What We Will Miss About Goodluck Jonathan - Victor Terhemba
A person cannot not be perfect in all things neither can a person be totally bad; something interesting has to be about that person. Though the presidential and gubernatorial elections have come and gone, we've witnessed a paradigm shift. Before now many pastors, prophets and political gurus said Goodluck Jonathan would win but alas they've been left to eat their words. They say the voice of the people is the voice of God, now I'm wondering which God spoke to those pastors and prophets. In a CAN meeting, Bishop Oyedepo David said "I believe am speaking the mind of God when I say we should support the president in his reelection". It turned out he wasn't speaking the mind of God and he doesn't even know the mind of God. Ayo Oritsejafor said God spoke to him that Goodluck Jonathan would be reelected, what we don't know is if God spoke to him on the phone or through the hip-hop golden Jesus piece he wears. Ghanaian pastor Apostle B.B Frederick said "As long as I'm concerned as a man gifted by God to see the past, the current and the future beyond the curtains of the natural, I know by the inspiration of the Almighty that President Jonathan is the set man for Nigeria. His next term on the seat will bring liberation to Nigeria." this pastor perhaps needs the holy spirit to help him discern which is a vision and that which is a dream. Mukthar Alexander Dan'Iyan (MrAyeDee) said "The probability of Buhari winning is like a goat giving birth to a lion." Guess what, the goat just gave birth to a lion, this world is full of surprises. The PDP hierarchy said APC will be shocked after the elections now they know who is shocked. The list of failed predictions are endless.
What are we going to miss Jonathan and the outgoing government for? You might not have thought about this but we are going to miss quite a lot such as:
1. We are going to miss Jonathan as the first president ever in Nigeria to graciously concede defeat. This is not just only an act of patriotism but that singular act forestall all the possibilities of post election violence. If General Buhari had also conceded defeat like this in 2011, what we witnessed in the aftermath of the election would have been prevented; after all in an election there must be a winner and a loser(s). That act by president Jonathan has set a template for others to follow in the interest of peace (or in total defeat), Nuhu Ribadu conceded and called the winner to congratulate him, so also did governor Yero of Kaduna conceded to erstwhile minister of the FCT, Nasir El-Rufai. Agbaje went a step further to even pray for his opponent, Ambode of the APC. We will miss Jonathan for setting this standard.
2. We will miss Jonathan for being the first president since 1999 not to interfere in the conduct of elections, though he tried other ways to rig in his party's favour.
3. We will miss a president who rode to power, (from deputy governor to governor and from vice president to president) on the back of ethnic sentiments, emotional sentiments, luck and serendipity. In the build to the 2011 elections, Rev. Chris Okotie of FRESH democratic party said the ability and wisdom to lead a country like Nigeria is not based on luck and serendipity (in apparent reference to Jonathan) but experience and knowledge. Now, only Okotie can tell if he has been vindicated by his statement or not.
4. Let me say "prestissimbo" i.e as quickly as possible, we would miss Mrs. Patience Jonathan. She has had more effect on the Nigerian polity than her husband the president, and I can be corrected. Not that we've not always known that there is God but Mrs. Jonathan reminded us in a comical, though, sincere show of emotions, that "diariz is God o! Diariz God o!!". She even added "chai!!!!". Now it has become a popular parlance on the streets and offices to say "chai! Diariz God o". We will miss her "grammatical eloquence" which always provide a comic relief in the face of tension and fear of Boko Haram. We would no longer hear such statements as "my husband and Sambo is a good people.", "prinspal na only you walka come?", "the people sitting before you were once a children", "My heart feels sorry for these children who have become widows for loosing their parents", "Ojukwu is a good man but his manhood lives on", etc. We won't have these kind of comical blunders to ease up tension as it is looking like the incoming government will be all serious and businesslike. But fortunately the APC have their own grammatical juggernaut though not in the same league with Mrs. Jonathan but his grammar never leaves us without reeling in laughter. I dare say it will be sardonic, lugubrious, bisma bisma and woe unto us if Patrick Obahiagbon is appointed Media publicity/ spokesman of the president, he will forever "engulf us in a state of anomy" and he will claim it's not deliberate. Perhaps now that the APC is at the centre, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon and his masters will have the solution to the political crinkum-crankum or the political "higgy hagga" that has enveloped the politics of Nigeria. And we would no longer practice the "kakistomoboplutocracy" kind of government.
5. We will miss a president who was shockingly and ignorantly candid and honest. We will miss a president who after three weeks admits he doesn't know where the kidnapped chibok girls are (it was at this time I lost all hope that the girls will be rescued under this Government). In fact he even claims the media knows more than him. These kind of statements we are going to miss.
We would miss a president who honestly confessed to us that he doesn't know what he is doing and always confused because he gets conflicting advises from his advisors and aides. We miss that President who on Cable Network News, CNN, said Nigerians are pleased with the power supply and even challenged Amanpour to ask the ordinary man on the streets of Lagos, Abuja and other cities. Meanwhile, most of the people who followed the interview watched it using a generator and majority couldn't because they had no light. We will miss this kinds of blatant lies.
6. We will miss the garrulous and loquacious Doyin Okupe who was such a sycophant that he compared Jonathan to be like Jesus. I don't know the basis of comparisons, or is it because both names start with "J"? Or was he referring to Jesus Navas in Manchester City Football club or some other Jesus scattered around the world? Surely he wasn't referring to Jesus Christ. Okupe sure has a penchant for weird comparisons like when he said he checked through the history of Nigerian presidents and none close to Nelson Mandela except Goodluck Jonathan who is like Mandela because he is the only Nigerian president to hold a 13 hours meeting with ASUU. If this was the prerequiste that made Mandela a respected world leader then we would had many Mandibas in the world.
7. We will miss characters like Obafaiye Shem, the NSCDC boss who gave Nigerians a punchline to every joke with the famous "my oga at the top" slang, it even started a "my oga at the top" T-shirt campaign. Mr. Shem couldn't tell the journalists on live TV interview his organization's website. We can all remember "the website of NSCDC is ww.nscdc ... dassoll".
8. We will miss a president who said stealing public funds is not corruption; he further said corruption is "when a man and a man sleep together", I wonder if he hasn't heard the word gay or homosexuality before. At least now we would have a president who truly understands what corruption is and is known for being tough on corruption and people believe he will fight corruption.
9. We will miss a government where the first lady was more powerful than the president. We will miss a government where the Vice president was basically unknown and without a portfolio. I dare say 95% of secondary school students don't know the name of the vice president and many have failed this question in exams and post jamb tests.
Now that we have a new president coming in and another going out, we hope the constitution will no longer be a joke (like I said in an article "the Nigerian constitution a big joke") though the antecedents of the incoming show how much he style then contravened the constitution. The Nigerian people have had their say and I do sincerely hope we don't drop our oars but keep up our vigilance and watchdog-ness. The cane that was used to beat the first wife shouldn't be thrown away because a new wife is coming in, but should be kept and even doubled in size and length; the change they preached must be visible and not just a mere mantra they used to get our votes. General Buhari might not be the best nor the saviour we desire but there's no bad in being hopeful. Nigerians have made history for themselves and this a turning point in the political schemes of Nigeria.
For the first time since 1999 we are now going to have a president who really, really, really wants to be president and not persuaded like Obasanjo in 1999, Yar'adua in 2007 and Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 and recently.
VICTOR K. TERHEMBA
Is an entertainment businessman and political analyst.