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2023 and Goodluck Jonathan’s fabled luck

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There are tons of lessons to be learned from this US election saga and the reign of Donald Trump at the White House. For me, the greatest of these lessons is that those who enjoy the grace of God should not stretch their luck too far. What we call luck is actually the grace of the Almighty God. Whether you choose to call it grace or luck, don’t overdo things. The madness must have a limit. That said, let’s come home to our own man, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Dr. Jonathan is a man whose name, Goodluck is the manifestation of the good fortunes he has enjoyed in life, even till this moment. Here’s a man who went to school without shoes, and became the President of Nigeria without contesting in a single election. What great men like Chief Obafemi Awolowo struggled and died for (i.e. Nigeria’s Presidency), fell on Jonathan’s laps without asking for it. This has been his lot ever since he ventured into politics. Dr. Jonathan wrote himself into the history books by conceding victory to Buhari when it became obvious he was going to lose in 2015. This unprecedented action won him global applause and respect as a great statesman. Nigerians, who were frustrated with his feckless leadership, virtually forgave him for the sins of his government.

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What is not yet widely known on Jonathan is the subtle moves being made by some politicians to field him in the 2023 Presidential election as a kind of compromise candidate. Those who are behind the move are mainly northern politicians. Their calculation is to sponsor a southern candidate that could only legally serve for one term. This would then make way for the Presidency to return to the north after only four years in the south. Those behind this plan believe that being a respected former President, Jonathan would easily muster enough support nationwide to win the Presidential election, especially if he runs on the platform of the APC. It’s a bold and ambitious plan. The promoters have been making moves to sell the idea to the APC big wigs across the north. But it is a very dangerous project for both Jonathan and the APC.

Dr. Jonathan now enjoys the prestige of walking the world stage as a respected former president. He is the ECOWAS special envoy on the resolution of the conflict in Mali. He is also being consulted or invited by multilateral organizations to high-level international events, because of his pedigree as a statesman.

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The former President certainly has a right to re-contest if he chooses, but that would be stretching his luck too far. His chances of winning an election today are very slim. The stakes are just too high. Nigerian politics have become more complicated and the problems, overwhelming. To swim through the nomination waters, he has to be a shark. There’s nothing to suggest he would receive the broad support of the key zones like his own South-South and the South West if he is to run. Besides, he also has other candidates like former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP to contend with, if he wants to fly his current party’s banner.

What he needs now is to continue giving his best to humanity as a beloved, retired President. To do otherwise is to risk more than is reasonable. Dr. Jonathan must resist every temptation to be drafted into a dirty political contest that does little to his standing and legacy.

As for the northern political hawks who are promoting this idea, they should not upset the apple cart, because the Presidency must continue to rotate between the North and the South until the arrangement is replaced. To do otherwise is to plunge this nation into a political crisis.

Ayodeji, author, pastor and speaker, can be reached on 09059243004 (sms, email &whatsapp only).

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