OBJ walked into the hall…brisk and smart. The slight stoop when he stood for the Anthem was the only betrayal of age.
He talked on issues – he was expansive but choose his words.
He talked about Nigeria – yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He was clear on his conviction that we are a stronger nation as one- He would rather be a citizen of a ‘big Nigeria’ than a citizen of a small Egba nation – he said.
Nigeria’s strength lay in its diversity – he said
Baba’s mind is still as sharp as ever. He wowed us with the clear strategies taken when he came back in ’99 to collect the things he forgot in ’79. He mentioned 2 intentional ‘nation-building steps’ taken in his first term
- He convinced his party (PDP) to allow him appoint ministers from the opposition. For him, it was critical for everyone to be part of the new democratic Nigeria.
- The Military needed to be reoriented and checkmated – to avoid the chance of a future coup. He took out senior military officers -who had benefitted from coups in the past – single stroke move on a Friday. Machiavelli.
After seeing his life through the well-organized and presented presidential library, right from his very poor beginnings to the various pictures with other world leaders -both in khaki and in Agbada, you could not help but reminisce on – “where Nigeria should have been. I felt proud – This na States-man.
Baba then mentioned Lin Kwan Yun and talked about how their generation was filled with hope for the Nigerian Nation – hope which drove their actions….
That is when ‘Sister Ife’ asked about his successor and if he had any regrets on that- bubble burster ni Sister mi meeen.
He had no regrets ke? …Na political answer be that?
I struggled to contain the sudden heat, my chest dey burn as I begin vex. I dey vex. As a business leader, would I not ‘break my back and move mountains to ensure a reliable successor?
As a father of the nation – this successor matter would forever be the yard-stick that a lot of Nigerians would continue to measure BABA by. How could he have left Nigeria in the hands of an unhealthy man and a clueless VP? He was responsible o – its either that he pushed the party machinery to get Yar’adua the ticket OR he did not do enough to push the party in a different direction for the Candidate.
Na OBJ cause am.
HE HAD SPOKEN about hope. ..mmh. Hope begets belief, which reinforces the hope – then begets more belief and so on and so on….until the hope is suddenly palpable and a huge indestructible force- go ask them for Yankee.
me sha, I wanted to scream at him – what did your generation do with the next set of Statesmen? … Stateman no dey again – and why could you guys not do what was necessary to bequeath us with strong and visionary leaders. OR at least the strongest of National institutions that would hold firm in adversity.
I wanted to shout at him – the younger people DO NOT BELIEVE IN NIGERIA. WHERE IS THE HOPE? HOW CAN THEY BELIEF.? If they DON’T believe, they CANNOT be patriotic.
Nigeria is losing its most brilliant and its best – you don see the train to CANADA? Filled with all our junior managers and brilliant trainee. Before they would wait a few years to test the waters, now nko? JAPAAAAA!
We are losing our human capital – and the replacements are subpar.
But I didn’t get to say all this to BABA, Nonny no pick me to ask question. Na wa.