Originally titled: Tina, Baba’s Latest Romance
As Culled from The Nation.
Himself, the Incomparable Ebora Owu, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has a new love: the delectable Lady TINA — There Is No Alternative!
Like a troubadour sworn to the cause of his lady, Baba serenaded TINA, at his enchanting Abeokuta hilltop haven, to a visiting delegation of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), restless souls come, perhaps, as they say of Paris in those days, to “see the magical hilltop chambers and die”!
But the Ebora made the visit all the more alluring: he waxed poetic in TINA’s praise, but made it clear that TINA’s patron saint is incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari.
“God forbid that this present democratic dispensation should fail,” Baba intoned, all holy, all sacred, “because we have no alternative … There is no alternative to democracy. The alternative to democracy,” he insisted, “is even worse than the imperfection of democracy”.On democracy and alternatives, Baba was spot on; though not a few would stress there is always an alternative, if the searcher searches enough. In a way, however, the former president spoke from the popular mindset of either democracy or military rule, which itself is a function of not-so-rigorous thinking.
Military rule itself ought not have been an alternative for any thinking country: not in the past, with the military’s disastrous record in governance; not in future, when every patriot must snap “never again!”, and certainly, not in the present, with the grim irony of pretending to run a democracy without democrats!
And to those who would sap Obasanjo with near-idolisation of the presidential incumbent, in the leadership promise of President Buhari, especially when the issue is transparent governance, Baba Iyabo entered a caveat, navigating a middle course from his infamous “Abiola-is-no-messiah” punch line of yore, a punch line that would not only help to frustrate the presidential mandate of MKO, but nearly drew Obasanjo himself to Sani Abacha’s gallows.
If Obasanjo had not contributed to MKO’s subverted mandate, there probably would not have been an Abacha. Without Abacha, there would not have been this Fourth Republic, of which Obasanjo was first president and under whom the decay started, a decay that Goodluck Jonathan brought to its nadir, necessitating Buhari’s second coming.
Hear the Baba’s revised view: “There is no angel, for me there is no messiah, except Jesus Christ, but there are leaders who are concerned about what is happening in this country; leaders that are so passionate about this country, and who are ready to stick out their necks for this country; and God has given us such an individual as the president of this country.” There, you have it!
But wasn’t this also true of Jonathan, once upon a time, particularly at the height of the zoning debate?
Give the devil his due (and Baba is certainly no devil!): The Ebora, with equal passion and vengeance, promoted Jonathan (when he thought the Ijaw man would make good) and demoted Jonathan (when he thought the Ijaw man was damaged good). But at the end, it’s back to square one.
But God, in His infinite mercy, has preserved Baba’s life to witness the debacle he helped create from his presidential days. He has even given the Ebora Owu the vigour, to be an active agent in the correction process, leveraging all on President Buhari —good!
But the president, while savouring Obasanjo’s praise showers, should focus on his work. He may well save Obasanjo’s power elite from themselves. That, Hardball thinks, is the A to Z of Obasanjo’s love affair with TINA.