2023: Let’s hail #Bring-back-Jonathan patriots
When I read the other day that some powerful patriots in the governing party of All Progressives Congress (APC) had concluded plans to return former president Good-luck Azikiwe Jonathan to power, my soul magnified the Lord that at long last, the most populous black nation on earth would fulfil destiny sooner than later. I hope most right-thinking members of the public would recall part of the last words of the iconic Nelson Mandela on how the destiny of the black race and indeed the future of Africa could be tied to Nigeria’s ecosystem, sorry development. The respected old man, Madiba had noted to a Nigerian diplomat who visited him before he joined his ancestors that: “The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The black people of the world need Nigeria to be great as a source of pride and confidence…”
It is even on record that Madiba granted the interview in which this quotable quote emerged to Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, then permanent secretary, foreign affairs ministry when Dr. Jonathan was in power. It was again unfortunate that some artful dodgers and powerful campaigners in APC outwitted the then ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and plotted the defeat of President Jonathan who sources said had in April 2015 prepared a blueprint on how to fulfil the vision of Madiba for Nigeria. I understand that the man of destiny from Otuoke, Jonathan took those Mandela’s words on marble seriously because the leader whose tenure prepared South Africa to be a member of both the G-20 and BRICS did not predict his country to lead Africa and the black race. He saw Nigeria as the authentic Giant of Africa. Again, the APC moneybags we didn’t see as ‘enemies of Nigeria’ truncated Nigeria’s dream of becoming the undisputed leader of the black race when they plotted the strange defeat of Jonathan in 2015. Meanwhile, top sources in Abuja have said that a few oracles in the ruling party have seen that some angry patriots are prepared to sue the party and indeed those who packaged the presidential candidate then for truncating Nigeria’s destiny through the 2015 presidential election. I understand that those who are in the vanguard of revamping the party’s rickety structure before restructuring the country within the construct of the much-needed federalism everyone is clamouring for are behind the risk, sorry expediency of bringing back Jonathan. They want to bring back the good man, the first president who came to office with a doctoral degree. They want to return him with a mandate to take Nigeria from a Third-World, debtor nation to a First World. It is understood that the arrowheads of the right-the-2015-wrong strategic campaign for Jonathan’s return have bought hundreds of copies of Lee Kuan Yew’s auto-biography, “From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000,” which details how the legend, Yew led Singapore from Third to First World. The copies of the book are said to have been distributed to members of a shadowy implementation committee of the #Bring-back-Jonathan campaign.
There is, therefore, a sense in which we can understand that the born-again patriots who have specialised in choosing our leaders that have taken us to where Madiba recognised us, to bring back Jonathan for a strategic rebound from the brink Ambassador John Campbell, a former American envoy has written about several times. That member of the United States Council on Foreign Relations, Campbell is a “prophet of doom.” We should not allow him to weep more than the bereaved anymore about the most populous black nation on earth. Campbell has been part of the people who were looking askance and standing akimbo when Jonathan’s government was being pilloried by the then opposition party (APC), which asked Jonathan to resign because of the level of insecurity confined to the North East then. The then opposition party pointed out through the then national publicity secretary (today’s minister of information and culture) that Jonathan’s administration’s attempt to tag the Boko Haram insurgents as terrorists, was clearly illegal.
What was worse, the Obama administration then citing our anti-gay marriage law, failed to sell arms to Nigeria. And when the same Jonathan’s government went to a black market in South Africa, to procure arms to defeat Boko Haram, the same opposition elements tipped the Jacob Zuma-led government off and the money for the black market deal and the aircraft chartered for the operation were seized. Who understands till the present that the man of God whose mission owns the chartered airplane hasn’t recovered from the trauma of demonisation of the dark time for Jonathan and the Word of Life Ministry of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. That is why I feel that critics of the bring-back-Jonathan campaign should deepen their understanding about the ingenuity of the masterminds behind the deal. It is good for their remorseful moment, especially now that they too are beginning to note that people can now understand the artful packaging they did in 2015, which has led to the present darkness. They need to rehabilitate, sorry return Jonathan who recruited foreign mercenaries that once squared up with the insurgents the present administration rejected. They want to bring back Jonathan who constituted a remarkable cabinet comprising some of the brightest including a princess, an architect and oil-industry aficionado who turned around the oil and gas industry and institutionalised fuel subsidy as sweeteners and slush funds for party and election management. Now that the fuel subsidy has gone haywire on the watch of the 2015 packaged candidate whose integrity they now know has been grossly overrated, they can bring back Jonathan who can also bring back Diezani Alison Madueke who though is still facing trials on massive corruption charges and has quietly exploited plea bargaining mechanism to return some dollars to the EFCC treasury being investigated. They can bring back our Jonathan whose wife, a famous wordsmith, an impresario can excite the nation again with some quotable quotes that can make a way for millions of dollars worth of gifts she once confessed to the court she got from executive admirers of her artistry and effervescence. Don’t we need that kind of First Lady again who would not need to disturb, sorry court the apex bank for forex to make wealth? Would you recall the thesis of that wizard called Chinweizu (Ibekwe)? In a remarkable book, “The Anatomy of Female Power” during the IBB wonderful regime, he notes after a reality check, that we should live with a “thesis” that although men rule the world, women actually rule the men that rule the world. It thus appears that the ruling party’s masterminds have just studied Chinweizu’s un-putdown-able book and come to terms with its reality.
Don’t get it twisted please, the bring-back-Jonathan campaigners are post-#EndSARS protest patriots who would like the country to fulfil its destiny. Can’t we all see that what the iconic Chinua Achebe noted in 1983 in his classic, “The Trouble With Nigeria?” Achebe the prophet, had in that pocketsize book noted that, “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership.” The ruling party’s restructuring committee may have just realised that the trouble with the Nigeria they now govern is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. Yes, failure of leadership that has lost control over insecurity they promised to deal with in 2015. We need to understand their dilemma: they may have just realised that though they promised to deal with corruption as a bad ulcer that thrives on the medications applied to it over the years, their regime has woefully failed to deal with it. What is worse, for them, even the (unconfirmed-by-the-senate since 2015) head of the anti-corruption agency, EFCC they have relied on to deal with the public enemy called corruption has been dealing with only few enemies of state actors. And behold, the then anti-graft acting chief executive even curiously faced corruption charges. Anyway, he has been promoted (AIG). Why won’t they look for Jonathan’s return, after all, as they may have realised that, in the main, corruption index in his (Jonathan’s) administration was more favourable. Or so it seems.
Some gossips and fake news carriers in the country have been spreading some incredible items around why Jonathan has to return to Aso Presidential Villa to rebuild the country’s ruined walls. Some have said that it is a masterstroke by some Northern elements who want to bow to the clamour for a Southern president in 2023 and Jonathan fits in as he can spend only one term having spent one legal term from 2011 to 2015. The ordinary analysts are saying that in this plot, there will be a strong vice presidential candidate from the North who will eventually succeed Jonathan and spend another eight years. Other mere risk analysts (not oracles) in this regard who claim to be close to the power house in Abuja and the north are saying at different pepper-soup joints that Jonathan’s name has cropped up at this time for a strategic reason: that President Buhari has come across so many documents of some corrupt transactions (in Jonathan’s government) that the former president might not be aware of while in office. So, they want to blackmail him to accept some terms that are still hazy on the 2023 presidential election. I don’t believe in these conspiracy theories at this time. What should be discernible to all is that a game is on. Those who have been playing their beautiful game with Nigeria are at work again. They have seen some good in the man of destiny from Otuoke. They have suddenly remembered the magic wand and statecraft he used to confine insurgency to only Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in the North East. In Nigeria, their Nigeria today, banditry competes with insurgency and kidnapping everywhere we go in the 36 states. We can’t go home for Christmas and New Year because even the government is saying it is hazardous to travel this year. Even the years the locusts ate in Jonathan’s time were not as perilous as we have now. Why won’t they campaign for the man they demonised in 2015 while repackaging a man whose body language they told us could produce electricity megawatts? Since that is the limit of their understanding and knowledge of where they think we should be, let’s doze off again as the artful fixers continue with their sophistry that will lead us to where Mandela would want us to be on behalf of the black race.
• The original texts of this relevant article appeared here (Inside Stuff) on Sunday, December 6, 2020