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Jonathan: If A Bat Is Not Dead It Must Hang From The Tree

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I have written a lot about former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, mostly toeing the bandwagon of insults at him. It is however interesting that no matter the volume of the write, just like onions, the story continues to burrow deeper, unearthing interesting narratives. The ongoing discussion pegging him on same page with Niger Delta Militants is indeed very curious, compelling and indeed another theatre of play where the more you hear, the more you need to understand.

Shortly after the former president visited the incumbent, Mohammadu Buhari recently in the palatial Villa, stories of his being investigated on account of alleged complicity in the formation of Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) continued to gain momentum. The tale of his alleged link hit me like a fart from the behind  of a warthog. Since then, I haven't been able to control my impatience over the next episode of the allegation until I heard Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information subtly denying and at the same time positing possibility of his trial.

Speaking to Daily Trust, the minister said: “These allegations have refused to go away and those making the allegations are not backing out. So I will not be surprised if the security agencies show interest in it but I am not aware.”

It may be recalled that a faction of the NDA had raised red flags alleging the former president is in the know of activities of the group currently on economic terrorism of the nations oil rich region of the Niger Delta. It is therefore possible, security operatives have decided to launch investigation to establish possible involvement of Jonathan in the spate of bombings at the behest of militants.

After reading the reaction of the minister of information, I got more confused on the open ended approach his comment has made media content consumers to lean on. His position has triggered a pendulum swing of opinions tilting according to perception of people on the former president. Once again, the searing hate against was resurrected, while fountain of support by his loyalists also flourished.

It was therefore, not too difficult for me to arrive at some permutations based partly  on idle talks and partly on basic understanding of how the mind of an average Nigerian travels under circumstances like this. It is therefore instructive to intimate that some will conclude that he empowered the likes of Tompolo etc when they were engaged to “guard” the pipelines to sponsor the NDA

Another line of permutation to draw conclusion over Jonathan's complicity in the NDA miasma would be his purported vengeance to get back at Nigerians for voting him out of power in the 2015 election. The NDA militants are his “people” and that simply qualifies them as his army, fighting for alleged 'victimization” of their kinsman. Another permutation could be wrapped around alleged distractions to discredit the incumbent president so Jonathan could gain some good appraisal.

The possible reasons for his involvements are myriads, just as reasons to thread with care are too. Jonathan is gradually assuming the status of a victim. A man who handed over peacefully, a role model now at the mercy of those he “willing'” handed over to. A man whose international acceptance is soaring, while jealous minds  think of how to blackmail him?

We may not realize but a man who couldn't hold the country strong may be the trigger needed to splinter Nigeria.

I strongly feel the federal government should convene proper investigation into allegations flying around the former president. He has a lot at stake. Jonathan is arguably the most loathed president Nigeria has ever produced chiefly on account of financial recklessness – he threw money around to please powerful elites, mal administration – mainly to satisfy interests, poor leadership acumen- largely on account of inexperience.

It is very important for federal government to end the whole allegation on Jonathan. If he is guilty, he should face the wrath of the law. He should be made example of. No one must take the corporate integrity of Nigeria for granted, no matter status or class. If he is not complicit then it's a shame on those leveraging on the former president administrative gaffes to whittle what is left of his reputation.

While I am not making excuses for Jonathan, I feel it is indeed time to end all the barrages of insults, disrespect hauled at him. People may not realize it yet but it might just be very difficult for a sitting government to hand over to the opposition on account of all the subsequent embarrassment – a lesson from the Jonathan experience.

Interestingly one of the fall out of Buhari loyalist anti Jonathan campaign was to use caricatures or animals, name them after the former president. He took all the insults in its strides yet a replication in Buhari administration is receiving the full attention of the police and immediate prosecution in the court of law. What goes around, surely comes around. Once Jonathan is completely ridiculed, the resultant implication will definitely be dire. If there isn't need to throw around insults, blames at him, then it must end to prevent perpetuity.

Jonathan may have made his mistakes while he was president, what former leaders of the country should ask themselves is, to what extent was he offered help when he needed it? Isn't it a practice for former leaders to assist incumbents? Now they can all say he was incompetent and inexperienced. The next episode to the unfolding drama will be to strip him of his presidential title. That way, most of his political foes will be appeased.

We must recall that Jonathan emergence was a product of our usual poor leadership recruitment process. Late ex president Umar Musa Ya'Adua was handpicked by former president Olusegun Obasanjo despite his health condition. The demise of Yar'Adua led to emergence of Jonathan. If he was a vermin, then responsibility must be spread across.

Written by, Israel A. Ebije.
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