GOODLUCK JONATHAN: LAST MAN STANDING FOR NIGERIA
President Goodluck Jonathan is today, practically the last man standing for the sovereignty of Nigeria which has never been under so much internal attacks since the unfortunate civil war.
His rise to the Presidency of Nigeria occurred in unprecedented political circumstances brought about by the sudden death of the incumbent Umaru Yar'Adua and an attempt to hijack the reins of power by the notorious 'cabal'. In an exemplary display of patriotic statesmanship, Goodluck Jonathan absorbed the aftershocks of these traumatic events without succumbing to the temptations of the moment that could have disoriented others in similar situations.
He subdued his personal sentiments in order to strengthen the nationalistic consensus-building initiatives of several concerned political leaders and stakeholders to get the nation back on the tracks of constitutionalism and federalism. From Vice President to Acting President and eventually Executive President, Jonathan's transition was sober, mature and guided at all times by a deep sense of national responsibility.
These initial leadership qualities of Jonathan were singularly instrumental to the successful navigation of the ship of state through tense times of uncertainty and drift into potentially turbulent waters witnessed in the aftermath of the death of President Yar'Adua. Any exuberant misstep or fit of arrogance of power to which many of our political leaders are prone could have thwarted the nationalistic initiatives of our political stakeholders and statesmen to rally round the Presidency of Nigeria thereby effectively checkmating the regionalist intransigence of the opportunistic cabal capitalizing on the terminal illness of the late president.
While ably holding fort and taking charge of the reins of governance, Jonathan simultaneously paved the way for other responsible and patriotic political leaders to mobilize the generality of Nigerians and sensitize them on the imperatives of upholding the sovereignty of the nation over and above the sinister supremacy of so-called geo-political activists in the corridors of power. So it came to pass that the resulting groundswell of patriotic fervor across the length and breadth of the nation in support of constitutionalism and due political process in transition of presidential power overwhelmed the parochial pandering of the cabalists- without a state of emergency.
Given the veracity of these events, as well as the undeniable selfless patriotism of Jonathan, it was a matter of logic and political necessity in the interest of securing and sustaining the crucial national consensus on the imperatives of preserving the nation's sovereignty, that the prevailing political configuration be adopted as the template for the exercise of Presidential powers in Nigeria into the near future.
It would have been the height of political irresponsibility to dispense with such an opportune attainment of national solidarity in support of pan-Nigerian sovereignty on the spurious basis of a vestigial zoning formula whose objective was to reverse our gains and absurdly hand the nation back to the same cabalist interest group that brought Nigeria to the brink of balkanization. The nation-wide clarion call on Jonathan to continue as Nigeria's President from 2011 was an inevitable off-shoot of the national consensus built by patriotic political leaders to rescue our sovereignty from the threat of geo-ethnic pirates. Jonathan literally had no choice but to accept the national assignment after being a conscious facilitator of that consensus as well as the direct victim of the cabalist agenda to hijack the nation's Presidency.
Ever since he fully assumed Nigeria's Presidency, Jonathan has maintained his remarkable selflessness, as well as his patriotic patronage of all genuinely nationalistic political leaders and stakeholders as was made evident in his cabinet appointments. In particular, he brought on board even the bereaved family of his departed boss, a feat that is also a tribute to the patriotism of the Yar'Aduas but which further exposes the cavalier motives of the cabalists. The inclusion of several other northerners in his cabinet vindicates the enthusiastic support and goodwill he has gained among the political leaders and people of the region while debunking the notion of northern solidarity for zoning formula. The sheer novelty of an Ijaw President of Nigeria is only matched by the voluntary and well reasoned endorsement of his leadership by a majority of uncompromised northerners, in upholding the spirit of one Nigeria, one people. Now, everyone is equal before the president.
It should not come as a surprise therefore, that the Jonathan Presidency has faced more security challenges than any other in recent history. There has been an unmistakable increase in the frequency of unrest in existing hotspots like Jos and Maiduguri and in the incendiary capacity of their arsenals as bomb blasts replace burning tyres and human casualties rise callously. But none of these deplorable acts can be distanced from the unrelenting determination of the displaced geo-political power mongers to wrest power back into their enclave of ethnic jingoists and sworn enemies of the sovereignty of Nigeria's Presidency. In words and deeds, the few disgruntled political power brokers have demonstrated their rejection of the nationalistic consensus that saved the nation from calculated catastrophe.
The challenge facing the majority of Nigerians today is to defend and uphold the long-awaited national solidarity for the preservation of the sovereignty of Nigeria and its Presidency as the legitimate endowment of any and all Nigerians who qualify by dint of patriotic endeavor and capacity to regard and relate with other Nigerians on the basis of brotherhood and comradeship, competence and commitment, to move the whole nation forward and not just a section of it. This is what the Jonathan Presidency is all about.
•Nalikoro wrote from Zaria.