Thursday, May 20, 2010
2011 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND THE DILEMMA OF A JONATHAN'S RUN'?
Run Jonathan run? Don't run Jonathan don't run? And the cacophony of apologists and haters babbling noise, deafening as it may be, continue to rent the air, sometimes assuming a frenzied crescendo in a build-up to Nigeria's 2011 presidential election? Icheoku says William Shakespeare probably had Nigeria in mind as he penned Julius Caesar, judging from the trove of political treachery and comical characters which abound therein.
Now it is President Jonathan Ebele Goodluck's praise-song that saturates the air in Nigeria, with some town-criers asking that he stays on beyond an earlier agreed mission-term, while some other real people are trying to hold his feet to the fire regarding the existing gentleman's agreement, hitherto reached by his party, the PDP, with regard to rotational presidency? Icheoku says, when all is said and done, it is only President Jonathan and President Jonathan alone who must tell himself the naked truth and act upon his conviction, with the interest of Nigeria as his guiding light.
All these emergent cheer-leaders are akin to funeral under-takers who take delight in people dying and providing unending job opportunity and income for them? Their love and empathy is pretended as inside their heart of hearts, they are salivating at the latest business opportunity to make some quick bucks. So President Jonathan must be watchful and prayerful to avoid the curve-balls now being thrown his way by people who mostly see him as a tool, a means to an end and the goose that lays the golden eggs? Few months ago, it was President Umaru Yar'Adua who was these town-criers favorite past-time hero; then entered Hadjiya Turai Yar'Adua and before the duo was Olusegun Obasanjo and the count goes back to the beginning of times? Like the proverbial three stooges who learnt the phrase, "we three, we three," and recited it each time and every time there is something in the offing eliciting their opinion or answer; and who subsequently said to the police in answer to their question, who killed Rogers, "WE THREE, WE THREE"; Nigerians have learnt how to give the same answer of 'God-sent" to every person that happens on the national stage as president. it does not matter the means of such arrival whether by crook as in a military coup de`tat or by appointment as in interim government or by providence as in death of a former president or by electoral brigandage of rigging? It does not also matter whether such first citizen is a calamitous Obasanjo, Baba go-slow Yar'Adua, evil genius Babangida or now president by providence, President Jonathan? It is always God sent, God sent; and President/Head of state for life! Nigerians are reputedly capable of being so many different things to so many different people at the same time, depending on who is occupying the center stage and facilitating access to them? In short, Nigeria is a country populated by so many hydra-headed human-specimens, whose stand on every issue is as mercurial as the quick silver depending on what is at stake. To many Nigerians, a time can be both day and night at the same time, depending on what yield their answer will generate? Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) and Arthur Nzeribe typically represents many Nigerians, admitted Nzeribe is being verified for bravely vocalizing his thoughts, unlike so many others who would rather whisper such desires and wish that other person bells the cat on their behalf? There is no real core or consistency within Nigerians and/or their action; and they easily sway like pendulum with tide of times and readily turn against you the moment your sun sets. The plebeians in Julius Caesar who were swayed by the oratory skills of Mark Anthony and mistook Cisero the poet for Cisero the conspirator aptly captures the make-up of every average-Joe Nigerian. In the macabre dance of death that is politics, whose drummers are as legion and invisible as they are slimy, the country Nigeria does not lack of its fair share of competent drummers and players; whose political treachery is a quick sand that swallows as many of its victims as are not endowed with discerning clear thoughts? Icheoku says President Jonathan should run in 2011 at the peril of his credibility to respect a gentleman's' agreement hitherto reached by his party, the PDP; or Nigerians should unanimously agree to let him shower the country with his legendary goodluck which he carries abundantly with him as his name and antecedents have shown. At extreme oddity and conflict is what becomes of President Jonathan's fate in 2011, judging the two insincere schools of thought, each proffering parallel advise on the president's probable line of action - to run and not to run for president in 2011? Icheoku says both of these schools are wrong, preposterous and agenda-driven, since Jonathan has not disclosed his intention to dabble into the 2011 presidential race or achieved or accomplished anything spectacular to merit and warrant all these presidential pontifications and endorsements for a 2011 run? Nigeria should not forget so soon that the now President Jonathan was a member of the lack-lustre President Umaru Yar'Adua administration, being a vice president, acting president and now a substantive off-shoot president therein; and that the duo performed so abysmally poor and were so slow that his late boss President Umaru Yar'Adua earned the nick-name, "Mr Slowman?" In a civilized functional society where government officials are held accountable by the people for their misdeeds and/or incompetence, Icheoku says, both Yar'Adua and Jonathan would have been voted out of office in 2011 for lack of performance and non-delivery of democracy dividends? But with the preemptive death of Yar'Adua, the question of Jonathan's running with Yar'Adua for a second term as vice president is now moot; and Nigerians can only grapple with a 2011 presidential election without a Yar'Adua/Jonathan ticket to ordinarily vote out from office? The only question that now remains is, can and would Jonathan run for president in 2011; and if yes, does he have any record/s to run on; assuming the PDP's internal arrangement on which a certain section of the country ought to still produce the party's 2011 president still holds sway?
But in a plebeianistic society as Nigeria, with all manners of political-vultures parading themselves as human-beings, anything is possible; and serious arm twisting can still cancel whatever prior existing agreements that were previously reached? Afterall Vincent Ogbulafor found out in a bitter way that a previously dust-collecting alleged financial misappropriation could be brought up anytime to cage a loquacious former party chairman for speaking before thinking about a supposed north's vested presidential interest in 2011. So for a willing and daring political player incumbent, continuity is possible in 2011. Nigeria is such a politically complex society in which it is possible to still find some weird people who could not give a damn even if Satan himself becomes their president and who finds attractive, the idea of a Babangida's presidency in 2011? Icheoku says, rather than have Babangida as president in 2011, Nigerians might as well settle for anyone else including a continuation of President Jonathan's presidency. The only good guys in this debate of "run Jonathan run" and "don't run Jonathan don't run" are those Nigerians who have kept a wise mum on the matter, preferring instead to let the womb of time, political expediency and job performance to inform the decision on who actually runs or does not run in 2011. Icheoku therefore re-states that it is for President Jonathan to earn his feathers by proving between now and 2011, that he had no hand in the snail-speed government of late President Yar'Adua by delivering some measurable and quantifiable concrete accomplishment - top among which include security, power and good roads. Otherwise all the rhetoric of this world, including Mark Anthony or Cisero's will not suffice to bestow on him the honor of a dignified claim to the 2011 presidential run.
Regrettably, in today's Nigeria of 21st century people are still worrying themselves sick as to which geographical location and zone produced the president? Icheoku says, were Nigeria truly a nation-state or a fully functioning country, such mundane and parochial considerations should not be the thing preoccupying the political class, which continuously fester the morbid sectionalism in which the country still waddles in since independence four decades ago? In a more goal-directed country, viability, qualification and a strong resume are the sole primary considerations for any leadership position, including the presidency; but not the candidate's state of origin or the geographical belt where the candidate comes from, which guarantees that nationalists run for offices and not sectional tribalists. So why does it matter which zone produced the president in 2011, provided the candidate is a Nigerian, well qualified and able to deliver the goods; and also such a candidate is not Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. But those northern political elites, who parasite on governments, cannot imagine a life outside the corridors of power, hence the fever-pitch clamour that it is the turn of their zone to produce president in 2011? Icheoku asks, when the north were taking turn after turn in the presidency with Tafawa Balewa, Gowon, Muritala, Buhari, Babangida, Abacha, Abdusalam, did anyone raise issue with a rotational brouhaha formula? The United States of America which Nigeria allegedly copies its system of government, has had two father and son presidency with Quincy Adams and the Bush family which topped it by also producing a governor of Florida at the same time? So if Nigeria is really a country and not a loose coalition of unwilling republics forcibly cobbled together by an exploitative colonial master in 1914, why does it matter if the president in 2011 is from Arewa Republic, Oduduwa Republic, Biafra Republic or Niger Delta Republic? But a warped primitive tribal loyalties are driving a debate on where a president must and should come from in 2011 - whether or not Nigeria will be forced to trade a PhD president for an almajiri retired army man. A country that is one indivisible entity and really a country/nation-state, would look for their best and brightest to lead them into the future; and not a demented maniacal and near senile killer, just because he is from a certain part of the country.
In conclusion, Icheoku says, the only parties that will be adversely affected by the ongoing tug of war of who produces the 2011 president are the Nigerian people who will be denied the chance of partaking and benefiting in the Mr. Goodluck's goodluck; and a President Jonathan who will be denied his anticipated four more years in Aso Rock; since as a vice president he would have served another term of four years in a consecutive two term presidency of President Yar'Adua? But peradventure, President Yar'Adua is now dead and Jonathan is the new president; but should he now be forced out of Aso Rock, sacrificed on account of an illegal intra-party agreement? Icheoku says, we do not think so because if Jonathan can as a vice president, act for an unavailable preisdent Yar'Adua and graduated to an acting president when the president became indisposed; natural law of fairness will not frown at the possibility of a President Jonathan also serving out the next four years of a would have-been President YarAdua's second term? If Jonathan can deputize and act for a northern president; then there is nothing fatally wrong with him serving out their joint second term? At worst, let the north count it as the south-south's partial turn; and they can always come back after 2015 or 2030 or whenever to serve out their second term; afterall they have been in power practically since independence and their fortune have not really changed for the better; so why the clamour for a northern president one may ask? Nigeria needs a leader with a vision, mission, clear thought, a sense of purpose and one who can act professionally under the given stressful environment that running a complex society as Nigeria is. President Jonathan has displayed these uncanny leadership qualities and Nigerians may have to swallow whatever tribal/sectional arrangements and sentiments that may be existing, and allow God to do for Nigeria what he willed, when he made Jonathan president by default of the death of President Yar'Adua. For all believers, there is a purpose for everything and God or Allah cannot be mocked; for before we were born He already knows who and what we shall all become; and power comes exclusively from only the On High. If God truly wants President Jonathan Ebele Goodluck to run, win and preside over Nigeria in 2011, nobody and nothing can stop him; and as a sign, God can cause Babangida to expire from a massive cardiac arrest or better still make him turn tails, as he did on two previous occasions when he was forced to step aside in 1993 and in 2007 when he was intimidated out of running? Anyway, we await the delivery of the heavily pregnant Nigeria, come 2011. Goodluck and goodnight, to you Nigerians political gladiators!