For disclosure, I first met Obasanjo in 1999, Atlanta, Georgia, and also during his inaugural dinner in May 1999, subsequently after office at his invitation at OOPL (Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library) in Abeokuta and lastly in Washington DC, few years back. I also met him in Dallas at SMU, where after I asked him a question, said he wasn’t going to answer since I ask tough questions. He got up and handed me his microphone as a jest to distract. Audience laughed and he answered his way. I enjoy his personality but I focus on substance not Entertainment.

A good man who strives to be a Statesman – I let you decide that.

Obasanjo should be the last person to make fun of any Nigeria President as the joke is on Him.

Just my 2 cents better than the 2 kobo I long left behind.

Now this.

Obasanjo is a master at diversion.

Hindsight makes everyone a genius while getting it right while one had/has the chance is better and harder.

Since Obasanjo will have the longest tenure of having served Nigeria as Military Head of State 1976-1979, and 1999-2007, Civilian President nearly 12yrs altogether, and famous “Agbada-In-Chief”, Nigeria has remained a failing state.

In 1999, when he came back on his 2nd missionary journey – reluctantly if I may add, he inherited the largest foreign reserve Nigeria ever recorded in recent history and Naira-to-Dollar exchange rate was less than N90-to-$1.

And during his tenure especially during the height of the Gulf War, Nigeria earned the highest ever revenue from selling of crude, most foreign debts were forgiven or written-down, he recruited “obscure” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Finance Minister, later assigned her by grace “demotion” to inglorious Foreign Minister role. Ngozi was bitter.

With all the tailwind in Obasanjo’s sails, Naira-versus-Dollar exchange rate kept falling like sand sipping through one’s poorly clasped fingers.

When he left in 2007, after failed attempts to change the term limit to allow a 3rd run, foiled by then Senate President Ken Nnamani, Obasanjo has tried to remote manage whoever becomes President of course.

Obasanjo loves power while short on influence. Influence is mark of effective leadership while power coarse.

All things considered and being equal, an undeniable proof democracy has not bode well for Nigeria can be summed up by Naira-Dollar exchange rate which keep eroding and wiping purchasing power. Obasanjo had a chance to have fixed it but blew it because certain thing is basically above the mentality grasp of many. No pun intended.

It is “No-Joke” but Obasanjo likes the Joke. Isn’t that something?

You tell me.

EE OKPA
Global Affairs Analyst, Dallas, Texas.

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