OBASANJO’S SPIRITUALIZED POLITICS AT 87 AND ADEBOYE’S POLITICALIZED SPIRITUALITY AT 82—Contrasting Political Albatross of the Angel in Devil’s clothing and the Devil in Angel’s Clothing

(Part 1)



Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe, PhD, DD

Odogwu of Ibusa

President, Coalition against Christian Genocide in Nigeria (ICAC-GEN)

Contact us at https://icac-gen.org                  Email: [email protected]



In modern political history of the Yoruba nation two remarkable figures of insurmountable political feat stand out. We have the Ikenne Ijebu Remo-born Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo and the Egba Abeokuta-born of Owu ancestry Chief (Gen. Dr.) Matthew Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo. Beyond incidental human limitations, these two men in past and in present stand out as insurmountable political enigmas within the space and time of their respective services to the Nigerian nation.

To Chief Obafemi Awolowo is credited the iconic father of modern Yoruba political consciousness, radical nationalism and fountain of minority ethnic freedom in Nigeria. On the other hand, General Olusegun Obasanjo, the little celebrated yet iconic political pace-setter and unspoken nationalist woven in a seldom mentioned outstanding military career, stands out far above his political and military peers to qualify in the ranking of those defined today as the fathers of Nigerian nation and by the same token the father of contemporary Nigerian nation.

But we are not comparing former President Olusegun Obasanjo with Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for both had never been contemporaries in politics or otherwise; rather our present concern is constructed on the divergent spirito-political values of President Olusegun Obasanjo at 87 years of age and Pastor Enoch Adeboye at 82 years of age, to the overall development of the Nigerian nation addressed concurrently from their respective roles in spiritualized politics in respect of Olusegun Obasanjo, and politicalized spirituality in respect of Enoch Adeboye.

As a former Nigeria’s Military Head of State and later democratically-elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo presents the enigma of an Olauda Equiano; or could we say the biblical Moses of our time, who is rarely celebrated by even his ethnic Yoruba household. He is somebody history rightly defines as the greatest political legend Nigeria has ever produced. At the age of 87 years, just 13 years penultimate a century, Dr. Matthew Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo still feels concerned about the precarious trajectory of Nigeria as a nation and continues to actively impact his knowledge and wisdom to his ultimate struggle for a better Nigeria.

On the other hand, Pastor Enoch Adejara Adeboye presents a contrary enigma to his calling and carriage as a Pastor and General Overseer. At 82 years of age, Pastor Enoch Adeboye has created more Satanic realms of doctrinal lies, political deceit, betrayal of Christian trust, and purgatorial fields of Christian suffering and oppression in Nigeria than Satan did after creation. In his privileged stead as the General Overseer of one of the foremost Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria, he has by both his words and actions created as much spiritual chasms among the collective Nigerian Christian unity as he has betrayed his Christian brethren in support of the Muslim faith. He thus paradoxically represents what is best described as a political albatross of the Devil in Angel’s clothing, as against Olusegun Obasanjo’s garb of an Angel in the Devil’s clothing.

Olusegun Obasanjo as a contemporary of the celebrated Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu was as much an astute military thinker as he was a firebrand but concealed revolutionary. He has never denied his affection for his friend and contemporary Major Nzeogwu and has done more to immortalize as well as extol his virtues than historians or anyone had done.

A man who artfully married his characteristic humanism with his shrewd military professionalism, as a young military officer then newly promoted Lt. Col in charge of Ibadan Garrison; Obasanjo prevented the planned pogrom against the Igbo in Ibadan by some Hausa-Fulani scoundrels, whom he eventually quarantined in their Sabo quarters. This was how the American Intelligence Report presented General Obasanjo’s role in that faithful episode:

“Meanwhile on the streets of Ibadan, there was massive anger. On the morning of 15 August 1967, Adebayo told the American consul that “the trouble in Ibadan in the last three days were caused by some Hausas, including some Hausa soldiers hunting out and beating up Ibos. They wanted to kill them. This started sporadically, but when the situation got worse yesterday. He decided firm action was necessary to bring it under control. He ordered soldiers back to barracks and later announced curfew.” The Western State Police Commissioner, Emmanuel Olufunwa addressed the Hausa community in Sabo and “warned them against engaging in any unruly acts.” The leader of the Hausa community replied and warned his fellow Hausas against doing anything (that would) damage their reputation.” It wasn’t clear whether he was being ironic or sincere because at 8:15pm that same day, Lt. Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo , head of the Ibadan Garrison Command, and his deputy, Major Olu Bajowa, were there with around 60-bayonet wielding soldiers to seal off the Hausa quarters.”

Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge this historical fact, even though not popularly accepted by most ethnically over-burdened members of the Igbo ethnic group. Hope for Igbo survival in the Nigerian civil war began to emerge when Olusegun Obasanjo assumed the position of General Officer Commanding (GOC) Third Infantry Division of the Nigerian Army after the sacking of the blood-sucking Igbo-hater, Murtala Mohammed; and by his further take-over of the command of the 3rd Marine Commandos previously under the then Colonel Benjamin Adekunle.

Armed with his magical “Operation Tail Wind” operational strategy, the war against the Igbo began to gradually wear human face against the original policy of total extermination of the Igbo initiated by Murtala Mohammed of the heinous Asaba massacre from the Midwest sector and Muhammadu Buhari from the Nsukka sector where thousands of Igbo market women and men, including defenseless children were massacred at the town of Okutu on the orders of Muhammadu Buhari.

With Obasanjo’s command position, the Igbo fighters were fully assured of their post-war survival as Nigerian citizens. He tactically coordinated his unequalled fighting spirit with unequalled humanitarian virtues, hence as his forces rapidly advanced towards Ojukwu’s core enclave, he forewarned Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu through the Onitsha-born Col Achebe of the Biafran armed forces by way of discreet intelligence advance team, to quit the country because he would not be able to guaranteed his safety if he was finally caught by the rapidly advancing Federal forces. Consequently he momentarily slowed down his advance to ensure Ojukwu’s safe passage through Uli Night International Airport to exile in Cote d’Ivoire.

To those who read the history of American civil, there was no greater glory for the then Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo than when, in the best tradition of the victorious General Ulysses Simpson Grant of the U.S Federal Forces receiving the surrender of the Confederate forces under his once superior officer General Robert Edward Lee, he humbly received the surrender of the Biafran nation from his once superior officer, Major General Philip Efiong.

Elusively intellectual with utmost disposition, demonstrably hilarious at personal level, and comically shrewd in the politics of equity and justice as in business enterprise, every policy General Obasanjo initiated as both a military Head of State and President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he replicates at his personal level. Obasanjo is like a man who bought a limousine and told his chauffer, “man I need to enjoy this car by driving it myself.”

A child of proven destiny in the trough of providence as in the tradition of the historic Olaudah Equiano, Olusegun Obasanjo did not grow up believing that one day he would become a civil war hero fighting the same people he once loved with the best part of his heart. He did not believe that one day he would become a General of the Nigerian Armed Forces, and a Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Ha reluctant Head of State, he was reputed to have originally refused to assume the mantle of military leadership after the assassination of General Murtala Mohammed, until prodded by General Theophilus Danjuma.

He did not dream that one day he would become a conspicuous guest at the notorious Bama Prison in the Northeast region of Nigeria on the instance of his once far junior army officer named Sani Abacha. Having gone through the thoroughfare of grace to the dark alley of grass, Olusegun Obasanjo did not know that from that position of abyss of incarceration at Bama Prison he would emerge victorious as the democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and by extension the most powerful man in Africa during his time. This is the perfect explanation of what a “providence-guided child of destiny” means.

A man of outstanding and faultless military career with a heart of lion coated with the heart of dove; General Olusegun Obasanjo took over the command of Nigerian Army Corp of Engineers after the unfortunate exit of my kinsman, Lt. Col Nduka Okwechime to Biafran side. From that point he proceeded to play the role of Commander of the Second Area Command of the Nigerian Army during the brief decentralization of the command structure of the Nigerian army during the immediate post-pogrom period. An uncelebrated military strategist and tactician, General Olusegun Obasanjo undertook the final prosecution of the war of Nigerian unity, a unity that now more than all times stands questionable.

Immediately after the Nigerian civil war in 1970 he was drafted again to continue as Commander of the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers. Two years later he saw himself promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and thereafter proceeded after two years, to Senior Officer’s Course at the famous Britain’s College of Defence Studies. On his return he was immediately appointed the Federal Commissioner (Minister) of Works and Housing in 1974. By the dint of the same destiny, one year later, he became Chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters under General Murtala Muhammed; and as destiny would again have its way, the next six months saw him becoming the Head of State. A child of destiny indeed!

For the first time in the history of the Nigerian nation, hunger has become an endemic culture of the people under the man who fraudulently assumed the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Under Olusegun Obasanjo first as military Head of State, and then democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Nigeria experienced the greatest abundance of food more than ever experienced in the regimes preceding him. His “Operation Feed the Nation” program was not only greeted with unchallengeable success, but was exemplified by his own personal Ota Farm project which still remains endurably functional till date; an initiative that subsequently launched agriculture into the retirement minds and plans of both his contemporary and succeeding senior army officers in Nigeria.

Like Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi Ironsi, General Obasanjo refused to understand the adage which states that, “the problem is not that of giving a monkey a cup of drinking water, but who will retrieve the cup from the monkey.” Entrusting the Fulani with political power is like given a cup of water to a monkey in which retrieving it is often problematic. The truth remains that the Fulani were nowhere in the officer cadre of the Nigerian armed forces before and after the January 15, 1966 Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu-led coup. None of the senior military officers killed were indeed of Fulani descent. But in his bid to court the leprous support of the Sokoto Caliphate, General Aguiyi-Ironsi propped up Major Hasan Usman Katsina from nowhere to head the Northern Region. That action greatly speeded up his demise.

This was the same mistake Olusegun Obasanjo made when he propped up Lt. Col Shehu Musa Yar’Adua from nowhere to become his second-in-command, just in the name of maintaining religious equity. Did Muhammadu Buhari apply the same spirit when as Head of State he appointed not just a fellow Muslim but a fellow Fulani kinsman masquerading with Yoruba name, Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon? Today, Nigeria is experiencing the gross abuse of religious equity under Bola Ahmed Tinubu and people think both him and the Nigerian population will go unpunished for allowing such travesty of divine-driven equity and justice to stand.

An enthusiast of learning and knowledge in practical terms, Olusegun Obasanjo immediately after his secondary school education briefly took a stint in teaching; before nature called him into the military profession. Either by the incident of his peculiar sector of military profession, or forces of destiny, his military career was ladened with high-profile professional training, which contributed in no small measure to the foundation of his persistent hunger for knowledge and intellectual development.

Unlike General Yakubu Gowon whose manifest interest in higher education was in response to the circumstances of his exile, Olusegun Obasanjo’s foray into purely conventional intellectual pursuit was driven by self-assertive will. He not only introduced the National Open University of Nigeria but decided to experience it himself by enrolling as a student and eventually passing through his undergraduate degree to obtain a PhD in theology from the University. This is without prejudice that he has Bell University of Science and Technology as his private brainchild. Who can beat this kind of pivotal humility for a man who has attained the pinnacles of both Military and political powers and authority, yet stooped to obtain knowledge from the grassroots like an ordinary citizen?

His first formal training was at the Regular Officers’ Special Training School, Teshi, Ghana, from where he moved to Mons Officers’ Cadet School, Aldershot, England, and thereafter to the Royal College of Military Engineering, Chatham, England. He later continued his professional training at the School of Survey, Newbury, England, from where he again proceeded to Indian Defence College, and later to Indian Army School of Engineering, Poona, and finally to Royal Defence Studies, London, among others.

It was in accordance with this flying professionally-tailored intellectual background that Olusegun Obasanjo prioritized educational development during his administration as Military Head of State, through his famous and evergreen Universal Primary Education program that placed free educational opportunities up to the university level at the doorsteps of the poorest Nigerian citizens. No former Head of State or President could match President Olusegun Obasanjo in this respect.

General Olusegun Obasanjo in his marked divine-directed humility not only retained his rank of Lt. General as Head of State but fulfilled his promise of handing over power to a democratically-elect Government. No wonder he was paid back in the same positive term when he was handed over the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by another succeeding Military Government. Whatever one sows he shall reap. As a Military Head of State he sowed the seed of democracy, which he later reaped.

During his 8-year adventure as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the country witnessed unimaginable stride in diverse areas of development; much of which have become subjects of history presently. He not only institutionalized anti-corruption campaigns through the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), but embarked on the recovery of financial loots from national treasury by past and even those serving under him.

President Olusegun Obasanjo not only embarked on the consolidation of the Nigerian banking industry, but constructed formidable transparency mechanism in the financial sector which subsequently created an atmosphere of confidence before international financial institutions. This consequently resulted to the renegotiation of Nigeria’s debts and forgiveness. His eventful liberalization of the telecommunication industry not only created enormous job opportunities but speeded up the nation’s economic development mechanisms. In line with his avid taste for educational development, President Olusegun Obasanjo went further to engage on liberalization of the education sector by creating the enabling conditions for private universities.

To be continued.


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