“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – John F Kennedy, former president of the United States.
Obasanjo avowed neutrality is none other than tacitly taking sides with leaders of Nigeria’s mainstream opposition who are hell-bent on post-election violence if they by twist of fate lose the forthcoming presidential election because oftentimes we have heard the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman Chief John Odigie Oyegun say that they will form a parallel government should they spot irregularities such as armed military presence and the like at polling centres. Is this not the best antidote to rigging like notorious snatching and stuffing of ballot boxes in Nigeria during elections? It is a thousand pities that men like Oyegun reason or think anti-clockwise.
This is a danger signal which is a pointer to the fact that they have in earnest started preparing their foot soldiers ahead of February 14 presidential election and this must be resisted en masse. No one individual is larger than Nigeria all things considered. Our lives have been toyed with enough for so long and it is time these tribes of high-ups or grandees are read the Riot Act.
I have discovered to my greatest chagrin that once you remain determined not to be bludgeoned into submission or refused to be lorded over by a certain grandee or highup in Nigeria, you are branded a rebel and underhand plans are swiftly framed and employed to pull you down. That if , I dare say, is the language Obasanjo’s averred neutrality speaks and we must join forces to rescue our country from the deadly grip of these men who are bent solely on personal aggrandizement.
Here in advanced western societies where one has sojourned for a long time now , father and child reserve the right to identify with different political parties no matter whose ox is gored. The father does not tell the son what to do neither does the son sheepishly follow the father’s diabolic whims and caprices. The right to exercise one’s free will reigns supreme on this part of the globe without the devil to pay. We must take our cue from this if all is to augur well for our dear country.
This is where godfatherism got its roots and from god fatherism emerged other social evils or maladies like corruption. To effectively combat corruption godfatherism must be cast overboard. This is one canker worm that has eaten very deep into the social fabric of the Nigerian society.
Recently I stumbled into a group photograph of the APC delegation to Baba’s hill top house at Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. On taking a closer look , the calibre of men I saw and identified there could better imagined than real. In that photograph were men like Rotimi Amaechi, the garrulous River State Governor , Audu Ogbe, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Atiku Abubakar, Tambuwal and a host of others who have been part of the ruling party since Nigeria returned to civil democratic rule.
If there is any problem plaguing Nigeria today which they are critical of I wonder what moral justification they have to extricate themselves when they have played wicked and unpardonable roles that brought Nigeria to its kneels. Atiku speaks from both sides of his mouth and made himself an enemy of the present administration soon after he he failed to clinch the ticket for the 2011 presidential primaries.
It is now very clear that those who parade themselves as Messiahs of which Nigeria urgently stand in need are none other than civilization’s worst enemies calling to mind what Nigerian have been through over the years. Virtually every one of them in this photograph has committed wicked acts for which they should be standing trial. General Muhammadu Buhari is number one having employed retroactive laws to commit murder while in office calling to mind the sensational killings of Ogedengbe and two others at Bar Beach firing range sometime ago in Lagos , Nigeria. As a protagonist of violence he incited his followers to violence when it became clear he had lost the 2011 presidential election and many lives were doubtless lost in the mayhem that ensued. We are all living witnesses to these several acts of illegality committed by a man who again aspires to be the most powerful man in Nigeria.
I have asked this question before and there is every reason to repeat the same question: Are Nigerians in deed mindless robots? Frankly, I do not think so which is the more reason why the antics of these men to again foist themselves on us for another four years must be resisted..
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan, a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin, Italy.