Friday, April 15

Jonathan's Fallout with Obasanjo Led to His Downfall - Reuben Abati Admits in New Article

Jonathan's Fallout with Obasanjo Led to His Downfall - Reuben Abati Admits in New Article

Reuben Abati

Reuben Abati has insinuated that with the benefit of hindsight, Goodluck Jonathan miscalculated by having a row with Olusegun Obasanjo, upholding that it was what led to Jonathan's defeat in the last presidential election.

In an opinion entitled: 'Who governs Nigeria?' which was published on Friday, Reuben Abati, the erstwhile Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to then President, Goodluck Jonathan, has insinuated that with the benefit of hindsight, his principal miscalculated by having a row with former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, upholding that 'miscalculation' was what led to Jonathan’s defeat in the last presidential election.

In trying to buttress his position that the military is still governing Nigeria even after handing over to civilians, he argued that with the death of former President, Umaru Yar’Adua, the ascension into the presidency by his then deputy, Jonathan, was 'helped a lot' by him being the 'favourite' of Obasanjo.

The article reads in part: "The military are still governing Nigeria too. They may be in the background, but their exit 16 years ago, has not quite translated into a loss of influence or presence. In the early years of their de-centering, many of them chose to join politics and replace their uniforms with traditional attires

"Their original argument is that if other professionals can join politics, then a soldier should not be excluded. They failed to add that the military class in politics in Africa has shown a tendency to exercise proprietorial rights and powers, which delimit the democratic project.

"In Nigeria such powers and rights have been exercised consistently and mostly by, happily for us, a gerontocratic class, whose impact, I believe, will be determined by the effluxion of time.

"And it is like this: the President that emerged in 1999 was a soldier: the received opinion was that only such a strong man could stabilise the country. His successor was the brother of another old soldier; he and his Deputy were personally chosen by the departing President. He died in office, but for his Deputy to succeed him, it helped a lot that he was also a favorite of the General who chose his own successors.

"When this protégé fell out with the General, in retrospect now, a miscalculation, the General turned Godfather swore to remove him from office. And it happened. In 2015, another former soldier and strong man had to be brought back to office and power. When anything goes wrong, a class of old Generals is the one who steps forward to protect and guide the country.

"The only saving grace is that they do not yet have a successor–class of similarly influential men with military pedigree. But when their time passes, would there be equally strong civilians who can act as protectors of the nation?."

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