It was Abraham Lincoln, an American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865 that said, "Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong."
This has become my life philosophy and it has become a creed: no one should trust me now or in future if it's not in alignment with this.
Coming from a very humble background, I experienced the three monsters of poverty, deprivation and oppression, and vowed to fight these three monsters.
Therefore, I have, over the past five decades of my life, fought poverty, deprivation and oppression in whatever form; and for the rest of my life, I will continue to do so. However, time and space will not afford me the luxury to offer a detailed narration, hence, I will focus on June 12.
In the recent past years, we engaged critical stakeholders in consultations to recognize June 12 as our Democracy Day as against the junta's preferred day - May 29.
During the course of the consultations, I was privileged to meet with the following: former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Dr. Emmanuel Okwesilieze Nwodo, Bashorun Dele Momodu, Mallam Garba Shehu, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), as well as other eminent personalities too numerous to mention, and finally the 8th National Assembly headed by Senator Bukola Saraki, and Senator Ike Ekweremmadu who acted on behalf of the 8th NASS to acknowledge our demands and subsequently enacted a law recognizing June 12 as our Democracy Day and thankfully, all these was achieved with a very strong resistance from the antagonists of June 12.
We also officially communicated the desire of this major landmark shift to such a historic day to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Gidahyelda Mustapha and the late Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari.
My driving force can be hinged on issues of equity, fair play and justice, which over time has been downplayed, and which has, consequently, resulted in where we find ourselves as a nation today. And very recently, the interview of General Abdulsalami Abubakar's 'confession' which centred on what really happened to President M.K.O Abiola.
Also, when I recently visited the archives and stumbled on one of the last interviews granted by the winner of that landmark election, Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, it dawned on me that something is not right, but you be the judge as you read through and possibly watch the videos of the interviews:-
"As president, it's not my business what religious colour anybody wears in ITT, in Concord, in summit oil, in the bakeries, in the bookshop, in the presses and so we employ people purely on merit - round pegs in round holes period. There are so many people who work for me whose hometown I don't even know. I don't even know them anyway and I don't have to know them. Because if you want to be objective, if I could do that in my own small business, I think Nigeria has every reason to expect from me a clear vision when it comes to the management of the affairs of the country as a whole. Quite obviously, we need to have more foreign exchange, we shall, therefore put in place policies that will broaden the foreign exchange earning capacity of the nation. We will pursue exports and local sources for industry. We shall aggressively pursue the implementation of the NLG project if the log jam on the gas project has not already been broken by this administration - by this current one. We shall maximize the nation's return form oil by turning over future investments to the private sector and by removing the complex structures which makes NNPC's accountability and assessment of efficiency almost impossible. You see, there are so many layers upon layers built on this simple thing crude oil that you don't even know whether it's oil or some mystery around it that is taking the money from the central bank. We will demystify all these things. In my government, the daily export of crude will be published and the price at which it is sold. You see, the issue of planning and implementation is so simple. You see, public things are not private. We have national assembly now, they would do their job, they will review the expenditure of government and would hold public hearing. We will no longer be hearing of monetary circulars from central bank without the bankers being told. The bankers would have the word. You see, like I said every effort have been made in the past to share people's head in their absence. It must stop. I mean, it won't be allowed. The cumulative wisdom of all the bankers would have taken us out of all the problems we have in this country today. But some people, they come from IMF or they come from World Bank, what do they know about Nigeria? You see, the most brilliant doctor in Norway might not have seen malaria in his life and they would be bringing him and imposing him as medical director is like sending everybody to their early grave. All that nonsense will stop. I rely on Nigerians to keep Nigeria running effectively and that is what it is. There would be a few foreigners who would be recommended by our people, not those who will be imposed by some foreign authorities over us. We are an independent republic under God or aren't we?"
We need to juxtapose the mindset of a pure democrat, who is well able and prepared for the task of repositioning our beloved country, Nigeria to that which was a product of the military abracadabra. The military supplanted a visionary leader with one of their own, who laid the foundation of where we find ourselves as a nation today. I dare say that the military is an aberration, and should be seen as such. It must not continue in the words of MKO.
With the statement credited to the minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who was quoted as saying that "Muhammadu Buhari regime has outperformed the American government in terms of infrastructure", I paused and ruminated on so many things; could it be that he was reacting to the recent US Embassy's warning to the intending visitors to Nigeria or something else that is not visible to some of us. At some point, in my deep reflection and imagining the reckless overdrive and propagandist stuff of the current political gladiators, I am tempted to conclude that, the jackboot mentality is contagious. I am still at lost and unable to find the reasons for such comparation and what could have warranted such recklessness of comparing the infrastructure in America and that of a bastardized nation like Nigeria. This is clearly, an overdrive, there should be a limit to their over-the-counter and under-the-counter syndrome.
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies, including: misgovernance, incompetence, maladministration, ineptitude, recklessness, lawlessness, nepotism clannishness, plundering of resources, squandering of riches and anti-democratic tendencies leading to emasculation of vision.
Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.