Obasanjo once knew too much about Atiku Abubakar. Whatever it was he knew was so abominable he feared the wrath of the gods if he dared support Atiku’s quest to be president of Nigeria. Atiku had dismissed egotistical Obasanjo and his accusations. He said Obasanjo’s vendetta was the price he had to pay for stopping Obasanjo from becoming another Paul Biya.
And you would be forgiven if you thought Atiku had no need then for Obasanjo’s forgiveness. Pa Adebanjo thought so too, four months ago. It’s unlikely Pa Adebanjo believed that Atiku was exactly incorruptible.
He was however certain Obasanjo’s apparent righteousness defied evidence. In his book published a few months ago he described Obasanjo as a living pharisee who had no moral right to deem anyone corrupt let alone pretend to possess cleansing power. But a few days ago, Pa Adebanjo, in broad daylight took Pa Atiku to Ota so that he could be cleansed of his sins. Atiku maintains he never suffered from the political leprosy Obasanjo had diagnosed in him. But he turned up for cleansing anyway.
In the sermon preached at that River Jordan in Ota that day, Obasanjo reconfirmed Atiku’s sinful state. He advised the newly cleansed man to brace up for the consequences of known skeletons sticking out of his cupboards.
And to prepare to cope with the ghosts of yet to be exhumed iniquities. If Bishop Kukah hadn’t let the cat out of the bag we would have believed the Ota ceremony was a thoughtfully planned event. Obasanjo had promised the nation too much and embarrassment was starring him in the face.. Obasanjo had assembled PDP bigwigs. He assembled Afenifere chieftains. He brought in one influential pastor.
The spiritual reconciliation of two elderly men became a political jamboree where Atiku would be endorsed by Obasanjo, Afenifere and almost everyone else present. Obasanjo had taken new political captive in Buhari. So he was ready to let go one real or imagined Barabbas. Atiku Campaign Organisation disowns online grant scheme But why was Obasanjo in such a haste?
Obasanjo had in January written Buhari and advised him to resign. In that letter he described the two main parties as wobbly useless parties. He said Nigeria was doomed except a third force intervened. He promised to lead a brigade of Angels and patriots to rescue the country from calamitous drift. Many people believed him.
And waited to see a Nigerian Redemption Force. But they only saw Olagunsoye Oyinlola and a few others run helter skelter, and then hold meaningless meetings. A few others jumped out with righteous indignation and poured opprobrium on the two main parties before forming new parties. They hoped that in due season these parties would coalesce and ‘operation rescue’ would begin with international support.
Oby Ezekwesili championed the Red Card brigade. She must have believed Obasanjo too. Others similarly propelled by a renewed idealism formed the Nigeria Intervention Movement. The nation yearned for a new beginning. Wole Soyinka who has known Obasanjo since Lord Lugard smirked. He said Obasanjo wasn’t capable of a moral enterprise.
Perhaps he foretold what was to come. Bishop slams political parties, politicians for lack of ideology, manifestos Many months after Obasanjo promised a rescue coalition, nothing that could save a big village happened. Obasanjo went into a literal hibernation. When he came to the surface occasionally he didn’t mention the coming of any force. The same Atiku whom he had discarded as irredeemably politically deformed.
That day he rechristened him an economist, an expert in job creation. We need not to ask Obasanjo where his coalition is. He has adopted the kabukabu which a few months ago he had deemed overdue for the junk yard.
The PDP has become the third force which Obasanjo promised. Bishop Kukah wants Obasanjo to go to heaven. He may have one more reconciliation to achieve. He may have to beg the country to forgive Obasanjo for promising a brand new vehicle and delivering a ‘kabukabu.’