Fellow Nigerians, heed the advice of your â€œwiseâ€ leaders, for they know best how to rule us. I had to say the above opener to this article because of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was recently quoted to have said to Nigerians (Obasanjo: Leave Electricity Problem To God â€“ This Day, Wednesday 23.07.2008).
And our ex-President is a very â€œwiseâ€ man. Indeed, OBJ is known to be a know-it-all, because throughout his eight-year democratic rule, he was notorious for never listening and always having his own way, against contrary and perhaps, better opinions – another exhibition of bad leadership.
In the news article, Obasanjo was said to have advised Nigerians to take their electricity problem to God, adding that they should take to God anything they do not have which they wished to have or cannot get. He was said to have advised this yesterday, 22.07.2008 when he reluctantly fielded questions from journalists as he arrived the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. He was also asked about how he feels when Nigerians donâ€™t appreciate his contributions to the development of the nation, but he instead dodged all questions before being driven away. In his infinite wisdom, the Otta Chief did not feel he owed any explanations to Nigerians about the eight years of his administration which is now subject to several probes and investigations into alleged corruption, nepotism, mismanagement, high-handedness and inefficiency. What he perhaps failed to realise is that this is a classic example of abnegating responsibility. This is absurd but typical of our leaders.
On the other hand, if we are to accord to him the benefit of the doubt, it could well be that Obasanjoâ€™s statement was his own idea of a joke with the journalists, but wisdom and experience should have informed him that you donâ€™t joke with such grave things to a people who are already very angry with you because they felt that you have taken them for granted for eight years. At any rate, Obasanjo is not the most famous for humour. Here is my take on this: Obviously OBJ is a very religious man, after all, he declared at his inauguration way back in 1999 that he is a born-again Christian. Very well. If he is a born-again Christian as he professed then, he should know that God does not perform miracles by Himself, but uses human beings to execute miracles. This is the reality of life in the present world. Miracles were performed in the times of our Lord Jesus Christ, but since then, miracles by the Lord are performed through His use of mortals. For the ex-president to sit back on his arse and tell us to leave everything to God, is not only an insult, but is also a blasphemy and a sin against God Himself. God chose to use him, Obasanjo to bring succour to his people, but somewhere along the line, he deviated. In fact, God actually gave him several chances to redeem himself, which is very scarce in world history, but we now know what happened, because, despite his promises at his inauguration, few of those were implemented or successful. Who is to blame for this? God? No. The blame rests squarely on Obasanjo, but trust him; heâ€™s not taking responsibility for that, rather pushing the responsibility to the Maker. This is an abject abdication of responsibility. And people who abdicate responsibilities never make good leaders. Check history. Never. So this is confirmation, inadvertently from OBJ himself, that he was not a good leader. Apparently, Chief Obasanjo got what he wanted from God, and indeed from Nigerians, but after being fulfilled, what did he give back to God and Nigeria? What were his legacies to the common man in Nigeria today with the many sufferings they have to go through, throughout his eight year tenure? And even now, Obasanjo has forgotten how millions of Nigerians took to the streets with joy and hope when he assumed power in 1999, thinking that here at last is a man on the brink of being executed, given a second chance to govern his country which he fought for to unite, and thereby, he will do his utmost best and good for us, because God was going to use him.
Can Obasanjo imagine the disappointment, after eight years, that the situation, the circumstances for very few Nigerians has changed? Now he is asking us to leave everything to God, and if we ask God, He will give to us. Well, Sir, the only thing Nigerians have surely been asking God to give us are â€œGood Leadersâ€, and He does not seem to be answering us yet, but we are sure it was not you, Obasanjo, and the current crop of leaders we have now. We know that when we eventually have good leaders, we will have electricity, we will have reduction in corruption; we will have good roads; we will have good healthcare system in place; we will have good and qualitative education; our oil wealth will be equitably distributed; the peoples whose lands the oil gushes from and produces the wealth from which all Nigerians are supposed to enjoy will also be biggest beneficiary of this wealth or dividend; our children will not be dying of malnutrition, malaria and other curable disease; Nigeria will be progressive and developed; all these through the miracle of God, using good leaders. God certainly will not install all these for us overnight and create the miracle Obasanjo is proposing. He will use genuine leaders. God will certainly not use murderous politicians and unrepentant military leaders, so since these are what we have at present, it is unlikely that God will hear anybodyâ€™s prayers to perform miracles. This is the reality. God does not accede to, or accept the prayers of incorrigible sinners and criminals, unless they confess their sins to Him first and change their ways. He will then hear them out. This one I know from my religious studies and church going. This utterance by Obasanjo again confirms my worst fears that our leaders are mad, but not necessarily the type that foam in the mouth. This was in my last article â€œThe Madness of Our Leadersâ€ (published in several media in July 2008) and a previous one, â€œOf Lunacy and Leadersâ€ (published in January, 2008). How can a leader of over 140 million people be uttering such inanities, devoid of mortal reality? This clearly shows that our leaders are really in need of psychiatric examinations, because they live in a different world from the sane and the rest of us. Their very actions, behaviour (even domestic behaviour in their own homes), public utterances and thought processes are very suspect and abnormal for real leaders. (Please also see â€œLeaders Who Steal â€“ A Psychiatristâ€™s Perspectives (Part 1) by Dr Olayiwola Ajileye, www.championsfornigeria.org 21.07.2008). This has been confirmed by the ex-President.
It is a shame, really, that a man entrusted with making life better for Nigerians, leading the country for eight years, should now be advising us to leave everything to God. What was he there for then? What in Godâ€™s name is the man thinking? On the back of the $16 million allegedly spent (or misspent) by his administration on electricity alone, and which as we know, has not produced any visible improvement to our energy and electricity generation, distribution and usage, should he now be saying things like this? To leave our electricity problem to God? This is really very rich coming from him. But Obasanjo is not alone in this. All our leaders are culpable and all of them very capable of uttering similar nonsense. In fact, they usually do everyday. Look at what Buhari, Babangida and Abdulsalam said recently about Abacha; or the recent interview given by TY Danjuma. Recall that whenever our Governors, past and present, are accused of corruption, they all blame opponents, and the next thing they say is that â€œthey leave everything to Godâ€, this right in the face of the truth, telling lies and thinking they are pulling the wool over our eyes and that of God. The next thing, they have entered a house of God â€“ a church or a mosque – to thank Him and praise Him. What they are thanking God, I will never know. For helping them to embezzle money? Or for letting them escape justice? These people are mad, I say. They are psychotic, deranged, depraved and utterly irresponsible, incorrigible and unrepentant. Yet they are walking amongst us and contaminating the rest of us with their vices.
In conclusion, and before I am accused of not proffering solutions, let me quote a reader, Dr Panton Okon, who wrote and sent me a comment on â€œThe Madness Of Our Leadersâ€: â€œMy point is that the ills of the Nigerian society and for that matter sub-Saharan society are a reflection of the decadence that has engulfed our society. Anti-corruption crusaders like yourself and a few others are in the minority. Today even pastors are thieves and I personally do not see the situation changing until we as a country repent of our unrighteous ways. The entire fabric of our society is polluted and infested with corruption, nepotism, tribalism, discrimination, etc. And to imagine that many of our politicians are ‘educated’ (some studied in renowned universities in the UK and United States)really highlights the seriousness or rather gravity of our situation. So most of us who are offended by our wayward ways need to minimise the analyses and come together in order to initiate something that will catalyse positive change in our society in decades to come. Yes, there can never be a quick-fix to our problems but some patriotic citizens must come together and make sacrifices so that future generations will benefit.
I am personally sick and tired of clever analyses without any concrete action. Now is the time for us to get involved in the difficult salvaging process that lies ahead. Yes, psychiatric tests may have to be carried out but what we really need is a national paradigm shift. I submit that we are in a position to actually initiate a lasting change in our society. Can you imagine the impact that will be created if the millions of Nigerians home and abroad constitute a body geared towards bringing about change? Millions will be educated on how to use their voting power both locally and nationally and it would be possible to bring corrupt governments to their kneesâ€. Obasanjo and the rest of his ilk should shut up and not rub salt on the wounds they have created. They should go and hide their heads in shame until the Day of Judgement, which will be by the God Almighty that they are trying to delegate things to, everytime. And we, the people of Nigeria, need to start taking them on in whatever way we can. Otherwise, like I always say, we are lost or doomed as a people, a country and a nation. I say, let the truth be said always.