oil was being sold on the world market.
It was the first time in modern history that suppliers of a raw commodity had succeeded in joining forces to oblige the industrialized countries to pay a fair price for raw products!
The western countries however eventually had the last laugh, since the ensuing increase in income for the oil producing countries (known as petrodollars), ended up being deposited in the western banks. With so much cash available in the international banking system, representatives of major western banks like Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Barclay’s  etc. fanned out all over the world, cajoling the governments and leaders of Third World countries to contract loans for development projects, on the premise that these loans were being offered at extremely low-interest rates.
The bait at the time consisted of holding out the hope to Third World countries that the successful execution of these so-called “development projects” (which were also concocted by
“experts” dispatched from the western countries) would enable the Third World countries to achieve the same level of well-being and development as was then prevalent in the western world.
Where this bait was not enough to lure the target governments into taking up the offered loans, outright corruption was resorted to, with bribes being offered to Government Ministers and national leaders by the representatives of the western banks, who also openly arranged to help these government officials divert the loans into their own pockets by facilitating the opening of secret accounts for them in the same banks from which the loans were being officially given to our countries!
The next stage in this sinister conspiracy unfolded in 1981, when the Governments of three countries, namely the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada acted in concert to eliminate 30 percent of the world’s international financial reserves, thus deliberately triggering off a dramatic increase in interest rates.
As a result, the sums of money that had been loaned out to Third World countries by western private banks at supposedly low-interest rates now suddenly had to be paid back at hugely inflated interest rates!
Shortly after this new development, the debts owed by Third World countries to private banks like Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Barclay’s Bank, etc. were suddenly transformed by imperialist fiat from private sector loans into international debts whose recovery was
assigned to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank by the western countries, thus enabling them to claim henceforth that these debts were international obligations that had to be honoured at all costs by the recipients of the loans...
Because of the huge rise in interest rates deliberately masterminded by the western countries in the early 1980’s, a situation resulted in which the original loans were multiplied several times over through the application of vastly inflated interest payments, with a result that a country like Nigeria, which was said to have originally borrowed $17 billion, is still held to be owing money to these incredibly rapacious creditor nations, even after having paid a total of close to $50 billion over the years! Quite unbelievably, in spite of the huge repayments that have already been extracted from Nigeria, we were said to be still owing several billion dollars more!
What this meant is that the creditor nations were insisting on being paid over FOUR times the original amount allegedly borrowed by past Nigerian governments from private banks that dishonestly lured these governments into contracting these loans in the first place... For us, this unprecedented situation then become one of: The more you pay, the more you owe!
That being the case, there was no reason for us to have rushed to pay huge sums of money in the guise of debt repayment to the so-called Paris Club consortium of nations, for the simple reason that these vampires had no intention of ever letting Nigeria off the hook!
Therefore, if the observable facts are carefully considered, it is the Western creditor nations who were the true beneficiaries of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s tenure of office as Nigeria’s Minister of Finance under General Obasanjo and not the Nigerian nation.
Another of retired General Olusegun Obasanjo’s sins against the people of Nigeria was the loss of the Bakassi peninsular to Cameroun. According to the lie-filled self-exculpatory account the appears in Obasanjo’s bogus three-page autobiography “My watch” (Published in Nigeria by Kachifo Ltd), Obasanjo was led into taking the case to the World Court by his fellow tortoise ‘cunny cunny’ trickster, Chief Richard Akinjide, who allegedly assured him that the case would be a ‘slam dunk’ affair... Not surprisingly, Nigeria  lost the case woefully, while Richard Akinjide laughed all the way to the bank with several million dollars in legal fees (illegally paid to him from Nigeria’s financial reserves by Olusegun Obasanjo!) in the deep pockets of his
Sokoto trousers.
As for the highly corrupt manner in which the funds that served to build the white elephant Obasanjo library in Abeokuta, this was one of the most shameful episodes in a long series of corrupt activities that retired General Olusegun Obasanjo engaged in both during and after his tenure as civilian President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Even though widespread allegations of financial impropriety have never been conclusively proved against him, it is widely believed within informed circles that Olusegun Obasanjo may actually be the richest man in Nigeria as a result of his alleged ownership under assumed names and fronts of substantial stocks and interests in giant financial conglomerates like the Transcorp Corporation, as well as in several major banks within and outside Nigeria.
Some of those who share this point of view have often called in the past for some of Obasanjo’s acolytes like Dr. Ndidi Okereke (former President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Chairman of the Transcorp Corporation and Tony Elumelu, the banking billionaire highflyer who currently serves as Chairman of the Transcorp Corporation to be arrested and interrogated by appropriate investigative agencies like the EFCC with a view to getting them to reveal the true nature  of retired General Olusegun Obasanjo’s involvement in Transcorp.
It is for reasons such as this, as well as the unresolved mystery of the Siemens bribery case that people in informed circles tend to collapse into uncontrollable fits of laughter whenever Olusegun Obasanjo (who wangled and bullied his way into being illegally installed as Balogun of the Owu Lineage and the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan of Yorubaland, whereas his family has no prior chieftaincy status) struts out in public with bogus claims of having valiantly fought against corruption during his tenure of office.
Finally, after having successfully manoeuvred to get  a terminally ill individual (the late President Yar’Adua) installed as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the hidden aim of carrying out his nefarious Third Term agenda by controlling the “sick man of Nigeria” from behind the scenes, Obasanjo went one better after Yar’Adua’s demise by imposing a completely incompetent nonentity named Ebele Jonathan as puppet President of Nigeria, whom he planned to control and manipulate to his heart’s content.
Unfortunately, Obasanjo’s habitual tortoise trickster manoeuvres eventually went awry when Jonathan ultimately refused to dance to his tune, prompting a deeply frustrated and angry Obasanjo to dump his erstwhile protégé and begin campaigning to have Buhari elected President.
In recent times, there are signs that the wily ijapa trickster is once more up to his usual tricks, in view of the fact that General Obasanjo has been observed sneaking in and out of Aso Rock at regular intervals since Buhari became President, under the pretext of offering “advice” to his former military subordinate.
Within this context, it is highly probable that retired General Obasanjo has now grown frustrated over President Muhammadu Buhari’s seeming unwillingness to dance to his tune, hence his latest treasonable statements about Buhari’s alleged unsuitability to lead Nigeria in the economic and foreign affairs fields.
It’s all deja vu! The Nigerian security agencies would do well to keep a close watch on retired General Olusegun Obasanjo, in view of the fact that his statement that ‘the good thing about
democracy is that the power you have to elect a leader is also the power you have to remove him’ might well be a covert call for the implementation of an imperialist inspired  conspiracy to overthrow President Buhari, along the lines of the western funded conspiracies that are currently unfolding in Venezuela and Brazil...
In the present circumstances, it would be a VERY serious mistake for the Nigerian security agencies to dismiss General Obasanjo as a fumbling clown : This gentleman has often proved in the past that he is a relentless and vindictive conspirator who knows how to go to great lengths to destabilize and destroy anyone who refuses to dance to his wily tortoise drumbeats...
Forewarned is forearmed!
A word is enough for the wise!

* Dr. Ola Balogun is a filmmaker, author and musician

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