AWUJALE – OBJ FACE OFF: THE BIGGER PICTURE Dr. Babajide Temenu

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I won’t bother to go into the details of the autobiography of kabiyesi Awujale that pitted him against OBJ few days ago. The controversial book was published in 2010…..good 7 years ago. I will be surprised if Obasanjo heard about that book or read the aspects that concern him for the first time just these few days ago when Sahara reporters and the other media outlets published it. Since 2010, Obasanjo and Awujale have had both social and political collaborations. An example was their strategic involvement in the electoral rout and eviction of GEJ from Aso rock. Awujale facilitated the parley between OBJ and the opposition.

So what’s this insult or quarrel between these two that people are talking about? Why are Nigerians taking positions on who was right and who was wrong between the 2 actors? Again, in our legendary silliness, we all missed the substance! The whole drama is about power play. A game of chess…..the clueless common man remains the pawn.

Someone may want to query that why did OBJ keep quiet all these years if he had heard about this book before now as I assumed. Simple! OBJ knows that if you want to hide anything from Nigerians put it in a book. We don’t read books here. Perhaps, he didn’t see any damage (or at least, no significant damage) that couldn’t be talked over pounded yam and emu oguro in either Ota or Ijebu ode…….till the book got to the social media and went viral few days ago. Nigerians may not be good with books but put anything on social media, you would see the devourers in us. We feast voraciously on social media gists and gossips. Millionaires have been made out of us from this.

Typically, OBJ courts the good verdict of history so much that paradoxically, it has become one of his failings. That explains why one usually have the irresistible urge to fling any of his autobiographical books out of the window while reading it because all one would ever read is a man struggling desperately to write himself to the better side of history. He is the only hero in his books, the other characters must be villains. Yes, OBJ, the good student of history that he has shown himself to be over the years knows the implication for posterity of having such unedifying and non-romantic portrayal of him in Awujale’s book, flying all over the social media, unchallenged, hence, his public rejoinder……which should serve as a counter narrative when our grandchildren stumble on the Awujale-OBJ’s spat on social media, 30 year’s time. As they say internet never forgets. By the way, don’t be surprised if the pictures of OBJ and kabiyesi playing ‘ayo olopon’ over a bowl of an ill-fated bush meat, surface on the internet in the coming weeks. This face off, I believe, is not deep. It had been addressed and resolved long before now, if there, ever, was one.

Now, the bigger picture is that 2019 is getting closer, daggers and swords are gradually being drawn out. Where necessary, favors are being curried and history is being revised. Why was this book not an issue when it was published in 2010? Who planted the excerpts in the media 7 long years after the book was published? Among the principal actors mentioned in the book, which one is more directly interested in the political permutations of 2019? Adenuga, Atiku, Dangote, Kabiyesi Awujale, OBJ, IBB, Ribadu?

All I know is that the controversial excerpts burnished the image of one personality more than others’. The book suggested that the allegations of corruption levelled against him then was nothing but political persecution. You are wrong…..that individual is not even Mike Adenuga.

2019 is here….let the struggle begin!

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