1. I have absolute respect for Baba for having added massive value to Nigeria. He and the remnants of CLASS 66 are like the Nation’s super glue and Guardians stopping the House from falling or catching fire. That was exactly how President Tito and Class 45 held Yugoslavia together until they all went the way of all mortals one after the other. Not only did Yugoslavia’s House catch fire, but It also fell, scattered and disintegrated immediately after President Tito was called home, to the Final Headquarters
2. Baba has been on the front seat of Nigeria’s Limo for the past 50 years either as a Driver or a silent but powerful Co-driver yet Baba has not been able to transform Nigeria or get the people he single-handedly installed as Presidents to transform Nigeria. Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia was Baba’s colleague and age mate. Malaysia like Nigeria fought a bitter civil war with Singapore. President Mohamad, like President OBJ, had two shots as Malaysia’s president and he got Malaysia transformed from 3rd World to 1st world. Malaysia today is a world leader in Semiconductor manufacturing, which is probably the most complex technology in the world. Taiwan, America, South Korea, and Japan are the other leaders in semiconductors besides Malaysia. China is doing a catch-up.
President Mohamad Mahathir is 95 years this year but he doesn’t have to be writing letters every 4 years to the people of Malaysia because he built a system that works. Ditto the late President Lee Kuan Yew ( LKY) of Singapore. On his dying bed, President Yew confidently told the Singaporeans thus I came, I saw and I discharged. If anyone in future tries to mess up Singapore which I and others used our whole lives to build, I will wake up from my grave to fight the person. Of course, the Singapore system works.
3. By any reckoning, Baba OBJ’s Nigeria is looking more like Yugoslavia than Malaysia and Singapore, all things considered.
4. God gives each country a leader who is better positioned than anyone else in that country. To the Jews, God gave them Moses, to Malaysia, Mohamad, to America, Lincoln, to South Africa, Mandela, to UAE Mohammed bin Zayed, etc etc. To Nigeria, God gave us Obasanjo- Baba Iyabo The Great!!!
5. Meanwhile, while those other leaders helped in building a system that can work independently of their Messiah, Nigeria still depends on OBJ’s missives every 4 years to know the direction we should go. What happens to Nigeria when Baba goes the way of all mortals?
It will be recalled that Baba gave President Shehu Shaghari to Nigeria, who failed calamitously. Baba’s letters to Shaghari inspired the emergence of the 1st Buhari as Head of state, whose main achievement was in jailing bus conductors for 1000 years while he kept the driver of the bad accident bus ( President Shaghari) under house arrest. Baba’s letters to Buhari produced IBB, whom he later accused of lacking a human face and milk of kindness. Baba told us MKO was the people’s choice and that MKO was not the Messiah. Sani, the true son of Abacha read Baba’s letter upside down and he came away convinced that he was the Messiah Baba and Nigeria needed. Abacha threw Baba, though very unjustly, into prison. And those Nigerians whom Abacha didn’t mastermind their deaths like Alfred Rewane and Kudurat Abiola, he threw under the bus.
Meanwhile, God was preparing Baba Iyabo for Second Coming like the Mahathir of Malaysia, who got a second chance to consolidate on his first coming. Baba was spiritually purified for 3 years like Mandela.
6. Baba’s second coming failed to produce an enduring legacy. He left $43 billion in foreign reserves which were wasted within 6 months of his leaving power. Baba inherited a geographical – expression he handed over a geographical – expression. For 8 years, Baba was busy doing fire fighting to keep himself in power. Baba was helpless when 5 States decided to violate Nigeria’s constitution which was hitherto secular through the introduction of Sharia law. Baba had to kneel down and beg his then-N02 before that one grudgingly allowed Baba to get a second-term ticket. Baba had to beg openly the Speaker of the House Ghali Na Abba by publicly putting Cake of peace in his mouth.
7. Baba installed Presidents Umaru Yar Adua, Jonathan Goodluck and Buhari the Second. In 2011, Baba said Nigeria needed GEJ, a breath of freshness who would unite the broken county. GEJ like Yar Adua failed. In 2014, Baba took to Buhari for body massage, pedicures and beauty enhancement treatments and massive image laundering. Baba told Nigerians in the presence of those powerful women in his house while pulling down the Jonathan government he helped installed that Buhari would do better than Jonathan in security and National cohesion being a retired General. Today, Baba in his fresh letter told Nigerians that Buhari had dragged Nigeria to a worse position than it was in 1999.
1. Of what impact have Baba’s numerous letters been on Nigeria? Baba’s destiny is similar to Mohamad of Malaysia, LKY of Singapore, and Zayed of UAE, but while those other leaders managed to get their countries transformed on a sustainable level, Baba Iyabo’s Nigeria remains jejune, fragile and underdeveloped 60 years after independence.
2. Baba himself could not get Nigeria to become a nation-state from a mere geographical expression that it has been since independence.
3. Therefore, something is fundamentally wrong with Nigeria which election capsules we swallow every 4 years cannot cure.
4. I don’t want to believe that Baba doesn’t know the truth.
Baba is widely read, widely travelled, widely intelligent and widely connected and widely spiritual not to have discovered since 1976 when he had his first shot at the power that Nigeria is like an unserviceable nuclear power plant No matter who the Plant Manager is, the nuclear power plant cannot generate electricity.
The wisest solution is to DE-COMMISSION the nuclear power plant and in its place build 6 or 8 new nuclear power plants that are manageable and serviceable. This way, Nigeria’s hidden potential will be realized.
North West under Prime Minister Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and El-Rufai as Deputy will become more prosperous than Thailand and Australia combined. North East under PM Zulum will be more prosperous than Malaysia and Australia (Agricultural and Mineral resources). South East will overtake Taiwan and Singapore combined in 20 years under Peter Obi as Prime Minister assisted by Kingsley Moghalu. South West will overtake South Korea and UAE in 20 years focusing on manufacturing and tourism. South South under Okonjo Iweala will be as prosperous as Russia and Qatar. North Central will be as successful as Norway and New Zealand combined. (Agricultural and Mineral resources).
Even if we bring Baba Obasanjo back for his 3rd Term as Nigeria’s President, and we make PO, his adopted son, the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy, TY Danjuma, his old friend as Defense Minister, Sanusi Lamido as CBN Governor to complete his 2nd term, as long as the existing superstructure is in place, wholesale transformation is impossible and Nigeria’s hope of becoming a nation-state as against a mere geographical expression will remain a -will -the -wisp. Our problem is not retail but wholesale, not ad hoc but fundamental, not leadership but structural
Whilst wishing Papa Obasanjo a Happy New Year: I will respectfully ask Baba to ponder on one question; 40 years from now, when he and the Class 66 who have been fixing things (they veto who gets what, when and how) on behalf of Nigeria have gone the way of all mortals: will Nigeria’s fate resemble Yugoslavia or South Korea?
Thank God, Baba is blessed with uncommon energy and strength, my suggestion is that Baba should invest his energy in leading the restructuring and unbundling of Nigeria into 6 or 8 semi-autonomous serviceable Regions. Those of us who boarded the Restructuring Bus at Dawn are stranded at the bus station because there is no DRIVER with Baba Iyabo’s sagacity and influence to drive the bus.
Unarguably, Nigeria like Haiti is not configured to work in the interest of Nigerians. Haiti and America are neighbours and Age mates: 200 + years old. Haiti’s legs and hands were tied: likewise Nigeria. Therefore, just like Haiti has been rotating like a Berber’s chair on the same spot for 200 years, Nigeria can still depend on Obasanjo’s letter from the Headquarters for directions by the year 2123 ( 100 years from now) if we don’t unbundle Nigeria now. If Baba Iyabo deploys his gargantuan international influence behind the restructuring movement, our Restructuring Bus will move, and move successfully.
Again, Let’s Not Play, or Let’s Get Serious. OR let’s stop playing and Let’s Get Serious. Happy New Year Nigeria! Wishing us all a sweet 2023.
By Kayode Akano
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