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Who will show the way

Published by The Nation on Fri, 29 Aug 2014


What exactly does it mean to say that a countrys citizens do not know where they are going, or that the country itself does not know where it is going' The August 24 visit by a delegation of the Nigerian Market/ Traders Council to a former president of the country, Olusegun Obasanjo, was a time not only to consider the countrys trajectory but also to contemplate the puzzles' Indeed, the groups mission to Obasanjos home in Abeokuta, Ogun State, was to seek answers to its apparent confusion about the countrys course, particularly in view of the approaching 2015 general elections, the evident heightening of centrifugal tensions and the threat of apocalypse.The weight of the delegation reflected the importance attached to its objective. The 150-person team, led by the councils National President, Yeye Osho, had representatives from the countrys 36 states, including the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Chief Alaba Lawson. Obasanjo was quoted as saying: As for me, we dont know where we are going yet; may God show us the way, the way that will make this country a great country. He added: If I see the way, I will tell you. I pray that God will show me the way; may God show you the way.Disturbingly, Obasanjo likened the state of the nation today to the notoriously despotic era of the late Gen. Sani Abacha who was the countrys military head of state from 1993 to 1998. In case he was unaware of the import, such a negative comparison actually implied the failure of Obasanjos party, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Or was such implication his intention' In other words, it could be that Obasanjo consciously suggested that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration was the worst in the countrys history, given that Abachas regime allegedly held the odious distinction before now.Possibly to reinforce the idea, Obasanjo said: Tough times do not last forever. When tough times come, tough people get going. We will keep going and we will survive this tough time. Could this be a not-so-veiled statement indicating his position on Jonathans suspected interest in re-election' What did he mean by tough people get going' Did he mean that Jonathan should be rejected' These interpretations may not be far-fetched, considering the wall between the two men despite Obasanjos well-known role in Jonathans rise to the presidency.Also worthy of contemplation, Obasanjo said: We all have contributions to make and should not leave our responsibility to others. If we fail to participate in things that are meaningfully positive for this country, you will be a victim and we all become victims. Was this a case of seizing the moment to try to say something to his party, or to the electorate'Whether Yeye Osho and her team understood Obasanjos comments superficially or essentially, they at least provided him with an opportunity to express his thoughts on the countrys worrying situation. Yeye Osho said the purpose of their visit was to find out which direction we are going. Obasanjo said he didnt know, and asked for divine intervention, which is sheer mystification. Isnt it clear that the country is going in an unconstructive direction, and urgently needs the intervention of the people]]>
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