OBJ: Metaphor of 2023, By Muyiwa Lekan

Umahi legacy


After successfully breeding two presidents and suffering a post-natal abortion of the third, the nation’s prolific king-maker and former president Olusegun Obasanjo has suffered a blow below the belt in his fourth effort. It has effectively castrated the robust thrust he had mustered towards implanting another embryo in the 2023 presidential womb. From the prognosis given by the bewildered inner caucus of fixers, mixers, seers and allied foot-soldiers permanently engaged in actualizing OBJ’s self-perpetuating impositions and anointments of Nigerian presidents, “this is Baba’s political menopause.”

Prior to this dynastic disaster, OBJ had already impregnated the 2023 presidential womb in his restless romp to revive political libido that was dramatically deflated by “last born” Goodluck Jonathan’s patricidal rebellion. He was reportedly going into labour over a set of triplets. Professor Akinwumi Adesina and Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal were kicking in Baba’s cavernous anointment cauldron for the 2023 presidential ticket. Rabiu Kwankwaso’s cooperation with Tambuwal for a revitalized PDP North was considered strategic to this end but Kwankwaso’s stubbornness was giving Baba morning sickness.

So one corner of the delivery room was transformed into a launch pad for a new political party whose umbilical cords were being connected across the country under the canopy of insecurity concerns with a singular solution of a national conference of restructuring renegades. The insecurity bogey was also undergoing political surgery in the 2023 labour room to align it with a national orchestra raising the tempo to the level of his infamous inflammatory letters to President Buhari.

But, not even the Owu talismans could diminish the towering tentacles of Tinubu as the reigning kingmaker in the south-west or the sweeping sentiments of the Oduduwa Republic rekindled by the Sunday Igboho, a combined complication of the Akinwumi  Adesina agenda. In a desperate determination not to be outdone on the secessionist flank , OBJ reportedly embarked on a “diplomatic” mission to Benin Republic to extricate Igboho from his failed escape ordeals as goose pimples shrouded Adesina

Never in the history of OBJ’s king making has the labour room witnessed such disarray with truncated conceptions, manipulated misconceptions, fragmented delivery rooms and, worst of all, a multi-tasked surgeon-general at work inside and outside the theatre but missing in action at the Villa game of thrones! The curse of his last-born is proving quite potent in repercussion as it has haunted every political insemination effort after Jonathan’s post- natal abortion, leaving the king-maker in search of thrones and at the mercy of the king he could not make. If his inner caucus of fixers, mixers, seers and allied foot-soldiers declared a force majeure with the finality of the onset of political menopause, then who is anyone to doubt ?

The genealogical dynamics for the successful conceptions that delivered thrones to Baba’s preferred off-springs seem to have developed their own confounding rules of engagement, as if swept by the floods or fired by the wild flames unleashed by climate change. The geo-political climate has definitely defied virtually all of OBJ’s hitherto sure-banker manipulations.

President Buhari was far above the reach of the former president’s potency even after at least eight years of turbo-charging and was solely responsible for premature dissipation of his anointment prowess following Goodluck Jonathan’s “curse”. The PDP is so deep in the treacherous throes of opposition malady that it would rather complete its imminent implosion than pick the shredded pieces of its pioneer president’s membership card. Meanwhile the prospects of fanning embers of insecurity into the restructuring oven via a counter-constitutional confab diminished under the terror-trading excesses of secessionists, a unit of which would reclaim Baba’s nationality by invoking ancient antecednts.  


That was how he suddenly refrained from a doomsday advocate to a “patriotic” elder statesman championing the cause of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and fuming over the break-up plot . Clearly, the political depression triggered by the demise of the king-maker’s virility had muddled up his senses and confused his thoughts.

It is pertinent to recall the hey-days of Obasanjo’s acquisition of the Presidential Villa as an inheritance conferred on him as the last man standing and chief custodian of the IBB/Abacha coup legionnaires’ insurance against democratic backlash. That led to the Third Term debacle after which his Owu cowry-casters concocted the anointment potion supposedly guaranteeing him king-making rights over Nigeria’s Presidency.

OBJ proudly paraded his first son, (late) Yaradua, selected for short-term health prospects and borne out of sheepskin deception and wolverine hunt downs that consumed both competitors and collaborators, over whom he hovered like a bird of prey, calculating as he swooped to retrieve his “inheritance”, even from the corpse of his “first born”. Then he cunningly orchestrated a “national necessity” that railroaded a constitutional doctrine to legitimize the elevation of his planted “seed” to the proxy position of an acting president, most suitable for paternal oversight.

Obasanjo’s king-making prowess was now in full-bloom and his second “son”, though hale and hearty, was conveniently timid. He tagged along as his Baba huffed and puffed from one political pole to the other, making new deals where none existed and betraying old partners. The former president was in a frenzied anticipation of another four-year tenure as a defacto power behind the throne, foisting Goodluck Jonathan on Yaradua’s second term, blinded to the consequent conflagration that was sure to erupt.  

As Nemesis caught up with him, the birth of OBJ’s second son transformed into post-natal mishap that eventually aborted the paternity, abruptly terminating the presumed pre-eminence of the kingmaker.  In the ensuing feud, President Goodluck Jonathan dethroned his godfather, forcing Baba into a furious flight from Villa to the villainy of maliciously destroying what he built, thereby losing the labour of politics of self-aggrandizement.

The “inheritance” has been forfeited along with the “paternity rights” of the kingmaker who succumbed to political depression of suicidal proportions. Even as he stormed powerlessly out of the PDP, he merely marched into misery as leader of politically displaced governors, queuing behind the new kingmaker-General Buhari. His attempt to “adopt” the General as his third son failed due to genetic incompatibility and missed conception. Since then, Baba has been seeking political fertility with the futility of deriding the virility of his vanquisher with a plethora of pathetic petitions.

Today, former President Obasanjo has ended up with only a myth of king-making potency that has outlived its relevance.  He has squandered the political advantage his military constituency anointed him with by packaging his own prison-to-Presidency odyssey as their exit strategy and soft landing plot. From an 8 year tenure, he forged his own self-perpetuation intrigue that spawned his myopic vision of indispensability to the survival and progress of Nigeria. He has had to quit the stage this time for real and unceremoniously.

The military retreated from its once domineering entrenchment in the governance of the nation as a result of the privatization of its declared redemptive mission. The main characters who imposed such debilitating stranglehold on the democratic rights and aspirations of the citizenry have also lived to witness their lamentable legacies inflicting unpardonable damage to the otherwise prosperous prospects of the country. The last of the kingmakers is in menopause and the chain of capricious command is finally broken.  Nigeria’s rebirth will prosper henceforth in the interest of its liberated citizens, blessed by God.