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Nigeria: Jonathan’s privatisation and misuse of power

President Goodluck Jonathan (centre) inspecting parade during the Nigerian Army Day Celebration in Abuja On Saturday (6/7/13)EVIDENTLY President Goodluck Jonathan, as the Yoruba proverb goes, has eating his fill of his food  and is now actively looking for what will deflate his round belly.

In other words, trouble  sleep yanga go wake am. This is another example of weak breed leaders Nigeria routinely throws up; men heedless of the lessons of history and are therefore doomed to repeat it.

His ambition to continue in office beyond 2015, a legitimate one if he so pleases, but without prejudice to the right of other people to the same office- Jonathan’s post-2015 ambition has blinded him to the necessity of recognising he does not hold the patent to the presidency.

But he is gradually going for broke, given the unfolding chaos in Rivers State where a minority of five legislators are bent on imposing their will on 27 others in their determination to oust the current speaker, Olelemaba Dan Amachree from office.

Nobody needs to be told that Nigerians would see the barely concealed hands of Jonathan behind the badly plotted drama in spite of his sneaking out to China on the eve of the event as if that was enough to conceal his involvement.

He has learnt from past masters like Obasanjo and Babangida the logic of flashing a good smile at those already marked for the guillotine.

It was only days before these lawmakers’ drama that Jonathan held Amaechi in warm embrace on a visit to Rivers State.

But Nigerians only need to recall his frosty relationship with Chibuike R. Amaechi, the State governor, to connect Jonathan, rightly or wrongly, with last week’s event in that state where police commissioner, Mbu Joseph Mbu and Nyesom Wike, Minister of State for Education, have with Abuja’s goading been taking on Amaechi.

Jonathan could claim Evans Bipi and his four accomplices are free agents exercising their democratic rights in seeking to oust Amachree but we are not fools as Doyin Okupe foolishly imagines by his disclaimer of Abuja’s involvement.

Jonathan wouldn’t be a Nigerian politician if he acted contrary to his present behaviour. His misuse and privatisation of power is much in character, a peculiar affliction of Nigerian politicians, including many of his present critics across the political spectrum.

Yet for his own sake and those of the likes of Chief Edwin Clark whose pronouncements sometimes imply Jonathan was born Nigerian president, we need to retrace Uncle Joe’s trajectory to Aso Villa.

And I do this by way of a long excerpt from a piece that first appeared here in the tail end of 2009, after President Yar’Adu’s fateful trip to Saudi Arabia. That piece was titled ‘The good in Jonathan’s luck’-

There’s, perhaps, nothing better than the destiny of a man who has thrust upon him what many struggle, kill or get killed, to get. A man like that would be the envy of his mates. Such is the story of Nigeria’s Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan, who in the space of a few years since he became a politician seems to be living to the hilt the full meaning of his first name, Goodluck.

One cannot but emphasise the ‘good’ in VP Jonathan’s name, the truth being that not every luck is good. Some luck can be the very opposite of good, but that’s not the case of Goodluck Jonathan….

But it is a measure of the man’s loyalty or, perhaps, lack of confidence or colour or, indeed, all three that he was virtually railroaded into the substantive position of governor even when it had become clear that Alamieyeseigha had forfeited his claim to the office despite a disgraceful guard of honour mounted for him following his Alcatraz-like escape home. Goodluck Jonathan would have nothing to do with the position of governor of Bayelsa, he continued to prevaricate until it became impossible to pretend he couldn’t be governor in the absence of DSP.

His tenure thereafter did not witness any landmark achievement. As with his present position as Vice President, the only thing remarkable about his time as governor of Bayelsa, aside trying to prove loyal to Alamieyeseigha even in jail, was the complete lack of charisma or remarkable achievement.

But governor Jonathan became and not longer after that the race started for the 2007 presidential election. Several prominent politicians from the aggrieved Niger-Delta showed their interest, including Dr. Peter Odili and ‘fine boy’, Donald Duke. Given their closeness to the ultimate kingmaker then in Nigeria, the man who had the knife and the yam, President Obasanjo, many expected either of the two men, especially Odili, to clinch the prize as PDP presidential candidate.

But the wily farmer had something else up the folds of his agbada. And so it was that he sprung ‘Umooru’, Musa Yar’Adua, lately governor of another laidback state, Katsina, on Nigeria….Yar’Adua had neither indicated interest in the race nor was he one of the frontrunners. But Obasanjo knew best. And to complete the surprise mainly he and, maybe, a few other cultists in the PDP chose Goodluck Jonathan, just a few months before deputy governor of Bayelsa, as his running mate.

The unlikely pair from the PDP, both former school teachers, went on to win the race respectively for Nigerian President and Vice President in 2007. The administration had hardly been inaugurated when signs started showing that another good luck was in the corner for Jonathan, to wit, that he might sooner than later become Nigeria’s president.

The reason was no other than that from even the campaigns, candidate Umar Yar’Adua had, on account of his fragile health, shown remarkable incapacity for the position he was aspiring for. The campaigns had no sooner taken off than he was bundled off to Germany for medical attention. He has since been in and out of hospital several times, the latest being in Saudi Arabia.

With about 18 months left of their first term and the President again in hospital, many Nigerians, including the prominent and not-so-prominent have been calling for his resignation and attention has once more shifted on the man who is constitutionally positioned to take over in the event President Yar’Adua chooses to go take a deserved rest in order to fully take care of his health….the moment he chooses to leave the office on any of the grounds prescribed by the Constitution, the man to take over is his deputy and that happens to be Goodluck Jonathan…Should Jonathan then emerge president, it would be yet one more good in his luck. ‘

Perhaps Jonathan’s waterloo, not his luck, is upon him. Let him who stands watch it!

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websits. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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