There are strong indications that former President Olusegun Obasanjo may summon a meeting intended to discuss the security situation in the country, among other burning issues of national concern. According to presidency sources, the meeting, scheduled to hold either on Tuesday, 14th December, or Wednesday, 15th, in Abuja, has the capacity to inflame passions, allegedly cause ethno- religious tensions, with consequential negative effect on national security and unity of the country, which authorities have continued to insist, is non-negotiable.
The sources, who spoke in confidence, said the meeting will hold, barring any last minute change in plan by the respected former ex-president (1999 – 2007), Head of State (1976 – 1979).
This was as they wondered why the ex-Nigerian leader, pan-Africanist, and personality of global repute, will contemplate such a move, at a time when all men and women of good conscience were expected to join hands with government, in a bid to solve the challenges confronting the nation. As at the time of filing this report, it was gathered that Chief Obasanjo has already sent out letters of invitation preparatory to the colloquium. Among the dignitaries invited to be part of the conference, all things being equal, is a former Head of State, who has been actively involved in peace advocacy, and national unity. Before the meeting, he may meet with respected Ijaw leader and former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clark.
This newspaper recalls that, sometime in August, a socio-cultural group, the Yoruba for One Nigeria Forum, YONF, had challenged the elder statesman on the need to come clean on allegations that he was lobbying Benin Republic Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemi (aka Igboho), from possible prosecution. “We are aware that an ex-President and one of the leaders of this nation,Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has concluded plans to meet with interest groups, and former Heads of State “Prior to the planned meeting, he intends to meet with Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark on the 13th of December next week.
This is after an earlier meeting he proposed with former Heads of State could not hold, ostensibly due to circumstances of the time”, one of the sources said. Another source, who spoke in similar vein, noted thus: “He intends to invite former leaders to the scheduled meeting. “Truth is, the resolution (s) from the planned meeting, may serve as a platform to (allegedly) discredit the government. “Definitely, the former leader will cause a letter to be written to the President alleging deteriorating security situation in the country.
“Now, here are the likely implications of the scheduled parley: “Likelihood of heating up the polity, cause political tension, as well as ethno-religious divisions. “It also has the capacity of triggering disunity, disloyalty to civil authority, after (allegedly) painting the government as weak and incapable of discharging its responsibilities to the citizens. “Ultimately, this may lead to civil disobedience, the resultant effect of which remains unpredictable,if history is anything to rely on. “You may, please, recall that the respected elder statesman is given to writing Open Letters to Leaders, especially towards the end of their tenures, preparatory to crucial elections”.