Friday, 2 February 2018

Obasanjo's new coalition is dead on arrival

Obasanjo's Coalition for Nigeria is an assemblage of expired geriatrics. It isn't the solution Nigeria needs.

When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo made public that very famous special press statement in which he practically tore President Muhammadu Buhari to shreds, he announced his rescue mission for his nation called Coalition for Nigeria.

“All hands of men and women of goodwill must be on deck. We need all hands to move our country forward. We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN.

“Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That Movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic well-being and progress. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a Movement", Baba Iyabo wrote.

Obasanjo added that his coalition for Nigeria “will be new, green, transparent and must remain clean and always active, selflessly so”.

Except that when members of Obasanjo’s new coalition converged on Abuja on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, there was nothing new, green, transparent or clean about a lot of them.

Old and tired
There was 81-year-old Ahmadu Ali who was Chairman of the PDP from 2005 to 2007 and who was Minister of Education in 1975. He of the infamous 'Ali-Must-Go' protests of that era.

Obasanjo’s ‘green’ coalition also has Buba Galadima who was Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) before the party collapsed its structure into the APC. Galadima has been around Nigeria’s governance circles since forever.

66-year-old Olagunsoye Oyinlola who governed Osun State in the early 2000s and who has switched political camps his entire life, was also at the unveiling of Obasanjo’s ‘new’ coalition.

Everywhere you looked as Obasanjo’s CN was unfurled, were old, tired and recycled politicians who have only come under this so called ‘third force’ umbrella because they’ve lost out in the allocation of the governance spoils of the day.

Aside Donald Duke and maybe Akin Osuntokun, the faces of Obasanjo’s coalition leave little room for cheer. They don’t look like they are capable of bringing fresh ideas to the table. They appear spent and tired. They are mostly past their sell-by dates.

It would appear that in trying to have a say in the governance of this country like he relishes, Obasanjo is assembling aggrieved geriatrics, former allies and expired politicians while hoping to prop one up for the presidency. It's the oldest trick in the Obasanjo book.

Today, Donald Duke is an Obasanjo favourite. But the same Obasanjo who loves to play kingmaker when he wants, overlooked Duke in 2007 and went for an ailing Yar’adua instead.

Nigeria needs more serious, visionary, ideologically driven and youth-centered alternatives to the binary of the PDP and APC. This Coalition for Nigeria certainly won’t last the distance--at least from what we have of its current make-up.

This Coalition for Nigeria would prove a hard sell.

(Opinion By Pulse NG)

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