Monday, December 16, 2013


16th December, 2013



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote an 18 page-letter to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan a few days ago raising grave concern over some very serious national issues.

Most prominent among the issues raised in Obasanjo’s monumental missive are the allegation that the president is destroying the party; that he is currently training 1,000 snipers to deal with opposition figures; that the president is not sincere about the war on corruption and that the president has maintained a conspiratorial silence each time his clansmen threatened the rest of Nigeria.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) observes that Obasanjo took it upon himself to write the letter as a major stakeholder in the ruling party (the People’s Democratic Party, PDP) having ruled the country under the umbrella of the same PDP for two terms and having served as the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) for several years. The fact that the historical letter came soon after the defection of five state governors from the PDP is quite didactic and shows the major raison d’être for Obasanjo’s letter.  

MURIC notes that the letter was dated 2nd December, 2013 and we are worried that President Jonathan is yet to react to the main allegations two weeks after it was written. Instead, the president has taken shelter in the bosom of boot-lickers and court-jesters. Is President Jonathan waiting for angels to bring him answers from heaven?

The issues raised are too fundamental to be brushed aside. They have to do with the core principles of democracy: probity, accountability, justice, fairplay and equal rights. They have to do with the welfare of the Nigerian people and how to bring food to the common man’s table. We are talking of the security of lives and properties and the president of this country who has been accused of training professional assassins keeps mute. How can there be security when the president himself becomes a threat? The chief security officer becomes the major threat to security of lives. It is unheard of. The president must break the ice. Nigerians are running out of patience to hear the president’s defence.

It is on record that when the neocon-dominated Grand Old Party (GOP) accused US President Barrack Obama of pursuing a foreign policy of appeasement, Obama fired back within 24 hours whether the killing of Osama bin Laden and about 22 other key figures of Al-Qaedah fits into that allegation, the GOP promptly put its tail between its legs like a frightened dog and ran off the stage.

MURIC is asking Mr. President why it must take him a whole projected second term (2015 – 2019) to answer the Tsunami-igniting allegations leveled against him by a former head of state who should know.

We reject NNPC’s lame explanation that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not know the procedure for tracking Nigeria’s oil money. That line of reasoning is myopic, infantile and therefore unacceptable. It is designed to mislead gullible Nigerians. CBN is on track on this issue of missing $49.8b. CBN is not meddling into oil exploitation or its drilling. CBN is talking about facts and figures of oil income and that is CBN’s constituency. For Allah’s sake somebody somewhere is milking Nigeria dry in preparation for 2015!

Or what is Jonathan’s take on Oduahgate? Why is the president silent on this N255m scandal? If the president considers Stella Oduah as a sacred cow, then he has desecrated his sacred office. This woman has been indicted by the committees which investigated her. Is there no limit to executive protection of thieves and rogues in this country? What message is Mr. President trying to pass to civil servants, artisans, teachers and students and other young Nigerians? Is Nigeria’s image irredeemable? Should honest Nigerians say goodbye to transparency out of frustration? Mr. President’s body language seems to be saying a capital YES to each of these questions.

A female minister was removed by the president of Ghana a few weeks ago. The minister had not actually stolen money. She merely expressed the wish to amass wealth. Why is Nigeria’s case different? Why is Stella Oduah a tin god in Aso Rock?

A president who declares the candidate who scores 16 votes as the winner and treats the candidate who scores 19 as a criminal; a president who enters into a pledge to serve only one term only to turn around to deny the existence of such an agreement; a president under whom members of the opposition are denied right to use the Nigerian airspace; a president who orders or condones the marking of opposition secretariat and their private properties for destruction; a president who looks the other way as police torment a whole state governor; a president under whose watchful eyes a serving minister threatens to make life unbearable for a state governor is not fit to be the bastion of our fledgling democracy.

Nigerians are itching to get answers for these and other issues raised by former President Obasanjo. The National Assembly should stand firm on this issue. The nation’s lawmakers must remember the words of Malcolm X, “Power never takes a back step, only in the face of greater power”, the corroborative compliment of Noah Webster who said, “Power is always right, weakness always wrong. Power is always insolent and despotic” and Thomas Jefferson’s nail in the coffin of tyrants, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." NASS must compel President Jonathan to explain the rationale behind his actions. NASS is the last hope of the people.

Aso Rock is procrastinating and procrastination is the thief of time. Further delay is not acceptable to Nigerians. Jonathan must speak up now.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


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