Friday, February 12, 2010
ACTING PRESIDENT GOODLUCK, SOUTH SOUTH MUST ALLOW HIM TO GOVERN!
The people of the South-South must avoid the mistakes and pitfalls of the north, which has unduly polarised them against the entire south and which has politically, pitched the north against everyone else in Nigeria. Nepotism, tribalism, regionalism, religionism and sectionalism; these are some of the not-so-good nor palatable words still populating Nigerian lexicon today. A country that wants to remain as one definitely does not need any of these divisive words currently and prevalently pervading its vocabularly space! A one-Nigeria as envisaged by the Great Zik of Africa is what should be preached by each groups within Nigeria in order to build out of Nigeria a nation that could be great. Therefore, the people of South South must understand that the Acting President Jonathan Goodluck, acts on behalf of Nigeria and not parochially only for the Niger Delta or South-South of Nigeria? Further, they should remember that they did not make Jonathan an Acting President and that it was the National Assembly that empowered him to so act. Even some reports out of the South South and concerning the people therein from, has it on good authority that they tried but failed to sabotage Jonathan's succession to Acting Presidency, a bid which they woefully lost in the ensuing battle for the hearts and minds of Nigerians regarding the way out of a medically indisposed President Yar'Adua's woods; and what to do in his over-extended absence without leave. Also they should that the whole Nigerians will be watching them meticulously, to see what the South-South makes out of this God given opportunity to preside over Nigeria; and that posterity will not forgive them should they bungle it or force the pundits to equate them to the power-drunk northerners - who craves power; who holds power and yet do ot seem to know what to do with power to better the peoples lot? Why this, Icheoku, on may ask? In answer, Icheoku says, barely less than 72 hours after the miracle of the National Assembly surmounting all pressure to do otherwise, and summoned the courage to empower Jonathan Goodluck to act on behalf of the ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua, the leaders of the South-South so called, are now beginning to mount unecessary pressure on the Acting President to bare his fangs, dissolve the cabinet and consolidate his hold on power? By saying this, they forgot so soon, the reason why the north was at first very reluctant and too afraid to acquiesce to Jonathan's ascendancy? They also forgot that Jonathan Goodluck is merely holding the presidency in trust for the ailing President Yar'Adua who could miraculously be healed tomorrow, only to come back to Nigeria and reclaim his mandate; with a call for the rendering of account. The people of the South South also forgot that it was this type of crass-pressure on holders of public offices in Nigeria that primarily alienated the north from the rest of Nigerians, who perceive them as being too greedy with power that they never want to let go of it. What is Icheoku saying in essence; that the leaders of the South-South should back-off and allow Jonathan to govern without added undue pressure of office from his people of the South-South. Icheoku believes that Jonathan will not forget his people of the South-South and at the same token, the people of the South South should realise that Jonathan is not theirs alone but is acting President of Nigeria and will take other Nigerians' interest at heart. Just in the few months Jonathan will serve to complete Umaru Yar'Adua's first term in office and this amount of pressure is already being brought by the people of South South on his day three in office? Such avarice for power is capable of scaring Nigerians into resisting any Jonathan's attempt at continuing and completing their tickets' second term, thence 2011. The people of the South-South should therefore be very pragmatic with fanatically identifying with Jonathan's acting presidency, and instead put pressure on their militants who are terrorising the oil companies into full surrender. This will serve as a welcome gesture to their son, Jonathan Goodluck being empowered as acting president of Nigeria; by a duly constituted National Assembly comprised of Nigerians from all over the map, from north east, north central, north west, south west, south east and south-south. Please Icheoku begs of you, in the name of Adaka Boro, Ken Saro-Wiwa and other respectable men and women, both living and dead, who mean anything to you to please tread softly and let Jonathan function uninhibited by parochial concerns induced pressures. A good starting point would have been for the people to pay him a solidarity visit? Then reconcile him with Peter Odili, James Ibori, DSP Alameseigha, Lucky Igbinedion, Atta and such other former governors and political power-brokers from the South-South and let the kubaya begin. Thereafter, they should reach out to Olusegun Obasanjo and thank him for not only facilitating Jonathan's rise to power but for particularly triggering the tornado that finally blew President Umaru Yar'Adua's government off the reservation. It was Obasanjo's admonition that 'a man of some honor who could not work as his employment, selection or appointment demands ought to throw in the towel.' What followed is better left for historians; but that bullet once it left his barrel was irretrievably dispatched and only the end result threw up Jonathan to the exulted seat of power. At least President Umaru Yar'Adua was humble enough to send his mother to Otta to thank Obasanjo for making her son president! In the offensive statement, the people of the South-South, through its leader Chief Edwin Clark, asked "Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately dissolve the Federal Executive Council in order to stamp his authority on the government?" Icheoku says such a statement is capable of igniting some trouble in Nigeria as his consolidation of power was not one of the envisaged reasons for the clamour for Jonathan's stepping up to an acting president position. The primary reason is to enable Jonathan hold steady, the hitherto drifting Nigeria's national ship, until President Umaru Yar'Adua recovers and returns from his hospitalisation in Saudi Arabia. Using such words as "stamp his authority on the government" is capable of scaring the north, whose "turn" it is now to be president of Nigeria into thinking that it was a coup that Jonathan staged and not a mere filling in for their sick Umaru Yar'Adua. As always, most wars are started by careless choice of words or wilful words of mouth geared to produce the hostility result or an intention which was lost in translation for being not properly communicated; and therefore Icheoku expects Chief Edwin Clark to clarify his statement further or otherwise deny it. It is simply not productive to start at this infant stage of Jonathan Goodluck's acting presidency to make the people of Nigeria, especially the northern stock, feel so jittery that they have lost out in the power structure that they may engineer a coup de`tat to reclaim what they presume is rightfully theirs at this time. Nigeria's leaders should fan less the embers of discord, of division, of dichotomy, of sectionalism and of regionalism so that Nigeria can move on to greater things. Enough of these tribal chiefs pontificating a vision of their parochial Nigeria which has since expired and no longer tenable in a so much integrated Nigeria that the idea of regional and different Nigeria is so yesterday. From Sokoto to Calabar, from Maiduguri to Lagos are Nigerians who have become so mixed up through inter-marriages and other cultural exchanges and domicile that even if Nigeria were to separate today, it will be a near impossible task to set them apart? This is despite the intermittent loss of minds of those northern Nigerians domestic terrorists who wantonly spill the blood of innnocents. The South-South's denouncing or demeaning Olusegun Obasanjo's role in bringing about an Acting President Jonathan Goodluck is also very nonsensical. It lacks in truth and veracity; and is contrary to what is of generally wide knowledge that Obasanjo made Jonathan politically. Otherwise, who imposed Jonathan as Bayelsa deputy governor? Who removed Governor DSP Alamaseigha to make way for Jonathan? Who single-handedly imposed Umaru Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan on Nigeria as president and vice president respectively? Who threw the comatose President Umaru Yar'Adua under the bus, by telling-on his near permanent incapacitation; before the dogs of war went in to finish off whatever had remained of his beleagured presidency? Who did the leg works, organised nocturnal meetings and made phone calls, nudging, ordering and cajoling the people that matter in Nigeria that it is game-over and time for Yar'Adua to go? Who is presently counselling Jonathan on how to be presidential and effectively preside? Icheoku says, Obasanjo! Obasanjo! Obasanjo. So Chief Clark, now tell Icheoku why the sudden re-write of a history which many Nigerians watched unfold; or do you plan to now take credit for what you definitely did not do? That Jonathan might not be an easy push-over or a robotic puppet in the hands of Obasanjo is a possibility; afterall Yar'Adua who benefited more by being made the president later turned against his political godfather and mentor Obasanjo and took refuge inside the Katsina good old boys network? But he forgot that Ngige did it in Anambra State and was kidnapped; that Fashola tried it in Lagos State and today his days as governor is numbered since the attempt at reconcilliation has failed and his impeachment assured, which may come before the year ends. So Umaru Yar'Adua possibly suffered the same fate as all men who renege on their promised loyalty and decided to bite the finger that fed them. Also regarding the pledge by Jonathan to fight corruption to a standstill, Icheoku asks Chief Clark if he will guarantee that EFCC going after James Onanefe Ibori, Lucky Igbinedion etc will not splinter the South South Niger Delta solidarity and whatever remains of their militant terrorists? Will the high chief assure Jonathan of his South South people's full cooperation and support, instead of fueling the militancy which the chief recently admitted is approved and being financed by many Niger Delta henchmen and political authorities? Icheoku equally, categorically denies the assertion by Chief Clark that "Obasanjo actually wanted the former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili for the job of the veepee"! This is because no one in Nigeria ever understands Obasanjo enough to know exactly what he is thinking or actually wants. Being such a draconian ruler, he had his way with easy and did whatever he wanted including removing three senate presidents, five PDP chairmen as well as abducting governors and forcing one to flee the governor's house in Bayelsa. Obasanjo also massacred Odi and Zaki Ibiam people; as well as other unsolved political murders that happened under his watch, including that of his Attorney General Bola Ige. Therefore, a man with such bone-shocking resume` as Obasanjo is beyond Chief Clark to understand enough, to know who he actually wanted for veepee? Obasanjo afterall hand-picked Umaru Yar'Adua and who is Umaru then, to challenge Obasanjo's choice for his his vice, afraid that Obasanjo can change his mind on his own presidential candidacy. Why does Chief Clark want to bequeath Yar'Adua with such a mighty honor of choosing Jonathan? Maybe Yar'Adua chose Jonathan from his then hospital bed in Germany, from where he told Obasanjo on a speaker-phone that he is not yet dead when Obasanjo was ceremoniously campaigning for the absent candidate. Anyway, enough of this never-retiring politicians who have been occupying Nigeria political scene since the sixties. This high chief should consider stopping his speaking on behalf of the Niger Delta South South people, to avoid some unintended consequences of speaking before thinking. What is it with the "traditional resource control cap" that Goodluck must put it on during his visit to Aso Rock Presidential Villa. Why must Jonathan always adorn Niger Delta garb when he is not theirs exclusive; - why not mix it up a little with some Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa etc outfits; that way other ethnicities and tribal groupings i Nigeria will stop seeing him as a Niger Delta acting president and really identify with him as one of their own. The same dress code applies to all of them in Abuja; and not just Jonathan; but his "resource control cap" was implicated in Chief Clark's speech hence the address. Icheoku asks, who was occupying Aso Rock and calling the shots and marching orders then before May 2007? Obasanjo! Obasanjo! Obasanjo! Lastly, the people of South South should back off from their fixation on former Attorney General Micheal Kasse Aondoakaa; he has already been punished enough with his demotion to Special Duties Minister. Please do not push Jonathan too hard that he appears vindictive and thus turn him an enemy with the Tivs, Benue State and the greater Middle Belt North Central of Nigeria. Icheoku says, a person with some honor being so demoted would have instead resigned, except that in Nigeria, the word honor has since taken an out-bound flight, never to return. It is possible the use of 'vice president' to address the Acting President by Mike Aondoakaa is a slip of the tongue; moreso that has been Jonathan's designation until just the last few days requiring time for it to fully register and settle in so many minds. Imagine the stressed mind of 'an Attorney General who was a field marshal in the rusticated President Umaru Yar'Adua's inner circle, now on limbo about what his antagonised former Veepee will do to him now that he has become the acting president? Who will not be filled with contempt at a supposed 'enemy "usurper" of his boss's former presidential powers and an apparent nemesis of the old guard? So people of the south-south, instead of throwing feat at Aondoakaa, please forget his language of "insubordination and contempt for constituted authority” and concentrate on how to make the south-south a lesser headache for Jonathan and let Jonathan govern.