BY HUMPHREY IFEANYI
IN this era of Jonathan bashing, the easiest path of heroism is to rain invectives and abuses on the man we elected to be our President. This could come in the form of an open letter, facebook postings, editorial write ups, articles or commentaries on news reports, in print and electronic media.
Any body who rises up in defence of President Jonathan is branded a traitor or a villain. The only patriots in town are those whose only relevance in politics is to plot how to bring down the President and his administration. These are the people on a mission to save Nigeria, a mission that has reconciled all former political foes, with a navigator in Ota, writing acerbic letters.
It was therefore not surprising to read Ademola Adeyemo’s article entitled: “Whenever Gulak Speaks Gibberish”, in a national newspaper, dated Wednesday, January 15, 2014,
It was one of those rococo that comes from the opposition party which use their cronies in the media to lynch all those who disagree with their point of view or those who dare to criticise their paymasters.
Adeyemo simply disguised his intention to defend General Olusegun Obasanjo by picking on Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak who as the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, had the audacity to respond to the endless bashing of his boss.
It is important to state here that Gulak as lawyer is eminently qualified to defend himself, but for this writer who cherishes the tenets of liberal democracy and its benefits, I believe that we must resist this culture of subterranean campaign, bullying the President and making criminals of those who have something positive to say about the Jonathan administration.
Adeyemo’s anger toward Gulak for daring to defend President Jonathan smacks of clanish herd’s mentality and chauvinistic cleavages which presupposes that nothing good can come from persons outside his own ethnic stock.
Put differently, every Nigerian must view national issues from the prism of the ‘progressivism’ of South West political culture. That on its own, amounts to ideological tyranny.
Gulak hails from Adamawa state, where the incumbent Governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, is one of the opposition arrow heads who left the PDP to APC. Nyako has maintained bitter opposition to Jonathan’s presidency. Of course, Nyako is a close friend of Gen. Obasanjo, who brought him back to public life, which he retired from in 1979. Nyako has ran Adamawa state like his private farm, spending a greater part of his time fighting real or perceived political enemies
Nyako has been in the battle field from where he has fought the likes of Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, Brigadier Buba Marwa, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, The retired Navy Officer has fought every body whom he sees as potential obstacle to his son succeeding him in Adamawa State.
President Jonathan choice of Gulak as his Adviser on Political Affairs and the presence of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the Chairman of PDP, which was the main source of the internal crisis that led the defection of five Governors elected on the ticket of PDP to APC. It finally led to Alhaji Tukur’s resignation as Chairman of PDP. Gen. Obasanjo himself has been shown to have sympathy for APC, going by the account of Senator Iyabo Obasanjo and the visit of APC chieftains, to navigate them to Aso Rock in 2015. There is nothing wrong in this, save that other people should also be allowed to exercise their rights in the political space.
Adeyemo cannot claim to be neutral in his damning attacks on Gulak because it is all part of the 2015 politics. Perhaps, Gulak would have become a national hero, if he had taken the path of back stabbing his boss like Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the out going Governor of CBN had done. Hence, in the estimation of Adeyemo, Gulak has not ‘added value” to the work he is doing for President Jonathan rather, he has been “squandering whatever goodwill that is left of the Jonathan administration”. I wonder who made him a judge of that?
The other charges levelled against Gulak was that, he had the effrontery to tell Gen. Obasanjo that he “is not the God of Nigerian politics” and could not determine who becomes president in Nigeria. In other words, it is only the Almighty God who can determine who will govern Nigeria.
Sen. Iyabo Obasanjo also told her father that much. So what is wrong in that, If I may ask? If people like Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Dr. Junaid Mohammed and Anayo Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, have shown complete disdain for President Jonathan and the office he occupies, what is the crime in someone telling them that President Jonathan represents our collective sovereignty?.
Gullak was said to have boasted that President Jonathan has not made maximum use of the enormous powers that the constitution gives him, to deal with his political opponents. Of course, we witnessed the rule of impunity and the enthronement of garrison democracy by former President Obasanjo, from 1999-2007, when he had such powers. Democracy is not the rule of brutes.
Like every Nigerian, Adeyemo has the right to express his views, but he should be mindful of the right of others who do not share his world view. He was patently partisan, parochial and jaundice, particularly, as he tried to make Gulak a vallain for daring to comment on Gen. Obasanjo’s letter of December 2, 2013, entitled “Before it is too Late.”