By Erasmus Ikhide
It is essentially disturbing that Nigerians no longer see President Goodluck Ebele “Azikiwe” Jonathan as the nation’s saviour. His deceptive preachments, “My ambition doesn’t worth the life of anyone”, like the other swaddling hogwash, have been exposed for what they are: fraud. Since his re-election campaigns begin, no one is left in doubt that the nation is under the iron control of his PDP-led government. It has been “brain, as demagoguery offered by Femi Fani-Kayode of this world, and fist”, as offered by his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan.
His second term bid has generated indignation amongst the people who saw in him previously puritanical statesmanship and a fitting image of a liberal democrat. All that has faded now, even though he has been reeving up and clashing down potent issues to show to the world that he is not as isolated as the opposition claimed. His government is truly a gigantic fraud. As we speak, the Senate has confirmed Musiliu Obanikoro as a federal minister, appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan, brushing aside allegations that Mr. Obanikoro played a key role in election fraud in Ekiti State. To make matter worse, Mr. Obanikoro was only told to “take a bow and go”, without answering questions, on the alleged Ekitigate.
There is greater anxiety than ever before that put the nation on the spotlight, and has generated the fear that Mr Jonathan’s autocratic drift has been intensified. The “political momism”, my coinage for Dame Patience Jonathan’s verbal diarrhea deal devastating blows to whatever peace-pact reached by all the fourteen political parties gunning for the presidency.
The peace accord came under the auspices of formers United Nations Secretary-General and Common Wealth’s Secretary-General, Kofi Anna and Emeka Ayanoku, respectively. The violation of the peace agreement to non-violent is not merely an attack on the reputations of those elder-statesmen who brokered the peace deal tarnished by the First Lady’s call to violence, but the nation’s sensibilities and the genuine crave for peaceful elections.
In case you forget, the President’s wife told a crowd of supporters to stone to death anyone caught mentioning “CHANGE”. She stated this in Calabar on March 2, 2015, while campaigning for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and her husband the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan. “Anybody that come and tell you change, stone that person. She continued: “What you did not do at 19 Kirikiri, is now that old age has caught up with you, you want to come and change? You can’t change; rather you will turn back to a baby. You will turn back to a baby. From old age nothing, so nothing like change. Rather (it) is continuity,” she fumed.
She added a comical note: “Even though belle (pregnancy) is disturbing you, tell it baby, baby let me go and vote. Baby wait let me go and exercise my mandate. Baby wait let me go and do what I can use to feed you. Baby wait for me, let me go and vote, after voting, I will come and deliver you, and you won’t die because Goodluck has given all the safety measures. You won’t die,” she enthused.
Sad and abhorrent as the above banal statement might be from the first lady, it shows how she and her husband have sunk into the pit of the desperate to be returned to power.
The opposition All Progressives Party’s slogan for March 28 election is ‘change’, so Nigerians supposed that Patience Jonathan had called on Nigerians to stone the opposition politicians to death. Patience Jonathan has previously mocked the APC’s slogan saying that the PDP does not tell Nigerians about change because they are not bus conductors.
As expected, Mr Jonathan has not responded to the First Lady’s call for stoning anyone who ‘talks change’ to death, literarily speaking. Heeding the wife’s blackmail, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai’ (rtd), SURE-P Chairman was given the boot for a lecture he delivered recently in Abeokuta during the birthday ceremony of former President Olusegun Obasanjo where he declared that “change is inevitable”. Agwai merely spoke on the topic, “Imperatives of a National Security Framework for Development and Progress of Nigeria,” at the birthday ceremony where he noted that change in leadership was inevitable. He typically stressed the need for security sector reform, without which, he said, the country might be doomed.
“In life, you find out that everything needs change; if that is what the community wants, what the people want, you must give it to them and, as such, it becomes inevitable. “You can have everything nice, but if you don’t have the right leadership to propel it, it cannot go anywhere. Integrity matters – doing what is good for the larger society and not just what you want to do for a narrow society to please yourself.”
“The military has to be transformed and this becomes necessary from the point of recruitment, training and assuming leadership role. Our forces that are trained, equipped to defend us are now in a strange field. “We must have security sector reform because everyone that has anything to do with security must be re-branded for professionalism, efficiency and effectiveness. The military has nothing to do with politics, and if we allow it, we will run into problems,” he warned.
Driving by wayward leadership principles – vast and sprawling bureaucracy, having little of the required efficiency usually credited to Nigerians, poisoned by mega-graft, besotted by constant confusion and cutthroat official rivalries occasioned by the muddling interference of party potentates, and often rendered impotent by the terror of his illiterate wife, Mr Jonathan was conned out of governance.
That Mr Jonathan himself maintained dignified silence over his wife’s open call to anarchy, kidnapping and actual slaughtering of people didn’t come as a surprise. Nine members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers State, southern Nigeria, were killed in two separate incidents in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, a few days ago. While five of the men were killed in the D-Line area of Port Harcourt, the other four met their untimely death along the Eastern By-Pass in the Marine Base area of the state capital!
Journalists were not left out of the Rivers State political killing field to which Mr Jonathan turns a blind eye. Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Rivers State who could not take the threat to their lives as they discharge their lawful duties in the state lying low took to the streets in protect with placard:
“Journalists in Rivers State say enough is enough to insecurity and election related violence”; “We are tired of Violent Politics”; “Allow journalists perform their constitutional functions”, “When you kill journalists, you kill society”; “Toy with journalists, toy with the future of the nation”; “Journalism is a constitutionally recognised profession”; “Rivers Journalists may be forced to boycott polls coverage if…”
At the top of the swarming heap of carnage and bloodbath stands the son of canoe-carver-born PhD holder from Otuoke, ferried by Providence to power. His is a pathetic governance, who, at the head of so great and powerful a nation, set out to attain its end. Six-year on, he is unable to create an enviable nation, burnish with abundant resources to the satisfaction of the electorate. Nigerians will be writing their page in the darkest of histories should Mr Jonathan finds his way back to Aso Rock in a country where second term in office don’t amount to much.
Ikhide wrote in from Lagos, Nigeria. He can be reached on Twitter @Erasmus_Ikhide