SUNDAY NARRATIVE: Let’s Go Bid GEJ Goodbye
Since partisans in the winning team are in a feverish pitch to welcome the incoming president, I suggest that we go see the outgoing President. I’m told the man is lonely now and would need some pep talk. If we do not show up now before he packs out of the Villa, history might be unkind to us.
We need to show that we are able to live with the two sides of life, winning and losing, and that, life outside Aso Rock couldn’t have been the end of the world. But let me warn early enough, that this trip is going to be at our expense. Those of us who are going should not expect anything from our host because I’m told the man is broke.
Or, haven’t you seen that queues have returned to filling stations because fuel importers are protesting non-payment for fuel subsidies? Even those who bought the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) are also broke.
They can no longer pay for gas and there is darkness everywhere. The point is that, Nigeria is broke and if we are going to bid our President goodbye, let’s put money in our pockets.
If aviation fuel is still not available, we may go by road. And if the fuel situation in town is going to stop us, perhaps, we might trek. Seeing Jonathan before he leaves office is very important because there are crucial issues to discuss. In case you are wondering about invitation, you do not need one.
The place is now very accessible. The big men who would not allow our President to rest when the going was good have now deserted him. I’m told the place is so quiet you would wonder if people are still there.
They need visitors to warm the place and create some excitement. Even the Chapel, where Mr. President and his family worship, which could not admit the dissembling crowd of politicians that throng the place to do the paternoster with Oga, is now open to all worshippers.
That is the way of the world and it does not surprise me. Suffice to say that during our solidarity visit, we may spend some time at the Chapel. I can administer some homily in case the Chaplain in charge has also moved out.
He has to, so that an Imam can take over. Investigations say there is drastic reduction in security checks at the Villa because overzealous security men and aides are too busy with themselves to disturb poor folks like us.
They are busy dusting their CVs, and making frantic phone calls to realign their loyalties. Mr. President will be shocked if he knows how many people in his team have been making calls.
We are told top men in his campaign team have been calling aides of senior members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to smoothen the divide. Why not, if you ask me? After all, it is politics, not war. So, those who are coming with us should not worry about security details.
In fact, they will beg us to come. Our agenda during the visit will be brief. We are going to confer GEJ with an award.
Since Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim of the defunct Great Nigeria Peoples Party (GNPP) enunciated the Politics Without Bitterness mantra, no Nigerian politician, dead or living has demonstrated that credo the way Jonathan has.
The man said his election is not worth the blood of any Nigerian and he lived it. Jonathan is the exemplification of politics without bitterness. He did not whimper when the empire that his forbears bequeathed to him was being chopped into pieces.
When the PDP showed signs of distress, when governors under him threatened to go, Jonathan only smiled. When the APC was only a tiny nucleus, which could have been dispersed by an ambitious empire builder, Jonathan was not ruffled.
When the APC became a living organism and showed signs of being formidable, GEJ allowed it to grow and absorb his rancorous PDP governors. On Election Day, GEJ was denied recognition by some non-living things called electronic card readers. What impudence! But our Number One citizen only laughed.
He assured us that we should not worry. Even when there was serious need to worry, the man did not. Were that to have happened to GMB on that day in Daura, APC would have cried blue murder and summon a world press conference.
For this, and many others, I suggest that we confer GEJ with the award of the Most Peaceful Politician on Earth. I know that many in the other side will not agree.
They have argued that Jonathan does not merit the Mo Ibrahim leadership award, because the act of conceding defeat was not a sufficient sign of grand leadership.
I will not be a part of such extreme hatred, such act as flogging a horse even when it is dead. Please, let me add that we are going there to celebrate statesmanship and we are not going to sob over any loss.
I hear some people went there last week and shed some tears. Let me warn that we are not going to Aso Rock to cry. I know others may have genuine reason to cry because they worked very hard and expected good result.
The man who cried I’m sure did not do so for himself. He did it on behalf of the millions of Nigerians, who pledged their signatures, as promissory notes for Mr. President’s election.
Ifeanyi Uba must have wondered what happened to the pledges and why no one could secure them. He must have wondered too whether he was not conned by dubious Nigerians who collected his subsidised kerosene and still voted the other man.
Let him just take heart, after all he is still very young. Better still, he could make a few phone calls and wait for providence. Another reason for our visit is to discuss GEJ’s retirement library.
He needs a presidential library befitting of his status. Strangely, I haven’t heard of any fund raising for this project and that is another reason this man is different. He does not take what does not belong to him.
He does not arm-twist anybody, unlike others who would corner Corporate Nigerians into one hall and milk them forcefully. If GEJ loves the idea, we have to rally and raise money to build a presidential library for him at Otuoke.
I know some will wonder how book lovers will find their way to that remote location, especially, as there is no airport in Bayelsa and the East-West Road is still a problem. Let’s just get there first and discuss the idea.
Then we must add the issue of a private university for him. Jonathan deserves to own a private university. Those who left Aso Rock and who do not even hold a Ph.D. retired to their private universities and his own cannot be different.
During his tenure, Jonathan established 10 federal universities and has licensed not less than 15 private universities, but not one for himself. What sort of man is he for God’s sake? He does not even own a private nursery school or secondary school.
His children attend some private school in Abuja, whereas, some local government chairmen have their children in overseas schools. This visit is extremely important.
We need to ask him what next? He does not own a poultry farm, cassava farm, and no ports terminal concessioned fraudulently to his son or friend. I’m not sure he owns a filling station, not to talk of an oil well. So, what is he going to retire to? We can’t let him suffer and that is why this visit is of utmost importance.
Finally, we need to see ‘Mama’ Patience and bid her goodbye. She tried and we need to acknowledge her. She too deserves an award, as the Most Visible First Lady Nigeria has had.
She was all over the place, tireless and hard working. She raised the stakes for women in terms of political participation. She hit the campaign grounds running, never like before. She brought on board the largest number of women in higher service of the fatherland.
She is leaving behind many firsts, including a vocabulary of her peculiar expressions. I will miss you ‘Mama Peace’, but I don’t know of others. I wonder what she will say if I tell her some of her aides and well-heeled friends are already reaching out to Hajia Aisha Buhari, the incoming First Lady.
Trust our women. Some have been making calls to get linked and would do any sort of domestic work, or just carry bags and be seen in media front page photographs. THERE are lessons to learn. Time waits for no man and if God gives you opportunity, use it well and men will speak for you.