Now that we have ‘moved forward’ (2)
By Mohammed Adamu
Part two of the series ‘Now that we have moved forward’, is a rehash of a previous piece on this column, titled ‘Distilling Jonathan’s Wiki leaks’ It is apt and auspicious for the subject matter:“The Wikileaks report on Nigeria (during Ambassador Sanders’ tenure) quoted Jonathan as claiming he was his ‘own man’.
And you bet he was! Courageously confessing to political ‘inexperience’ and never disowning the benefaction of zoning to his ‘unmerited’ political station in life. In fairness, the report proved Jonathan was neither incapable of selfless espousal of issues bordering on political morality nor –having spent all his life in politics and administration- of admitting to personal administrative ‘incapacity’.The credential may not be democratically virtuous; yet the confession is politically saintly. But only if he told those who would be at the receiving end of his (mal?) administration.
Confessing to -as someone rightly described her- ‘the spy who loved us’ (namely the American Ambassador, Sanders), may have breached the diplomatic need-to-know doctrine even as it should have insulted the commonsensical need-to-tell doctrine -especially to us Nigerians who’ll know only to our dis(?)advantage.
But it appears Jonathan is still way far off overdraft from the reservoir of his media goodwill –or good luck if you will! The Americans have just come off ‘don’t-ask, don’t-tell’ on gays in the American Army; and we, especially the media, are just getting started with the ‘don’t-ask, don’t-tell’ about Jonathan’s intractable political misdemeanors.
Yet, in truth rather than a blood hounding, covenant repudiating, power mongering Jonathan; the Wiki leaks revealed a man harmless and un-gluttonous of the gourmet of power; a respecter of the sanctity of political zoning; an essential political novice not dishonest in the claim of political savvy but plain in the admittance of ‘incapacity’; a man of adequate moral compunction and one so full of the fiber of political morality that he humbly confirmed his political patrimony –to ‘consensus-building’; being, as he said himself, a product not of his personal ability but of the political ability of politicians to agree to agree.
The Wikileaks Jonathan confessed the moral duty incumbent on an incumbent president, especially one borne of unique controversial circumstance like Joe- not to use incumbency power to stir political mischief but rather to be states manly enough to maintain the calm of already settled political waters.
Jonathan revealed of himself a democratically non-illusionary ‘incumbent of necessity’ and a visionary president-of-circumstance-in-passing; and both of whom placed the dream of ‘free and fair election’ and the search for credible, competent leadership, above personal ambition. You then wonder: when and where did we lose this ‘Jonathan’? ‘Where was this morally-minded Good luck that would’ve been by now about to make Nigeria proud?
Because as the first non-contesting incumbent to give Nigeria –whether in recognition or repudiation of zoning- a free and fair election. Nor would you have cared that he would attempt to manipulate the electoral process –knowing that if he did, it probably would be to bend the rules only so that in the long run, they get more strengthened.
To refuse to make this crucial date with history (even after his Wikileaks confirmed to us he clearly saw the need to) reveals the true ‘Jonathan character’, which in the sick days of Yar’Adua struck the pose of a harmless Russian babushka doll but with a concealed Tsarina mind on the throne as Acting President. ‘Where was that honest ‘Wiki leaks Jonathan’ of Sanders, especially when the demand of political compassion to a terminally sick boss was grossly at a premium? He simply wasn’t there.
Jonathan’s confession to Sanders was either a belated prick of conscience after the less than brotherly role he played in the Yar’Adua health debacle, or a grip of the hemorrhage of political timidity that administrative mediocrity is known to suffer before it assumes a toga of infallibility.
Yet although Jonathan’s loss of political innocence predated his condescending revelations to Sanders, it was nonetheless gladdening that the Wikileaks cables confirmed, at least he did gain back innocence when he sounded forthrightly and irreproachably states manly against contesting.
When did this sudden transition take place from such patriotic Lincolnian height that placed ‘Country First’. So that now whether you are pro or anti-Jonathan candidacy, the President’s political ways are sure to have one of three unsavory effects on you: disgust, amazement or stupefaction.
‘Disgust’ because his now advertised readiness for self-serving political compromise-situations, his attempt to bribe even men of God and his less than innocent role in the Abuja bomb blast saga, makes wander whether this truly is the Messiah!; ‘Amazement’ because his many goofs and gaffes, his impulsive political pledges without the vaguest idea how to keep them and his threat to sink even ‘all’ with him unless he had his way, make you only wonder ‘the more’! Then ‘stupefaction’ because his usual un presidential condescension, like his virtual genuflection before corrupt NASS members, getting tearful before PDP governors or daily defending the indefensible, now make you confess: ‘I’ve had it!’
But the huge irony is not just ‘Jonathan losing his Wikileaks innocence’. It is rather his Camp denying, always, Jonathan’s Wiki leaks. As if Nigerians need Wikileaks to know what Wikileaks said about Jonathan’s Wikileaks! We don’t! Or do we?