By Tunde Odesola
Dear Mr Obi,
Today being Friday, I should’ve wished you Barka Jumat, if you were a Muslim, but being a dyed-in-the-wool Catholic, who cringingly curried Christian favour in the just-concluded presidential election, I think it’s better to wish that the power of Christ’s resurrection heals your frailties – be they moral or political – this Easter season. I pray the same prayer for myself too, because no one is a saint.
As we were both born in the 1960s, I’ll not be sheepish, bootlicking and manipulative to ‘yes daddy’ you, because it’s not the covenant of God for me to idolise mere mortals in white cassocks, for the Holy Bible says in the Book of Matthew 24:11 that “Many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.”
Though Nigerian Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Monday, which was Easter, for me, Nigeria yet lies in the valley of the shadow of death – owing to the ceaseless atrocities of the political class, particularly in the last 24 years.
Your Excellency, I want to tell you some cold truths, but I fear the deafening cacophony from your farm won’t allow you to listen and take heed – after the bitter presidential dogfight that witnessed your dog coming a distant third, according to the shambolic umpire called the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Fellow compatriot, you’ve, no doubt, come a long way to earn the epaulettes on your styled black clothe – having wined and dined with the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for over 20 years before transmogrifying into a knight in shiny armour, earning sainthood in the Labour Party, LP.
Oga Obi, during your governorship and your time as Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, you failed to declare your foreign assets and businesses hidden in secret havens, but your disciples, like the sheep in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, won’t stop bleating your incorruptibility.
In an online report, headlined, “Pandora Papers: Inside Peter Obi’s Secret Business – And How He Broke the Law,” PREMIUM TIMES said that Obi, during “an in-person interview,” admitted, “He did not declare these companies and the funds and properties they hold in his asset declaration filings with the Code of Conduct Bureau…
“He (Obi) said that he was unaware that the law expected him to declare assets or companies he jointly owns with his family members or anyone else…However, our investigation, based on records obtained from the UK Companies House, shows that Mr Obi continued to be a director of Next International (UK) Limited for 14 months after becoming the governor of Anambra State, thereby breaking Nigeria’s law…”
The report published on October 4, 2021 said, “Mr Obi did not dispute the records PREMIUM TIMES cited, but he claimed he ‘resigned immediately’ by handing his wife his resignation letter. He suggested that his company might have failed to effect the changes on time or the UK Companies House did not immediately document his exit. But the UK Companies Registry said Mr Obi indeed resigned on May 16, 2008.”
My friend and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Kunle Adegoke, commented on the complicity of Obi in the Panama Papers report. The learned silk, scholar and philanthropist said, “It is contrary to the Constitution and the Code of Conduct Act for him to refuse to declare his assets in full. It is an impeachable offence for which he can face criminal prosecution. Remember that was what led to the removal of Onnoghen (a former Chief Justice of Nigeria).
“It is equally a gross misconduct and criminal diversion of state funds for him to mix state funds with his family business. The man doesn’t know the implication of his act and the people following him are impervious to truth.”
Your Excellency, your traducers often twist your other name, Gregory, and mockingly call you Gringori, a jester character in the rested hilarious sitcom, New Masquerade, but I won’t; I’ll call you Gregory, which is a Greek male name that means watchful.
Oga Gregory, you should be watchful, lest some unwashed characters on your farm cause an inferno that will raze the barns of yams you’ve laboured so hard for, yanking your name from the hall of fame, pasting it on the page of infamy.
Mr Presidential candidate, you can go and verify; I’m not a member or supporter of any Nigerian political party. I’ve been consistently critical of the clueless All Progressives Congress, APC, and its President, retired and tired Major General Muhammadu Buhari; his wife, Aisha; and their children; the President-elect, Chief Bola Tinubu (I don’t feel like calling him Asiwaju); his wife, Remi; and their children.
I’ve also been persistently unsparing of the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; former President Goodluck Jonathan, and his wife, Patience; past and present PDP governors, serving and former PDP senators, etc.
Sir, I’ve never in my life written a favourable line of prose or poetry for Tinubu or Atiku, let alone a whole article. This is my badge of honour.
Mr Obi, I see ALL Nigerian politicians as a pride of hungry lions, charged with keeping a flock of sheep safe. I see Nigeria’s political leadership as a guidebook on how to sail a ship in the air. In many articles, I’ve stated my unbelief in the 2023 elections, positing that conducting elections without restructuring first was akin to wearing a pair of socks over shoes.
Lest I be accused of inconsistency, Obi nwannem, kindly permit me to make some clarifications: I love the Igbo, and their chi that made them goodly, enterprising, innovative, mercantile, exuberant, loveable, humorous, ubiquitous and kind. Every country deserves the Igbo. But I’m not in any way your fan, because your hypocritical politics sickens me! Tufiakwa!
I know the creatures on your farm will attack me by going on their usual name-calling rampage, without substantiating their assertions with facts or reason, and I remember the bleating sheep in Orwell’s Animal Farm, who started with singing ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’ but ended up chanting ‘Four legs good, two legs better.’
Oga ElluuPee, I won’t go the route of the herd, I’ll rather speak to you, the farm owner, and the Napoleons, Snowballs, Squealers – wise pigs of your farm – because it’s only with this scant critical mass of your following that one can have an intellectual engagement, most of the rest are millennial apples blown faraway from the tree of reason by the wind.
Yes Daddy, both APC and PDP online armies are not particularly better, but if your movement symbolises change, common sense dictates that Obidients should do things differently from the retrogressive ways of the APC and PDP. Obidients should lead by example!
I’ve written tonnes of articles against Tinubu and Atiku; not once have their handlers or their armies, online and offline, ever reached out to me, or attacked me the way Obidients did when I wrote, “Obaship: Will Tinubu violate Yoruba culture for MC Oluomo?,” “Nigeria: Let the Igbo go,” “Yoruba rascals and Igbo idiots (1 & 2),” – all in support of the Igbo cause.
An Obidient Igbo acquaintance, full of self-importance, even deleted the article, “Yoruba rascals and Igbo idiots (1 & 2),” from an Igbo-dominated WhatsApp group I belong to.
Like the sheep in Animal Farm, my acquaintance didn’t bother to read beyond the headline, “Yoruba rascals and Igbo idiots,” before jumping to the conclusion that the article must be anti-Obi and anti-Igbo, and deleted it. Blinded and bigoted, my acquaintance never read to know that the two-part article (posted by a group member) is an eulogy to the Igbo.
Sir, I’m not anti-Igbo. See, I wrote in defence of the Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Elders Forum, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, when his ‘Yoruba rascals’ speech was taken out of context.
Mr Obi, the omnipotent aggression and blatant intolerance by Obidients were what Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, was talking about when he labelled the threat by your running mate, Yusuf Datti, as fascism. I implore you to deal with these Achilles heels before the tendons of your movement are cut off.
Your Excellency, if you won’t take a position on the fascism controversy, I’ll, for free, help dissect the Soyinka statement for you to see the foolishness and hypocrisy of your Obidient disciples.
•To be continued
•Odesola, a United States of America, USA-based journalist and political cum public affairs analyst, writes from the USA and could be reached via: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook: @Tunde Odesola; and Twitter: @tunde_odesola