Jonathan and the evil forces within

What President Jonathan is a deeply religious leader is not totally unexpected because his life has been a testimony to God’s special kindness. From a ‘shoeless’ school boy, God paved the way for a very rewarding position of an OMPADEC Assistant Director. From there he became Deputy Governor through the goodwill of his mentor, Alamieseigha. Obasanjo then became God’s instrumentality to change Jonathan’s life to a life of bigger testimonies. Obasanjo after jailing Jonathan’s boss, for stealing his people’s money first installed Jonathan Governor and later moved him up as vice president.

Jonathan, the apple of God’s eye without struggle became president following Yar’Adua’s death. And in spite of PDP zoning policy and resistance from the real owners of PDP, he won a landslide victory in the 2011 election. Dame Patience Jonathan also enjoys God’s special grace. She recently gave a testimony of how God gave her another chance by raising her from death after eight days in a German hospital.

One can therefore understand why the president not only believes in miracles but also in the existence of ‘evil forces’ working towards the disintegration of Nigeria. This also explains why Jonathan doesn’t give a damn about the alleged weakness of character of his close associates including much reviled Tony Anenih, Doyin Okupe Bamanga Tukur and Ahmadu Alli and their troublesome sons. Jonathan knows men count for little but ’with God all things are possible’.

In 2010, instead of reducing the presidential palace to just a house of intrigue, like his predecessors, he set up inside Aso rock an annual prayer session as ‘a forum to establish God link at the Presidential villa’. Two weeks ago after one of such sessions, he alerted the nation about the evil forces trying to derail Nigeria.

I think we must pay special attention to what was by all account a revelation to President Jonathan after a powerful prayer session. This is to prevent the president’s advisers from reducing this serious revelation to name calling and witch hunting of groups and opposition parties. We must not forget they once misled him on serious policy issues such as removal of phantom fuel subsidy and bail out for the aviation sector instead of the manufacturing sector.

Let me therefore as a social scientist and stakeholder in the Nigeria project help our god-fearing president to isolate groups that are not likely to support disintegration of Nigeria and identify areas where he should pay greater attention to avoid unnecessary dissipation of energy.

First, neither the dominant nor the minority ethnic groups including the oil-rich states want a disintegrated Nigeria. I think what each group wants in line with the dream of our founding fathers is fairness, justice and freedom to manage the affairs of their respective nations within the greater Nigerian nation.

First, the Hausa/Fulani in the event of Nigerian disintegration have nowhere to go. When the intemperate Murtala Mohammed leading northern soldiers in the wake of the vengeance coup of 1966 attempted to take the north out of Nigeria, Britain and the US counselled them to fight for survival within a greater Nigerian nation. Today, there is no more a monolithic north. Secondly, the greed of today’s northern leaders have replaced the selflessness of Ahmadu Bello, the very personification of feudalism who nonetheless practiced egalitarianism by sending children of the poor and underprivileged in the north to the best schools in the world. Almost 50 years after the venerable Ahmadu Bello’s death, the new northern leaders and beneficiaries of his foresight need Nigeria if they are to survive the wrath an army of unemployed and uneducated youths forced to embrace Boko Haram.

The Igbo, hemmed at all sides and detested by less competitive groups have no place to go outside the greater Nigerian nation. They like the Jews thrive more in other peoples land. And as Achebe puts it, they only ‘run home when calamity befalls the owner of the land, leaving behind the owners of the land who know how to appease their own gods”.

That has also changed. Today, they are marooned in Boko Haram-besieged north. Back home, their hostile land has been taken over by an army of unemployed youths whose major occupation is kidnapping children and the wealthy for ransom.

Of course the Yoruba in spite of clamour for regional integration need Nigeria more than any other group. An area P C Loyd said was more urbanized than Europe at the time of the colonization achieved that cultural advancement by their accommodation of strangers. It has always been the case since Obatala, according to myth descended with a rope from heaven or Oduduwa according to Ifa came with a new wave of immigrants from Mero near today’s Egypt. . Their cities and villages have today become havens for Nigerian internal immigrants from the besieged north-east and those driven by commerce and kidnappers from the south- east. The Market women yam sellers are at peace with itinerant Hausa yam sellers, motorists wait patiently for Fulani herdsmen and their flock while crossing the busy express ways, property rate has soared in Banana Island and I am sure Governor Fashola has factored into his Atlantic City Project, Igbo property speculators.

The South-south will need more than vandalisation of oil pipelines to survive a disintegrated Nigeria. Amaechi, Imoke are some of the governors with Igbo names ruling some of the oil producing states. President Jonathan won more votes in Imo than Governor Okorocha because of his wife’s Igbo factor. In other words, a disintegrated Nigeria is an open invitation for the landlocked East to start from where they stopped before the civil war and finally resolve the outstanding issue of Port Harcourt abandoned properties.

And finally, to exorcise the evil spirit bent on disintegration of Nigeria, the president should take a closer look at himself and his PDP. He may for instance discover that the real source of despair in our nation is PDP and its leading lights who as beneficiaries of present anarchy, stand against fairness, justice and are opposed to a national conference to discuss our differences.

What else can be a greater threat to survival of a nation than a group of greedy men sharing of our blue chips firms on which the nation had invested over a hundred billion dollars for a pittance or when an exercise designed by World Bank to create seven million jobs became an avenue for amassing huge family wealth while millions of unemployed youths roam the streets of our major cities?

The evil forces bent on destroying Nigeria include the president’s PDP colleagues who appointed over 140 fuel importers including their siblings some of whom defrauded the nation to the tune of about N1.7 trillion without importing a pint of fuel. And of course, the evil spirit will include senior members of the judiciary smiling to the banks for shielding felons from facing justice.

In league of the president elusive evil spirit bent on destroying our nation are the president men who without recouping the taxpayers’ billions of naira given out as bail out to the airlines embarked on another wasteful venture of borrowing millions of dollars to buy aircrafts for mismanaged air lines owned by members or sympathizers of PDP.

And finally, if the president stopped closing his eyes during his well meaning night vigils, he may discover to his pleasant surprise that in the league of the ‘evil forces’ are some pastors who exploit the fears of our jobless youths they fraudulently reassured of miracles in spite of God’s injunction that we all must live by our sweats, and those who buy private jets with the help of governors as ‘thieves in state houses’ and bankers who stole depositors funds.

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