Leadership, Age And Spiritualty: Obasanjo’s Antics To Stop Atiku, Others
Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo may be controversial, he does a lot of findings before postulating any idea and that is what makes him different from other past leaders.
Over the years, Obasanjo has been a factor in the politics of Africa, maximizing his diplomatic strength to shape the policies of many nations.
So when he speaks, people listen to analyse the magnitude and direction of his thought. Like all men, Obasanjo has his shortcomings but unlike many men, he hardly shies away from accepting his falls.
On Sunday, Obasanjo urged Nigerians to kick out old politicians and bring in youths into seat of powers, saying that it would go a long way in redirecting the future of Nigeria, politically and of course economically.
He observed that Nigeria might not need restructuring as being clamoured for by some leaders, including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former military Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
To Obasanjo, the problem with Nigeria is that of bad leadership, which is caused by most of the old politicians who had continued to recycle themselves at the corridor of powers.
He recognized that he was one the old guards that led this country to the present comatose and would not want old politician to become the president of this nation again.
Though he gave his maximum support to Muhammadu Buhari becoming a president at 72. He also sought third term in office at the age of 72, the consequence of his action is very visible.
Buhari has been sick and his indisposition has greatly affected governance.
Obasanjo’s postulation sounds parochial, judging by his age at the end of his two term-tenure in 2007. He became the civilian president in 1999 at the age of 63 and sought third term after eight years, having clocked 71.
Though he denied seeking third term, facts revealed that Obasanjo actually wanted four years more but was denied the opportunity by the National Assembly.
He was 38 in 1976 when he took over as the military Head of State. He ruled until 1979 and handed over power to the civilian president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
Obsanjo became silent afterward until 1997 when the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha arrested him with his former vice, Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua over a purported coup to unseat his government. He jailed them. Yar’Adua died in the prison but Obasanjo was released by the Head of Interim Government shortly after the death of Abacha.
It was on record that Obasanjo was consequently persuaded by his military friends to run for presidency in 1999, which he won under the Peoples Democratic Party.
In some of the interviews he granted the media, Obansanjo revealed that he spent most of his time reading Bible while in prison to build his spirituality. He later bagged Post Graduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in Theology from the National Open University, NOUN.
To him, a good leader must be spiritual. Obasanjo observed that many of Nigerian leaders are not spiritual and that is why they lack the vision on how to direct the affairs of the nation.
To him, Nigerians are religious instead of being spiritual and this has affected their daily living.
But what does age need to do with spirituality? This is what the former president is yet to define.
Perhaps that was why some political analysts described Obasanjo’s assertion as another plot to stop his former vice Atiku Abubakar from becoming the president in 2019.
Atiku had not hidden his ambition and there are strong indications that he may go back to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to realize his mission. Atiku is 70 and will be 72 by 2019.
Also in the race is President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki who is 54; Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai is 57; both are interested in presidency.
How will the electorate sensor their spirituality, having known their age. It is a question begging for answer. An endless political intrigues.