Prelate and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Emele Uka, told NICHOLAS KALU in Calabar that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan is a calculated attempt to destabilise the country. The prelate advised Jonathan to arrest and detain the former president. Excerpts
What are your thoughts about former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan?
Anyone who has carefully read Obasanjo’s letter will notice that he does not mean well for this country.
The tone and content of his letter have set the nation on a state of alert and anxiety and could destabilise the polity.
We know that all power belongs unto God. And that it is God who has put our President in office. To insult the President is to insult God.
I think the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, should take immediate steps to order the arrest and detention of this man who behaves like a bull in a china shop, and thinks he is a god and very rich and can say and do what he likes in Nigeria (his private property) and get away with it.
Obasanjo ruled and ruined this nation – Nigeria, and during his tenure, corruption index soared very high.
During the course of Obasanjo’s administration, corrupt practices moved from an alarming state to the fatal state and oozed out such stench that stank to high heavens. Nobody could call him to order – if you did, he will pursue you ruthlessly and mercilessly with the coercive instruments of the state power, until he destroys you. He delights in inflicting such pain and shame on people close to him.
He supported a tout to brazenly abduct a sitting Anambra State governor, Dr. Chris Ngige. Obasanjo master-minded the pre-mature exit of three senate presidents, who refused to dance to his tune – Chief Evans Enweren, Dr. Chuba Okadigbo and Chief Adolphus Nwagbara.
He ordered the massacre of thousands of Tiv people in Zaki Biam in Benue State and committed a crime against humanity by ordering the killing of innocent civilians in Odi in Bayelsa State in 1999.
Mr. President must not reply to Obasanjo’s mischievous, malicious and self serving letter.
Silence, they say “is the best answer for a fool”. Therefore the President has no business in answering a foolish letter.
And let nobody dare to think that because they have money they can threaten any section of this nation. Afterall, some of us have seen blood, tears, war in this country and the heavens did not fall.
Obasanjo’s letter has a nuisance value; it is the product of a diseased mind who is trying to instigate a coup against the Nigerian government and people. It must be treated as a distraction and the President must not allow it to divert his energies in piloting the ship of state in the way and manner he deems best.
This Obasanjo, it has been noted, has an obsession for power, and a tendency to control those in authority, when his attempt to control Jonathan failed, he now tries to incite the populace against him.
You are calling for his arrest because of the letter. Don’t you think that would be infringement on his fundamental human right of freedom of expression, especially in a democracy?
The freedom of expression as contained in the constitution does not mean that you should commit libel or use inciting statement to set the nation ablaze. So, his statements are not just ordinary, coming from a man of his stature. His statements are capable of destabilising the nation in times like this. So, Jonathan should use his powers as the Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces to make sure nobody destabilises this nation and therefore should arrest and detain him. As Obasanjo puts it in his letter “before it is too late.”
Don’t you think Obasanjo should be commended for speaking out boldly?
He is not speaking out boldly. He is speaking out to destabilise the nation. It is not boldness. It is cowardly. That boldness is cowardice and demonic. It does not arise from truth and righteousness because if it were to be boldness, its consequences should be good not evil.
Are you trying to say there is no truth at all in the matters he raised?
Because of the person who raised it, it should be ignored. If he is not in power, he wants to find a way to confuse everybody.
Do you still see any hope for this country?
As an ordinary human who has lived in this country for over 60 years, I fear about the future of the country, given the practise of the corrupt, present leaders in the nation. All they are looking for is to grab power and use the resources of the nation as they like. They don’t have any good intention for the people, otherwise how could you allow a common man to be paid 18, 000 when you are earning millions? So, unless something radical is done to wipe out this crop of corrupt leaders, the future is bleak. But as a Christian, I still hope that God, along the line, would intervene to save his people.
What is your message to Nigerians in the wake of all these?
The people of Nigeria should not be afraid of Obasanjo’s letter. He thinks this nation is his own. So, I am asking Nigerians that Obasanjo is a Nigerian flesh and blood. No one should fear him. He wants to instigate fear. We should rather fear God and not Obasanjo.