There is an adage in Ibibio dialect that is interpreted “when God does a marvelous thing, we say ‘this thing happened as if it was God who did it'”. It is usually this kind of perception that shows most human beings do not know when God intervenes in the affairs of men. I have grown to appreciate how God has been very magnanimous with Nigeria and Nigerians. I grew up hearing that the citizens’ abuse that causes the war in other countries is not a quarter of the abuse Nigerians suffer in the hands of their leaders. Ordinarily, I do not see this short change in leadership as arising from the wickedness of the leaders but rather from their ignorance of the mercies of God in matters that affect Nigeria and Nigerians. This is the only explanation that can input some sense to #dasukigate and those involved in it. Nigerians are indeed people who are dishonest with themselves. It is appalling to know that the men who we grew up believing in are now the ones been exposed as mindless money mongers at the twilight of their earthly existence. It is a shame that have been deceiving us all for this long.
This article is taking a rear look at how erstwhile President Jonathan is the first “change-agent” to the political leadership of Nigeria since 1914. It is not that Nigeria has not experienced leadership successions since her amalgamation in 1914, but the facts remains that those leadership successions, from 1914 until May 2015 had been conventionally that of the government in power greatly influencing the emergence of the succeeding administration and this has always been in spite of the people’s mandate. This has been our experience since 1914. This underscores the continuous cry by Nigerians for a peoples’ recruited, oriented and purpose-driven leadership. Goodluck Jonathan, who came by “an election in an election” and by an act of God, came to expose the real nature of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for intelligent Nigerians to behold, so that “the rejected stone” would turned out to be “the head stone of the corner”.
I dare say that Nigeria ranks first in God’s prioritised consideration for nations he desires to use in his divine interventions on earth and in this world at this “end times“. Our leaders claim Nigeria is a secular State, hypocritically blacklisting the God they daily profess with their mouths, excluding him in their considerations and decisions, making Nigeria a nation-fool as she is; because the Holy book says “a fool says there is no God”. This happens because our leaders, including the heads of churches, desire to profess God in every other matter except their money making [ad]ventures. There is no Nigerian who is not involved in one brand of God-worship or the other; usually not meaning what we confess. Clearly, Nigerians believe differently from what Nigeria believes – how can this work? We are just a dishonest people.
There is no where the world over where God’s name is mentioned in every aspect of human endeavour as it is done in Nigeria: every government office has a make shift mosque or church or both within its premises, like it is in Aso Rock, the seat of the central government. Every government function begins and ends with Muslim and Christian prayers. I can bet that the number of God-worship centres in Nigeria outnumber the ones in other countries of the world, yet when we observe God’s hands in the affairs of Nigeria, we quickly say “e be like say na God do am oo…” We pretend to know him but our refusal to discern his acts in our affairs shields his truth from overshadowing us. We have wandered a very long way away from home and we need to retrace our footprints.
It was for this cause that Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, by the wisdom of God, survived the deadly treatments by the hands of Sani Abacha’s undertakers in Yola prison, the same from which Shehu Musa Yar’Adua died in Abakaliki prison. It was in memory of Shehu and to remedy his unfortunate death, the price for our present democracy, or so it seemed, that Obasanjo, who was the foremost beneficiary of Shehu’s death, influenced the emergence of Umar Musa Yar’Adua as president, to succeed him through a “do or die” election. Aremu Obasanjo, as dishonest as Nigerians usually are, was not really interested in compensating the Yar’adua dynasty for the loss of Shehu, nor was it to honour the memory of his friend and loyal confidante that he supported the emergence of his younger brother, Umar, as Nigeria’s President. He was more interested in entrenching himself as Nigeria’s political “idol”, meant to be worshipped. Whatever he did ultimately was to pave the way to actualise this diabolic intention, especially after the uneventful death of his despicable “third term” ambition.
Aremu Obasanjo frittered away 8 years of Nigeria’s democratic nurturing, building for himself a political testament that should be institutionalised against all democratic ethos. When it was clear to him that his self-carvings of a demigod was been dismantled, and he was literally going to be forced out of office, he quickly projected a sickly Umar as his replacement and set up a politically feeble and naive Goodluck Jonathan as his Vice President. Jonathan, at the time Obasanjo brushed him up, was a man who could not boast of the any grandiose political pedigree, apart from been the “spare tyre” for the wheel of governance in Bayelsa State. Obasanjo sought someone who would be eternally grateful to him for a lifting from “grass to grace”, with the intention of circumventing the the gratitude to usurp the powers in the presidency after Umar’s death. Obasanjo positioned Goodluck Jonathan, who was his first choice candidate for President, preferred above Umar Yar’Adua, in order to help him rule Nigeria through Jonathan, but God had his own plans for Nigeria…and “na Godu-win, na Godu-win ooo!”.
It must be placed on records that Obasanjo literally begged Jonathan, who had already resigned as the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, at the peak of his principal’s travails in 2006, to accept to be Governor in place of DSP Alamiesiegha, with whom Obasanjo, at that time had a running political battle. The Joint Task Force “Operation Pulo Shield” created by Obasanjo’s to protect Nigeria’s economic infrastructures in the Niger Delta region, was initially posted to Yenagoa, capital city of Bayelsa State, to roundly protect Goodluck Jonathan as Governor of Bayelsa State from the harassment of inhabitant Ijaws. Of a truth, Goodluck Jonathan is not an Ijaw man.
Let me again humbly reveal that if Shehu Yar’Adua had not died in Abakaliki prison and he was with us in 1999, knowing who Shehu was and his political mission, rather than Olusegun Obasanjo, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu would have been Nigerian’s president from 1999. They were close-bodied colleagues in their days in the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) between 1990 and 1993. A close look will show how the Asiwaju’s political school of thought is directly derived from Shehu’s political philosophies. It was the Asiwaju who fought the fiercest battle against the regime of Sani Abacha, especially after Shehu’s death, through the agencies of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and the “Radio Kudirat International”.
No Nigerian President has suffered such humiliation and disrespect by any past Head of Government like Jonathan suffered in the hands of Obasanjo. It was impossible for Aremu Obasanjo to assimilate Jonathan’s inhuman ingratitude and his diabolic resistant to his contributions to governance. Aremu Obasanjo demonstrated the frustration he suffered by Jonathan for the collapse of the political idol he built for himself by thrown king caution to the wind: it was a battle for political survival. He raged like a wounded lion, he cast all decency away and cared not what should happen as long as his “godson”, Jonathan, the one he made in his image, was booted out of power by all means available. Never someone to leave unturned stones, Obasanjo lined his political support behind Mohammadu Buhari’s candidacy in the 2015 presidential election. This was God at work: it was an act of God that from the beginning of Jonathan’s presidency to its end Obasanjo was effectively foreclosed as an outsider and a nuisance, otherwise, if both men had cooperated, Nigeria would probably have been at war by now, but God said “one war is enough for my people that I have called out after me”.
The imposition of political leadership over Nigerians has been the governance template left behind by the colonialists: that successive governments must be part, and the under tutelage of incumbent governments. It remains a part of our history that in the twilight of the colonial administration, they prepared and capacitated a section of Nigerians to be erroneously labelled “born to rule”. We have never operated a monarchical rule in Nigeria, hence, no one is “born to rule”. Every Nigerian who ever ruled did not do so by virtue of the circumstance of his birth, but on the strength of votes cast by Nigerians (so it seems), and some by the barrel of the gun. Unfortunately, that indefensible illogic is still with us today, a stark reality for which no Nigerian has yet found a good reason. In an atmosphere of true democracy, where majority is accorded by the number of people and not by geographical spreads, such as land mass, it is absolute arrogance to claim Nigeria’s political leadership by heritage: I have never allowed this illogic to make me think less of myself as some of my fellow Nigerians do. Lands do not vote in an election, people do.
So until we get our national population statistics and our census templates right, as we are doing with our electoral systems, that British injury on our polity, which empowers a section of Nigerians to force the irony of an existence based on hasty assumptions on the rest of the people, will never heal. This is why we cannot help the dishonesty and insincerity we find in our polity, which sustains the falsehood and status quo ante. I have not seen any people like Nigerians who are dishonest and pretentious with themselves and are ready to accept anything forced down their throats.
I have observed how some self-acclaimed motivators try to sensitize our youth into a kind of leadership-class resistance through the social media. They list our former leaders like Yakubu Gowon who was Head of Government at 32, Alfred Diete-Spiff who was Governor, Rivers State at 26, Matthew Mbu who was Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom at 22; following with the third generation of leaders, on which list is Murtala Mohammed who was Head of Government at 38, Theophilus Danjuma, Ibrahim Babangida, Mohammadu Buhari and…so forth.
The message asked the youths why they should still be comfortable with living in their father’s houses at age 30, and still eat from home at age 40. Each time I come across this hypothesis of reason, I ask why the writers would not lead others from tge front to actualise what they preach. When Ken Sato Wiwa led the people of Ogoni, ip so facto the people of the Niger Delta region, he led from the front. He moved and his people followed. At his end, he bore the consequence of his actions in his innocence and spared his people the brutal invasion by official forces. It is cowardice to sit behind a microphone some where many miles away from reality and ask ordinary Nigerians to confront armed personnel of government in order to propagate a very wrong message you delivered. Ken Wiwa never instigated the killing of people. He posed intellectual challenges the government was scared to confront. The solution to their intellectual deficiency was to kill him, but Ken lives on in our hearts.
Whenever I read this message, I quickly sense the incitement in it. Was it not in this same Nigeria, and in recent times that Donald Duke was Governor of Cross Rivers State at 36, Orji Kalu of Abia State at 40, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers at 42: he was Speaker of Rivers State Assembly at 34. For God’s sake, let us consider the changing times and ask those writers inciting the youths if they considered the present times and the frightening rise in population? Why are they blind to the achievements of youths like Innocent Idibia, Peter and Paul Okoye, Korede Bello, David Adeleke and so many other youths, who are between 20 and 35 years old, who are daily distinguishing themselves in different fields of entrepreneurial endeavours. They do not hinge on government funds like those under their reference did. Our youth are potentially self-made entrepreneurs, they are not military men who weld guns, collaborating with civilian accomplices. Are we at all proud of what they achieved in their time? What examples did these men leave behind for our youths? I think these are what matters most in role-modelling. Characters like Obasanjo and Babangida were giant-failures in government, and are bad political examples for our youths. Their wealth and influence are all illegally borrowed and their days of accounting will sure come.
Believe me Nigerians, if the youths of Nigeria make up their minds to take over the political and economic leadership of Nigeria, it will be a simple thing to achieve. Nevertheless, the political class would not permit the youths to rise beyond their present consciousness and awareness to contemplate Nigeria’s political leadership, least nurse the aspiration. The political class would rather closely patronize those among the youths who have carved out niches for their existence by paying them to sing, dance, and follow them about during campaigns. They salvage those who are despondent, recreating them into wild bloodsucking heartless beasts, trained to obstruct the electoral process and kill at will. The youths do not need any incitement, they do not need to be reminded that Gowon ruled Nigeria at 32. I tell you of truth that in this same Nigeria, at the time Gowon was Head of State, some of his age mates were still farming on their father’s farmlands awaiting the wives their fathers would marry for them and show them the portion of land where they would communally build their houses. It should be clear to these ones that all this is about capacity and exposure. It is like saying “the battle is not always to the strong, nor the race to the swift…” but everything happens by time and chance.
What the youths need is not incitement, they need political education. They must realise that those who pay them to sing and dance for them, and sometimes kill to get them into office are not truly better or competent managers of people and resources. The youths must understand why they should refuse to play and dance for politicians at political campaign rallies because they also have campaign rallies to address. The youths must also know why they would no longer kill for politicians because they need these people to also consider and vote them into positions of leadership: the more thr number, the merrier. Our youths must also observe to see how the political class keeps them almost perpetually divided against themselves over very trivial matters. The social media engagements of young Nigerians reveal this clearly. No! We do not need this distraction. Blind political loyalties will take us no where. It keeps us feeling we are moving when in reality we are only gyrating.
The fierce political divergence and differences amongst Nigerian youths surely have a meeting point in the divine arrangement that brought Goodluck Jonathan to power, made him to resist the continuation of the presidency of Umar Musa Yar’Adua by the North, resisting the governance instructions of Olusegun Obasanjo, permitting the PDP and his wife, Patience, to undertake the political undoing of the party. Against an earlier agreement, Jonathan threw his hat into the contest for his reelection bid. By the time his inexperience and loss of control completed the divine circle, Nigerians saw the PDP for what it is and the Jonathan presidency as the last they can take from the PDP. We must live with this divine truth that it took the Jonathanian presidency to produce Buhari as President, if we appreciate the fact that in Nigeria an incumbent, with absolute executive powers does not lose in a presidential election. But this has changed now.
This was how God orchestrated the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari and fulfilled his own words, which in a continuous manner has continued to be relevant in the affairs of men that “the stone the builder rejects” always and somehow becomes “the head stone of the corner”. This is why I am certain that it took all that Jonathan did to resurrect Buhari’s true worth in the hearts of Nigerians. It is therefore onus on Nigerians youths to understand how God intended that Jonathan should hand over to Buhari, so that we can all joins hands and support his administration as God’s sent.
The success of President Buhari’s administration has been destined, such that like Israel under the bondage of Egypt, God has heard the groaning of Nigerians and used Jonathan as Jethro, to hibernate Buhari as our Moses, until the appointed time for his manifestation as Nigeria’s president. Goodluck Jonathan is the first Nigerian Head of Government who did not succeed himself and did not choose his successor. Let us stop kicking against the goad, we might be fighting God and the possibility of our ultimate redemption and renaissance.