WHY NIGERIANS ELECTED PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN PART 2 (NIGERIANS GO SURVIVE)
The African American comedian, actor, radio personality, and celebrity impresario Mr. Steve Harvey once recanted his meeting with a European American during a domestic United States flight. According to Mr. Harvey, after ten minutes of cordial pleasantries about then Senator Barack Obama and the impending US presidential elections, the other fellow asked Mr. Harvey to be honest with the presiding question. Are you supporting and voting for Mr. Obama because he is African American like you? At which point, Mr. Harvey ever the astute customer responded by asking the European American his counter question. Are you refusing to vote for Senator Obama because he is African American? This rhetorical comeback was so upsetting to the other fellow who ignored Mr. Harvey throughout the rest of the flight.
However, the morals of the above narrative are not only that Mr. Harvey should be considered for an honorary United Nations of Nigerian citizenship because of his brilliance at answering a question with another question. Though, this is a quintessential Nigerian attribute, the renowned celebrity was able to identify the prejudice and bias in his fellow American and called him out on it. With regards to the context of Nigeria, it is an affront on our intelligence when folks state that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was voted into office because of tribal sentiments. These swift and narrow-minded rewriters of contemporary history in Nigeria are prepared to deny the fact that the president actually got more combined votes in other regions of the country than he got in his Niger Delta region.
Consequently, in their banal attempts to delegitimize the electoral victory of his Excellency the President of Nigeria, they accuse others of tribalism for supporting and for voting Mr. Jonathan into power, while attacking his Niger Delta wardrobe. It is as though they do not realize that the United Nations of Nigeria comprises of more than 250 ethnic nationalities with varying attires. Maybe they have been endemically acculturated within the last fifty years by the mostly military regalia of our ex-Generals (Dictators) or are more fascinated by the other outfits of our scant civilian leaders. Some have even gone as far as christening President Jonathan, “the drunken fisherman.” But these preoccupations with the tribal eccentricities of Mr. President’s Niger Delta roots and infantile mockery do not negate our collective realities. Most of our national revenues are derived from the same Niger Delta which is the home of the so-called drunken fishermen who are no longer content with remaining on the sidelines.
Majority of Nigerians voted for Mr. Jonathan irrespective of their ethnicities and religious philosophies. Many were massacred in the north for the mere fact that they went for practicality and common sense as oppose to irrationality and sense of entitlement. Although pathetic these entrenched dogmas are not peculiar to our mother land. In the United States no less a figure than President Barack Obama was forced to bring out his original birth certificate to placate his opponents. Some have called him socialist, black militant, Fascist, nascist, Kenyan witch doctor and the list goes on. These personal and primitive attacks are examples of hardball politics gone wild. They are from minds that do not understand that multiple experiences are needed for dealing with one aspect instead of one aspect dealing with multiple experiences.
Ironically, the same people who remain on the stereotypical and primordial attack offensive are eager to have Generals Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida declare an armistice. They are supportive of President Jonathan’s entries to both men in order for them to recoil their verbal revelatory assault against each other. They fail to reason that the election of Mr. Jonathan is the engine for this ongoing transparent counter accusations and that the United Nations of Nigeria will be better off in the long-term for these developments. Why have they not criticized President Jonathan in his attempts at peacemaking between the two platinum executives of the Northern Military Industrial Complex (NMIC)? This conciliatory exercise between President Obasanjo and his paddy man Dictator Babangida is a sinister plot against the forces of illumination that elected Mr. Jonathan. We wonder why his siding with the forces of state secrecy, corruption, impunity, and cover-ups.
Other valid issues that critics might want to place on the desk of President Jonathan include the intervention to manipulate an equal branch of government. The GEJ administration’s decision to stop judicial precedent and recourse in the case of Justice Ayo Isa Salami, is a more concerning action than his riverine inspired clothing and bowler hat. There is also the need to scrutinize the headiness and tone deafness behind the six year single term proposal from Aso Rock. What about the divisive issues of Islamic Banking and Boko Haram when northern Nigeria is inundated with problems of unemployed youths, desertification, deforestation, and drought. We have misplacements of priorities so much so that Kwara State is more interested in developing irrigation projects, sourcing loans for the European Zimbabweans who have settled in our western agricultural frontiers, but not in the northern highlands due to inhospitability.
Some in the north are more pre-occupied with guns and bombs glued by slices of fanaticism and hatred rather than bread and butter served with heavy doses of African centric education and development. How it is that there are no mass public campaigns led by the federal government, state government, and community organizations, with the current situation in Somalia to educate Nigerians about the follies of rigid religious doctrines and tribalism? There needs to be the underscoring to members of the United Nations of Nigeria and especially some in northern Nigerians that it is not in their best interest to continue to invite religious and tribal acrimony in our national framework. We ask again when President Jonathan is going to zero in on the subjects of his transformational agenda such as electricity, the catalyst for rural and urban development.
Response/Motivational letter from Part 1:
I guess you are one of the people, who voted for Goodluck and not PDP, am still trying to understand the concept anyway, don’t know how to vote for Gordon Brown without voting for the labour party. Nigerians sure know how to deceive and delude themselves. Nigeria needed a change and a break from the last 12 years of the PDP but we sacrificed that chance on the alter of ethnicity, religion and foolishness. I could not get myself to voting a PHD holder who cannot articulate his thoughts and views and wears a native/traditional dress and blower hat everyday. Goodluck didn’t promise anything so he is free to do nothing.
Our hearts go out to the victims, survivals, and families of the United Nations of Nigeria and the United Nations in regards to the bombing at Abuja. We pray for solace to deal with the pain and lost. May our ancestors grant us the strength to carry on and confront the bastards responsible for this cowardice?
Nnamdi Frank Akwada MSW, BA is a Social Justice Activist.