16 Feb 2015

Is Jonathan pushing his good luck? - by Fola Ojo

Political party stakeholders and supporters must have gone into spending overkill, bank loans must have been accessed and properties sold off with proceeds expended on supporting candidates running for office. A thick stratum of emotion and piles of mental strain must have been infused into the electioneering, and the cost of preparation for the adjourned democratic process earlier scheduled for Saturday, February 14, must have been more than an arm-and-a-leg.

For those who are pulling for either President Goodluck Jonathan or Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), what they had anticipated would be a celebratory, champagne-popping romantic love day-out on Valentine’s Day hooraying their candidate’s victory, will be nothing but a saggy Saturday in Nigeria. The announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, last week that this month’s elections had to be postponed for six weeks because of the fear of Boko Haram’s butcher-knives, bayonets and tanks in some parts of the North, carves an ominous picture.

I hope I am wrong; I hope I am misreading the verbal and nonverbal languages of some people seated in high places; the postponement is an awkward genesis of a strange development in our polity, and the attending noises for and against are only the first leg in the roll-out process of a national horror-movie we all may be forced to watch. The apprehension and suspense among Nigerians about the future of the country thus linger on with no foreseeable end in sight. The truth, my friends, is that the likelihood that elections will be conducted in Nigeria this year is not only gasping for breath, it is sliding into a near-death situation.

On Wednesday, February 4, 10 clear days before the original election date, I had written through the social media platform these words about the elections and they are still on record: “… There may be no elections held in Nigeria this month… I hope I am wrong; I pray I am just jiving, but I can’t stop thinking what I am thinking. There is something eerie about February 14, and it’s not LOVE!”

On February 7, three days after my prediction, Jega announced a six-week postponement of the process under what many now believe may have been a situation of duress and coercion. The Professor who had aforetime bragged and almost sworn that nothing would change the date now came out defending what he had viciously attacked. The new rhythm and rhyme sung by Jega was not the INEC Chairman’s script.

We all know that elections are conducted in convivial cohort with other agencies over which INEC has no overriding charge; but if in the hotbed of widespread terrorist wars and battles like Pakistan, Syria, and Afghanistan elections are conducted without a botch or bungle; if in places where bombs are dropped hourly and guns are fired by-the-minute communities still chose leaders through the ballot box, February’s elections in Nigeria should have been held without qualms.

Many of us now think that there is more to the prevalent narrative of fear-mongering; and there may be something deeper in a realm unknown and unseen where the Machiavellian move for postponement was hatched by men who assume that their varying interests (whatever they are), are threatened. The security issue raised may be nothing but a crafty gloss over the real reason for a change in date.

With recent developments of contradictory statements by those in power, with mean-looking armed men cordoning off our once-peaceful streets and armoured tanks rolled at the gates of opposition henchmen’s homes, it is certain that the thought of relinquishing power by President Jonathan and the ruling party will remain a wish, fantasia and chimera. The lofty words of assurance and beating-of-the-chest by Sambo Dasuki regarding the sacrosanctity of the new dates notwithstanding, some people somewhere are only trying to buy time to bite and spite Nigerians.

Every nation of the world has men who are not in power but possess immense authority over who is. These men are found in all aspects of a nation’s economy and they have the power to build up and pull down. These men are the ones Pastor Tunde Bakare calls power-brokers, and some of us call some of them elder statesmen. Some religious people call them powers-and- principalities, occult folk call them rulers-of-the-darkness of this world. Some angry, perturbed and beleaguered people in power may call them “motor park touts”; but I call them powerful and sometimes surreal voices hiding behind the mask of the Ides of March. These men may have decided who will not be sworn in as president come May 29. Are they God? No! They are men who think they are God and get away with many acts. If you mess with them, they’ll mess you up; if you are too stubborn, they’ll turn you into stubble.

These people, in cunning compeer with those who love to perpetuate themselves in power, are flying a kite that has no wind behind it in an attempt to continue with a government train whose engine is about to pack up in ignominy.

Is the President amongst the men? He has no reason to be. God loves GOODLUCK JONATHAN, and he knows it. A man who walked from absolutely nothing to the pinnacle of prominence and power? No! Goodluck cannot be amongst those men because good luck has fulfilled destiny and he does not have to rule for 10 years to prove anything. The future of Nigeria is important to Goodluck and he knows that he will be pushing his good luck too far if he is numbered among those men. Oh No! The President cannot be one of them. If he is, whoever is telling him that he can pull a perpetuation through is lying to him. Mr. President knows that the consequences will be untold. He knows the roof will cave in on Nigeria, the walls will tumble in, the land will be scorched, the territory will be unbearably thermal, and the foundations will be shaken. That is not a legacy Mr. President wants. Goodluck should know that power is transient and God-given. No! Mr. President cannot be numbered amongst those men who want a sit-tight situation. Jonathan will not want to push his good luck; our President loves Nigeria first before himself! But who is scared of a possible Buhari presidency? A lot of people! They are those scheming behind iron doors that we don’t have an election. But much more than the schemers, numbers are rooting for the General.

I have bad news for those men, whoever they are. The voices of the people have the ability to demobilise any horrendous conspiracy, the voices of the people are resolute, and the voices of the people are rooting for a change. It was the vociferousness of the people’s voices that kicked a certain Ibrahim Babangida to the side after the June 12 chaos; it was the unison in the people’s voices that sank Sani Abacha’s ship of hardship and terror in 1998; it was the concurrence in the people’s voices that compelled Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar to hand over power to a democratically elected Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, and the same voices in tandem screamed against a Third Term sleek move by the latter.

These same voices rose up undauntedly for Jonathan to become the substantive president after his predecessor’s sudden demise, and the same voices became the wind-beneath his wings strolling to the Presidency against this same Buhari in 2011. These are the same voices that some garroting Godzillas now want to muffle and mute. Somebody must remind them to remember history. All we are asking for is that the people’s voices be heard at the polls. Are the elections going to hold on March 28 and April 11? Yes! Goodluck will let them hold; because Goodluck knows that doing otherwise is heavily pushing his good luck.

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