Shedrack Adeboye Johnson.
One news story video that was embarrassing to watch last week was that of former president of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, speaking to an obviously rented crowd that “stormed” his Abuja office to “compel” him to run for president a third time. He laboured to explain to them that he had not decided whether to run again for the office he left in 2015 on a positive and exemplary note.
There have been rumours that the ruling All Progressives Congress is hatching a plan to use Jonathan as a pun to ensure that from 2023, when power is expected to return to the South, that it stays in the South for only a term of four years. The reason is that Jonathan, having completed the tenure of Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua between 2010 and 2011, ran for office in 2011 and spent one term in office. Their calculation is that if Jonathan is helped into office in 2023, he will only have to spend one tenure and leave, thereby making power return to the North in four years instead of eight years.
The plan of those behind this plot is that Jonathan will be helped to run on the platform of the APC, even though all his political life has been spent in the Peoples Democratic Party, which has been in power in his Bayelsa home state since 1999 and was in power at the federal level from 1999 to 2005. Ironically, it was Jonathan that made PDP lose power at the federal level for the first time.
When Jonathan, as an incumbent president, conceded defeat in 2015, refused to contest the result in court, called on his supporters not to react violently, ensured there was a smooth handover, he was praised for displaying an attitude to power that was not common in Africa. That made him an international hero.
Before that election, the opposition APC had led a vicious media campaign onslaught against him. He was demonised and called unprintable names. Jonathan did not also help matters with his numerous gaffes in speech and action. His overbearing wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, worsened his situation with her actions and utterances. Many of those who were in his cabinet secretly worked against him.
Seven years after, there are rumours that the same people who called him names and worked against his presidency are planning to get him into power so that he will help them return quickly to power, but rather than Jonathan coming out clearly and unambiguously to deny it and dissociate himself from such rumours, he preferred to give “political statements.” Jonathan had said to the “protesters,” who demanded that he declare for president, “Yes, you are calling me to come and declare for the next election. I cannot tell you I’m declaring. The political process is ongoing. Just watch out.”
In Nigeria, once politicians say they are consulting or that they are praying over a political office, it is an indirect way of saying that they have made up their mind to contest or are leaning towards it but are just waiting for a few things to be finalised before making their position known. It, therefore, casts Jonathan as a schemer. That the crowd came when he was in the office showed that it was a staged-managed event.
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