“I try to live with the idea that karma is a very real thing.
So I put out what I want to get back”-Megan Fox. There is a lot of advantage in riding a tiger, you remain right on top victorious as it devours every available creature around, and you dare not climb down. If you do automatically you would be its prey.
I have been musing myself lately watching the ruling All Progressives Congress APC struggling to handle the riot coming from the former President Olusegun Obasanjo against their flag bearer President Muhammadu Buhari.
I am musing because my village adage said that when you enter the bush to fetch firewood that contains some ants, you should not complain when the lizard come visiting.
On December 21, 2013 when the All Progressives Congress APC was at its incubation stage and the leaders were going round the country on recruitment drive, they landed in Abeokuta, the country home of the former President Obasanjo.
On the team of that historic visit were Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State; APC leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu; Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; then Interim National Chairman of APC , Chief Bisi Akande, Gov. Murtala Nyako of Adamwa state, former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff; Senator Bukola Saraki; and Alhaji Lai Mohammed . The APC leaders and the former PDP governors who defected then to APC were also there at the Hilltop Manson. They included former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. Other APC governors at the meeting were Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) and Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo).
Both Obasanjo and the team were excited for the meeting going by their utterances. The spokesperson for the APC at the meeting Asawju Tinubu whose political differences with Obasanjo was as unhidden as pregnancy before then said “ill-wind blowing in the country as a result of the miss-governance of President Goodluck Jonathan is ominous and most right thinking leaders as opposed to the sycophants surrounding the President are worried.
Even those we have so far visited and those we are going to be visiting are also concerned”. What we are doing is not scouting for leaders to come and join the party. What we just want is to establish that since we are all stakeholders and what binds us is the unity and stability of the Nigerian state, we are consulting with the elder statesmen with a view to sensitizing them to the moves we are engaging so that they are in the know. And whereas we are not recruiting them into our mission and vision, we would not want them to create obstacles on our way to rescuing Nigeria.
Tinubu threw off his pride and begged Obasanjo to be the navigator for the APC. “You have come out of tribulation and held the highest position in this country. We are here because of your courage and salient points. Nobody can say he has information more than you” the APC leader said. “You have surmounted a number of crises. Nigeria is divided more than before. To realize a stable Nigeria, we want to encourage you to continue to speak the truth. We have resolved and are determined to rescue Nigeria. We want you to be our navigator”.
The then interim National Chairman of APC, Akande, added his voice ostensibly to explain the rationale behind the meeting with Obasanjo. “We have come to introduce our party to you; we are in the support of the 18-page letter written to Jonathan, you are capable”.
Speaking on behalf of APC governors, Imo State governor, Okorocha, urged the former President to be upright. He said: “You should be upright on the issue of Nigeria. Many of the governors passed through your political school, the battle is for the generation on board. It is a task that must be done”.
A visibly over bloated Obasanjo praised the APC for their opposition role but declined to be their member ” I am a card carrying member of the PDP but the politics I play traverses Nigeria, Africa and world in that order, ”Obasanjo said. ” I am a democrat and one of the essential ingredients of democracy is opposition. A democracy that has no opposition built into it is not democracy. “As an opposition, you are enhancing democracy, you are at home, and you are welcome to being at home.
Obasanjo declared himself as a political father who has no rival, saying, “In whichever party, for whatever office to be contested or aspired in Nigeria since 1999, such a person, young or old, man or woman can claim to be my political child and I can claim to be by virtue of the political office I have held to be their political father; so, you are here and you are welcome”.
To me as an active political record keeper in this country for over three decades, that meeting was the making of Obasanjo as a political iroko in the land. That was the day Obasanjo conquered the last but most difficult territory, the South West with Tinubu begging him to come and lead.
After the meeting, an angry Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, a diehard enemy of Obasanjo clearly envious of all the extolling warned Tinubu that any political romance that will make Obasanjo their navigator means Nigeria is heading for a shipwreck. That advisory was not taken as it is now history, the yeoman role played by Obasanjo in the scheming that saw APC defeat his party the PDP in 2015.
Against the backdrop of the narratives above, it’s fascinating watching the same Tinubu calling Obasanjo, political letter writer and bad belle person. It is obvious that Tinubu and his APC cohorts have been trying to convince Nigerians to disregard the same Obasanjo they raised to high heaven few years ago.
Former APC National Chairman Akande who told Obasanjo that they were in support of his 18 page letter berating then President Jonathan now wants Nigerians to ignore Obasanjo’s new letter to President Buhari. If APC know about karma, they should know that whatever goes around comes around. When, where, how… these are not questions that can be answered immediately, and differ for every situation and circumstance. But you can rest assured that it will happen, eventually. Four years ago Jonathan and the pdp were at the receiving end, now it’s Buhari and the APC.
This brings this discourse back to my opening remarks about Tiger riders. When they were riding Obasanjo the literary Tiger and following as he navigated them successfully, they did not envisage today that has now arrived. Their struggle now is to remove the compass they gave him four years ago as the chief navigator but it’s not possible.
The truth of the matter is that APC must learn to embrace reality that the Obasanjo they created and elevated few years ago is still relevant and what he is doing now remains akin to what he did four years ago, identifying with the people to delete bad government. What he is doing is indeed what democracy demands of patriotic statesmen. The former President has now brought himself to be the same navigator of four years ago although this time not for APC. What perhaps stands Obasanjo out in spite of him is his ability to tell a good route from a terrible one and it’s a valuable skill when leading political expedition.