By Adekunle Adekoya
NIGERIA, truly, is a land of possibilities. I say this with every sense of responsibility, given the enormous potentials that have remained potentials, despite all God-given opportunities to realise them.
Apart from natural resources, human resources abound aplenty which we prefer to waste, refusing to develop them through a functioning and functional education system. Many times one wonders at the brilliance of our people from all parts of the country, achieving in other lands what would not have been possible if they had remained here.
Only God knows how many software engineers, rocket scientists, nuclear physicists and other top-class brains have been wasted, and are now in motor parks as agberos, or on garbage heaps as scraps scavengers or truck pushers.
Occasionally though, flashes of brilliance, like streaks of lightning, show up here, to the unpleasant surprise of many of us, accompanied with righteous self-satisfaction on the part of those who forward such brilliant ideas. One of such brilliant ideas issued forth from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the matter of who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari. If you know, you know.
This matter, that of getting immediate past president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, to succeed his successor is actually not new, but one dismissed it as a fairy tale, the sort of stuff heard in beer parlours, pepper soup joints and molue conversations. If you believe stuff like that, you’ll believe anything. But as we get closer to 2023, the fairy tale is taking on the form of reality.
An indication to that effect was the widely publicised event in which placard-carrying youths staged, yes, staged a demonstration during which they asked Jonathan to declare for the 2023 presidential race.
It might even have remained beer parlour gist if the former president had kept mum. Dr. Jonathan actually came out to address the rented crowd and told them he was still consulting! So, from the horse’s own mouth, what we thought was a molue conversation suddenly took on the garb of gospel truth. Nothing truly is impossible.
Those brilliant chaps, in my mind the political equivalents of rocket scientists who hatched and are now implementing this Jonathanian strategy, must think the rest of us are worse than what they think of us, whatever that is. Surely they are part of the ruling faction of the power elite and could not have forgotten one of their own doings, so recent.
Weren’t they aware of the bill, passed into law, assented to by the President, forbidding elected officials that completed tenures of deceased predecessors from running? Also, have they anticipated the avalanche of lawsuits that will attend the actualisation of their endeavours?
Has there been a proper scenario generation and appraisal of the Jonathanian strategy? Is that the simplistic answer of the power cabal to the clamour for Southern presidency?
Nice guys, these strategists, who must rank as the most hawkish of political hawks. In furthering their agenda, they are reconstructing Dr. Jonathan, whose political profile surged upwards several notches after conceding defeat in 2015, ahead of the final votes tally. After a flurry of diplomatic assignments since leaving office, Jonathan’s profile even surged higher, being seen as an elder statesman and troubleshooter in the West African sub-region, having undertaken missions to many troubled countries. It is thus surprising that Dr. Jonathan could see this (Greek) gift as being constructive of his profile.
Does the former president know the kind of centrifugation that APC itself is contending with? Is he aware that the plot around him and the furore trailing it is itself a manifestation of that centrifugation? Is he aware that the strategy around and about him is replete with too many variables?
Can he see the tragedy, odium and opprobrium that will be his lot if one, just one, of the variables spin out of control, as it almost always happens? As regards those aspiring to be president, taking Nigerians for granted is becoming sport.
More than 30 presidential aspirants have picked up forms in the two parties. A common characteristic is that one hitherto unknown group always paid the multi-million naira fee for every one of them. I saw a picture of one such group and could almost swear that members of that group, all of them put together, cannot cough out five million, even at gunpoint, or after kidnap by one of those daredevil bandits.
Why deceiving themselves, thinking they are deceiving us? I have no problem with those bidding to reconstruct Dr Jonathan with this presidential strategy, obviously hatched to exclude other stakeholders and shrink the democratic space in their party. That is their problem.
What concerns me is the impact of the fallout of their strategy on the well-being of fellow Nigerians, and the national economy, which, to put it mildly, is at the doldrums. In reconstructing Jonathan, they must look back and ensure they are not deconstructing Nigeria.