By Iteveh Ekpokpobe
“Your Excellency, how are you? Congratulations! In a few days, find time to come so that we can sort out how to plan the transitional period.”
Brief and precise were the magic words of President Goodluck Jonathan on March 31, 2015 at about 5:15AM.
Editor of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa, Mansur Liman, who was first to break the story would say, “By making that call the president saved Nigeria a great deal of pain.
“If the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had insisted that they won the election, and the APC had said the same, the country would have been in chaos.”
“Lives would have been lost and property would have been destroyed. That call showed that in Nigeria, people can put the country first.” Liman couldn’t say it better.
Good luck is coming!
After eight years of a sorrowful travel down the aisle of penury, there is now a glimpse of hope. Nigerians can smile again. Nigeria’s ex-President, Jonathan is bringing good luck back to the affairs of our beloved country.
Those who cry foul do so at their own peril. Some clerics say, “This new reality is God’s special arrangement. If you don’t believe these prophecies, then you can believe nothing.”
Nigeria is once again at a precipice. Never in recent history has clamor for secession been so intensified in Nigeria.
The country is at war with itself; bandits and extremists to the North, Biafra secessionists to the East, Oduduwa Republic apologists to the west, and residue of militants to the South.
Although these are common factors in our political history, it has never been this bad.
“Who can Nigerians truly trust? Who has a familiar face for peace and stability? Who, but Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, whose historical words, “nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of Nigerians,” doused the budding inferno that would have razed our beloved country to the ground,” says, Alhaji Aminu Bappa, an elder statesman from Borno State.
A political bigwig from the North confided in me last year’s August, in Abuja after an overnight meeting in Asokoro, that the decision was reached. He said the North was very comfortable with Goodluck Jonathan.
Reason being that he was not one who lusts for power. According to the source, such a person would always have the interest of the country at heart.
Truly it is that simple. The political narrative of Goodluck Jonathan has been nothing but miraculous; a man who has never had his eyes on power and never keen on attaining it.
In 1999 precisely May 29, a politically green Jonathan was sworn in as Deputy Governor to the ‘Governor General of Ijaw Nation’ and his benefactor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, as the elected Governor of Bayelsa State.
That day marked the beginning of a scintillating political narrative for Jonathan; that would feature him as Governor following the misfortune of his boss occasioned by an impeachment; that would feature him as vice president in 2007; as acting president in 2010, and president same year; after which won his direct mandate as president of Nigeria in 2011.
A lucky man he truly is. For he has everything handed over to him on a platter. The only time he would, of his volition, decide on gunning for power in 2015, he was defeated.
A lot of Southerners blame him for handing power over. For conceding defeat. Many said he was a weakling, forgetting that his decision to handover, required a lot of guts.
Something an Atiku, or a Tinubu or a Saraki or any of those others who long for power in the country today, cannot conceive.
Maybe, it was due to his humble beginning, in the creeks of Otuoke village in present day Bayelsa State, or his intellectuality which became a sharp contrast to his background. But one thing is certain, Jonathan is not one known to seat on high horses.
Perhaps, that was what President Olusegun Obasanjo saw in 2007, when he handpicked him, much to the disbelief as well as vexation of party members, to be the running mate to President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, the PDP’s presidential candidate.
And the details are replete, how James Ibori of Delta State and Peter Odili of Rivers state were more suitable options for the office of Vice President.
In recent times, there has been a sustained political romance between President Goodluck Jonathan and incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. So much so, that he is present in almost every function of the Villa. He has held several close door meetings with the Presidency.
These meetings have overtime sent tongues wagging and filled the rumour mills. It was only a matter of time before the details came to light. Early this week, a coalition of Northern groups began the actualization processes of the arrangement for the reemergence of Good Jonathan.
He rejected the nomination forms. But barely two days after made a U-turn and accepted. Some news media even detailed how he has registered officially as member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Otuoke.
How it all began
The putsch for reemergence of Jonathan had been in the pipeline for over three years. It however began in earnest last year. While the Presidency was comfortable with him and had in several meetings sold the idea to him, Jonathan as he has always been, was not convinced with the topic.
Jonathan’s doubts and indecision was predicated on the fact that the Aso cabal wanted him to jump ship from the PDP to a party where he could not boast of a structure. This they assured him, would be settled.
He was asked to choose from amongst the aspirants for the office of Chairman of the Party ahead of the APC convention which held in Abuja.
To be continued…
Iteveh Ekpokpobe is a Journalist and Fellow, Institute of Management Consultants.