By Thomas Dixon
The relationship between Nigeria and Sierra Leone spanned several years as there are families in Sierra Leone with strong background in Nigeria.
During the rebel war in Sierra Leone, the then Head of State of Nigeria Sani Abacha condemned the removal of the democratic government in Sierra Leone and even sent military men to help Sierra Leone restore democracy that was briefly stolen by ‘sobels.’
There are instances in which Sani Abacha pioneered peace meetings amongst the then Liberia President, Charles Taylor, the then Guinean President Lansanna Conteh and the then President of Sierra Leone, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah to assure the people of their commitment to peace in the Mano River Union.
It is my belief that Sierra Leoneans will forever be grateful to the Nigerians for their intervention when Sierra Leone was at war especially Sani Abacha as that is the reason Sierra Leone named one of her streets after the Nigerian Head of State.
However, the frequent interference by former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo in the internal politics of Sierra Leone is frightening and disturbing.
Sierra Leoneans expect an elderly African Leader to put up the best behaviour when it comes to visiting other countries and at the same time be very cautious in interfering in the internal politics of that country.
In this light, people who are speaking on behalf of the government have said that the President considers Obasanjo as his political godfather while they were parading news of the old man talking to some of the disgruntled flagbearer aspirants of the ruling party, advising them to accept the decision of the President.
The reports from State House Communication Unit revealed that Nigeria and Olusengu Obasanjo commends the selection process the President used to handpick his successor which has been widely condemned by all true democrats.
It should not surprise us that indeed Obasanjo is the political godfather of our President because we have seen that the style of leadership of Koroma is similar to that of the failed Nigerian President.
Obasanjo is one of the most corrupt Nigerian Presidents in the history of that country, cornering lots of money for his own personal gains at the expense of widespread poverty in the country.
No wonder Sierra Leone for the past three years when Obasanjo’s godson is ruling has been described as the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International.
Obasanjo tried very hard to perpetuate himself in office, in Sierra Leone; rumours of Koroma wanting more time beyond the constitutional limit were all over the place if not for the strong resistance in the air by Sierra Leoneans.
It was the same Obasanjo who tried unsuccessfully to sack his Vice President Atiku Abubakarr but the Supreme Court of Nigeria proved that they worth their salt by ruling against him.
In Sierra Leone, Obasanjo’s godson, Koroma sacked the elected Vice President just like that and our own Supreme Court under the leadership of Justice Vivian Thomas, Eku Robert, Nicholas Browne Marke, Patrick Hamilton decided to uphold the decision of the President, which the ECOWAS Court is now looking.
Obasanjo also handpicked Musa Yaradua just as President Koroma has handpicked Samura Kamara in an undemocratic manner in Sierra Leone, leaving the ruling party with a tough choice.
It was during the reign of Obasanjo that the economy of Nigeria started collapsing, in Sierra Leone it is under the leadership of Koroma that the economy crashed.
Sierra Leoneans will recall that in 2012 the same Obasanjo came to the country in the Presidential Campaign to endorse his political godson, Ernest Bai Koroma in Kabala.
Observers believed that Obasanjo’s interest in Sierra Leone is not just on politics as he is a man that is always on a mission.
Some of them believed the former Nigerian Leader is pulling the strings for some bad deals in the country for which he is benefitting bigly and that he will be caught with his pant down, if the present system is kicked out by the people.
Others believed that the presence of Obasanjo in Sierra Leone will not change the outcome of the elections as Sierra Leoneans are no longer fools but very intelligent to choose what they want.
If it is true that Obasanjo is the political godfather to our President, then we will be safe to conclude that he has been a bad influence on him.