DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN: THE KING DAVID OF OUR TIME?
Nigeria the multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi- religious nation scored a first last week with the returning of His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the flag bearer of the PDP in the years April general election. That was a great feat given the antecedents of the biggest party in black Africa and even the current rancour within them. Prior to the said primaries, comments by all observers were unanimous in the orderliness of the exercise and this can be attested to by the fact that up to now, none of the three contestants have taken the usual course of action – the court to seek redress. For once let us applaud the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – great jobs are usually product of great thinking.
But the focus here is on the metamorphosis of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the need of us to know, or remember that God is still at work in Nigeria . From the beginning, no body gave this man a chance. Remembering that he was a general without any Army immediately reminded me of King David in the Bible. Now, the three major religions in Nigeria are Christian, Islam and Pagan. Others exist, but in trickles. Though, not every one is deeply knowledgeable of the story of David, we all have a passable idea.
Like David, Dr. Jonathan was in his obscure corner tending the files when the call for greatness came his way. Like Samuel, the one assigned to convince Dr. Jonathan did not know that today's story would befall the man nor did the former governor Chief DSP Alamiesiegha, to whom he was a second in command. Like Saul, if they had any inkling that the current situation would be true, there would have been a great rethink. That is were God proves He is all knowing God.
The Dr. Jonathan we know now has suffered humiliation in its true sense but as a child of destiny, he remained humble and l dare say, not because he wanted to, but because he listened to the small voice more often than not. Once while traveling to his village Ogbia in Bayelsa State to announce that he was joining politics, he could not afford to charter the Flying Boat the common means of traveling to his locality then. But a jovial boat driver offered to take even him alone as it was not the drivers turn to load. This offer did not go without the usual arguments common to transporters and travelers. It was evening, and superior argument that he could be carried alone won the day. That somebody who took Dr. Jonathan to the village as a boat driver, today, is an opinion leader in the state. He has been paid back first as special assistant during his tenure as Deputy Governor, and in many other ways even now. The same way, David who killed Goliath of Gath was rewarded by the people with the kind of praise that so angered Saul that he wanted the head of his saviour.
Why am l taking us through this rigours associated with kingship in a multi problematic nation? History, once in a regular while is necessary to refresh our memories because history again is in the making in Nigeria .
When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was appointed military head of State, those who watched him read his acceptance speech could remember that he was shaken to his intestine. But not so again, the former President who after tutelage from the prison walls and minutes away from firing squad did not know that he was having a day with destiny as the next elected president of Nigeria until it came to him like a thunder bolt. Everything happened fast. First he was pardoned, the pardon was swiftly gazetted, he was broke, friends stuffed his account with whooping fund in all currencies and the rest is history now. These were circumstances of the man. But once in office again, he knew what the establishment better and decided to dislodge them once and for all. He has not disappointed at all in that direction. One he calls the shot now in and outside the PDP, second he gave us the GSM so information flow has been like with the speed of light and much secrets no longer pervade the country and finally he discovered a Jonathan, the subject matter of this article, the first young Niger Deltan for a President removing powers from the core northern cabal and the geopolitical zones.
David upon being anointed King faced obstacles. He fought wars yet he sat on the throne. Jonathan faced challenges. First as deputy governor, he had to face the realities of taking over from his mentor the former governor in some difficult circumstances. His wits were to be challenged again as Vice president. In that position, he was largely taken for granted, never given a chance- not by the late president Alhaji Umaru Yar'adua, but by wolves in sheep clothing who formed a cabal and did unprintable things. Can you imagine a man who, while still in office and knowing that he would be next in command, allowed charlatans to scheme the cream of the society looking for his possible displacement and he remained quiet? Where are all the kitchen cabinet members now? One of them who dreamt a vice president position is now probably negotiating his way to prison after all his wife, sister, cousin, girlfriend and even lawyer are all in jail on mare three count charge. Oh Nigeria ! That was a man who was cleared of 170 allegations in Nigeria ! That was the wide margin of difference between an Attorney General in Michael Oandoakaa and the British courts. Yet, Oandoakaa had the temerity to go to court demanding his SANship forgetting that as a award, same could be withdrawn once the holder is found to be dishonourable or ignoble?
Finally, at the beginning, Jonathan like David was a general without army; hence Saul pursued him in all direction yet failed because the hand of God was on him. Today an Atiku has done the same, failed in all fronts and now have thrown him to irrelevance. It was not altogether unexpected, because he who the gods wants to destroy, he first make mad. The gods bartered him so much that, his words against himself were serilised in the print and electronic media to his humiliation. Atiku forgot the deep cut he left on his PDM and his abandoned children in CAN. While he was busy spending ill-gotten cash, Jonathan was busy receiving cash donations from public spirited individuals, until the day with destiny arrived at eagle square, the Omo washed brighter and showed! Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had a resounding victory in his first ever electoral contest.
Anything more to add? Well a word for the man of destiny. It is not the good in your luck that pushed you this far. The day l saw you at the Redemption City of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Lagos - Ibadan Express way in December 2010, l told everyone who cared to listed that we have an ordained president in the waiting.
Finally, finally, your Excellency, your humility has spoken volumes to so many in different ways. I will advice you to go back to the books and do a more thorough study of the man DAVID. Like him, you are a man of destiny. Let the wisdom and knowledge bestowed on him by God be upon you in your leadership. You can only have one chance to make history. Obasanjo has used his chance to fulfill God's purpose for you. Your own chance is now. May God bless Nigeria again through you. Congratulations.
Mike O. Akpati is a Public Affair Analyst based in Port harcourt
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