The real hero in presidential election
THE defeated out-going President, Goodluck Jonathan, did the rare thing, as an African sitting president, of accepting defeat and calling his opponent to congratulate him!
That, however, to me, doesn’t make him a hero, as many are wont to see him. One doesn’t acquire heroism by mere owning up to a deserved defeat. Heroism is made of a sterner stuff. You become a hero through incredible acts of bravery.
A sitting president who lost an election or who saw the result of an election swinging against him and then decided to quickly call his opponent to congratulate him cannot, by that singular act alone, fit into the definition of a hero.
What Jonathan did can only be referred to as a sportsman-like conduct. That is another way of saying that Jonathan is a cheerful loser, which is not the same thing as being a hero.
It is just that many of us are so carried away by emotion that we can’t read in between the lines. I should expect that whenever someone acts in a way that runs against the norm, like what the outgoing president has just done and everybody is referring to him as a hero, that we look beyond the surface and probe into what informed that action. Unfortunately we don’t do that here in Nigeria. We take things hook, line and sinker!
Now, you see that disgraceful drama put forth by Peter Godsday Orubebe, former Minister of Niger Delta, at the collation centre in Abuja last week? That wasn’t something perfunctorily contrived by Orubebe alone.
No. Rather, it was an organised coup d’état that failed, thanks to the wisdom of Professor Attahiru Jega in ensuring its failure. The essence of the aborted coup was, if the ruling party didn’t get it, no one else would. In other words, let the nation go up in smoke for the PDP to lose the election!
Now the question: Who sent Peter Orubebe to do what he did? Did he act alone? Was Jonathan in the picture? If not, who and who were involved? This matter should be thoroughly investigated and the culprits treated like coup plotters, for that’s what they are.
You see, in the presidential system of government there’s what is called the principle of vicarious liability. The President as the head of government takes the blame or credit for whatsoever goes on in his government. This is what the Americans mean when they say, “the buck stops at the President’s table.” He doesn’t pass the buck. He doesn’t give excuse nor can he feign ignorance for whatever goes on in his government. Many saw the incident as the last ditch effort by the ruling party to use a hireling like Orubebe to scuttle an election in progress, just because they saw they would lose.
Even the episode of the card reader that apparently failed to capture the fingers of the President and his wife on the election day and the President had to publicly phone to complain to Jega about it also needs to be thoroughly investigated to find out if that was just a mere coincidence or actual fault of the machine.
The President-elect and his wife didn’t have problem with the card reader in Katsina. Theirs worked like the clock! Also I wonder if all those calling Jonathan hero for conceding to General Buhari ever bothered to weigh the implication of the pressure mounted on Jonathan by the international community to ensure that the results of the election were not tampered with.
Not only that, remember when John Kerry, the American Secretary of State, came calling just before the election began, he warned that Nigerian politicians that caused the election to derail would not be given an American visa. Kerry knew that there’s no Nigerian politician that would want to risk being declared as persona non gratia in the United States. It is in the U.S. our looters keep their lucre. They always retire there to live on them. And you can begin to imagine what miserable misfortune awaits a looter that would not be allowed access to his loot!
Now, if you’re a Christian or Muslim and you had the interest of Nigeria at heart, you must have prayed the prayer that I personally prayed, that God should compel whosoever would lose the election to accept the result without protest.
That’s exactly what happened. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 21:1, that, “the king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He wills.”
Mind you, I am full of praise for President Jonathan that he chose the path of honour in accepting defeat without raising a protest voice.
Now, as to who the true hero is in the 2015 Nigerian presidential election, my choice is the God Almighty who sealed the mouth of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from protesting the outcome of the election.