Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Amazing apotheosis of Obasanjo by (Is’haq Modibbo Kawu)

Posted By: young kizzye - 11:08:00 PM

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THE NATION newspaper’s HARDBALL of Tuesday, October 14, 2014, mischievously described it as the “BEGGARS’ ORCHESTRA”.The occasion was the triumphant return to their old PDP base of some political grandees, from Ogun State led by former governor, Gbenga Daniel (but wait a minute, didn’t incumbent governorAmosun say Gbenga isn’t from Ogun state?).As HARDBALL noted, PDP National Chairman AdamuMu’azu, “led the beggars”: “I want to join Governor Daniel to appeal to our Baba, President Olusegun Obasanjo, to forgive us. We are your children and we have been making mistakes; we have made mistakes and so we apologise.
Please, Baba, we apologise; come and lead us. Even the President (Goodluck Jonathan) is waiting for you to come and lead us; you are our leader, we appreciate you, we thank you for your leadership and courage”. Mu’azu became more emotional: “Baba should please forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. We are your children; we have made mistakes.
Please forgive us and come and lead us to victory in the 2015 elections. Baba should not throw away the baby with the bath water”.
Senate President, David Mark, also weighed in:”In any disagreement of this nature, the older person is always right. All of us in the PDP are appealing to you to come back to the party”.
A few days later, Obasanjo responded with typical bluster: “There are, for me, issues of principle, morality, honour, integrity, commitment and character which are paramount…I cannot accept that the zonal leader of my political party and, worse still, in my zone, will be an indicted drug baron wanted in America.
How do I explain that to friends outside Nigeria?…I have national and international standard to maintain and reputation to keep and sustain. For these reasons, I opted to remain active only at the ward level of the party till the leadership of the party does the needful”.
Let’s take Obasanjo’s appeal to “principle, honour, integrity”, with a healthy dose of salt, given how he also pressed people with questionable characters into service while in power. But there is no gainsaying the depth of chasm that has developed between Obasanjo and his protégés in power and in party leadership.
And as battle is about to be joined for 2015, those who sidelined and ignored Obasanjo in the past couple of years have suddenly rediscovered his usefulness for their ambition.
Never mind that Obasanjo serially lost even in the polling booth in front of his house, the truth is that in the contemporary configurations of power in Nigeria, they will ignore Obasanjo only at their peril. Obasanjo knows the workings of the levers of power and his shadow frighteningly hangs over the political system. My father used to tell me the old Fulbe proverb of the cripple that cannot milk a cow but can use the stump going for a hand to pour away the milk.
This is Goodluck Jonathan’s dilemma and that of the party chairman he appointed, Adamu Mu’azu. They would rather Obasanjo was within the loop than without.
And this realization has also drawn the opposition in his direction.Obasanjo’s sworn political enemy Bola Tinubu has abandoned quixotic “progressive” pretenses.
He now regularly consults with Obasanjo. It is indicative of Obasanjo’s place in the schemes of ruling class politics, that Bola Tinubu recently returned to Obasanjo to seek opinion on some of Obasanjo’s “former boys” seeking APC’s presidential ticket.
When quizzed about the development, long-standing Tinubu sidekick, Lai Muhammed, effusively said Obasanjo could assist the opposition’s quest for power in 2015. These are moments of seismic shifts on the political order in Nigeria.
Many sections of the political elite have become fed up with Jonathan’s presidency: his predilections for a damaging provincialism; serial bungling and faux pas; and the alienation of many who assisted his rise to the top.
Obasanjo is at the top of the pile of those hurting deeply: knocked off his perch within the party; couldn’t muster the influence he felt entitled to; deliberately sidelined. Obasanjo consciously flirted with an opposition desperate to seize the moment to achieve access to power that seems more than ever before, closer to achievable. So in every direction, everybody became willing to forgive Obasanjo’s trespasses and crimes.
He has become the ultimate survivor, the eternal political bride of Nigeria. This is the moment of Obasanjo’s amazing apotheosis!
Baze University, Abuja: Garlands for the 18th Sultan of Sokoto and Dr. Stella Adadevoh
LAST Saturday, the new Baze University in Abuja, organized its first Convocation Ceremony in Abuja. 64 young Nigerians received their first degrees on the occasion with nine achieving First Class degrees. All of these were young Nigerian girls, including a physically challenged, wheelchair-bound young girl.
At the Ceremony, the 94year-old, 18th Sultan of Sokoto,Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki was awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree for his contributions to Nigeria’s development. And may we recall that Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki was an excellent public servant who gave his all to the development of Nigeria. His stature rose higher as a community leader, especially in Northern Nigeria, after his deposition as Sultan.
He remains a go-to person for advice; and he is a major repository of the collective memory of public service, the traditional  institution and inter-communal relationships in the North and beyond, because of his extensive knowledge and network of relationships around Nigeria.
Similarly, Baze University posthumously awarded Dr. Stella Adadevoh, an Honorary Doctorate degree for her uncommon courage and spirit of self-sacrifice, in the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in Nigeria. It was the patriotic and professional commitment of Doctor Adadevoh and her colleagues that saved Nigeria of what might have become a monumental tragedy. She and her colleagues gave their lives so as to save our country.
I feel humbled as a Nigerian citizen that the new Baze University recognized Dr. Adadevoh, when the Nigerian government did not see the need to celebrate the late DoctorAdadevoh’s patriotism and professionalism.
I have only visited the Baze University just once. About two years ago, I was invited to meet Honorable Aliyu AhmanPategi, from Kwara State at the premises of the new university. I met him at a site verymuch under construction, busy supervising a group of workmen putting extra shifts to finish the construction of hostels that the student were expected to occupy in a few weeks from that date.
I learnt that it was the brainchild of Honorable Datti Baba-Ahmed, a scion of the famous Baba-Ahmed family of Zaria. I was not surprised that Honorable Datti was investing in the education of young Nigerians at a point when the country was in dire need of first class institutions, at all levels of the educational system.
Their father was one of the great educationists of the old Northern Nigeria and he also succeeded in parenting, giving Nigeria outstanding children who have gone to serve our country excellently in different areas of human endeavor.
When I asked Mouftah Baba-Ahmed the  meaning of the “BAZE” in the university’s name, he said BA came from Baba-Ahmed, the family’s name; Z represents their hometown, Zaria that they are so proud of and E stood for education. There you have it! I have read testimonies about the quality of facilities and faculty and we look forward to the new university’s continued contribution to the development of our country.
Ilorin: Hajj, Sallah and the culture in between
I WAS back home in Ilorin for my first Eid-elAdha celebration in three years. Last year I left Nigeria on Sallah Day for a trip to China, Vietnam and Dubai; and the year before, I was home alone at my friend’s residence in Buena Park, in California. Yet, this time of the year is always one of the most memorable in Ilorin. And to stroll the shores of history, I went back to the Ilorin Railway Station just to take in the atmosphere (it is all about neglect and decay today!).
The station used to be the point of embarkation for those doing the Holy pilgrimage for the Hajj, since they will take their flight from Kano. Families from all over the city of Ilorin would escort aspiring pilgrims to the railway station, which was one of the few well-lit points of the Ilorin of the 1960s.
And the return journeys were equally big family events, with people literally climbing each other’s heads in a congested railway station, as newly-returned pilgrims (many with new gold teeth; Saudi headgears and all), making desperate efforts to collect the bulging bags from the Holy Land.
In the weeks before their return home, rooms are renovated with walls wearing generous coatings of paint while families have prepared their “&CO” dresses that will be worn on the days of the thanks giving for a safe return from the hard duty of Hajj! On those days, families accompany the pilgrims, dressed in the best Saudi pattern, with solemn songs: “ARAFA ODUN TINBO GBOGBO WA LAO JOLO (May we also perform the Hajj)”; often to the Emir’s palace and back home, where sumptuous meals have been prepared for all and sundry.
The bags from the Hajj are opened usually on the same day of arrival, because there are too many people waiting for presents: Jalabiya; skull caps; scarves for women; and a lot of edibles: Dabino (Labidun in Ilorin Yoruba); Mazarkweila (Mazankola in Ilorin Yoruba); even dried meat and of course the mandatory ZAM-ZAM water as well as Viewfinders for children with pictures of historic places in the Holy land. They were the precursors of video and were always sought after by children.
There was an incredibly strong communal ethos that was reinforced by the culture of Hajj and the ceremonies of return, including the travellers’ tales about the difficulties of doing the Hajj; the meetings with Muslims of all cultures and of all races from all over the world and the exotic destinations, including the mystification about the Red Sea and how it appeared as if it was pulling the plane as all pilgrims read copiously verses from the Holy Qur’an.
Much later in life, I wondered whether they were just mystifying the normal turbulence of flights that must have been truly incomprehensible for people who were likely ever to be doing their only flights of a lifetime! Today Hajj has a slightly banal nuance and much of that cultural element has long disappeared with more knowledge, but they were very much the sensibility that we grew up within and they helped to define our lives in those romantic phases of our upbringing. Trying to catch a whiff of those moments in history was one reason why I enjoy going back home to Ilorin at that time of the year!
SOURCE: vangaurd

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