A nation under siege, trapped by elections. That is what we are. And that is our pitiable plight. We are at the mercy of these hungry and angry power-seekers. They are desperate and dangerous.
Yes, we are glaringly under siege. And this is tragically self-inflicted. You dare not deny it. It is in the air, very thick, oozing out like a terribly bad odour.
From all indications, we are not enjoying any bit of it. We are put under perpetual fear. But our politicians are comfortably at peace with the siege. For them, it is their best of times. That is the reason they behave the dastardly way they are behaving.
We are trapped on all fronts. Only the characters involved on both divides are not. They are as free as the air. So? They are completely blind to our precarious situation and its humiliating consequences.
We have all the parameters to prove that we are ambushed. Landmines are carelessly planted for us. These terrible characters carefully stay aloof. They watch with great amusement to see how we will escape the pitfalls and the booby traps.
The greatest, self-acclaimed essayist of our time is at it again. He has vomited once more, and continues to pour out. There is no stopping him at the moment. Any attempt to do that would be suicidal.
Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has an unusual capacity for anything. He never gets exhausted. His capability is almost unlimited. The more he throws himself into an action, the more he gets active and strong. Ebora Owu indeed.
You can’t envy him on that. It is God’s gift, and no mortal, not even any principality and power, can take that from him, no matter how huge the covetousness. He confessed several times over that he has no shame.
We can, therefore, arguably use his trending epistle as a near perfect case study of our predicament. He labelled it, aptly, “Points for Concern and Action.” It was vintage Obasanjo.
He bluntly refused to hold anything back. It was certainly “his will” this time around. He literally took President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to the cleaners. Their APC and other cohorts were equally not spared.
It was Obasanjo’s strongest and deadliest piece in recent times. You can condemn and crucify the messenger. He had his own big faults. His failings and errors during his eight-year hold on the country are still staring us in the face. He could even be the devil incarnate.
Yet, this latest letter cannot be swept under the carpet. It stands the test of time. For every issue he raised, he hit the nail right on the head. He was deadly on point. You can hardly fault him.
And the biggest and undeniably sampler: “What is happening under Buhari’s watch can be likened to what we witnessed under Gen. Sani Abacha in many ways.
“When Abacha decided that he must install himself as Nigerian President by all means and at all costs, he went for broke and surrounded himself with hatchet men who, on his order and in his interest and at high costs to Nigeria and Nigerians, maimed, tortured and killed for Abacha.
“Buhari has started on the same path in mad desperation. From available intelligence, we have heard of how Buhari and his party are going about his own self-succession project.
“They have started recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count.”
Obasanjo insisted: “It is clear from all indications that Buhari is putting into practice the lessons he learned from Abacha.
“Buhari has intimidated and harassed the private sector, attacked the National Assembly and now unconstitutionally and recklessly attacked and intimidated the judiciary to cow them to submission.”
He went down memory lane: “I was a victim of Abacha’s atrocities. At the height of Abacha’s desperation for perpetual power, he did not brook any criticism because Nigeria was seen as his personal property.
“You must go along with him or be destroyed. All institutions for ensuring security, particularly the police, the military and the Department of State Services (DSS) were abused and misused to deal with critics of Abacha.”
Obasanjo should hold it there. He was not the only victim of Abacha’s desperation for power. I was too. I was in detention for 32 days for fighting Abacha’s perpetuation in power. I duly experienced what Obasanjo experienced. And I know what exactly he is talking about without being his advocate or mouthpiece.
I was first held by the then dreaded State Security Service (SSS), Alalubosa, Alesinloye, Ibadan, Oyo State, for 11 days. The police from Iyaganku took over from there for four days. There, I joined 39 others, including ex-Oyo State Governor Lam Adesina and the fiery Comrade Ola Oni (all of blessed memory).
We were granted bail and set free the second day Abacha kicked the bucket. The very bail they had denied us three times earlier.
We are back to Abacha’s dark days. The proofs are all over. You can perceive them. Nobody, not even the masterminds of these acts, can hide them from us.
Obasanjo agreed: “Another Abacha era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari.”
That is why we are under siege. The perpetrators of these sinful acts simply chose not to see reason, just because the arrow is coming from Obasanjo. And of course, they benefit profitably from the blockade.
Let us recognise Obasanjo for his uncanny guts, even if you do not like him. He has happened to this country; for bad or good. He has never lacked the courage. He has the essential ingredients and vitals to fight war; always at the forefront.
OBJ is now the issue. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) attacked him at every rally. They deliberately left the issues unattended and poured vituperations on him.
Classical samples: OBJ is an expired leader –Tinubu; OBJ is frustrated – Oshiomhole; OBJ’s government drove us into exile – Amaechi; OBJ is frustrated for failing to control Buhari – BMO; etc. They strive hard to undo and unbound OBJ.
We can equally forget the likes of Lai Mohammed, Adams Oshiomhole, et al, they are doing what they know how to do best, fake news and propaganda. We are not bothered or moved by the alarms they churn out almost daily. They are merely hitting our already heated and searing polity.
By their actions and inactions, we know them. And we have duly identified them for who and what they are.
Our fervent prayer remains: This siege must go away from us even now. It is not our portion. Back to senders in so many ways!