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The gimmick of consensus candidacy (2)

CIROMA is threatening disintegration on the platform of Goodluck’s presidential ambition. Ciroma is reminding people that a man not from the stock of those with the ‘divine right’ to rule Nigeria should not stand in national elections. Ciroma’s bias is obvious.

Ciroma forgets that in 1975, when armed with only a first degree in History, he was appointed Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank without anyone calling for General Murtala Muhammed’s resignation.

While exhibiting pretensions to financial wizardry, Ciroma chooses not to remember that his four-year stint (1999 to 2003) as Nigeria’s Finance Minister was calamitous. Yet nobody demanded that he should be barred from holding public office. He simply was replaced by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who valiantly reversed the catastrophic policy decisions she found in place.

Ciroma is not considering the fact that Nigeria has come a long way since the unjust dichotomy of “Right to hold Cows in check” and “Right to milk Cows” held sway. Nigeria’s milk and honey are for all its citizens.

What is most appalling in the way Alhaji Adamu Ciroma is carrying on is that he has been citing non-existent political party laws in order to perpetrate injustice. In the letter he led five others to write to Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo, the PDP chairman, Ciroma cited countless nebulous provisions of the party’s constitution to argue that the Nigerian presidency was zoned to the North.

His arguments collapsed around his ears because the PDP constitution does not recognise any North. It only talks of the six geopolitical zones of the country. This sleight of hand is unexpected of someone who should, as an elder statesman, be championing the cause of justice, which is the only fountain of lasting peace.

Alhaji Ciroma comes from Potiskum in Yobe State. In none of his public statements has he mentioned what Yobe contributes to the nation’s economy. Yet no one has ever suggested the marginalisation of Ciroma’s home state on this account.

This is because, though tribe and tongue may differ, and though degrees of contributions to the national coffers may vary, all of us happen to belong to one country. Why then is Ciroma reeling from this crippling inability to understand that President Jonathan comes from the area that produces the goose that lays Nigeria’s golden eggs.

What is wrong in the policy of live and let live? President Jonathan didn’t create himself. He didn’t choose where to come from. But he is proud of his origins just as he is proud of Nigeria. It is a shame that the blinkered perspective against Goodluck Jonathan has never charged him with leadership diffidence or corruption. In fact his choice of Alhaji Namadi Sambo as his Vice President is one up for political sagacity.

Architect Sambo is a thoroughbred bureaucrat. The Jonathan/Sambo ticket is what Nigeria requires at this point of its political development. We are sick and tired of politicians who divide the country into first, second and third class citizenships.

Mr. Mark ONOME,  a political  historian , writes from Abuja.


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