Nigeria: Obasanjo, Dickson Meeting - the Real Story

Dickson Sariake

It was his first visit to former President Obasanjo's Hill Top residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State and his first real meeting as it were with the former president. The account in some newspapers of the visit two weeks ago of Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, the Countryman Governor, to Abeokuta to meet with Baba, as Obasanjo is called, neither hit what was discussed nor touched on what transpired at the meeting.

The newspapers reported that Dickson came to meet Obasanjo to seek his intervention in the move against him by some of his state House of Assembly members. Far from it, Dickson's hold on the state is not in anyway threatened by the House members, afterall his political mentor, President Jonathan, who allegedly ensured that an impeached Speaker is reinstated, is behind him like the Rock of Gibraltar.

The subject of his visit, as learnt, is President Jonathan himself. During the visit, Dickson was said to have pleaded with the former president not to distance himself from President Jonathan as his political son and to rally round him at this hour. He allegedly reminded Obasanjo all he did to get Jonathan to power and that the President remains the only one he could trust among all those who had ventured to mount the presidency in 2011.

The governor was also said to have pleaded for Dr. Doyin Okupe, the new Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, who is known to have also fallen out with Obasanjo. Dickson also used the occasion to brief the former president on what he has been doing in the state particularly the launching of the state's coat of arm and emblem and all of that. What was Obasanjo's response particularly on the issue of Jonathan? It wasn't too clear how Obasanjo reacted. But one account said Obasanjo took his time to hear Dickson out, but that he was non-committal on the issue.

Another account, painted by Dickson's aides, was that all went well and that Dickson made some breakthroughs in a bid to revamp the Jonathan-Obasanjo relationship. But as the duo of Obasanjo and Dickson reportedly entered the Santo Santoro, as the inner sanctuary of the hill top residence is dubbed, only the two can actually say how the talks went.

So, State Police Has Been Killed?

It wasn't as if I thought any miracle could still occur to rescue the state police idea, in spite of the remonstration of the Chairman of the Governors' Forum and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, after a Northern governor (name withheld) told THISDAY in an interview two weeks ago that the Northern state chief executives were no longer for it. But I didn't expect the idea to die so quickly as it seems to be the case at present and for the reality of its death to stare all of us starkly in the face.

Afterall, didn't all the 36 state governors sign up to the idea only about two months ago, on June 24 to be precise? But touting the governors' control over state houses of assembly, two-thirds of which would be required to carry through a provision of the constitution approved for amendment by the National Assembly, the Northern governor had pronounced the proposal dead, as he boasted that 18 of the 19 state houses of assembly in the North, except Plateau, would not approve it. The issue of state police did not come for deliberation at the follow-up meeting of the Governors' Forum two weeks ago in Abuja, where it would have, apparently, suffered defeat, as most of the Northern governors were away in Saudi Arabia performing Lesser Hajj.

But as if some people are working by a demolition script on state police, the Parry Osayande Presidential Committee on the re-organisation of the Police spoke against the establishment of state police. The committee said such a move could lead to the dismembering of the country. Before anyone could say why or how, a group of ex-Inspectors-General of Police who visited President Jonathan also spoke against state police. Why has the idea generated so much antagonism all of a sudden? Oh, it can be subjected to abuse. But even federal police too could be subjected to and had been subjected to abuse several times before.

Patrick Obahiagbon on Ogoni Independence Declaration

"Let it be noted that at the risk of sounding platitudinously humdrum, we have asseverated for the umpteenth time, that the convocation of a sovereign national conference for purposes of interrogating the odoriferous vaudeville of our national jeremiad, remains the only potent and efficaciously utilitarian paspartou out of our cascading national sirocco but alas, disdain complacency to say the least and at best Olympian pococuranteism and the tedium of prescriptive poco a poco is what we have been greeted with by intellectual philistines, high priests of a prebendal state and their opprobrious agents..."

Source: All Africa Online


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