OBASANJO: A BORN COMEDIAN
Many people pass through life without actually discovering what they are good at- their natural talents. Few are able to discover and exhibit multiple and multi-dimensional talents. It is to this group of rare species that our immediate past President, chief Olusegun Obasanjo belongs.
OBJ, as he is popularly called, whether we accept it or not, has proved he is a multi-talented man. One, he is a man of high military prowess. The rank of a General in the Army is not a child’s play. He was the officer that received the Biafran’s instrument of surrender in 1970. Though col. Benjamin Adekunle, the Black Scorpion, fought the war, Obj got the glory. His military exploits later made him to be a Head of state from 1976-1979. Here again, Gen. MurtalaMohammed planned and executed the coup, but Baba Iyabo enjoyed the crown.
In the civilian life, Obasanjo’s Esuanic quality is glaring. Though Abiola fought the battle, Obasanjo again took the proceeds, as if Nigerians responded to his earlier statement that “Abiola wasn’t the messiah the nation needed”. With his brazen disregards to the rule of law, Obasanja made his mark as a civilian dictator until he was forced out of office in 2007.
One of Obasanjo’s important talents I wish to humbly address is comedy. Nigerians are boasting of people like Alibaba, Abagana, Basket Mouth, I Go Die, Klint D Drunk, Lepecious, Uche Ogbuagu, A.Y etc, as comedians of rare qualities; we seem not to note that Obasanjo is of equal or greater quality. None of the above mentioned comedians can match OBJ in organizing comedy shows that could attract first class audience.
One of the first shows that Obasanjo organized was as far back as 1977. As a military dictator, he successfully staged the much unneeded Africans’ Festival for Arts and Culture (FESTAC). 30 years after the comedy show, Nigeria is yet to recover from its effects. Coming on board again as a civilian leader in 1999, obasanjo successfully staged many comedy shows.
One of the shows he organized was what I called laugh it out, though he called it OPUTA PANEL. The show made waves as no family failed to watch it, at least to laugh out the pains of hardship after each day’s toiling. He made Hon. Justice Chukwudifu Oputa the Chief Comedian. A lot of prominent Nigerians got their slots and performed.
Following that, was what he (OBJ), called National Political Reform Confab. It was another of Obasanjo’s mega comedy shows. As usual, it attracted prominent actors and actresses from all the States of the Federation. He made Hon. Justice Niki Tobi the Chief Comedian, and Rev. Father Matthew Kukah was taking records of attendance and also doubled as the time keeper. We all witnessed that show and laughed until we nearly forgot that what we, as led by PRO-NACO chiefs – Anthony Enahoro, Wole Sonyinka etc, demanded for was a Sovereign National Conference (SNC).
Seeing that South South part of the country is the home of comedians in Nigeria, our Comedian President stormed the zone and organized shows in styles. This time, he called it something like Niger Delta Solution Forum or so. You remember that show? Here, Baba Iyabo was the organizer, the coordinator, the M.C, and above all, the umpire. He decided who talked, and to some extent, what to say. He subjected the Governors and opinion leaders from that area to unwarranted insult and open intimidations. “Sit down! Close your mouth! Collect the mic. from him! Where were you when we fought the Biafran war?’’ these were some of the insults Obasanjo rained on anybody that expressed independent opinion during those shows. As a dictator he was, nobody challenged him. He knew it all.
Before he (OBJ), grudgingly left office on May 2007, he staged another show that the whole world watched. It was the globally disgusting 2007 general elections. Kudos to Maurice Iwu, his errant boy, the world would have been disappointed if Nigeria were said to be one of the least corrupt nations on earth. But as one of the leading corrupt nations in the world, the audiences that paid the fees and watched the dramas weren’t disappointed.
I wish to suggest to Opa Williams, Kennis musics, Le’Vin Konceptz, Obaino Musics, Little Brothers Global Entertainment etc, to extend their drag nets toward obtaining the master tapes of those aforementioned comedy shows. I’m pretty sure that those shows, if properly edited and released, will be in high demand and sell more than Nite of a Thousand Laaf, Crack Ya Ribs, Laaf for Christ’s Sake etc. on the part of Obasanjo, it will be another source of income that may dwarf whatever Otta Farm is worth, and will also be yielding decent retirement benefits. OBASANJO, WHAT A BOUNDLE OF TALENTS!