No Shaking For Sheikh Goodluck Jonathan, The PDP’s Sole Soul

By Emeka Anumbor
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English Common law tradition obtainable in Nigeria obliges a lawyer not to turn back a client no matter his alleged moral repugnance. This legal Albatross called the “Cab Rank Rule,” is derived from Hackney cab tradition that mandates the driver at the head of a queue of taxicabs to accept the first passenger asking for a ride.

Hackney carriage custom had no respect for dirt, ogre, smell, political views, residency status, sex orientation, gender or race. Nigeria's political landscape has Hackney political drivers like Sir Emeka Offor, Chiefs Arthur Eze and Tony Anenih, Alhajis Babagana Gingibe and Tanko Yakassai, late Chiefs Lamidi Adedibu, Azeez Arisekola and Alhaji Abubakar Rimi who was once described by Dr Ibrahim Shekarau, ex-governor of Kano State and now Minister of Education as a “food-is-ready politician.” These men and others of the ilk are elite graduates of the AGIP {Any government in power} school of business.

They served the evil genius, General Ibrahim Babangida. They stood for the Gypsy, General Sanni Abacha. They hovered around General Abdulsalam Abubakar and regally ministered to the Prefect of Owu Egba Congregation, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. At the height of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, Aso Rock, the hallowed work and residency of President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, decreed that no political campaigns should be observed for him by any person or group. Nigeria's Electoral Act restricts political campaigning to ninety {90} days before elections. But Chief Ifeanyi Ubah's Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, a look-alike of Neighbour-To-Neighbour, Jonathan's first contraption in 2011 and the newest carriage in the flagellation train of presidential servers is above the law of Nigeria. While a lacklustre Jonathan remains mired in indecision and inaction, his kitchen cabinet, business associates, PDP chieftains and TAN zealots continue to commit political masturbation openly.

The devil as ever, is in TAN with his nepotism, opportunism and cronyism. TAN fraudulently collated the bio-data of thousands of Nigerians and re-packaged tehm as the signatures of Nigerians happy with Jonathan's transformation agenda. This is breathtaking hypocrisy. Corruption and clientelism is the backbone of this government. Crimes and misdemeanours, like ideology, are mere weapons in political warfare. TAN is all about Jonathan worship and adoration! But unknowingly, it could end up as a Jonathan bruiser.

Nigeria borrowed the presidential system of government from the USA. At the 2012 Democratic Party Convention in North Carolina where President Obama was given a second term ticket, his Treasury SAecretary Tim Geithner was a no show, never lobbied for him. But Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Jonathan's ebullient Finance Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy is his frontline campaigner. She's in bed with the PDP and TAN. Records show that only one US Treasury Secretary has ever attended an American Convention since its independence over 200 years ago. By law, a US Secretary of State is barred from overt or subtle partisanship. The same goes for the secretaries of justice and defence.

The Spanish joke that a Galician is someone you meet on the stairs and don't know whether he's going up or down! Though Jonathan hasn't publicly declared his intention for a second term, nothing is agreed and yet everything is agreed in the PDP. The unending endorsement of President Jonathan, a Bayelsa Brahmin by a phantom 8,000 groups in a regulatory tsunami of patronage, privilege and poverty is a well worn, old path. General Abacha's ego was hugely and falsely massaged by the Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha, YEAA, phoney mercenaries. The organisers are only fulfilling an order from on high – from My Oga At The Top! The endorsement of President Jonathan smacks of the unbelievable, jackboot, Nazi-like rendition to Adolf Hitler. Commandante Jonathan is now being deified by PDP grandees and business barons that are profiting from his administration.

The spectre of political entrepreneurs and business anarchronists asking Jonathan to die in office is laughable and pitiable. These opaque, black market presidential operators, baying questionable loyalty, swiftly and quickly foster themselves on any president in power, urging them to serve till eternity. The castration of Jigawa Governor Sule Lamido to drop his presidential ambition by a mixture of threat and intimidation shows the new visage of PDP governors: Priests without altars, Imams without mosques. They can only express their exasperation in private.

An African proverb has warned that an ant has no justice in a colony of lizards. In Chief Obasanjo's presidency, governors were micro powers who learnt to frustrate the macro power {Obasanjo} often. President Jonathan is now an unstoppable dragon. The political glass ceiling in the PDP, now a club of truculent adults and the “no vacancy” sign hung in Aso Rock has made the Goodwill Akpabio led PDP Governor's Forum a Potemkin parliament. The American State of New Hampshire has the motto: Live free or die. The motto of the PDP could be: “Take Jonathan or kaput!” But the caucus that coroneted President Jonathan as the sole candidate of the PDP for the 2015 presidential election may be far from balmy.

Investments that are the live wire of development and the foundation of productive capital – developmental infrastructure like light, roads, airports, seaports, industries, ICT patents, technologies that oil modern economies. A situation whereby the south pay for the bailout of the north via imposed austerity is not a template for political and economic excellence. This fiscal shenanigansm must be re-balanced. The Jonathan administration must re-balance our GDP away from ephemeral sources of growth that doesn't create jobs for Nigerians. This democratic deficit must be re-balanced. That is a dysfunctional economy. In the words of Machiavelli, “there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system.” Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had seen opportunity above ability in some military sfaff. Machiavelli agreed that fortune could move in statesmen than skill.

President Jonathan is a living testament of the cute observations of these acute statesmen. The problems of Nigeria's democracy lack a near and neat solution. This convergence of patronage, feudalism, fake intimacies and industrial corruption that has blossomed under the Jonathan presidency is matched by widespread divergence and dirge in the general population. Jonathan will not excel by his known capabilities which at best, are pithy, pedestrian, photo-opp, remote controlled, malleable and predictable.

The #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS pressure group, a harmless, non-violent campaign outfit is headed by Dr Oby Ezekwesili. On Wednesday July 9, 2014, a red-lipped Marilyn Ogar, the Nollywood inspired spokesperson of the Department of State Security, DSS, slammed a franchise tag on the group. In her hallucinatory outburst, Ogar wondered that “if it is an ordinary movement seeking to pile pressure on government or security agencies to release the girls, there will be no need for the group to begin to have tags.” She worried: “Why would those involved in the movement decide to carry out smear campaign against certain government officials.” Till date, Ogar hasn't named the government officials targeted with “smear campaigns.”The spokesperson of a security agency that should be apolitical has extended her brief to include being the voice of Aso Rock and the PDP! As far as scaremonger Ogar and company are concerned, state security and survival of any government in power is the same.

The DSS may soon become a toxic asset to Nigerians. The DSS finds it difficult to balance state security needs with the rights of citizens in a democratic society. During the Osun State governorship election, the DSS made the air thick with the prophecy of war against the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC. Like in Anambra State, the DSS libelled, hounded and arrested APC chieftains like Nasir el Rufai and Lai Mohammed. Now, the illegal campaign organisation of President Jonathan has tags and Ogar is not loud with denunciations.

The awkward, wicked and immoral #BRINGBACKJONATHAN that presidential spokesman Dr Doyin Okupe pioneered is not a fashionable franchise. It is not an unfashionable asset. Nigeria's political parties are not divided by ideology. Ours is not a pluralist democracy, but tainted, incompetent civilian rule. Decades of military and civilian injustice, inequality, corruption and oppression has been the lot of Nigerians. Institutions such as the judiciary, media, neutral civil service, armed and security forces that check the power of governments in mature democracies are sadly lacking in Nigeria.

Historian, free lance journalist and writer, Pastor Joseph Emeka Anumbor is the author of The Intercourse of Troubled Thoughts, a critically acclaimed discourse on homosexuality published by AuthorHouse Inc, Indiana, USA.

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