I have heard this worrisome and somewhat infantile argument made by some people, so obviously ignorant of the dynamics of political power. These people who mainly engage in street, molue or beer parlor parliament, labor to convince any idle ear that former president of the federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr, Goodluck Jonathan; really had no choice but to accept his defeat at the 2015 presidential polls. Really?
As a graduate of Government and Public Administration, I know that the Nigerian president, is by constitution, one of the most powerful men in world political power equation or mechanism. The Nigerian president may just be only next powerful to the American president, going by what powers the constitution allows him to exercise. Lawyers know better than I do on this matter. I am just a journalist exercising my professional privilege to inform and educate humanity.
So then why would anyone who understands how power works in a modern democracy like ours, argue that Goodluck Jonathan could not have contested the result of that earth-shaking election, which though relatively peaceful, free and fair; had so many question marks, especially the issue of serious allegations of under-aged voting in the northern region of Nigeria, and invalid votes too.
Have we forgotten that the late political sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo, once said that in Nigeria every political party rigs elections, but that it is only when the unpopular candidate wins that you see a protest in the streets.
Why has it become necessary to address this vital issue? Mr. Gooluck Jonathan, I believe honestly, is a very good man. Because I have followed him and his ordinary political lifestyle, from his days as Deputy Governor in Bayelsa, when I travelled regularly during the Democracy Day projects; to represent The Sun Newspaper where I was then working as a pioneer staff.
So, unlike most politicians, he was not trying to impress anyone, but just living up to the promise he made to Nigerians when he pledged that, “ my political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.” As a perfect gentleman, whom president Buhari even once called coward, even as sitting president, he kept his word to his honor.
So does he rightly deserve our respect and gratitude, in spite of the regrettable corruption that occurred under his watch? Yes, he does. Especially because, the feelers we were getting from the Niger Delta as the results filtered in from the states across the country at The Guardian Newspaper newsroom, was that Niger Delta hotheads were on their marks ready to start blowing up the pipelines and every federal government presence around them. What would have happened had Jonathan rejected the result of that election, would have made the lingering restiveness in that region seem like child’s play.
I truly think, it’s high time we started giving Jonathan resounding ovation in any public function he graciously accepts to attend. And those who has President Buhari’s ears, including those who have argued that Jonathan was intimidated to accept the result by the United States Government, who had deployed sub-marine into the Nigerian waters; must know now that trying in any way to rubbish a great soul like Jonathan, will only soar his already high popularity rating.
These unpatriotic elements, should realize that, had Jonathan contested that result as we are sure president Buhari would have done, knowing his antecedents, nothing less than 20,000 innocent lives would have been wasted in the conflagration that would have ensued consequently. Because Jonathan then, we must recognize, was still Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Nigeria, so controlled the instruments of coercion, that can unleash the kind of violence that Idi Amin or Saddam Hussien had irreparably punished their people with.
So let’s keep praying for the wellbeing of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan! He made Nigeria and the black man proud, since his soul-mate Mandela, let us to the great beyond.