By Femi Fani-Kayode
Something has clearly gone wrong. Is it a spell, is it disinformation or is it delusion? How our revered and much-loved Baba Olusegun Obasanjo can speak in glowing terms about Peter and Dati amazes me.
The former is said to have invested state funds into his family business and ended up having secret bank accounts in Panama.
The latter is a man who once openly and boastfully proclaimed on the Senate floor, before he was deprived of his fake and fraudulent mandate by the courts and unceremoniously asked to leave, that he wants to “kill all homosexuals”.
These are pair of social deviants and reprobates that OBJ wants to foist on Nigerians?
Worse still they control an army of trolls on social media whose only mandate and worth is to insult, denigrate, threaten, intimidate and attack anyone who disagrees with their principal.
No matter what anyone says about Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu or Waziri Atiku Abubakar neither have ever publicly expressed the desire to kill their fellow Nigerians purely on the grounds of their sexual preferences or issue identity cards to non-indigenes of their respective states when they were governors.
Neither persecuted Muslims and non-Catholic Christians in their states or denied Pentecostal churches the right to buy land and build churches when they were governors.
As Governor of his state Asiwaju protected and prevented churches from being demolished even when they were built on disputed land and he has been doing so both when he was governor and for the last 20 years.
After he left power in Lagos State many were marked for demolition but he used his good offices with his numerous successor governors to stop it in the name of public interest and state security. I can cite many examples of this and I know the churches he saved. He did the same for many mosques as well.
He also granted more land to churches than any other governor in the history of Nigeria when he held power in Lagos which puts a lie to the suggestion that he wishes to Islamise our nation and he supported NASFAT the strong and pacifist Islamic revival movement in the South West.
On his part as Governor of Adamawa state Waziri ensured that a Christian took over from him even even though there was opposition to it from some Muslims in his state.
Unlike Obi neither Asiwaju nor Waziri have been going from mosque to mosque or church to church dangerously stirring up and inciting the passions of believers, preaching religious politics and hate from the pulpit and attempting to set us on the path of a cataclysmic and blood curdling sectarian war which will bring Nigeria to her knees and eventually an abrupt and bloody end.
And guess what? So far he is doing pretty well in that respect by creating clearer and deeper fault lines of division and potential conflict. A clear example is his refusal to condemn the brutal killing and killers in the South East known as unknown gunmen who kidnap and murder anyone and everyone including our security personnel.
Peter says he refuses to condemn these barbaric creatures and cruel beasts because he does not know who they are.
Does this really make sense? This foul and irresponsible inverted logic can only come from the likes of him. Evil is evil but Peter refuses to condemn this particular brand of it for reasons best known to himself.
Having fought so desperately and worked so hard for the unity of this country in the past and having been rightly described as one of the greatest heroes of our civil war, I am utterly baffled and flabbergasted at OBJ’s endorsement of such a divisive, deceptive, insensitive, callous, irresponsible and totally unreliable character other than to say perhaps he just believes that the Presidency ought to go to the S.E. .
If that is the case fair enough and he is certainly entitled to his views and opinion but surely the SE have better men to offer for the Presidency like Ugwuanyi, Umahi and others than Obi.
I respect and love Baba OBJ, I always will and unlike others, I believe that his record in public office was extraordinary, unassailable and spectacular. In my view no-one can take that from him and it is a matter of public record. Love him or hate him, that is the truth.
He was not infallible and he was not an angel but he was a great and inspiring leader who brought Nigeria back from the brink as a civilian President. That is my opinion and I will never shy away from saying so.
However I think his rabid opposition to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu particularly is misplaced, sad and unfortunate.
I also believe it is rooted in something personal which is deeper, darker and more sinister than mere politics and this saddens me deeply.
When it comes to Waziri Atiku I think he still harbours a deep-set hatred and animosity for him for the undoubted atrocities he committed against him when he was President and when the latter was his Vice.
Yet, surely in life and particularly as a Christian there is a place for mercy and forgiveness. Yet, whatever the real reasons that he dislikes these two men intensely and believes neither are fit to lead Nigeria, whether political or emotional, the endorsement of a featherweight candidate like Peter Obi who lacks any real experience of politics at the national level and his running mate, Dati, has, in my humble opinion, greatly diminished our father Baba OBJ and left him wide open to the kind of bashing and unprecedented criticism and insults he is receiving from all fronts.
Honestly it pains me when I read what people are saying and writing about him since his latest letter because I remain one of his most loyal and loving sons and I am very fond of him.
Yet, a loyal and loving son owes his father, if nothing else, one thing and one thing alone: the bitter truth. And that bitter truth is that his endorsement of Peter Obi is the biggest mistake that he has made ever since he came into politics in 1999 and it is nothing but an exercise in futility.
Obi will not only lose woefully and may well be driven into fourth place but he may also lose his deposit and much more.