By Emeka Obasi
Those who do not know History are forever condemned to repeat it-Will Durant.
Tough times for Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. We are seeing a Nigerian leader facing the worst form of humiliation since independence. Not even when General Yakubu Gowon was accused of treason in 1976 did this kind of treatment crop up. At least, the general was far away in the United Kingdom under the Queen’s protection.
Almost everyone around Jonathan has become a looter, according to the Federal Government. From his wife to his cousin, nephew, friends, kinsmen. Name them. It is interesting. Bloody civilian, there is nothing like espirit de corps in this. Being a one time Customs officer does not qualify him to be treated like military generals.
Yet we have seen generals run and ruin this nation. So much money was made from oil between 1973 and 2007, a period of 34 years. And because our untouchables failed to plan, we are bottom leaguers in the comity of nations.
Today, Goodluck has become bad luck. All the sins of yester years, all past sins committed by those before him have been forgiven. This Azikiwe must be crucified. It is a matter of time before they take him to Pontius Pilate.
But is Dr. Jonathan that bad, nothing good from a man who saved the country from bloodshed? I do not think so. The former President may not be as saintly as some of the disciples in the holy book. At the same time, I think there is a grand plan to destroy his political career and put him on the defensive forever.
I am sure Dr. Jonathan will be full of regrets in his quiet moments. Life was beautiful for him. Deputy governor turned governor. Vice President to President, all in 11 years.
Indeed, History never alters much in its texture. Politics is not for people like Dr. Jonathan. He got involved, enjoyed it and now the bitter part is here. And we must look at the past to unravel the present. One huge lesson for those who do not understand the power game.
It has now emerged that Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, the Oracle of Otta, who paved way for the Jonathan presidency had an unwritten deal with the latter to stay in power for just one term after the 2011 elections. This was not made known to us until things began to fall apart between godfather and godson.
Since Jonathan decided to dine with the power brokers, he should have read the handwriting on the wall. The Hausa-Fulani and their Northern cousins are one when it comes to politics. Islam or Christianity does not matter.
Our brothers from the North love power. Obasanjo had taken his turn, thanks to Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Abdusalam Abubakar and Yakubu Danjuma. Power was to shift to the North after eight years. When Vice President Atiku Abubakar tried to challenge the plot, he was crushed.
A smart Obasanjo, after failing to get a Third term went for a frail Alhaji Umaru Ya’radua as successor. Jonathan emerged as Vice President and following the demise of the president, became the leader of the nation. That, by Northern calculations was not too good.
Jonathan went into the 2011 Presidential elections. The core North did not want him, they saw the Ijaw man as going in through the back door. They tried to floor him with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. It did not work. The Army general went into political retirement shedding tears.
That was a sign of things to come. His tears meant so much to the North. They waited for Jonathan to do four years and leave the stage. Obasanjo had extracted that from the new Azikiwe before he ascended the throne again, in 2011.
Jonathan was carried away. People around him urged him to fight. If it was a boxing bout, maybe. This was Nigerian politics. Jonathan forgot his history lessons. In Nigeria, two good heads are never better than one. In Nigerian politics, black is the same as red. Treachery, deceit, wickedness and madness rule the polity.
Jonathan dared the power brokers. He took the godfathers headlong. Jonathan braved it and tried to go for a second term. Boko Haram came. Under Ya’radua they killed in tens, during the Jonathan era, it was death in thousands.
All the kings, past, worked against Jonathan. Saboteurs within the PDP led him on. A new party emerged. It had the brain of a Jagaban and the slogan was ‘Sai Baba.’ Jonathan saw only broom, he did not see doom. Atiku articulated. Rotimi Amechi was pumped up, like Michelin tyre, ready to explode. And when the explosion came, Oga Joe was jolted.
History 101 would have taught Jonathan not to contest in 2015. If he had done that, Buhari would have remained in eternal retirement. The PDP would have picked a Northern candidate and could also have won the election.
However, Jonathan, a zoologist, did not reckon with the power of the godfathers and the North. A united bunch who may not have the PhD of President Jonathan. They have the British induced divisive power of numbers. Strange it sounds, that is the fraud called Nigeria.
I am going to invite President Buhari to lunch. He has won my heart and the heart of so many Nigerians for bringing back history, the study of history, in our schools. I have discovered that most young Nigerians under 50 neither know our past nor their future.
I do not want to talk about the internet generation. They would have been lost, all are history blind. Now Buhari will open their eyes. I wish we could ban the internet for one session and make history compulsory in our schools.
If only Gowon had not reneged on Aburi. Thank God he later studied Political Science. If only Jonathan understood history. I expect him to go pick a degree in Nigerian history. I feel for him. President Buhari should settle this, President to President.