Answering The Clarion Calls Lead By H.E. Chief Dr Obasanjo Towards Citizens Activism To Promote Unity Of Purpose, Patriotism & Collaboration Towards Saving Nigeria From Its Failing Leadership & Pervasive Insecurity
Let me start this phase of discourse towards exploring viable ways we can collective act to save Nigeria in the name of God Almighty and with a befitting counsel and warning from Albert Einstein who said:
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
Insecurity is no doubt a monstrous and pervasive evil that must be prevented or stopped at all times. Its destructive tentacles permeate, extend and destroy people’s precious lives and livelihood, denying us adequate food and energy production and effective supply and distribution, and leave the poor people amongst us – hungry and often angry – with likely resultant health crisis of a malnourished body, troubled and unhappy soul or spirit, and then comes the ultimate push for survival, often devising ungodly ways to stay afloat, thereby helping to increase and expand the vicious circle or membership of criminal gangs that are pervading the Nigerian society today – more than ever our history as a people. We are daily undaunted by unpleasant reports, gory images and videos of ungodly ventures of atrocities committed almost daily via armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, renegades’ insurgency and the agitated militancy. God Almighty will continue to be our guide and protector, as we rise to take planned actions to save Nigeria from lawlessness and destruction.
It is in this context that H.E. President Obasanjo spoke during his paper presentation titled: “Covid-19 Pandemic and Nigeria Security Issues: The Way Forward” at the 2020 Annual Sobo Sowemimo Lecture at the Abeokuta Club and took a leading role and call on activist to join hand in setting up an effective patriot’s movement he named: “Security Matters To All – No security, No Nigeria.” A movement of patriotic Nigerians from all walk of life and from all regions, tribes and religious affiliation to come to the rescue of the failing Nigerian Nation. The movement by God grace will see to Nigeria and its people being free from failures of its current leadership crisis and insecurity that is threatening to stagnate development at best, and or destroy the nation – at worse.
Interestingly, we have been on this path for a long time, together with the former President. We were on the same dissatisfied train that kick-out the failed president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ/PDP) administration based on insecurity, religious bigotry and incompetence to lead Nigeria in the times of insecurity and crisis. President Jonathan was rightly voted out by majority dissatisfied Nigerians led by Chief Obasanjo on the basis of incompetence to lead and tame the insecurity and bigotry that was threatening to destroy Nigeria. Shepherd leaders and patriots do not shift ground on their integrity and principle drove activism for good governance and it is in the same spirit that we have again met on the same train today with Baba Obasanjo and millions of other Nigerians to call for action to stop the incessant killings and wanton destruction of people’s lives and properties of voiceless Nigerian citizens living in Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Borno, Adamawa and many others states.
Point #2: Mele Kyari’s Leadership Model Of Integrity, Trust, Transparency, Accountability & Performance Worthy Of Emulation By Other Public Leaders
It is unfortunate that the President Buhari administration that initially enjoys unprecedented support from us and from the majority of Nigerians based on trust, had in over 5 years turned a deaf ear and blind eyes on most of its new political party’s (APC) ideals, campaign promises and neglected the aspirations and yearnings of Nigerians, particularly the provision of adequate security, even to those who massively voted him into power. As responsible citizens, we did not and we would not abandon our civil and religious responsibilities of being sincere, truthful and becoming active security guards against evil and injustices which had continued to this day, proffering sincere counsels and viable and practical solutions – freely, to ensure that the leadership is able to overcome our numerous security challenges. We can’t afford to let Nigeria fail again.
And we do not only criticise but also give credit, where credit is due. In all the gamut of trust and security expected to be provided or catered for – adequately, ranging from security of live (including health and safety) which is first and foremost, then followed by food security, energy security or rather fuel security, job security, border security etc. Out of this security needs, the Buhari administration was only able to successfully ensure an ad hoc energy or rather a fuel supply security and that was achieved in its first year in office in 2016. The inherited fuel scarcity and ques have disappeared. And credit must be given for that and the people behind its success, principally Malam Mele Kolo Kyari and his team that assisted, which I was a key member. But why is the Nigerian security agents (unlike NNPC): the army and the police failed to tame the menace of insecurity and loss of lives of citizens despite adequate budget spending and procurement of equipment needed to do their job of securing the Nation. Well, maybe they can learn from the current leadership of NNPC which is anchored on the principle of self-policing (transparency) and accountability to the public.
Kindly, permit me the dear reader to digress a little bit, to press home the importance and or need for the sincerity of purpose, trust, transparency and accountability in public leadership. Let me share an important personal story from my over 27-year experience serving in the oil and gas industry, just a little part of the experience that links up to what we are all talking about today – insecurity via failure and inadequacy or incapacity of our security institutions – I mean the armed forces – police, army, navy, air force etc., which when we dig deeper, these failures would all be linked to lack of shepherd leadership, the sincerity of purpose and absence of stupid-proved automated performance dashboard systems that can transparently measure performance in our public institutions. Else how could one explain reasonably why an organized Nation State’s Armed forces would woefully fail to curtail criminal activities of some pockets of ragtag criminals for years and with all the resources being spent and even soldiers losing their lives in an alarming rate? Well, read on as we explore possible answers and solutions.
As the UK trained Business/System analyst and software builder, and in all my roles and experiences, working in highly confidential and trusted engagement, committee, department and units, which were all assigned to me unsolicited, but based on our pedigree of trust, integrity and capacity to deliver on the mandates given to us we had not been found on the side failure, deceit and conspiracy to defraud or abuse the public trust entrusted in our hands. This quality can be seen in the recent revelations coming from Malam Mele Kyaris’ release to the public domain, for the first time ever, in the history of NNPC, it’s audit report being made public. However, for an insider or pundits who can analyse business health by its performance indices, would be able to know that there isn’t anything new about the loss and wastages being recorded in the refineries run and manage by NNPC. Corruption in the refineries is endemic going by personal experiences and encounter there was an instance where arrogance and insolence of some corrupt officers made us become whistleblowers when all diplomacy and counselling failed as a market research officer. The new internet-based market research system I had designed, build and emplaced and pioneered its operations to save costs, prevent fake and over-invoicing, institute transparency, efficiency and timely processing of RFQs – was destroyed – a task that was assigned to me by the KRPC Top Management Committee (TMC) who learned about my exposures and skills on database software and internets and decided to assign me to emplaced and pioneer the procurement unit’s price intelligence office in the Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical (KRPC). This vandalism happens after I left for study leave in the UK. The new system which I had emplaced was replaced by a worse appalling manual system, where people sit and unverifiable and unsolicited emails as proforma invoice or response for RFQs which when closely scrutinized failed to stand the basic litmus test of genuineness by asking simple questions such as: was the email response coming from free email accounts such yahoo? Does it have the OEMs contacts phones and persons, website and other contact details that we can be able to verify the contents of the email PFI received? Can we compare the pricing with online price catalogues? These are some of the rules of thumps that we emplaced. But after I left to the UK for my academic adventures, all that we did (building a database of material price list) and systems were thrown away and the status quo ensured. Upon my return from study leave, I met an endemic corruption and over-inflation of invoices in the procurement unit that was heartbreaking, so much so, that when President Obasanjo finally announced the Sales of the Refinery around 2007, it made me so happy, because I believe the Refineries are mainly conduit pipes for syphoning public funds by few individuals. And that is from experience. My petition to the MD KRPC then, became justly, patriotically and ethically necessary, after exhausting all diplomacy to revert the ungodly relapse to status quo, and returned to the internet-based system that allows us to search for items prices transparently, from OEMs websites, online price catalogues and other reliable equipment trade house’s online price lists from around the world, and getting email-based RFQs response from OEMs in minutes or hours — instead of spending months or years via the old manual system that relied 99% on conventional courier mail services. Efforts to water down my petition for abusing procurement procedures and presenting fake and misleading PFIs to management, on which approvals were given and my insistence to press home reforms based on the facts presented for over-inflated invoices as a result of the relapse to the old manual system and recommendations to revert to the internet-based system, and insisting that if the committee failed to act I will take the case further to EFCC. This led to a direct threat from the MD via the committee panel Chairman Shehu Liman who threatens and said to me: “ look, Salihu you should know that this is a do or die matter … I advise you to leave this petition to rest.” And I didn’t give up the case based on that threats, what saves the lucky day for them, was my pending transfer to NNPC Towers, as an honour and value addition to the Corporation, a leadership fit initiated by the immediate outgone MD, Engr V. Mukoro who after seeing my First Class BSc. Hon. certificate, from the UK, he said to “no… Salihu we can’t leave you here (in KRPC)”.
But why this story of corruption when we are talking about insecurity? The two are perfectly related – corruption give births to insecurity and insecurity lead to losses and failures. So it is a necessary digress, for we can see that corruption is another name for insecurity which is usually rooted in corruption and absence of shepherd leadership. I will leave aside, for now, my personal encounters and experiences for another day, to share again from many of my humble stories and experiences of Blueprinting, building and emplacing fit-for-purpose systems and also fearlessly fighting corruption without waiting to be “Oga at the Top” or “the Boss”, and even rejecting an offer or choice between retaining and losing my NNPC Board initiated promotion based on my performance at the DSDP.
Let’s also briefly analyse the recent release of the NNPC Audit report which shows that 3 out of the 4 NNPC Refineries had incurred a loss of N1.6 trillion since the start of the Buhari administration 5 years ago, which is a good indication that Malam Mele Kyari is working hard to clean up in NNPC. What are the lessons we take from that quality leadership in our movement to save Nigeria being led by the former President Chief Obasanjo?
These revelations of scandalous loss and corruption in the Refineries is what makes leaders like President Obasanjo who had already seen, long ago the endemic loss being incurred, which prompted the initiation and sales of the Kaduna Refinery in 2007, the way he sold Eleme petrochemical?
If Baba Obasanjo did not sell Eleme Petrochemical plant then during his regime, by now the plant would have been sharing the same faith with those reported conduit-pipe Refineries that are mercilessly gulping scarce public funds. But thank God, Baba OBJ made the right decision then and sold off Eleme Petrochemical and save Nigerians the unforeseen troubles we are seeing today in our Refineries. This is called foresight! And It is called initiative, as well! And these top qualities of good leadership.
It is unfortunate that the Buhari regime is sitting for 5 years, without taking a sweeping decision on the ill fate of the Refineries.
And what about the whistleblowing NNPC report that says “Nigeria lost $750m to oil theft in 2019”? What is the government doing with Navy officers protecting the coastal areas and other public officials that could be involved in such unprecedented theft of public resources for a nation whose citizens are dying of hunger, killings by groups of bandits and kidnappers and other criminals, which are all sharing a perfect denomination or correlation with insecurity and or poverty? God help us and help Mele Kyari – the whistleblower CEO!
As activist and professionals, we should continue to press home the message that Government should not have any business with refining petroleum products, but aptly regulating the oil industry to ensure a win/win principle for fair and ethical business. Thus, let’s allow our capable businessmen and women to run the business of trading crude oil and refining the same and selling their white products based on the market realities.
As for the DSDP initiative, which I was the lead architect of its process design and automation, I still believe the system can still be improved further transparently, by allowing the Federating states government who are second key stakeholders after the Federal government on the crude oil resources being exchanges for white products, the States should be allowed to also directly benefits from the proceeds of selling their portions of the crude oil which is traded and or exchanged with fuel at a margin. And the resultant white products are also purchased and supplied at varying margins of profit or loss; the States can then be made to have a stake or share in the trade profits that accrued and or loss incurred in trading and exchanging crude oil from which they get their monthly subvention, plus the trading margins. Another benefit of that is the fact that state government can choose to send its representatives to participating and learn from the business value chain of crude oil trading with the qualified or contracted Major oil traders including Total, Vitol, BP etc. This arrangement can be a valuable opportunity for knowledge transfer, oil trading skills acquisitions for indigenes all states, of which many of them are now gradually becoming oil-producing states, as hydrocarbons deposits in commercial quantities are being discovered in their domain. And another tacit benefit of this arrangement is the fact that indigenes of those new potential oil-producing states acquiring knowledge and experience in the crude oil trading and value chain can be a healthy way of preparation for restructuring – proper, isn’t it? And if you like, it will also serve as a unifying, balancing or neutralization means to one-sided agitations for the break-up and resource control. See, God has so blessed Nigeria with endless resources and goodies to share for all citizens when we get our acts together /rights.
The take-home message from this section is, as informed citizens, we should always have our eyes open while choosing quality leaders who have integrity, capacity and record of the sincerity of purpose and had a good track record of integrity and performance. This is why we do not have any hesitation for following Baba Obasanjo to lead this movement based on his track records and experiences leading change in Nigeria. In point #15, I have taken time to briefly remind us and to refresh our minds about who H.E. Chief Obasanjo is and his humble achievements as two times leader: Military Head of State and 4th Republic democratic president and the need for all Nigeria to forgive the mistakes of his past and move Nigeria forward. But before we get to that, I believe that the oil industry being the major revenue earner of the country, which is also a mini Nigerian state with National character outlook and despite its numerous challenges, we can hopefully learn one or two lessons from its sustained success in the security mandate for wetting the Nation with fuel 24/7 and 365 days a year for almost 5 years now, without any major incident. What is the principle behind such a huge success? It’s is servant or shepherd leadership exemplified by Malam Mele Kyari. His good leadership driven by transparency and accountability, Nigerians would hopefully continue to see and learn that from the current GMD of NNPC leadership style. We should never be afraid of saying it truthfully as it is, for, that should be our spirit in all public leadership. We are servants of the people and we are entrusted to lead, so why should we be hiding audits reports of NNPC or any other institution including the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air force etc.
Let’s make the message go round about the need for all public institutions and businesses to open up about their finances, not necessarily about confidential security data or information that are classified as top secrets.
Let’s see to it that during our campaign to save Nigeria, the Mele Kyari’s leadership model of transparency and accountability is also promoted so that all heads of MDAs can follow in the footstep of Malam Mele Kyari’s servant leadership style by throwing open all the challenges and problems in their domain and start looking for best solutions – that should be the spirit of public leadership.
We don’t hide public challenges to make us look good, while the Nigerian state is dying. Public leadership is all about rendering service to citizens in an open, transparent and accountable manner so let’s all head public institutions in Nigeria follow the Mele Kyari’s model of transparency and accountability to ensure performance excellence and grow.
Point three : Answering The Call
Having learned or reminded about quality leadership that we should look forward to, lets now delved into the main topic of our discourse, which is answering the clarion call to save Nigeria from the jaws of senseless killings and insecurity, a call that was made by the former president Chief Obasanjo while taking a lead to our united, one voice movement to rescue Nigeria. This is a movement that should be welcomed by all activist and well-meaning Nigerian citizens. No sensible citizens – elders, youths and women should ignore this onerous need to beat the bad guys killing people senselessly and awaken our current leadership to its responsibilities of protecting lives. Nigeria is the only country we all have and it’s unthinkable to just sit and watch incompetent service chiefs and incapacitated leadership superintend over its intended or unintended destruction.
Any leadership that ignores insecurity by failing to firstly, secure citizens’ precious lives, and ensure food, health, safety and job security – that government is failing and its should promptly wake up to its leadership responsibilities to serve the citizens sincerely and effectively. And lest we forget, the essence of any government worthy of its salt is to fulfil the social contract with its citizens. And first and foremost in that social contract provisions – is the non-negotiable rights to adequate security for all citizens – irrespective of their region, tribe and or religious affiliations.
Provision of adequate security by the government should not be an exclusive privilege for a few public officials and their families, and or wealthy businessmen and women living in Abuja, Lagos and or in the secured areas of our various federating States. Rather, State must provide adequate security to all law-abiding citizens, from Abuja to the remotest villages or towns of Tigno in Lamurde Local Government Area of #Adamawa, Kadisau in Faskari Local Government Area of #Katsina State, Ketu / Mile 12 market in #Lagos State, the Niger-Delta region, Ogbomosho, Lafia town and to all other lands within the Nigerian geographical borders. All citizens are entitled to a non-negotiable right to adequate security of their lives and properties.
The former president, Gen Obasanjo who had recently, given his wisdom laden counsel on a series of lectures including the one on post-COVID-19 developmental areas, also mentioned security of lives, food and jobs amongst others in his 6-point focal areas that need attention.
Chief Dr Obasanjo was quoted to have counselled:
“The first is food availability and security. The second is employment and job security. The third is a change in the pattern and style of living, including travelling.
“The fourth is innovation, science, technology, digitalisation and artificial intelligence. The fifth is local content, raw materials and substitutes. The sixth is diversification of the economy and enhancement of export commodities
“It is up to us to take these six areas very seriously. With good leadership and the right policy and with the public and private sectors working together, and the civil society joining hand, all the six areas can be taken care of and we can safely put the pandemic behind and move the country forward,” Obasanjo admonished. He counselled, saying, “For us in Nigeria, we have no alternative but to get it right. Otherwise, the future will be worse than the present that is uncertain and bleak with the economic downturn and pervasive insecurity.”
We can’t agree more with Baba Obasanjo on all these areas mentioned which summarily or broadly can fit into the need for the provision of adequate security with the exception of few. In my candid view, there is no excuse whatsoever, for a government to exist for over five years and pretends to have not known about the magnitude of security challenges it will inherit and or it had inherited and failed to provide a viable Blueprint for solving existing security threats and preventing potentials ones – thereby fulfilling its first mandate – securing the lives and properties of citizens as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and dictated by the social contract even within the APC party manifesto, on which the present government rose to power.
Point four: Call To Actions
Our calls to actions, to restore security in the North and in Nigeria at large, viz-a-viz my recent open letter to Arewa governors and legislators, to set up befitting security outfit that can complement the failing Federal or central security structure and apparatus. And thankfully and statesmanly, His Excellency Chief Obasanjo the father of democratic and political activism in Nigeria had bolstered our morale and take our little voices for ensuring good governance, justice, unity and provision of security for citizens, to go places. It is pleasing to have Baba at age 83 years actively leading us as usual, to ensure Nigeria is saved for our collective and shared common good, by God’s grace and power.
As activists, our calls to actions were borne purely out of our civic, religious and humanitarian cravings to always prevent or stop, eschew and speak against evil and injustice, and or at least dislike it where we do not have the power or privilege to act effectively. Our calls are born out of our love for humanity, truth, justice and common good to all law-abiding citizens of Nigeria. These calls come directly, from the heart, and we are certain and encouraged by the unchanging fact that God Almighty will always be with the truthful persons and those who love justice and fairness. It is our hope and prayer that God admits us into the honourable company of those who do good to humanity for His glory and not the company of those who exploit and harm our common humanity for selfish motives.
And one of the signs amongst many other indications on the acceptability of our natural cravings for the common good to all citizens can be seen in how these clarion calls are being received from all regions – grabbing the undivided attention of our patriotic citizens, elder statesmen, particularly, that of our astute leader and mentor, the former President Obasanjo – giving us not only a YES node but also making supportive and viable proposals and offering wisdom-laden counsels to guide us on the way forward out of Nigeria’s current security and leadership quagmire. And hopefully, Baba Obasanjo and all other activists and patriotic citizens will continue to support and lead this movement of like-minds motivated by love for our humanity, truth, justice, patriotism and unity of purpose on the common good – to ensure that Nigeria is saved from total collapse due to pervasive insecurity and failed leadership.
Point five: Hope, Prayers & Ethics Are Key
It is my hope and prayer that God Almighty will empower us with the wisdom, strength and grace to accomplish our task of collectively rescuing Nigeria from imminent collapse. Of course, we should make no mistake, that this is not a journey for mere pomp and play, nor is it for mere political scores or gluttonous materialism that lead to unhappy life – because we ignored the principle is distributive wealth via charity and goodwill that ensures equity and balanced societal well-being; rather all Nigerian citizens should consider this important and timely journey or movement: “security matters to all – no security, no Nigeria” – a daunting, but rewarding journey that we should all participate in person and in spirit and prayers ensure that our efforts yielded desired outcomes – restored equity, justice and unity of purpose in the Nigeria project and secure it from the evil tentacles of insecurity via the right and effective mass actions guided by prayers, wisdom, patriotism and the rule of law – as provisioned in the Nigerian constitution.
These ethics and principles should be emphasized, as responsible citizens with intelligence and conscience, for we cannot afford any more, to fold our arms and watch some UN
serious rulers – pushing (wittingly or not) the Nigerian state (that is hosting over 200million citizens), into a pit of hopelessness and statelessness going by the tacit and deliberate complacence that seems to only empower various groups of ragtag criminals to continue terrorising citizens across the Nation, while officials continue to budget huge amount and claim to be fighting a monster that seems to be turned into some sort of India’s cobra effect.
How can any responsible stakeholder in the Nigerian project, sit and watch apathy of political-will and or power that is supposed to supremely prevail and repositioned our security structures and agents to perform their duties of securing citizens excellently – vaporised into thin air! How can we afford to sit and watch – instead of actively driving and championing the patriotic causes that push and complement government efforts to ensure that effective restructuring and devolution of Nigeria’s security apparatus, as earlier proposed in our open letters which were welcomed and spoken about positively by all well-meaning Nigerians?
Point six: Change & Innovations Are Key To Living Good Life
There are pundits who think we shouldn’t explore innovative ways to solve our challenges, despite
being educated and accumulating years of experiences in designing, building and running systems that work.
In their views, which we absolutely respect, but as informed people, we should know the obvious implications of remaining stagnant. The thinking that we remain in the status quo and unchanged is not what human beings are created for, and it’s not what the world was naturally built on. For, even in religion there is adequate room for balanced, healthy and beneficial dynamism and innovations in the non-theological matters – talk more of matters that concern material leadership in a fast-changing world, where a memory chip of today’s smartphone is 1000 times or more, faster and better than a 30 years old mainframe computer storage device that occupies a room space.
No doubt, we are living in a fast-moving world where CCTV cameras are becoming gods to criminals and those who lack faith or piety that indeed God Almighty is watching and recording all that His creations do and at the very end – people will surely be made to account for our deeds individually.
To our comfort zone incline pundits who wears such mentality of fear for change and or staying in our comfort zones – best crimes fighting systems, cops and educational series such as CSI would not have been made possible; and USA Boing 747-8 and its competitor the Europe’s Airbus 380, and China’s fastest 600 km/h Maglev trains would not have been invented and the World benefited from their presence; fake news about 5G technology causing Covid-19 would have deprived the World from enjoying better internet experience and benefits; and Moore’s law that guides and empowers the exponential increase semiconductor processing powers of computers and mobile devices would not have been discovered; and locally, here in Nigeria, our humble efforts wouldn’t have help push, drive and championed the design and building of first-ever Web applications, and other automation based on our patriotism and local contents spirit in emplacing cost-effective, locally made systems that replaces costly and corruption-ridden processes in the oil and gas industry (NNPC). See Point #2 above for details. Like it or not change is constant and it’s an integral part of living a good life.
Under normal circumstances, no intelligent and civilized people would kick against measures that improve the quality of life and nationhood. People who lived their lives on the principle of dissatisfaction with even a working status quo system or process that relatively provide us with some ethical, beneficial and comfortable life, yet despite our attachment to those old comfort zones, we should always wear the right attitude of risk-takers, in researching and finding better innovative ways that can improve our lives and yield much happier and fulfilling outcomes for all citizens.
Point Six: Political & Democratic
Leadership Is A Contract Between The Leader (Contractor) & The Led (Contract Owner), And Not A King Versus Slaves Hegemonial Tyranny
Ironically, in Nigeria, especially under this current regime, some few people are seemed to be brainwashed into believing that a politician who campaigned and was voted in based on his quality and manifesto, but failed to perform, but delivers bad results or situations that are far away from what has been a bargain for, we should still go ahead with a loud and shameless praise-singing of such deceitful failures as if we are running some hegemonial system of tyranny where the king do no wrong and the enslaved-followership must remain silent or hypocritically sing some miserable songs that all is well – when all is isn’t well. Poor Nigerian citizens, voiceless and hunger ridden Nigerians who had even voted for the current president cannot be allowed to be dying from criminal’s adventures while the contracted C-in-C, the president sit and do nothing effective to stop the insecurity and carnages threatening to destroy a nation that was built with sweat, blood and efforts of our past heroes. Being an unrepentant enemy of the civil rule and disobedient army officer to constituted civilian authorities of the past cannot make Good
It is unfair to generalize. And thus, we have to fairly acknowledge the fact that, not all our political leaders are blameworthy, some are doing excellently well and some are performing averagely, while some are not so good in delivering the campaign promises or basic constitutional duties of protecting the citizens they governed. And responsively in this regard, we are starting to see some of the Arewa Governors – including Malam El-Rufai of Kaduna, initiating the recruitment of youths to join the State’s Vigilante group, which is said to have been backed up by a 2016 State’s legislation/law. In the Southern region, we already heard of the “Amotekun” state-based security outfit created to complement the Federal security agents in fighting crimes in the Southwestern States, which the Chief Judge of the Federation has put a hold on it pending meeting all due diligence or requirement of the law. These are all encouraging development and we shall not just relax and think that things would shape up without putting pressure and providing guidance for the timely formation of a positively thoughtful, collaborative and effective actions from other governors and their State’s legislators with regard to taking responsibility for securing their various States, and without relying solely on or too much on the Federal government security votes and or agents.
Point Nine: Unity Of Purpose & Collaboration At All Levels Is The Way Forward
There have been many breaks through a moment in Nigeria that tends to unit citizens and give us a lasting sense of oneness on the common good. However, the one that is glued to me memory was that of the 1996 Olympics. Thus, whenever I recall the joy, pride, patriotism, love and soothing sensations of greatness and satisfaction that runs through all homes and viewing centres in Nigerian and abroad simultaneously, during the 1996 Summer Olympics’ Football – Men’s tournament, how practically the Nigerian Super eagle’s team manned by the likes of Daniel Omokachi, Babayaro and Nwankwo Kanu had miraculously and fitfully equalized the 3 goals against Nigeria in the last minutes of the semifinals match between Nigeria and Brazil, where Kanu rattles-in the net with a final fourth goal, giving Nigeria a win of 4:3 against the opponent – that undeletable memorable experience, performance, unison spirit of teamwork and collaboration and the joy of resounding success and outcome that leads Nigeria to beat Argentina and come back home with a gold medal — always remind us of the undying spirits of hope, patriotism, and collaboration inbuilt in us as a people. That moment and its subsequent improved versions should be the moments Nigerians of this generation and future generation should crave to live for and enjoy. We should all agree that indeed “Life is too short and too sweet” to live hating and disrespecting each other while the World laugh at us.
That wow, Uhuru and the joyous moment was a moment when the North forgets and forgive the killing of its past Leaders when Nwankwo Kanu scored that final winning goal and made all Nigerians proud again and forget of historic past and forge a great future of togetherness in humanity, brotherhood and as progressive compatriots with shared win/win values and aspirations sharing the same country and identity.
It winning moment was the moment that our Igbos brothers knew that despite the mistakes of their past leaders and the stereotypes that were passed on, they do not have better partners than the Northerners who had since forgiven and forgot the past and opened a new leave of Nationhood and brotherhood that saw millions of Igbos making the North their preferred home, ending mass exodus and opening doors for a mass influx of Southerners to all nook and crannies of the North. That 1996 Olympic football win had wiped away all the past stereotypes and self-centred and self-limiting retrogressive agitations and actions that cause more injuries than goodness for all our unity on the common good. It was a day that the Southwestern zone of the Yoruba kingdom knew it has formidable brotherhood and partners in progress in building the greatest black nation on Earth to lead Africa and the black race to greatness for the benefit of all people.
It was indeed a day that informed Nigerians that we are a great collaborative and progressive brotherhood built by God Almighty, not on our tribal, religious and regional difference but on the collaborative spirit of good neighbourliness, common humanity, the common good, common space and common destiny.
July 31, 1996, was a day that redefines, re-emphasised and re-enforced our collaborative team spirit as a nation – which must be sustained into the long future of unborn generations of Nigerian citizens.
So it is in the spirit of that day, the spirit of saving Nigeria from fear of defeat and shame that we are hereby renewing our clarion calls to all fellow citizens, to take it upon ourselves that all the developing and developed nations of the world who had scored against us the 3 goals of developmental strides in Security, Unity and Progress, NOW is the time to equalize, neutralized all outstanding security threats and score the fourth and even Nth goals of becoming the greatest black nation on Earth that is driven by great shepherd leadership. Let’s keep the hope alive and believe in ourselves and God’s good providence, to help those who help themselves and to bless those who bless and praise Him.
As a people and a Nation, we have all the potentials – huge stable earth-quake-free arable lands, untapped natural resources, informed manpower and sizable population and market to be self-sufficient people. Through faith, prayers and informed strives, God Almighty will give us the right shepherd leadership at all levels, to see us equalizing and winning at seeming last minutes we have to save our beloved country from imminent collapse. And this journey has just started via our elder statesman – Chief Obasanjo’s clarion calls and the supportive voices and actions of all other patriotic and fearless Activists and leaders at all levels, all walk of life and from all regions.
With truth, justice, love and unity of purpose on the common good – all qualities loved by God almighty, hopefully, we shall be blessed once again on this onerous journey to save Nigeria, once and for all and for the good of all citizens.
Point Ten: Expected Roles Of The National Assemblies/Presidency In Saving Nigeria From The Menace Of Insecurity & Corruption
In the same spirit, we shall be looking forward to interdependence and collaborative efforts between our States and National Assemblies’ legislators. Expectedly, in this regard, we shall be witnessing oversight functions for check and balances in the relevant security agencies and MDAs, presentations and actualization of well-thought-out motions and effective legislations – passed into law in record time, to back up the needed restructuring, and emplacement of a healthy and balanced devolution of security structures and powers by creating state-based security outfits that can complement and provide collaborate support and enhance the Federal security agent’s efforts and effectiveness.
At the National Assembly, it is expected that the President should be summoned to firstly, tell Nigerians, how many lives of Nigerian citizens have been lost to criminality since he assumed power –as the Commander in Chief – 5 years ago?
Secondly, the President should tender unreserved apologies to Nigerians for his 5-year-plus failures to protect the lives of citizens as promised during his campaigns, and for his softness to act decisively on security matters, as we saw him acted with more vigorous energy, and assertive and stern commands or orders issued to security agents to deal “ruthlessly” with ballot box snatchers during the 2019 presidential elections, a likely double standard that makes him keep his security chiefs in office, despite the fact that their tenures had elapsed. Ironically, these are the same security chiefs whom the president was pressured by embarrassing protests in Katsina State, to acknowledge that their “best performance isn’t good enough” and yet he still retains them after years of underperformance and credible allegations of corruption hanging on their necks for diversion of security funds – as indicated by some credible reports going around.
Corruption in the armed forces has been endemic and is evidenced by many reports and video evidence of soldiers in the frontlines complaining about ill-treatment, lack of payments for allowance and or those acting up to get transferred-out from the Northeast zone. Recently, we saw the media report that the Nigerian army had court-martial and successfully prosecuted “Hakeem Otiki”, a major-general and former general officer commanding (GOC), for theft of N400 million. Now, imagine, this just a GOC’s thievery. The pertinent question here is how many more officers could be found guilty of committing similar crimes in the current armed forces divisions, units and leadership?
Point Eleven: Expected Collaborative Roles Of President Buhari, To Help Towards Saving His Administration & The Nigeria State From Imminent Total Collapse
As a matter of patriotism, sound leadership, trust, transparency and accountability, the distinguished and honourable legislators in the National Assembly, should do Nigerian citizens a great service by asking President Buhari to present to them a viable Blueprint that clearly spell-out how he intends to revamp the failing Federal security structure so as to stop and prevent senseless killings of poor voiceless citizens in the North and in Nigeria at large. President Buhari should spell-out clearly, how a revamp Federal security system can work harmoniously and effectively with the Federating State’s security agency that has been proposed and or created already (Operation Amotekun, Kaduna Vigilante group, Borno Civian JTF, Kano Hisba etc).
Also, the Blueprint should spell-out how the Federal government intends to lead this onerous change and provide a framework for effective collaboration, training and provision of adequate security equipment, gadgets and systems, and most importantly, the need to provide a central agency for provisions, coordination, pool-based-distribution and control of firearms which should be left under the control of the Federal security – until when the proposed devolved Federal and State-based security structure and collaborative framework and hierarchy is fully understood, all-what-if-scenarios are fully tested, validated and implemented to near perfection. Time should be given for the full gestations and maturity of the new model before allowing States to fully own and control their firearms in an ethical and responsible manner. This is necessary in order to avoid an unnecessary breach of power and or frictions in the new devolved structure or model.
The ultimate goal of the restructuring the Federal and state security architect should always remain a deliberate, sincere collaborative and complementary efforts to reform, combat and defeat crimes and criminals in the society – and not necessarily display of unnecessary egoism and or mere show of power excesses, as we see sometimes, even within the Federal security agencies.
It cannot be emphasised enough, the need to recruit, train and retain the right set of youths and provision of good remunerations, welfare packages and good pension scheme and with a clear reward system to promote loyalty and performance excellence, so as to make a huge difference on the quality of security forces we emplaced to enable is defeat growing and sophisticated criminalities in our various states.
Point Twelve: If You Can’t Measure, You Can’t Improve
Time without number, I have written about the need for the presidency to encourage and or enforce performance measurement system for all public institutions and businesses in the most transparent and accountable manner. We are still repeating the same call. We know about how some institution uses a spreadsheet to present such information that is often cooked, altered to present often wrong performance measures. The best way to do this via emplacement of a secure database powered application system that comes with a transactional system and or fetches data securely via some of the integration, including Web services such as RESTful API etc.
The Federal government led by President Buhari should know that leadership is a trust that must be accounted for, firstly to God almighty and then to Nigerians. If we are not ready to lead effectively, then we should not be under any obligation to do so, but allow those who can to lead.
To this end, we are still calling on the Federal government to see good reasons to start implementing transparent and effective performance dashboard systems in all the security institutions and MDAs across the nation, as earlier recommended 5 years ago via the Project Great Change For Nigeria Facebook page/group. It is no brainer, to know that running a government without an empirical and or qualitative means of measuring performances, successes and failures via the instrument of plans or budget versus actual outcome, and knowing the variances and getting quality feedback on innovative ways we can improve performance and block further chances for failures and or wastages, it is like a pilot flying a Jumbo Airbus 380, that has boarded an imaginary 200 million citizen’s as passengers and yet the new captain has no instructional or navigational manual, nor has he had a functional automated map and dashboard systems onboard the aeroplane. He has got no systems that usually indicates the wellbeing and or issues on the aircraft, and its various unison components and parts.
Similarly, running a government without emplacing a transparent, accountable and performance-driven measures system – with well-defined KPIs and targets, is equivalent to blindly, driving a bus that has no headlights, on a busy, yet bumpy road and at midnight. Imagine!
Anyone with an iota of sincerity and intelligence in running business or government or raising and nurturing a family know that anything worth measuring or caring for, but we failed to do so sincerely and transparently; then surely we cannot improve it effectively – this a basic elementary leadership principle that should be imbibed and applied in any worthwhile venture (much more in the public trust or leadership) – if we truly desire to see sustainable and successful outcomes in our families, businesses, schools and states.
At this critical times, Nigerians would no longer be closely watching, but we would demand outcome on how the current top political leadership reacts, deal and or respond to citizens recent unified voice and calls to take responsibility for providing adequate security for all citizens in an effective manner, and to leave no stone unturned, until we achieve zero incidence of senseless mass or unitary killings of innocent and voiceless Nigerians in all parts of the federating States and ultimately ensure the uprooting of insurgency, banditry and kidnapping in Nigeria.
Nigerians are equally, watching and following up actionable plans which States and Federal legislators, would effectively take to awaken their inert spirit of shepherd leadership lying asleep in their great personalities to enable them to help others towards wiping off Nigerian citizens’ tears of grieve from mothers, whose sons are daily being killed and daughters raped, displaced, killed and made widows by groups of ragtag criminals that we allowed our years of collective negligence, silence and complacency to create. Nigerians are now keenly watching, following up, and praying that our distinguished and honourable representatives listen and harken to the unified calls, patriotic spirit of oneness that is increasing, being expressed by many members of the respected chambers, as we see them also lament about their inability to “sleep” in their various homes that are now being turned into houses at their various constituencies. Thus, we would be keenly following up on how our able honourable lawmakers take actions that can sincerely and assertively put pressure on all political leaders, government agencies (including National Assembly), to ensure that insecurity in Nigeria becomes history in a record time of months, without any delay.
Our distinguished and honourable lawmakers and political leadership should not wait or delay all needful actions any longer. For this is one of the surest ways we can postpone and delay pushing Nigerian citizens to the wall and or the next level of legitimate agitation for government to wake up to its contractual leadership responsibilities and to promptly end the senseless killings and protect Nigerians. And surely, Nigeria is not a no man’s land where rulers only know how to collects foreign baited and enslaving loans, fat salaries and allowances, share contracts and forex to their friends and family, and fly abroad for medical tourism at the expense of taxpayers’ money and yet the rest of the people remain insecure and filled with uncertainty of when is the next banditry, kidnapping or insurgency or robbery going to happened? It is time for accountable and transparent stewardship. And yes, lest I forget, it is equally time for a unifying collaborative and complementary actions to save Nigeria from ragtag criminalities.
Point Thirteen: Expected Roles Of Great Artists, Film Makers, Civil Groups & Journalists Towards Ideological Warfare & Production Of Edutainment Contents To Counter Renegades & Their Sickening Ideology And Other Criminalities.
The burden of leadership is two ways: one for the leader and the other for the led. Both need to learn how to manage and motivate each other. To this end, our activism and calls should not be limited to the political leaders alone. We are hereby calling on our artists, stand-up comedians, journalists, filmmakers, content creators in Nollywood or Kannywood or Bornowood – to all join the ideological and subconscious mind programming and or edutainment warfare that can influence the mind drastically and truthfully. We should not just stop at dishing out money rituals movies, showing off fame and wealth and at the end creating more Hushpuppies and yahoo-yahoo get rich quick youths, instead of creating movies that will shape the good future of our teeming youths. We should thus focus on movies around narratives of personality showing leadership, bravery, character, innovation, creativity, faith, empathy, love, compassion, loyalty, intelligence and integrity and how all the opposing traits rates lower than listed qualities. Thus, we should start to see short films and documentaries that are well scripted, storyboarded and packed with ideological fits, humorous yet serious and truthful contents that can send befitting messages and counter messages to the renegades and engaged them ideologically until they are subdued intellectually. Imagine the impact a film produces in Kanuri or Hausa and sent viral targeting the insurgents and their potential recruits, a film that could feature a hero and influential leader who had not only renounced insurgency based on enlightening or better ideological fits bordering the religious principle of sanctity of human life, dignity, love, mercy, non-compulsion in religion and other prophetic teachings that can intelligently deflate their sickening ideological foundations and or making them renounce their “Takfiri” ways of seeing everyone who is not on their side as a killable enemy.
Films and other media contents should be produced to show how insensitive and foolish one can be to arrogate superior wisdom which he or she thinks are understood better than those given by God via His great prophets and messengers who had declared in the scriptures that: “lakum Deena Kum – was Liya deen.” Meaning: “…to you is your religion (way of life) and to us is our religion” and further declared that “no compulsion in religion”. We need films, humorous messaging in this regard from our artists within and outside Nigeria, targeting to the renegades and other criminal elements. It should be noted that ideological war cannot be won with guns and bullets alone, we need to use the same currency the renegade claimed to know better than peace-loving people and prove them wrong. The federal government and its National orientation and culture agency, media houses and other well-meaning and well to do citizens should be sponsoring such ideological messaging even if they can do it anonymously.
Point fourteen: Let The Halo Effect Of Unity, Patriotism & Camaraderie Go Viral
In a spirit of camaraderie in all goodness:
Truth, justice, patriotism and the common good that united our elder statesmen, our informed and versatile youths from across our diverse religious, regional and cultural affiliations is going to positively live and influence our thoughts, speeches and actions for the good of all people.
So it doesn’t matter where you may be right now, all that is required from you is being together in this onerous movement to unite and save our dear nation Nigeria from imminent collapse. Be with us in spirit, prayers, speeches, writings, discourses and debates and more importantly, be with us in good and patriotic actions that can move us forward – as a united people on the common good for all. This is one of the surest ways we can beat our adversaries that are created – accidentally or purposefully to delay the imminent rise and greatness of our Nationhood.
For the benefits of our younger readers, I will conclude by giving us a brief profile of who our leader in this movement and recap some of his apt statesman’s counsel on the way forward for Nigeria and for our collective movement which is backed by almost all activists, cultural groups, political leaders, and academicians in all regions of Nigeria, from the North, South, East, West and Central regions and all those in between. Nigerians need security first – total security with zero incidence of mass or unitary killings of innocent and voiceless citizens from any region or part of Nigeria. It is time for action!
Point fifteen: Brief Profile Of Chief Dr Obasanjo
Chief Dr Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo GCFR, also known in the social media circle as OBJ, was born on 5th March 1937 (83 years ago) became Military Head of State (1976-1979) after his principal and former Military Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed was assassinated in 1976.
Without much delay, the then Lieutenant General Obasanjo and his other two military colleagues (Murtala Muhammed & T.Y. Danjuma), kept to their triumvirate plans and promises to hand over power to civilians, so as to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for democratic governance.
Thus, accordingly, OBJ superintended the smooth transition of the military government to a civilian-led government via democratic elections that saw President Shehu Shagari (National Party of Nigeria NPN), emerged as the winner – defeating his opponent Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Unity Party of Nigeria UPN), who ironically share 100% ethnic, tribal, religious and regional affiliations with President Obasanjo. This single act of statesmanship had set Dr Obasanjo to stand out clearly, as a detribalised and patriotic leader who has no interest greater than the unity, wellbeing and progress of Nigeria and its people.
What goes around comes around, thus posterity or reciprocal justice if you like, never forgets its actors or investors (good or bad) and rewards them accordingly: straight from the National Prison in Yola, Adamawa State, where he was rightly or wrongly incarcerated based on trumped-up charges of a failed coup d’état, General Obasanjo was ceremoniously, welcomed into the making of 4th Republic democratic regime which was created by the then de factor Military Head of State (1998 -1999), General Abdulsalam Abubakar, who providence, become president after the demised of General Sani Abacha, who ruled from 1993-1998, after softly, toppling an Interim Head of State of Nigeria, Chief Earnest Shoneka, who in turn, was appointed to take over the National Interim Government set up by General Ibrahim Babangida’s (IBB) military regime after it got into trouble and faced with barrage of criticism, resentments and agitations, mostly from the southern political activists and media their united media front – pressured sure IBB to resign and end his 8 years (1995 – 1993) hold on power, for its anti-democratic role in annulling the June 12 1993 presidential election that saw Chief M.K.O Abiola and Babagana Kingibe emerge as the winners of one of the most credible, free and fair elections that Nigeria is said to have witnessed – unfortunately, the making of the 3rd Republic democratic government was “maradonically” and selfishly aborted.
To cut a long history short, Gen Obasanjo, from a prisoner was destined again by God Almighty to contest and win a democratic election set to end the longest military rule from 1983 to 1999. This was also considered as a form of political correctness by the Northern elites to pacify the Southwestern region whose candidate (MKO Abiola) was denied the presidency after winning a democratic election – a reciprocating gesture which Gen Obasanjo offered his Northern military colleagues and handed over power to President Shehu Shagari, to pacify the North and its agitations for the gruesome murder and assassinations of its leaders (Sardauna of Sokoto, Tafawa Balewa and Murtala Muhammed) by some tribal and regional jingoist of that era.
But the pertinent question today is – do we need to continue pacifying regional elitists for the past wrong or injustices suffered by their tribe’s men? And when would this chain of pacification and political settlement that often neglect the principles of quality leadership driven by integrity and capacity, accountability and good governance, is going to give way for choosing shepherd leadership based on integrity, nationalism, patriotic and competency that treats Nigeria and its citizens with justice and as a single united indivisible entity?
These are questions, we the youths need to find honest answers to, so as to move forward. For, we cannot continue to hold tribal and regional jingoism and stereotype animosities of yesteryears into 21st century of collaborations and unity on the common good, where people sit from home and create wealth legally and ethically via unlimited digital contents, products and services without stepping out to meet their global customers or audience – creating today’s wealthiest entrepreneurs that are in sharp contrast with hushpuppies of the 419 world of getting rich quick lazy flirting and sensational maniacs, who last some miserable hours or days enjoying what they did not work for before they find themselves rotting in jail. Today, our physical space for doing business has been greatly extended and complemented by virtual realities of autonomous technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). Again pressing home, the principle reality that only the lazy, uneducated, characterless and unblessed people are going to lag behind as usual – in having empowering faith, intelligence-driven wealth creation, retentions, prosperity and happiness.
In addition to President Obasanjo qualities mentioned earlier, some of his modest achievement during his democratic presidency, was his ability to establish the first two anti-graft agencies – i.e. the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic & Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). And interestingly, OBJ appointed a young Northern to head the EFCC. And for the first time in the history of Nigerian anti-corruption war, a sitting Inspector General of Police (Tofa Balugon) who shares with OBJ the same tribal and regional identities or affiliations, but yet the embattled IGP was charged and successfully prosecuted on corruption. This encouraging news gave me and many Nigerians a lot of encouragement and confidence on Nigeria’s bright future when we are able to rally around and support such patriotic leaders, to help towards taming the monster of corruption that is threatening the corporate existence of our dear motherland. This incidence of convicting a sitting IGP met us, while away, studying at the University of Greenwich, and it somehow settled partially, our ongoing debate with our compatriots from the southern part of Nigeria who are either schooling, or living in London and wrongly or rightly believe that Nigeria is not a country they could stay, but thank God with that single instance of a high profile conviction of a corrupt government official, coupled with Nigeria’s new and thriving mobile telecom sector then, which has become a point of reference even in the UK academics, we the pro-go-back-home (to-Nigerian) got our voice loud and clear again and say – “can you see…” to our fellow Nigerian friends, school mates and compatriots in the diaspora who are sceptical of coming back home, and who often criticize our seemingly “foolish” patriotic stand to come back home after our studies and contribute our quota to national development.
Other achievements of President Obasanjo include the strengthening of NCC and ushering of a viable Mobile telecoms business that saw thriving telecom and internet-related business in Nigeria. Although pundits saw the killing of NITEL as a result of deregulating the telecom market in Nigeria, as a disservice to the Nation, considering the fact that NITEL could have been transformed and positioned to compete with the private sector operated telecom businesses – as is obtainable in the UK and other developed and developing nations.
To a large extent, we should be thankful to the President Obasanjo regime that had completely changed the hitherto negative stereotype narrative that the endemic corruption in Nigeria cannot be fought and won successfully. Of course, the Obasanjo regime wasn’t free of corruption and even then, it wasn’t hurt but it’s a regime that is comparatively much better than today’s regime. There is much work to be done and OBJ is not keeping silent to witness the collapse of a Nation that he lived all his life to make it stand united and prosperous. Only when we rightly empathize, we would be able to understand President Obasanjo undying statesmanship and patriotism as we see not only in his actions but also read in his books, open letters, wisdom laden lectures and discourses. And despite their shortcomings, we still have much to be grateful to God almighty for guiding them relatively different from other African countries that are war-torn today.
Youths need to understand that the fact that power is never given willingly to anyone, let alone expecting such impossibility from a regime that see you as a bunch of irresponsible and lazy folk.
Now that we have elders and statesmen backing our clarion calls and movement to save Nigeria from total failure, it is time that we support the current regime to the best we can so that they don’t leave huge liability of a failed state that is going to be extremely difficult but not impossible to rebuild from the ground up and launch Nigeria in the comity of great Nation, once again.
It is our destiny that Nigeria is still ruled by a set of recycling leaders – “former this and former that”, who often stay in power for the sake of staying in power without much to show for it. Is this attitude tolerable and sustainable, when it is obviously leading us to a state of insecurity, injustice and the wider gap in national-wealth-distribution – the rich-man gets richer and the poor remain poorer, while the middle-class is fast shrinking to almost non-existence?
As earlier indicated, fortunately, the current regime and future leadership, should be grateful and appreciate some of our past leaders’ efforts, despite their shortcoming, they had not only left a country better than it is today (security-wise), but they are still active and refused to be tempted into keeping silence in the face of reoccurring failures and the new challenges emerging. President OBJ in particular has been an inspiration for us as youths who aspire to follow, learn and grow from their good exemplary leadership and patriotism. Dr OBJ had given us books authored by him, open letters – written to counsel erring leadership and proffer viable solutions. Just recently, he gave us another masterpiece – 6-point agenda to development in the post-COVID-19 era and he had also talked extensively, and aptly too, on Nigeria’s failing security structure and the need to consider a viable collaborative and complementary restructuring where he also commented on our recent open letter to Arewa governors and legislators on the need to complement Federal Security Agents by creating a state-based security task force to sustainably help in taming the menace of kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery and insurgency which have become endemic in the North and another part of the country. President Obasanjo’s love for the wellbeing of his motherland that gave him so much as he gave his whole – cannot be questioned.
Besides being a detribalised Nigerian leader and a gentleman OBJ had also clearly, exemplified religious tolerance and understanding during his democratic presidency, via his non-interference with the political and or piety-driven agitations for Sharia implementation in some northern states – including Zamfara, Kano and Maiduguri.
I believe the teeming youths of this nation have an obligation to patriotically listen and hearken to Dr Obasanjo’s wise counsels – precipitating from his stint-years of accumulated leadership experiences, skills, goodwill and sagely wisdom that is clearly of benefit towards our journey to re-building a great Nation that we all desire Nigeria to be – rightly, timely and sustainably.
Point sixteen: Activist’s Horn Effect Should Give Way To Their Beautiful Halo Effect Of course, Chief Obasanjo was not yet a saint, thus we could have made his mistakes in the past.
However, with his new feather on the hat of his intelligence and wisdom acquired from his doctorate degree in Christian Theology, we are hoping that a better Obasanjo has emerged! Chief Obasanjo is also a true seeker of knowledge and truth and hopefully, he will be guided eventually to the wholesome truth of this life and the next life now that he is well informed religiously. This further confirms his quest for knowledge and growth and constantly improving himself even as he gracefully ages along the journey of life. I leave us with Dr Obasanjo apt masterpiece counsel for the good of our nation and our activism to see Nigeria saved from the evil claws and jaws of insecurity.
Let me conclude with an excerpt from Chief Obasanjo recent lectures at the 2020 Sobo Sowemimo Annual Lecture Delivered at Abeokuta Club:
“What is permanent and constant in life is change, reform, and re-adjustment. To avoid change when it is necessary is to avoid progress. Inflexibility is a sign of a sick mind especially in the face of overwhelming evidence for change. People often refer to history and the past to justify their rigidity. My position has always been, remember history but don’t be shackled by it nor become its hostage.”
What else can we add to Chief Obasanjo apt clarion call and wise counsel of a typical elder statesman – than to follow suit with good intentions, thoughtful and viable plans and then effective actions, while fervently, praying to God Almighty, to continue to guide us, and make our tasks of saving and rebuilding our Nation and its people much easier and successful.
4th July 2020