Olusegun Obasanjo has a penchant for invoking God for political expediency. The God of Obasanjo is a handy tool that serves his selfish interest. In actual sense, the God of Olusegun Obasanjo is the narcissistic mass of hubris that constitutes the earthen person of Olusegun Obasanjo.
Obasanjo is a professing Christian. He holds a PhD in Christian Theology. But his concept of God is as distant from the scriptural portrait of Divinity as the heaven is far from the earth. Obasanjo uses God to present himself in a glorified light. Obasanjo’s God is his ego writ large.
Obasanjo recently declared that God won’t forgive him if he backed the presidential bid of his former vice, Atiku Abubakar. The statement is a competent example of blasphemy and heresy. It is sublime vanity remaking God after the image and likeness of fallen man.
Obasanjo has once suggested, while denying that he failed in his attempt to instigate a constitutional amendment to extend his stay in office beyond the two terms limit, that if he wanted a third term, God would have granted his wish. The God of Obasanjo is an overindulgent God, a God who is a hostage to to Obasanjo’s fantasy. The God of Obasanjo is a rubberstamp, a seal of approval that exists to bless his whims and caprices.
Obasanjo has the right to support or not to support any candidate. He didn’t need God to rationalize his non-preference for Atiku. It was profanity for Obasanjo to insinuate that God was beholden to him. God shared his opposition to Atiku’s presidential ambition. God was the source of his hatred for Atiku. God mandated him to de-endorse and de-market Atiku.
The more serious profanity was Obasanjo’s attempt to project his unforgiveness onto God. The God of the Bible is rich in mercy. God does not reflect Obasanjo’s vindictiveness. God is not subject to Obasanjo’s vendetta. God is too perfect to condescend to the garbage level of Obasanjo’s grudges.
Obasanjo’s antipathy towards Atiku emanated from the circumstances of the 2003 presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Atiku had rallied a majority of the governors of then ruling party to his side. Obasanjo was on the verge of experiencing the humiliation of losing the presidential ticket to his deputy. The fear of the impending defeat moved him to desperate abasement, forcing him to kneel down and beg Atiku.
Atiku relented. But Obasanjo counted it an unpardonable sin that he had plotted to deny him a second term. That transgression which Obasanjo cannot bring himself to forgive is the cause of his aversion for Atiku. When he said that God would not forgive him if he supported Atiku, he meant to say that he would not forgive himself if he supported Atiku.
Obasanjo takes the name of God in vain because he reckons himself a comparable sovereign. He plays God because he imagines himself Nigeria’s God. Obasanjo thinks he is the key determinant of the fate of all Nigerians, Atiku inclusive. Obasanjo is worship-craving, attention-seeking and needy, for this reason.
As the self-appointed kingmaker of Nigeria, Obasanjo labours under the illusion of his supremacy and indispensability. Having had a streak of luck in making and unmaking 3 Nigerian presidents, Obasanjo looks around and can’t find another Nigerian who has had similar success. So, he assumes himself God.
Obasanjo singlehandedly made Umaru Musa Yar’Adua president through an election that was so comprehensively rigged that the beneficiary conceded that he was less the winner of a fair contest than a product of a monumental vote heist.
Obasanjo paired the sickly Yar’Adua with a feckless Goodluck Jonathan with the sole intention of being the puppeteer behind the veil. It was a ploy to secure a subtle form of third term by another name, an agenda that Atiku had helped to abort.
When Yar’Adua became terminally ill, Obasanjo gave him a coup de grace that paved the way for the promotion of undistinguished Jonathan to ‘acting president. He advised Yar’Adua to take ‘’the path of honor.’’ That intervention, in part, compelled the achievement of consensus around the Doctrine of Necessity.
Following the death of Yar’Adua, Jonathan became a president. But he soon fell out of favour with Obasanjo. Jonathan wasn’t the straw man that Obasanjo hoped would allow him exert remote control domination of Nigeria.
Out of spite, Obasanjo lent his support to Candidate Muhammadu Buhari, the unreconstructed dictator and bigot. President Buhari did not humor him even half as Jonathan. He is now leading a vengeful coalition to displace Buhari.
Obasanjo is a pathological megalomaniac and control freak. He laid the foundation for unilateral imposition of electoral candidates. He collapsed the construct of the political party. He legitimized greed in the National Assembly and bought impeachment with bribes. He oriented the anti-corruption agencies to function as the president’s personal militia.
On the other hand, Atiku is not a viable presidential candidate. He is a flawed politician, fated to remain a victim of the unflattering narratives of his past. If his currency, clout and cronies were multiplied a thousand fold, the odds of his being president won’t get any better.
Atiku is ready, in terms of preparation and war chest. He is a textbook specimen of a frontrunner. But he has an off-putting aura of entitlement that makes him a disadvantaged contender.
Yet, there is no proof that Atiku is a less suitable presidential material than other members of the old guard who have declared to run for the highest office. More importantly, there is no indication that he would make a worse president than Obasanjo. Obasanjo’s record does not show that he is morally superior to Atiku. At least, Atiku’s son has yet to accuse him of incest!
Obasanjo’s claim that there is something fundamentally wrong in Atiku that is not present in Obasanjo is absolutely false. In hindsight, the legacies of Obasanjo’s presidency are the foundational problems of Nigeria’s complicated interpretation of democracy. Alex Ekwueme, Bola Ige and Olu Falae would have charted a more promising course of development for the country.
Obasanjo’s insistence that he is vested with the divine right to anoint the president is crass arrogance. He enjoys the liberty to pronounce upon the suitability of people to run for president because Nigeria is an amnesiac country. In another clime, Obasanjo would not have the leverage to endorse candidates. His endorsement would be very disqualifying for the candidate he publicly supports.
The fact that Obasanjo’s ‘’support’’ for a politician counts for anything illustrates the decadence of the Nigerian polity. Nigeria is a wasteland made by the transcendent psychology of the big man in Nigeria. The big man is all that matters in space and time in Nigeria. The big man dictates for everybody. His desire is the society’s reality.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says that God will reveal his successor. Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State says that ‘’God will choose my successor’’. Governor Rochas Okorocha, the clown who wants to impose his son-in-law on the people of Imo State, says that ‘’God is in support’’ of his nepotistic plan. Rotimi Amechi, manager of Buhari’s campaign, says ‘’we are not God’’ but he can guarantee that Buhari will win even on the sick bed.
Nigeria has a God complex problem. The country is a human theocracy.
The nation will start getting better the day the Nigerian people begin to send Obasanjo and his fellow God-players to oblivion.
Emmanuel Uchenna Ugwu
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