By John Odusote
The name John Campbell is not new to the debate on Nigeria. He was at a time the Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria. So it could be said that he knows a bit of the dynamics in the Nigerian setting. And he is exploiting it for the political advantage of some of the friends he made while he was in Nigeria.
John Campbell has a long history in Nigeria, one that cannot be wished away anytime soon when he indeed predicted in his book, ‘Nigeria: Dancing on the brink.’ that Nigeria would not survive 2015. The issues highlighted in the book drew much attention and generated enormous controversies both within Nigeria and around the world.
It was apparent that he enjoyed the attention that came with his puerile prophecy, as we are almost in 2020. That is a definite five years after, and Nigeria is still united. I wonder how he felt with the fact that Nigeria lived beyond 2015. Just maybe he felt disappointed with the way and manner things turned out, and since then, he has become a daily contributor to the discourse on Nigeria. So much so, that one wonders why the keen interest in the affairs of Nigeria. The reason isn’t farfetched.
This situation has given rise to questions as to the real motives of John Campbell in his tirade against Nigeria. I say this because, for inexplicable reasons, he is in the news again in Nigeria. And this time around, he took his trade too far by stating that Nigeria’s international reputation is damaged for disrespect for the rule of law in an apparent reference to the ongoing trial of Omoyele Sowore.
Initially, I was at a loss what he meant by ‘Buhari’s Dictatorial Past and the Rule of Law Today in Nigeria” In my opinion, that was indeed a handshake beyond the elbow given the enormity of his unsubstantiated postulations intended to mislead members of the unsuspecting general public.
As a start, I’m afraid I have to disagree with the fact the John Campbell is qualified to speak objectively about Nigeria in whatever capacity because it is on record that he shares an affinity with a major opposition figure in Nigeria. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of a university in Nigeria owned by this same major opposition politician. Thus, it can be understood where his rants are coming from, as well as where his loyalty belongs.
That is not all; sometime in 2017, there was a tweet from the handle of the same politician that states thus “With former Ambassador to Nigeria, and a great friend, Mr. John Campbell, on his first visit back to Nigeria in years. Welcome back home!” there are also many more examples of how these two individuals have cohabited over the years as ‘good’ friends.
Back to the crux on John Campbell, it is despicable how he has risen to the defense of his ‘good’ friend at the expense of truth. It is also despicable how he has continued to insult the sensibilities of Nigeria by advancing a self-serving cause that from all intent and purposes are geared towards causing an unhealthy distraction in the polity. I recall I was particularly fazed when some time ago John Campbell stated that the 2019 general elections were bad for democracy in Nigeria. He further stated that the presidential election does not inspire confidence in the democratic trajectory of Africa’s most populous country. Initially, I could not come to terms with his outright provocative statement. But now I do because his ‘good’ friend lost and could not be consoled.
And as such, they threw all sorts of clogs in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress, and the recent one is the Omoyele Sowore saga that the likes of John Campbell felt was the perfect opportunity to unleash their frustrations on Nigeria. I stand to be corrected; it is indeed a shame that John Campbell would denigrate so low despite been a former ambassador to Nigeria. I am not sure the money he receives from his ‘good’ friend is worth the trouble.
Nigeria has always defeated their evil postulations from time immemorial. Many fake prophets like Campbell saw Sowore and his RevolutionNow protest as the right time to unleash the devil on Nigerians. But they were shamed. And the latest attempt at it again is in the tirade launched by John Campbell recently.
I must not fail to state that John Campbell is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s walking stick. Little wonder that he is on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Nigeria? Little wonder that his tirades have been against the present administration? It is thus evident that John Campbell and Atiku Abubakar still haven’t recovered from the outcome of the general elections in Nigeria. As such, they must continue to embark on acts and actions that would distract and discredit the present administration.
In all, they forgot one major thing, which is the fact that Nigerians can see through their gimmick because no right-thinking Nigeria would deny the fact that John Campbell has been covertly advancing the cause of Atiku Abubakar. What this means is that moving forward; Nigerians should form the habit of disregarding whatever comes from the stable of John Campbell because they are all pieces of broken bottles.
Odusote wrote from Washington DC, USA.