The three sins of Jonathan
SIR: A colleague has just shown me clips of where President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) pledged to spend only a single term of four years, and the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ), was praising him for that “magnanimity”. But after his electoral victory in 2011, GEJ stopped mentioning the pledge. Instead, he started canvassing for a single term of seven years. Currently, he is denying that he ever promised to spend only a single term of four years.
The Yoruba say Ẹ̀mí irọ́ kìígùn (falsehood short-lives). No wonder, some well-meaning Nigerians have now reviewed past mass media news, to extract and assemble, systematically, clips, including pieces of news broadcast on the National Television Authority (NTA), where GEJ made the single term pledge. How then can any decent Nigerian expect Nigerians to vote for falsehood and deception?
It stands written that “Allah likes those of His slaves who fulfill their covenants, and after destroying a number of townships, has stated upon them: ‘We did not find most of them true to their covenant: and most of them We found rebellious and disobedient.’” (A’araf: 102) – M. Alghazali’s book, Muslim’s Character, page 111f. Certainly, GEJ professes to be a Christian. Jesus said: Let your Yes be Yes, and your No be No.
The foregoing is the second of GEJ’s three sins. The first is truncation of rotational presidency. Sadly, hardly anybody (neither Peoples Democratic Party nor the All Progressives Congress) is talking about what matters most to Nigeria, namely unity/stability. Toyin Falola, Abdullahi Mahadi, Martin Uhomoibhi, and Ukachukwu Anyanwu, in their book, History of Nigeria 3: Nigeria in the 19th Century (1991:94), wrote: “The First Republic had no effective answer to the problem of unity”, and “In 1967, a civil war eventually broke out.” In 1998, a solution was eventually found in rotational presidency, south-north. In 2011, GEJ tricked too many Nigerians to discard that solution. How then does Nigeria guarantee stability? How do we stave off a feeling of marginalisation/alienation?
Let’s be politically disciplined!
• Pius Abioje,
University of Ilorin.