The rumours have intensified. The idea that president Jonathan can defect to the APC to dream of being president in 2023 is supposed to be fantastical, preposterous.
But in Nigeria, our politics can sometimes go from tigbuo-zogbuo to abject clownishness.
Perhaps that was why we were once described as the happiest people in the world—something we might have earned from being flighty and flimsy.
Indeed, if Jonathan dreams of returning, it can’t be through the PDP. His PDP is now a bolekaja. Unfortunately, President Jonathan and his evangelical spokesmen have not bothered to socially distance themselves from the gossip. But Jonathan shouldn’t feel ashamed.
It’s not entirely his fault that the behemoth he helped build, which was supposed to champion democracy in Africa, has now become a kabukabu, unfit to transport him to Aso villa.
If President Jonathan does the unthinkable, he will say he did it for national unity. National unity has been misused and abused. And if he wins, and Dieziani returns to a presidential welcome, she will say it was in the interest of national unity, to help rebuild the nation.
Jonathan might have good reasons for wanting to return to Aso rock. If he does, he shouldn’t bother about what the British people who once talked about fantastically corrupt people would say. They can say whatever they like. He shouldn’t also worry about the comical Italian character called Fortunato.
We, Africans, have our peculiarities of which Europeans are oblivious. Whatever his reasons are, let him just say some nice things. Let him say that his ambition is not worth the blood of one Nigerian.
I have seen retired boxers return to the ring only to demystify themselves. But since humble and prayerful president Jonathan won’t return without praying and obtaining permission from God before throwing his hat into the ring again, I’m not worried.
But while getting God’s approval, he shouldn’t forget to ask God what to do with Dame. If Dame returns to the campaigns as the potential first lady, the EFCC might remember those her stewards from whom millions of dollars have been seized. Dame said the seized monies belonged to her, but she couldn’t explain how she came by them.
It won’t be nice watching the EFCC dragging around our Mama Peace in the thick of electioneering. Did I hear somebody say Buhari will protect her?
Big masquerades know when to dance and when to retire. They risk being unmasked if they hang around long enough and engage in ‘oroforofo’ with small masquerades. Since Jonathan left office and became a statesman, the Catch-and-Seize-Only MOU he signed with Buhari has held firm. That was why when Dame was caught, only a seizure happened. Nobody called Jonathan.
Journalists didn’t bother to ask President Jonathan how his beautiful wife came by the millions of dollars that the courts have seized from their domestic staff. Nobody has associated our respected former president with such filth. Nobody has bothered to ask stupid questions about the yams found under the beds of Dame’s staff which Dame claimed were for her medical treatment.
I don’t want Jonathan messed up unnecessarily. I like him in bowler hats marching around Africa, making peace. I don’t want to see him wincing after being asked if he would prosecute his wife if he became president. I think Jonathan should help us remain forgetful of these sleeping dogs so that they can lie in peace. Coming to do noisy Bash Ali might be costly.
But if Jonathan stumbles foolhardily into the ring, his men won’t have too much trouble explaining the neck-breaking somersault. He was born lucky. In their camp, they have never bragged about integrity. In fact, they have no great regard for corruption.
The real problem would lie with Buharists in the APC. How will they explain presidential candidate Jonathan of the APC? Well, it might not be too difficult for some. Many of these folks are gifted with consciences that find peace with anything Buhari endorses.
So if Buhari lifts up Jonathan’s hand, these folks will reflexively expunge from their brains everything about the stolen arms funds. They will justify the diversion of money meant to fight terrorists to service political campaigns. Then they will call President Buhari the ultimate master strategist.
It had started as a joke. But it is now believed that certain elements in the APC are intent on recruiting Jonathan so that they can rotate power to the south briefly before retiring it to themselves in the North. Shrewd people, these folks.
They will sell Jonathan as Azikiwe, a candidate of national unity and pan Africanist. They know Jonathan. They know he doesn’t rock boats. They want to use him, but what does our amiable former president think he wants to achieve?
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A Jonathan candidature will interest many people. Besides those battling with court cases for receiving the stolen arms funds, many youths in the southeast will also heave sighs of relief—vicarious intoxication for the return of the man whose exit they had mourned without respite for nearly a decade.
Since the Second Niger bridge has been done, and the Enugu-Onitsha highway has been assigned to a company, the man can once again practice inclusiveness by appointment rather than infrastructural projects. A second class Biafran is still a Biafran. So the desperation for Biafra might subside to wait for power rotation back to the North in 2027. That Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria will resurrect.
If Ibori is a history lesson, then one or two politicians in the APC and PDP might have to relocate to a foreign country.
Power must be sweet. Otherwise, why would humble Goodluck Jonathan, who went from shoelessness to the presidency, dream of returning and returning through the agency of those who brought him down? Well, no matter how sweet power is, let Jonathan remember to say he could not resist the wishes of Nigerians from far and near who begged him day and night to return. Let him add that he consulted God, consulted his wife, consulted world presidents before deciding to come back to help take the country to greatness.
Let president Jonathan look before he leaps.