Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was the Nigerian Millitary Ruler who was in power from 1985 to 1993 when He stepped aside. Over time, He apparently earned himself the sobriquets Evil Genius and Maradona. He who the cap fits, let him wear! Obasanjo has been found worthy of outranking IBB and He is henceforth tagged with the sobriquets Evil Genius and Maradona. During the run-up to the 2007 elections, during and after the brouhaha of the 3rd term saga, there was a lot of agitation coming from the South-South Region that their region has never produced a President. They were able to garner enough Sympathy from the Nigerian populace and someone from the region looked set to clinch the ticket of the Ruling PDP from the pack of PDP Presidential Aspirants. The race was beginning to narrow down to Gov. Peter Odili, Donald Duke and Obong Victor Attah.
Suddenly, we just started hearing rumors about an unwritten agreement by some PDP members that power should rotate between the South and North for eight years. Who were those PDP members who decided? Nobody knows. If at all there was an agreement, why was Abubakar Rimi allowed to pick up the nomination form and allowed to contest the primaries of the 2003 Election against former President Olusegun Obasanjo? Maybe there was indeed an agreement afterall and Obasanjo drafted Yaradua into the Presidential Race with Goodluck Jonathan a convenient non-radical South Southerner as VP. Obasanjo was not oblivious of Yaradua’s sickness. He campaigned all over the major cities, towns and villages for Yaradua to become President.
Even when Yaradua had to be flown abroad urgently and was rumored to be dead, Obasanjo placed a phone call on national TV to douse the rumours that UMY was dead. Obasanjo had a game plan which has unfolded and was not immediately caught on by even his kitchen cabinet. Obasanjo has shown that He is indeed a worthy General of the Nigerian Army. Alamieyeseigha while speaking on the 2nd of September, 2007 at the Thanksgiving service organized at the Royal House of Grace Church, said that He had forgiven his former deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who ‘ran away’ because of the pressure on him by the Obasanjo Administration on his return from the UK, impeachment and subsequent trial by the Nigerian state on charges of money laundering. Goodluck simply waited and allowed events to unfold so that He wouldn’t be accused of disloyalty to his erstwhile Principal, Alamieyeseigha. Goodluck is apparently doing the same thing now that he did in 2005. He is taking things easy, dropping a line here and there where it is necessary, giving up his traditional South-South regalia for a more national dressing.
The South-South should be grateful to Obasanjo for his ingenuity, giving them a shot at the Presidency. What exactly is the Yaradua Presidency and the supposed Northern Hegemony afraid of? What does Goodluck’s ascension to the pilot seat of the Presidency as the President or the Acting President portend for the Nigerian nation? The first issue that will most likely be addressed is the Derivation principle applicable to the sharing of proceeds derivable from natural resources for all states of the federation. The Derivation Principle allocates minimum 13% to the state where the natural resource is being exploited. The oil-producing states benefit the most at present given that oil accounts for 90 per cent of the nation's revenue base. The second major thing that a Goodluck Presidency will most likely work towards is the accelerated development of the Niger-Delta Region.
I foresee a massive investment in Education, Power, Roads and Housing Projects. With Access to quality education, power to boost economic activities, good road networks to connect the region and decent housing for the south southerners, the Niger-Delta youths will be less militant and channel their activism constructively towards more development of their region. You can conveniently ignore or look over a gun totting Henry Okah, General Tompolo or Boyloaf who have sold their conscience for money to Abuja. With Goodluck in power for a reasonable time, will the Nigerian Nation be able to ignore the reincarnation of Ken Saro Wiwa a thousand times over in the Nigerian Nation Space? If the two speculated agenda of a Goodluck Presidency is what is being fervently worked against by some parochial interests to the detriment of the Nigerian state by halting the wheels of governance in the country today, what do they stand to gain? Obasanjo played a Joker card by backing Yaradua and it looks like his game plan worked. How much longer can UMY be tucked away in Saudi Arabia? We keep our fingers crossed.