OPINION – History begs Jonathan to clear this mess (by Sola Adeyeye)

1 Comment » October 10th, 2010 posted by // Categories: Elections 2011



History begs Jonathan to clear this mess

By Sola Adeyeye

solaadeyeye@yahoo.com

It is obvious to anyone with a sense of history and the ability to see beyond the nose that President Jonathan is in a mess that may ultimately engulf him.  His much touted repository of good luck has brought him to a crossroad where luck shall not suffice to guarantee survival, let alone success.  Unfortunately, when the leader of a country is ensnared in a mess, whatever misfortunes ensue could spin a vortex of tragic consequences. 

And here, one must quickly admit that it is perhaps a misnomer to refer to our current president as the leader of our country.  The Nigerian republic is rudderless and still in search of a leader! That Jonathan is Nigeria’s president is non-contestable. Unfortunately, like several who occupied that position before him, Jonathan appears to be bereft of the defining traits of leadership.  These constitutive attributes include a comprehensive attention to relevant history, a missionary sense of urgency and an intuitive capability to discern gestating pitfalls.  Luck placed Jonathan atop the mountain of Nigeria but his vision appears largely blurred by the astigmatism of creeping ambition and the cataracts of bad influence.  One such bad influence is former President Olusegun Obasanjo. 

General Obasanjo was being clever by half when he said he was not aware of a zoning arrangement within the PDP. President Jonathan should be wise and avert Obasanjo’s leading him into peril. The same Obasanjo who staged a telephone conversation to mock, lampoon and curse those persistently making issues about Yaradua’s health, later denied knowing that Yaradua had serious health problems! He went as far as invoking God as witness, inviting divine wrath if he had been lying! God is ever so patient.

Without zoning, Obasanjo would never have emerged as the flag bearer of the PDP in 1999.  Later, when former Speaker Naaba Ghali had good reasons to initiate impeachment against Obasanjo, it was a subterranean recourse to the PDP zoning template that saved Obasanjo from impeachment.

Indeed, it was citizens from southern Nigeria who were most vociferous in Obasanjo’s defense- largely because he was a southerner. Obasanjo should have been impeached. Perhaps, that error of omission should be one more reason why Nigerians must change the extant PDP paradigm and avoid zoning like a plague.

But the change must NOT come through a survivalist and shifty Byzantine power calculus whereby those who had embraced and benefited from a paradigm now lie unashamedly that the paradigm never existed! It is immoral. It is also dangerous for a country in which much of politics are inundated with ethnic undercurrents.

It is in the interest of Nigeria and President Jonathan that he should rise above the temptation to use the power of his office to advance his own fortunes even if it means inducing a vortex of volcanic ashes and acids that could dissolve or choke Jonathan himself.

We must not forget the facts of Nigeria’s tortuous history. It does not take much to spark ethnocentric animosity in Nigeria.  The commendable idealism of the opponents of zoning is shared only by those whose worldview has outgrown the primordial fears that can be exploited to brew crisis. Unfortunately, it is still very easy to use ethnicity to defend the indefensible among our people. That is why some of the very victims of Ibori’s reprobate criminality could be orchestrated to protest on his behalf!

To forestall all doubts, let me state emphatically that I am not advocating zoning. Not in the least! Neither am I arguing for subordinating our Republic’s Constitution to the internal arrangement of the PDP. God forbid! Ordinarily, I should not even concern myself with whatever blunders the PDP might be committing except to document them and at the right time, present them before the Nigerian electorate. Unfortunately, the electoral process in Nigeria is a travesty of tragic magnitude. Because the internal affairs of the PDP might spill and have profound consequences on the larger polity, we must pause and take preemptive looks at such possible, if not probable, long-term consequences. 

Nigeria is at a threshold of greatness or ruin. Those trying to lionize Jonathan as a savior that God has thrown on our national stage are being disingenuous or forgetful that Jonathan is part and parcel of the iniquitous PDP order. Recent sympathy towards him arose largely because many resented a cabal that tried to subordinate our national interests to their survivalist merchandising motif. Is there anything about Jonathan that portends a great presidency? The answer is still in the air!

The best way to get rid of zoning is for a unified opposition to sponsor a candidate that the citizenry at large can embrace. Tinkering with an internal arrangement of the PDP in a manner that stokes the fire of ethnic animosity is an easy-to-avoid blunder. Regrettably, the opposition remains largely fragmented and lacking in the compromise necessary to dislodge the PDP monstrosity. 

Herein lies history’s epochal summon on President Jonathan.

If Jonathan chooses not to run in 2011 but allows INEC to give Nigeria a free and fair election, and if he can faithfully begin a genuine war against corruption, he would emerge as National Hero and the father of a renascent Nigeria.

The fact that Obasanjo was drafted for the presidency in 1999, twenty years after he left office with the reputation of voluntarily relinquishing power, perfectly showcases a reward that was not immediate. Jonathan must not think of immediate political reward. Obasanjo grew larger than life in Nigeria, Africa and indeed in the world. Had he stayed two more years as Military Head of State, his acclaim would have been far less.

Jonathan must not choose the expedient road of an average politician; he must tread the path of a statesman. That path begins when he demonstrates that he understands that power is fleeting. A reputation earned as a man that can be trusted will eventually fetch him and our republic greater and better dividends than those that could be accrued when power is attained via the fallacy that the end justifies the means.

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One Response to “OPINION – History begs Jonathan to clear this mess (by Sola Adeyeye)”

  1. Adedotun Adeyeye says:

    A mere Academics Exercise by the Prof.

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