Nigeria: The victorious exit of Jonathan GoodLuck
By Hakeem Babalola
Jonathan has done what the president elect Buhari has failed to do all these years. Not once in three successive years of losing elections did Buhari concede defeat. Rather what always come from his mouth each time he lost is fire and brimstone. Blood of baboons flowing is his chopstick. What a character of a president elect. If Jonathan had won, Buhari would be fuming up and down now ready to dismantle everything; ready to foment trouble even rebellion; ready to jeopardize the integrity of a process that meant to be.
Jonathan in defeat is better than his predecessors whose mantra is a do or die affairs. Jonathan has left a legacy to be remembered in the history of a nation. He has done what people like Obasanjo will never do in their lifetime even in their next life. Jonathan called the president elect to congratulate him. Oh what a feat in the context of African rulership!
They don't name him Goodluck for nothing. This man came as a nobody - both politically and economically - but with that single act, now ahead of others who had been in his position. He may not be an effective leader, but he has shown that every man has a unique quality. The man Jonathan transforms the electoral process in Nigeria. He has started a journey of a life time. What he could not achieve in way of articulation is systematically directed to a legacy of election process.
It is now left for others to take it from where he stops. No president has ever done it this way. Not even Obasanjo who handed over power to the civilian regime in 1979. Obasanjo's process was tricky. He handed over to the least presidential candidate having warned that the best candidate might not win. True to his word, he made sure Shagari won that election. Jonathan is a man of his word. He may not have solution to Nigeria's problem, but he has transformed the process - the most important process. He has laid a foundation for a better elections in our land. He has done it. Let them who chew a do or die affairs build on this.
Jonathan may be corrupt like those before him and those who would come after (and there's no excuse for this), he has shown the character too much for people like Babangida who coined the infamous "Step aside". As meek as he is, he is so bold to give Nigerians a freedom to choose; to be - to be what they want to be. Conceding defeat is something foreign in the dictionary of governance in our land. In defeat this Otuoke man has re-written a history of a people. Perhaps that's why a Goodluck must be brought into the land of want by all means necessary.
He didn't really want to be president but by providence became one. Hum, those who fought on his behalf were the same people who fought against his presidency. They called him all sorts of unprintable names, disrespecting his personality as well as the office he holds. They heat up the polity against him. That he would rig the elections; that he would establish a sit-tight rule. They see him as themselves. They were afraid of themselves and so they lied against him.
The chaos that usually follows elections and the sit-tight syndrome among the African rulers is so bad that one Mo Ibrahim decided to create an award for any ruler/leader who leaves office amicably. No one ever thought a Nigerian president would be contesting for this kind of award, in part because people like Buhari and his ilk would always see election defeat as a conspiracy theory against them.
It is that bad in our land that people even dismissed a quotable quote from Goodluck Jonathan. "My ambition is not worth the blood of Nigerians". What a marble word in the land where a Buhari would want people to die for them - for their own selfish and innate ambition. Nobody took him serious when he gave that memorable quote. Jonathan has indirectly saved the "monkey and baboons" from losing their blood unnecessarily. Now we can begin to chew a new kola nut.
I may not like his approach towards leadership but his humbleness has elevated him above others. Jonathan in defeat has displayed a quality rare in African rulers. Many souls have perished as a result of one man's quest to remain in power. His is exemplary show of magnanimity. The man now commands the respect he could not command while in office. What an irony of life. Perhaps this once shoe-less boy was called for this assignment; for this purpose in our land. Whoever advised him not to generate a spirit of a do or die affairs is to be commended as well.
Painful as it is, because of this single act of not toying the usual path of blood and baboons mantra, I am ready to forgive this gentleman's mistakes and errors during his presidency. He simply displayed what I cherish. No, no blood of any Nigerian is worth the ambition of any political office. But they don't know as much. And so GEJ has lectured them on this. It joys my heart.
Though I still stand by my article on him immediately he assumed office as the President of the Republic of Nigeria in 2011, I now rate him above other Nigerian so-called statesmen, some of them who behave like silly old man. Who would have thought that Jonathan in defeat would beat them all. Line them up and count them. They had and still devising a way to rule. Are they born to rule? No, they aren't. Thank you Goodluck Jonathan and Goodbye.