recently, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, accused President Goodluck Jonathan of paying lip service to the fight against corruption. He basically indicted the President of fraud and venality. And then there was, in tow, the venerable Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Lamido Sanusi, who claimed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation diverted $50bn, being crude oil sales proceeds between January 2012 and July 2013. These are serious allegations. And now, former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s ‘bomb’ to the President!
What we have in that 18-page treatise is, amongst other things, a window into Jonathan’s Presidency and the problem and challenges confronting Nigeria. So far, a good number of commentators have been critical of Obasanjo. While some do not think he was the right person to make such remarks, others pointed to a hidden agenda on the part of the former president. And of course, there are those who have argued that he had no right to level such criticisms. Col. Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (retd.), Annkio Briggs of the Ijaw Republican Assembly, and Chido Onumah, a public intellectual and PUNCH columnist, represent these three schools.
But of course, all the three patriots and three schools of thought got it wrong! Did Obasanjo lie? Well, we have no way of knowing this unless (a) there is a full-blown investigation by the National Assembly or other competent authorities; (b) Jonathan offers a line-by-line rebuttal; or (c) Obasanjo recants. But so far, the allegations appear valid; hence, we can infer that Jonathan’s actions have adverse national security implications. These acts can lead to the erosion of the nation’s fragile foundations and capable of fragmenting the state. These offences, if true, are prosecutable and impeachable.
When Obasanjo’s letter entered the public domain, my initial reaction, which was posted on my Facebook page, was this: “Even amongst thieves and scoundrels there should be honour. There should be a code of conduct. But not for former president Olusegun Obasanjo who is now accusing President Jonathan of corruption, ineptitude, marginalisation, laziness, etc. The failed has no right accusing the falling of incompetence.” Now, having read the entire treatise and having taken the time to reflect further, I must admit that I was wrong.