February 8, 2007
4 mins read

Media houses were buzzing with wonderment at the beginning of this week when the news broke that ANPP governors were on the verge of decamping from their party to join the PDP. The NEW NIGERIAN newspaper of Monday, Febuary 5th, 2007, had carried a report that the 36 governors of the Nigerian federation were working for the success of the PDP candidate, Umar Yar’Adua, in the forthcoming general elections; but the pieces of the was actually a teaser for the main story of the week.

By the evening of the same Monday, the picture became clearer that the main story was the alleged plan by the ANPP governors to cross-carpet. But the truth is that the governors are not voluntarily relinquishing the platform of their success; these governors are said be abandoning the ANPP, because President Olusegun Obasanjo has reportedly shown them EFCC reports of their stewardship of their various states. It all started with arrest of Abba Aliero, the governor, brother of the Kebbi state governor, by the EFCC. Aliero, the governor, was reportedly instructed to join the PDP, as the best way to escape the wrath of the EFCC.


Regular readers of this column would have become familiar with our analysis of the ‘Hostage Politics’ which Obasanjo has perfected over the past eight years. It is very clear now, that the despot is playing his final set of jokers, by using the EFCC in a last ditch attempt to ensure that the transition becomes what was precisely programmed for it, a charade. Obasanjo is determined to have a last laugh on the Nigerian people, and with the latest step of blackmailing the governors of the ANPP to join the PDP, he is on the way to success. Or is he?

At the recent dinner organized by President Obasanjo’s private sector cronies, he has boasted that he and his party would not be rigging the next election, as they did in 2003; the audience clapped in hypocritical appreciation. Why would Obasanjo boast openly? It is precisely because the elections have already been rigged a long time ago, while a very gullible nation is taken through a deceptive motion of preparations for an election, the voter registration process left many Nigerians unregistered; the registration machines had been in the residences of the PDP barons and chieftains, who were busy laying the groundwork of the rigging, as we all know when those machines were discovered with an aide of Alao Akala at Ogbomosho and at Adedibu’s residence in Ibadan.

However, the main plank of the plan by Obasanjo to steal the elections in broad daylight was to bring every hostage he has taken to the party. It is payback time and Obasanjo has his rottweiler, the EFCC at the hand to extract blood from the hostages taken from the ANPP This is why the governors of the ANPP, like a domino effect, are expected to make an open declaration for the PDP. Actually, the move represents a slight adjustment of the original script. Obasanjo had expected that his journeymen in the ANPP, like Abba Bukar Ibrahim, would have emerged at the ANPP convention, as the party’s presidential candidate. Umar Yar’Adua would then have made mince meat of the candidate, without as much as a whimper.

They however had not reckoned with the groundswell of popular feeling for the Buhari sweep became a whirlwind which swept away the pretenders and crooks fronting for Obasanjo clique in government and the so called private sector, those who exploited the criminal prosperity at the heart of the Obasanjo presidency to cream off Nigeria’s resources over the past eight years. It became imperative for Obasanjo to go for broke, hence the loosening of the leash on the Rottweiler, the EFCC, to bark deafeningly, show the teeth and make for the bodies of the bruised, bloodied and badly frightened ANPP chaps, to achieve a complete surrender.


Those who have under-rated the desperacy of Obasanjo about what happens after May 2007 now hnow better.Obasanjo is too scared, too compromised, and too susceptible to allow the Nigerian political system the the freedom to genuinely have a free process of political transition. He has to control the process, he must dominate proceedings and in the end, he must enure that only his own will triumphs. Even the electioneering campaign is Obasanjo’s show and a visitor from outer space will be pardoned  if he believes that it is the despot that is seeking re-election. The hapless, coloureless and unpresidential Umar Yar’Adua is always like an after thought in every event that has taken place so far. If the gentleman is not standing lost on a spot, with the absolutely reviled Obasanjo launches verbal assaults on his rented crowd, Umar Yar’ Adua is lost in the crowd somewhere behind Obasanjo, almost is like a school boy in awe of his headmaster! The charade is so unconvincing, because it is clear to all that Umar Yar’ Adua is merely an extension of the ambition to continue to rule Nigeria by proxy, a proxy that he hand picked, rammed down the throats of disillusioned and harassed party members, was actually a far distant second option.

The defeat of tenure elongation only led to the tactical imperative of sourcing of a puppet to occupy Aso villa, while the real power is wielded from Ota farm. So Obasanjo is doing everything to ensure that he is a different felon, asmart ex-convict who eventually imprisons an entire political elite and by extension, the whole country. It is cynical and contemptuous, but this is the sorry pass that has become the fate of a country of 140million people. Unfortunately for Nigeria, most of the political elite is spineless, lacking in principle and very cheap to purchase and even much cheaper to take hostage. It is such an elite that a wily, vindictive and cruel despot is tearing apart, rather like the Black Stars of Ghana took the wingless Eagles of Nigeria to the cleaners in London this week.

We defeated third term but Obasanjo found a way to reclaim the ground that he lost, and the news which broke this week that ANPP governors have been taken hostage and are likely to decamp to the PDP, is an indication of the manic depth of the depravity of Obasanjo and far he is willing to go to use the machinery of state power to shore up his own position, at the expense of the best interest of the Nigerian people. Obasanjo is arguably the most despicable ruler Nigeria ever had, but we must grudgingly accept that he used the weapon of political blackmail in a manner that we have never thought feasible hitherto. Negative as that is, we can certainly draw positive lessons for our future. But first let’s vote them out!!!

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