Nigeria is a unique country. Globally, no other country is in its league. We are not here talking though about the premiership, nor division one, nor two, nor three, nor four. Welcome to the booby league peopled by nations so blessed but carrying on so accursed.
Nigeria always leaves you wondering if something fundamental was not wrong somewhere. Nigerians mouth God 24/7, but allow monumental ethnocentrism, untold nepotism and incredible mediocrity to reign in high places. How did we get here? How are we this comfortable with this much hypocrisy and fakery?
Nigerian Factor exists in every stratum of our national life. To be sure, I am a patriot; so I cannot wash my country’s dirty linen in public. But, you tell me, where is our country leadership-wise as well as in terms of unity, education, economy, corruption, living standard, name it? Above all, how does Nigeria stand in the eyes of own citizens and the world, politically -politics being a commonsensical test of human goodness?
If you are too patriotically embarrassed to answer that, I could help. Internally and externally, Nigeria’s political standing is crass. Our politics is criminally neanderthal, satanically hateful, and dastardly structured. No other nation plays more with fire, politically and otherwise.
Sadly, according to my friend, ‘things are getting worster.’ Even the one man who offered a glimmer of hope, the one Nigerian who stoically flew the flag of unnigerian politics, the one man who played politics nationally as a human being; sadly even that one man -tired of holding out- has now effectively capitulated and defected. Something deeply troubling happened to us before, during and after the 16th November, 2019 governorship ballot in a south south state. Our political hope died!
Born on 20th November, 1957, it was only in 2005 that the then deputy governor of his home state of Bayelsa sneaked into national consciousness when he became governor of the oil-rich state in circumstances that should have warned the unsuspecting political class that the gods had invaded their space. It was short-lived, albeit for good. Two years on, he was named running mate to another beautiful apolitical politician who would then become president only to die in office three years after. Nine years on, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua remains an irreplaceable loss to Nigeria, nay Africa.
Now, that comes from a heavier heart because until the last Bayelsa poll, we were consoled we had Yar’Adua’s alter ego and presidential ‘devisee’ whom we erroneously believed would forever stay true. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR, GCON, made great efforts; he really did. But, the world famous democrat who had hitherto displayed an uncanny sense of sacrifice, longsuffering and restraint, recently cracked and caved in -to (I am sorry) nonsense. The future shall confirm that the damage by that shot in the foot is irreparable.
Here’s an analysis to help him (and his teeming supporters) better understand what he has done. Here was a man who for five years when he had absolute powers such as conferred by the Nigerian presidency chose to a large extent to stay simple and powerless. In that time, he jailed no one. In that time, he allowed the festering and spread of hate speech (the seeds of which were scattered and planted everywhere by his challenger and eventual nemesis).
In that time, he obeyed court orders reasonably. In that time, he sealed no media house and attempted no anti-freedom bill. In that time, he told the world and went on to prove that his reelection was not do-or-die. In that time, he became the first and perhaps the last sitting Nigerian president to lose reelection.
Alas, in a moment of anger, typical of a Nigerian politician, he threw all that away preferring instead for posterity to enter him as the man who was governorship wise presidency foolish. Who can believe that the Jonathan, who smiled and made a concession telephone call when he was cheated out in 2015, not only snarled in 2019 at a sitting governor desperate to evade his kind of record but ended up snuggling with the same cabal that never want anything good for him? By playing that unenviable role in the Bayelsa electoral theatre of war, greed and pride, the Otuoke-born zoologist unwittingly cemented his place in our national subconscious as a weak and untrustworthy leader. Yes, Sir, that anger was puerile, misplaced and totally unjonathanish.
Of course, this doesn’t endorse or exonerate Gov. Seriake Dickson’s treachery and arrogance. No, never: he remains in his place of dishonour, ingratitude and ego -which in any case is where an alarming majority of Nigerian politicians belong. Or do you know one politician in this country who would not have kicked, shoved and tackled as selfishly and as roughly as Mr. Dickson did? Sssh, even President Jonathan dealt the same way with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 2015, remember?
Let’s remind us that Jonathan has always been a fantastically typical Nigerian politician; only that we always were carried away by his so-called humble background and innocent mien. Who doesn’t remember the Ayo Salami and Sanusi Lamido Sanusi blots on the former president’s escutcheon? Blots which may have emboldened the current sheriff in town to brazenly remove Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen among other impunities? Nigerians who condemn much of what we witness today under APC’s Buhari need first to accept that PDP’s Jonathan and Obasanjo left the framework.
However, this writer’s grouse is neither about impunity nor about greed and ingratitude which are DNA trademarks of Nigerian politicians. As the Nigerian social media community would say, I cannot come and kill myself. The focus is on the internecine misstep by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Whatever Dickson did or did not do, Jonathan should have remained himself rather than remove every doubt as he has -that he’s like the rest of them: sly, selfish and characterless.
God bless Nigeria!