by Collins Uma
Ever since the decline of President Goodluck Jonathan’s popularity, the height being during, and immediately after, the January 2012 Occupy Nigeria protests, it has been very difficult to get anybody who would agree they voted for him during the 2011 elections.
How Jonathan moved from arguably the most loved presidential candidate to the most hated or, according to his aides, the most abused President is a story for another day but, truth be told, he won the elections. Yes, there were reported acts of rigging and other electoral malpractices in different parts of the country but this was not only from the PDP. Other parties did what they could in areas where they had opportunity to do so and, at the end of the day, the rigger with the highest number was declared winner, in this case, PDP.
I believe Jonathan could have won without the PDP engaging in malpractices though. It is just that most PDP officials have been so busy learning the tricks of the trade they have forgotten the trade itself.
Jonathan had so much goodwill going for him before the elections. Pastor Tunde Bakare’s Save Nigeria Group had organised rallies to drum up support for Jonathan to be made Acting President when it became evident Nigeria could not continue waiting for Yar’Adua to get well. I even dared MOPOL bullets when I joined other young Nigerians and took a front row seat on the hard asphalt under the hot Abuja sun in front of the National Assembly as we demanded to speak to the Lawmakers during the EnoughIsEnough Abuja rally. The legislators refused to come out but they got our message. We walked back to Eagle Square. Two days later, David Mark invoked that ‘Doctrine of Necessity’.
We have therefore not always ‘hated’ Jonathan. There was a time we believed he was a nice guy who just a victim of the evil machinations of some cabal, as Dora Akunyili put it back then. On the strength of that sympathy and filial piety, many Nigerians voted for him. I was one of those who cast votes in his support. Do I regret that decision? No. The only other option would have been to stay at home and not vote. If you ask me why, I will ask you to tell me the better alternative(s) presented to Nigerians by the opposition in 2011.
Two years to the next elections and we are yet to get a credible opposition. History might just repeat itself. Will it?
AND ONE OTHER MATTER…
Its Time For CAN To Can It
It never ceases to amaze me how grown men with families can just choose to dance naked in the market place and thereby bring what ought to be a family secret out in the open. It is an expression of the lowest level of intelligence to say that Bukola @zebbook Ogunyemi’s tweet, retweeted by Nasir elRufai, implied that Jesus could have slept with Mary Magdalene.
The tweet said “If Jesus criticizes Jonathan’s government, Maku, Abati or Okupe will say He slept with Mary Magdalene”. This came after Mr Labaran Maku, the Minister of Information, had accused Mrs Oby Ezekwesili of misappropriating some funds during her tenure as Minister of Education. Mrs Ezekwesili had earlier criticised the profligacy of the Jonathan administration and its precursor, the Yar’Adua administration. The emphasis of the tweet, therefore, was on the manner the Jonathan media team would rather engage in mudslinging than respond objectively to issues.
The CAN General Secretary has, in a statement, warned Mr elRufai to “prepare himself for a very forceful and vigorous reaction from the Church and the Christian community in Nigeria if he continues making such divisive commentaries”.
I think the CAN leadership needs to shut up and go back to that hole where they have been hiding ever since corruption took over the land. If they wish to get some relevance through public speech, they should start by addressing the billions of Naira so far stolen by officials of this government who are still free men celebrated even in churches. The CAN, as presently constituted, neither speaks for the Church nor the Christian community. I say this as a member of the Clergy. They speak for their pockets.
The ill-advised statement went further to personally insult Mr elRufai and call him a “failed, desperate, hate-filled, and drowning politician”. This is uncalled for. It only puts CAN in the same bracket as Maku, Abati and Okupe that the tweet described. fact, the statement by the CAN General Secretary, Rev Musa Asake, reads like something drafted by Mr Labaran Maku. I will not be surprised if he is the one speaking through the CAN General Secretary.
Anyone who has followed the opinions I have expressed, especially on social media, knows that elRufai is not one of my role models but using the exalted office of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria to fight him over a tweet that did not originate from him and which was misunderstood by many is not only demeaning and disrespectful of the office, it also shows a lack of understanding of basic English Language by the CAN leadership. If they continue acting this way they can only bring more embarrassment to themselves and to those who believe the guys in CAN speak for them.