By Chimalum Nwankwo
President Jonathan was the proverbial breath of fresh air to Nigerians who listened to him in Washington DC two weeks ago. Perhaps that hapless country may yet go somewhere with the kind of optimism which Jonathan exudes and projects. Did he recently say that money for Nigerian leadership echelon who go overseas for medical attention will no longer be accepted.

Nigeria should develop the hospitals in that nation to world standard and take care of her sick with Nigerian personnel and expertise. Did he say Nigerians in the diaspora should come home and help? That is a wonderful and thoughtful wish if Nigerians in the diaspora are ever successfully enticed home.

Again the proverbial mountains could be moved if that suggestion is ever pursued seriously. Perhaps the miasma of evil and the deathwish drunkenness may yet evaporate from that country only IF…IF… people are listening…or will listen to this one, I daresay, last psychic card…

Nigerians in the United States occupy all kinds of amazing leadership positions in the great country of the USA.They are there contributing as affiliate scientists for NASA.They are there driving incredible and imponderable research in computer work and cybernetics in general. They are in the army as much as they are in the streets of the USA hustling legally with everybody else They are there in the Energy office. They are there as Heads and sub-heads of Universities.

They are everywhere in the system where brain power is the ticket for participation. Naturalised Nigerians weigh in in the system as well and as much as the indegenous Americans. So if they are there in the amazing numbers we have them in the greatest country on earth, why, my friend can they not equally serve in a country as beautiful as Nigeria, a country with so much promise and stupendous endowments?

President Jonathan has his political nose in the right places and spaces. If Nigeria is wise, the man is one great golden opportunity to put a steady saddle on the bucking horse of national leadership. The restive nation and the goddam cabals, the selfish chasers of the country’s gonad and treasures, all the tireless and incorrigible robber barons of Nigerian politics should leave this man alone.

They should rally round him and tap from his goodluck. His name may yet be a most secret and cryptic and psychic clarion for the deaf nation to wake up, and hold him like a drowning man’s last straw in a sea swelling and smelling with the grave danger of inevitable death.There is nothing to lose and much to gain for the following reasons.

There are moves ongoing by Nigeria’s erstwhile colonial masters and their cousins and surrogates to foist on Nigeria one of its rotten old cows as a re-branded leader. If that scheme is ever allowed to work, it would confirm that the black man is an eternal goat for white people to push around for either clowning or cheap protein.

The gravity of that situation, the fact that it is even being contemplated with the help of some so-called eminent Nigerians is good enough reason to hold on to Jonathan. How long, fellow  maligned black man and woman, how long do you want to remain a plaything for other races? The ailing president has been deployed as a joker’s mascot by shameless political brigands for short-sighted political gain. Do you want the next phase of Nigerian nationhood to be a puppetier’s Disney land …the land of HEE-HAW ?

The most important and inescapable result of a Jonathan presidency is an interregnum, a breather, a god-given virgin air and space which enables everybody to sit back and re-tool and re-group. Principally, and nationally, Jonathan has not generated the kind of rancorous and vendetta generating atmosphere which hangs like evil shadows around most of the rogue and veteran anglers out there.He will be trusted by a heavy percentage of the country’s population.

Nigeria has no such trust in any of the political cowboys and dangerous intractable mafiosos of malfeasance out there.
Internationally, the neocolonial brigands have not yet figured him out. They will eventually, with their secret service sleuths and kamikaze economic control desperadoes, but before then, the nation would have been on a new page of psychological will to power, a new confidence, a totally different breed and attitude which the alien vultures must first figure out before their insatiable dives and plunge for booty and carrion and captivating offals.

By and large, by the time he is done, successful or unsuccesful, much would have stabilized, The veteran robbers in the great iron hangers of Nigerian leadership would be too old and jaded in limb for anybody to take them seriously if they ever opened their crazy old mouths to suggest ladership positions again in the polity. Of course the rust from waiting and the irrelevance of their age would guarantee final impotence.

Very good air will prevail for the younger politicians who hopefully would have found time to chew upon the simple old verities such as honesty is the best policy which many sang about from kindergaten days. They would have compared successfully the fate of the old political cows disgraced by time and new circumstances with the newer dispensation to guide them in national participation and decision making. Look, my friends, the slate will be cleaner.

A Jonathan presidency would have conclusively demonstrated that a leader from another ethnic umbrella and zone has been tried, for good or ill, and the sky did not come down. It would affirm  to all and sundry that in the heydays of the one time famous Nigeria Air ways, there was good reason for the national carrier slogan to be YOU TOO CAN FLY !!!

If Jonathan could fly, most other voices around the nation can then become empowered to sing out in one stentorian battle cry, I TOO CAN FLY. That is a cry which will warn all the citizens of the great new Nigerian nation to pay attention to each other.

If Jonathan could be president, I too can be president. It is this kind of new atmosphere that the nation needs to begin to re-organize the weal and polity for a new direction. Inevitably, it is going to be a more open and tolerant new direction.

It will humble all Nigerian groups. The alien forces will be confused and flabbergasted when their ancient banner of divide et impera, divide and rule, no longer finds hospitable winds in Nigeria. Believe it or not…this is the one time tide for this nation…to fail again today is a horrendous option…Nigeria should cling to this man as the last boat away from hell…captain of its precious game-changing destiny…

Chimalum Nwankwo, poet and critic Professor of English, North Carolina A&T State Universityn Greensboro, USA

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