I had started writing this article when I saw Okey Ndibes piece “Jonathan And The Wrong Question”. Apart from Solana Olumense, Nidibe is my other favorite writer, because his piece broadly covered what I was going to say, I stayed my hand and left the article.
That was last week and before the minister of Communications had the gall to look at Nigerians in the face and tell them the Federal Executive Council had approved the sum of $150 million for the purchase of 3 jets for the Presidential fleet. Minister Akunliyi in an attempt to demonstrate the Government’s prudence, soliloquized about how they had saved $2.5 million off the list price of the 3 jets, I can almost imagine her waiting and hoping to bask in the applause that would follow.
Lets forget Dora for now and focus on her boss; Jonathan Ebele Goodluck. The former teacher was brought out of the wilderness by the cross dressing Alamieyeseigha to be his deputy and was considered a loyal servant. It was this perceived loyalty that informed his choice as Vice President to Umaru Yar Adua. The PDP, read OBJ, after the very public falling out between Atiku and OBJ wanted somebody who would be a loyal servant, they wanted a “very good boy” who will not rock the boat and will do as he is told and it was no surprise that GEJ was chosen
Jonathan from a distance appears to be a man with a gentle mien and softly spoken, those who have met him swear he is a consummate gentleman, they say he is very intelligent and very circumspect. All these may well be true, but when I look at him what comes to my mind is; man Friday. For those who have not read Daniel Defoe’s book, Man Friday is the fictional loyal servant of Robin Crusoe a castaway that was marooned on an island for 28 years. Crusoe rescued him from cannibals and because it was a Friday called him; my man Friday. Man Friday went on to become the most celebrated “loyal servant”.
There are parallels between man Friday and Jonathan Goodluck, GEJ like man Friday was saved from the political cannibals led by Turai. But I suspect he wrongly thinks OBJ and other shadowy political Godfathers as his Robin Crusoe instead of the millions that shouted, wrote and marched asking for the political cannibals to let him assume the role of acting President. I will come back to this later.
In private conversations I have always told anybody that cared to listen that GEJ is not the messiah we have been waiting for. I say this not because I naively expect him to perform magic in the very short time he has left as President. But because of forces and circumstances and also his lack of strong will. Mago-mago PDP politics aside, the North, based on the internal PDP zoning arrangement, should be producing the next flag bearer. But in Jonathan the damned so called power brokers have found a putty that they can easily mould and control and hence their fighting tooth and nail to make him President
I am almost certain that Jonathan will emerge as the PDP candidate and will go on to be declared the winner in 2011, but at what cost will this be? For GEJ to remain the President, he will have to sell his soul to the devil and every political cannibal willing to support him. As I write they are already crawling out of the wood works. Mantu, Anenih, Gana, Lar etc political leeches and cannibals all united in their aim of looting Nigeria back into the Stone Age. During the time of Yar Adua, patriotism was measured by how well you could criticize OBJ, today it is measured by how well you can condemn zoning. In the true game of Naija politics, Jonathan will issue a political IOU to every despicable politician who will help him. All these political IOUs will encumber Jonathan’s Presidency and will effectively make it meaningless.
I am not in any way been unfair to my fellow Niger Deltan but truth be told, he is not the best we can offer. It is evident that Jonathan is not in charge of the country. If he were people like Farida would have been sent packing from the EFCC long ago. I suspect she is there because some people want her there and there is nothing GEJ can do about it. I cannot point to anything GEJ has done to protect the interest the people. When he removed Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, it was to strengthen his position, when he went after James Ibori, it was to secure his position. What has GEJ done to warrant him coming back as President? I hear he is about taking a $4 billion loan, what for? What is his vision for Nigeria? What has he done for us lately?
It was Barack Obama that said “The times are too serious, the stakes are too high, for this same partisan playbook” during his acceptance of the Democratic Party Presidential candidate ticket. Need I outline the challenges facing us as a country? We cannot provide electricity of light our homes or power our industries, no motorable roads, kidnappings have become the norm, corruption is rife and the entire infrastructural base of the country is near collapse. There is no doubt that Nigeria is on the brink of becoming a failed state. The situation we are in calls for a serious and focused individual who will tackle our problems headlong without fear or favour. We don’t want a person who is more concerned about buying jets in the face of abject poverty. Nigeria needs a warrior champion, the stakes are too high and the times are too serious for a man Friday or a political pawn.