By Mohammed Adamu
It all began with a ‘dutiful’, uncharacteristically impatient Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; then only a harmless Vice-President of necessity; his terminally-ill principal, President Umaru Yar’Adua, bedded in far-away Saudi Arabia, a subject of needless ethno-regional controversy; and himself Ebele ‘luck-dependent’ as ever, and now virtually at the apogee of his most valuable political ‘manna’ yet from heaven, was –quite pardonably you might say- ‘covetously’ beside himself: enthusiasm-filled and waiting to grab the chisel to hew the very hedgy polity that he was, by the way, constitutionally heir to and about which Yar’Adua was raring to depart intestate!
And, yes, almost chisel in hand, about to hew Nigeria! And, virtually every pro-Jonathan visionary or every anti-zoning agitant suddenly saw the urgent need to ‘move Nigeria Forward’; presupposing, by the way, that Nigeria was stagnant, or maybe even regressing! And, so even when we knew Jonathan needed no ‘Crown’ at all to play the ‘king, we still insisted that the VP must be coroneted to act the ‘King’; because suddenly it had become necessary to add the lexical adjunct ‘acting’ to a political adjutant before the power of his anointing would be unleashed, to ‘move Nigeria forward’.
And even spiritual men of God like Pastor Bakare and many other genuinely apolitical progressives had beaten the streets of Lagos and Abuja to get the temporal ‘crown’ of ‘Acting Vice-President’ added to the spiritual ‘hallow’ of divine anointing that already adorned Jonathan’s un-giddy ‘lucky’ head of providence that many forewarned had received one too many ‘manna’ from heaven but had remained of divine-action weak-willed and of the power of performance lacking in true sprit!
But they argued that “God’s Providence” is not only “on the side of clear heads” like Henry Beecher argued! It can also be on the side of ‘cloudy’, ‘lucky’ ones. Like Jonathan’s.
Nor would they accept that like Edward Gibbon wrote, that “The winds and the waves are on the side of the ablest navigator”! In Jonathan, many Nigerians were ready to elevate ‘faith’ above ‘knowledge’!
The Shagaris and the Gowons were scurried to NASS by a torrent of media-induced public display of hyper-patriotism to beg lawmakers to agree to device any legislative device –even in circumvention of the letter and spirit of an explicit Constitution in order to give a co-pilot full command to rudder the ship in the absence of his chief pilot!
Mohammed, what have you got against aeronautical due process? Nothing! Nor do I have anything even against administrative ‘divine due diligence’.
We had said it before and we had said it even after the Civil War, that ‘to move Nigeria forward is a task that must be done!’ And now even in less rambunctious –although ethno-regionally frostier- political war of the familiar ethnic belligerents of North and South, we are no less apt in repeating the lie of old, namely: ‘moving Nigeria forward’! And which has always provided us good reasons to persist in our wrong ways!
And so like I wrote in a previous piece predating the fragile convalescence of Yar’Adua and his controversial return from Saudi Arabia, we had made the case for Jonathan’s ‘acting capacity’ ‘as though that was the long-awaited socio-economic and political elixir for the many sickness of our nation.
And to make matters worse, ‘Jonathan himself was heralded (by us the media) in the fable of a Daniel coming to judgment. He was cast so much in the glowing epic of an avenging angel cruising on a chariot of fire, brandishing the proverbial Sword of Damocles and poised to right the many wrongs of Nigeria.’
In fact, many of us moved by motives of different kinds, naively pontificated about Nigeria’s rare, divine good luck in having for the first time, a rustic and innocent Ebele Jonathan, who seemed alone of all those whoever made it this far politically, not only to know the drudgery of a shoeless childhood and the insipid taste of kindergarten poverty, but to now have the enviable fortune to ‘move this great country forward’ -or at least beyond its present ‘shoeless existence’!
Many of my colleagues threw caution to the wind and without blush celebrated the advent of what I once lightly cockatoo-ed as the ‘the renaissance of Jonathan ideas’, or the sudden apparition unto the Nigeria’s barren fields, of a stallion-Jonathan filled with the regenerative oomph of life and more than ready to fecundate the land, to make it grow forth, and bear fruit once again!.
Nor was anyone listening when some of us noted what I once described as ‘the apparent off-key-note in the personality of Jonathan that seemed to naturally jar the hymn of all vaunted praise..! that Jonathan was nothing more than a political somnambulist that appeared to remain trapped in the amazement and amusement of the chain of political ‘good lucks’ his rustic legs-of-destiny have been fated to stumble upon and that… he did not appear to the rational eye to be capable of playing ‘the avenging angel, or like the biblical Moses, to re-enact the parting of the Red Sea!
None-the-less, now that we have ‘moved forward’, Or have we…?
To be continued.