Jonathan’s Apologia – A Welcome Nunc Dimitis

FOR an out-going Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in President Goodluck Jonathan to have apologized rather profusely for commissions or commissions against certain persons during his tenure in Aso Rock was THE ULTIMATE IN HUMILITY. To many observers this was an extension of his accepting his defeat long ahead of Professor Jega’s verdict as the results were tumbling in from across the country.

If PRESIDENT JONATHAN WAS a STRONG HEADED LEADER FROM ONE OF THE Wazobian ethnic nationalities- Hausa Fulani, IGBO OR Yoruba, he would have contested the results in the TRIBUNALS but because of his love for country and the enduring peace in the land where a large section of the North East was already being turned into a Theatre of War by the ravaging Boko Haram insurgents, he felt his presidential ambition was not worth the spilling of blood of many Nigerians whose innocent lives would have been cut short by any acts of power drunkenness on his part.

This incredible or amazing display of patriotism has no equal in many other African countries , especially, when we see the likes of former Mobutu Seseseko of Zaire, the late GNASSINGBE OF Togo and the current Preident of Zimbabwe in Robert Mugabe, who had shown over time and space that he was never in a hurry to hand-over power to other persons at age 91 and currently doing six terms in power.. This is a credit to the people of the Izon Nation, whose earlier militancy across the Niger Delta because of their perceived short-changing by successive Nigerian governments, who exploited the abundant oil and gas in the bowels of their forefathers to develop other parts of the country to their neglect felt President Jonathan would listen to the catcalls and cries of WAR if Dr Goodluck Jonathan was not allowed to have a second term. A President, on whose desk the buck stops, did not allow those maddening catcalls to becloud his sense of his place in history, patriotism cum statesmanship an called off their bluff.

Agreed, many issues were involved when he came to the pinnacle of power, from being a Vice-President to becoming President via the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ as such, after attaining power, the job of Executive Presidency laid squarely on his shoulders and any other matters were inconsequential. Even those enormous powers he did not abuse them to his personal advantage but was more concerned about Nigeria and its   place in the comity of civlized Nations.

At his farewell service at the Aso Villa Chapel, President Jonathan pleaded with Nigerians for forgiveness- if he had offended or stepped on some very powerful toes while carrying out his official duties. He said it was not deliberate. Abay this singular act of conceding defeat and asking for forgiveness from Nigerians stems from his religious background and the fear of GOD AND MAN. His humility passeth all understanding and he had saved Nigerians who were waiting to unleash the ‘Dogs and Baboons’ war on hapless Nigerians were hugely disappointed.

When comes such another Jonathan in the future? IT WILL BE RARE. One can only imagine what would have happened if President Jonathan had won the March 28 presidential elections , we could only imagine what would have befallen Nigeria today. A civil war or ethnic cleansing like we had in Rwanda?

If there is any section of the country that he may have short-changed for fear of being labeled an ethnic President, that section is likely to be the Niger-Delta peoples whose only visible project, the East/West dual carriage way spanning Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, through Cross River was perhaps, up till his handing over date of May 29, 2015, not been brought into fruition.

The collective dreams and aspirations of the crude and gas belt of the South South region was that feeling that with their own son as President, the many years of neglect in roads and flyovers over their creek-infested topography, could be turned into an El- Dorado or paradise on Earth.

The dream of turning the mangrove swamps in the wetlands of Nigeria had remained a pipe dream which no other Federal Government could be expected to redress for the next twenty years. One does not expect the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency to turn attention to the mangrove peoples’ cries as the rest of Nigeria would ask, “when your brother or son was in charge, what did he Do?”

The Buhari Presidency would concern itself with the ravaged parts of the North East of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. After he had settled his ethnic brothers and sisters in the North and there is any left over in the dwindling oil resources, it is only then PRESIDENT BUHARI would turn his eyes to the perpetually degraded areas of the Niger Delta.

Jonathan’s apologia, AS AN EXTENSION OF HIS STATESMANSHIP SHOULD BE APPLAUDED AND BE A LESSON TO SUBSEQUENT RULERS. One saw the drama and counter attacks which came on the heels of the former President, OBJ, who was his godfather and he later turned out to be a ‘godson’, asking for some un-disclosed favours which GEJ did not quite oblige.

These are matters we shall see in his memoirs in some distant future when GEJ would put his thoughts and experiences through in a book. Until then, GEJ , as you journey homewards to Otuoke in Bayelsa, say me well to your kith and kin who are patiently waiting to give you a rousing hero’s welcome back in one piece with your head on your shoulders. Especially when we remember that gen ABACHA AND Yar’DUA YOUR PREDECESSOR IN OFFICE WAS NOT TOO LUCKY.