One thing that thrives greatly in Nigeria and its sphere of politics is the rumor mill. It is somewhat the biggest industry in Nigeria with a huge number of practitioners. Rumor mongering isn’t new to the Nigerian society, it is a part and parcel of the alternative socialization of the masses and it has an array of names such as gbegbonu, amebo, BBC , CNN and Radio Nigeria!
However, behind every rumor most times is some iota of truth, and it is with this thinking that I have decided to ruminate on the attempt by President Goodluck Jonathan to return back as President.
It has sprang all over the nation that the man who used Goodluck as a mantra to charm his way to the presidency is angling to return back to power after a lackluster first term for which he was voted out of office by Nigerians in 2015. The rumour has been so strong that the former president had to deny such an ambition , such a denial ought to have enabled us to dismiss outrightly the news but since speaking with both sides of the mouth is a second nature of the political class, such a dismissal made the rumour much more cogent! Matter of fact, the Nigerian politician has so dignified double speak that it is seen as a must have for politicians. My former boss once told a crowd that for one to be a politician you must successfully know how to say “is” and “was” at the same time or in the same sentence.
Let me state it categorically, nothing stops a Jonathan from seeking a second term in office, its his constitutional right to aspire to any office in the land for as long as he is not constitutionally barred.
But then why would a Goodluck Jonathan seek to return power? To what ends is such an ambition? Is it fraught out of patriotism or is there a need to consolidate on his poor stewardship as President from 2010-2015?
Let us travel back memory lane, following the demise of President Musa Yar Adua in office, or even earlier than that, when Yar Adua owing to certain power plays was propped up in power even on sick bed, Nigeria then was at cross roads as the constitution was silent on what was to come, there was no captain of the ship and Nigerians did not buy the idea that Yar Adua could rule from anywhere as was trumpeted by the sitting attorney general then the stories also that Yar Adua was recovering, jogging through the Arabian deserts and gyming like one preparing for an Olympic medal fell on deaf ears, anarchy danced through the minds of Nigerians, the military stood on the side, but understanding that the khaki boys had toppled administrations before on the flimsiest of reasons, what stopped it from doing so then when the reasons appeared cogent?
A divided nation was now on the precipice until the Senate stepped in, invoking a Doctrine of Necessity which transferred presidential powers to Goodluck Jonathan, the nation had been saved perhaps from another civil war!
Enter Goodluck Jonathan and trust the Nigerian media, they apotheosized the man who had meteorically risen to power on the auspices of good luck. He could do no wrong, he was the breath of fresh air, the next best thing after the nation’s independence. The man inherited so much good will that he retired a number of dynasties from Nigerian politics, his he had no shoes story resonated with the ordinary man who believed that if he could make it, others could make it, Nigerians were bitten by the bug.
Some of us never bought into the charade, not even when he adopted the name Azikiwe as his. To me he was everything, Azikiwe wasn’t!
Winning the 2011 elections, Nigerian hopes were immediately dashed as the so called good luck became goofy, Nigerians began to wonder if this was the same man that had electrified the nation some years ago. The nation reeled under a lot of challenges that were inflicted upon us by his cluelessness then, never in the annals of our history had so much goodwill become squandered in so short a time, even Ibrahim Babaginda in his highest point of notoriety did not suffer from such misfortune.
Jonathan in his five years of leadership put every foot wrong, from the war against terrorism which saw the Nigerian army been hit badly by a ragtag army of Islamic fundamentalists. This was the same Army that had done exploits in the Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The situation became so bad that Boko Haram even created a caliphate the size of Belgium from territory captured.
Igboeli Arinze is the Managing Editor of realpoliticsnigeria.ng