In two days time, Nigerians will have a choice to decide whether to continue enduring the pains inflicted by Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) buccaneers that have continued to wield power and influence over our lives. March 28 offers us an opportunity to give a verdict on President Goodluck Jonathan who four years ago made a solemn promise “to uphold ‘democracy and rule of law’, ‘banish corruption and its attendant vices, ‘respect human life and human rights’. It is a payback date for Jonathan who beyond self, appears incapable of loving anyone, whether Nigeria in spite of self serving mouthing of ‘for the love of Nigeria’ or the Yoruba nation that made him that he is aiming to turn its land into a battle ground because of his desperate ambition to rule for ten years.
In 2011, to secure the PDP ticket, President Jonathan after subverting his party’s constitution allegedly doled out $1 billion to PDP governors on the eve of his party’s primary ostensibly for mobilization. For this Saturday election, 2015 election, President Jonathan whose first international engagement after victory was a visit to Uganda’s Powered Museveni, a ruthless dictator in the last 30 years has no opponent in his party’s primaries. All unanimously adopted him.
In the run up to 2011, Jonathan overlooked the PDP/Halliburton $180m LNG Bonny plant contract scam in deference to his corrupt PDP benefactors. By 2015, stealing in billions has replaced corruption. Thus those PDP stalwarts, their children and their fronts involved in the monumental N1.6 trillion fuel subsidy scam are today busy raising funds and campaigning for Jonathan’s re-election instead of being behind bars. In fact, about 17 of the 22 PDP elected governors in 1999 that had been indicted by the courts or still in court defending their integrity have been re-integrated back as governors, lawmakers or party officials. In the period, N5b pension fund fraud was uncovered right inside the Head of Government office. One Director of Pensions in the Police Affairs ministry was indicted for stealing N32.5 billion. Of the over 200 banking officials that Sanusi Lamido alleged to have contributed to the collapse of the banking sector, only one, according to him was successfully prosecuted as at the time he was removed from office, over alleged ‘missing’ $20b.
For four years, Jonathan exploited our ethnic and religious differences. Unidentified suspected Fulani herdsmen mindlessly murdered women and children in their sleep. The president has been tolerant of the assaults of his Ijaw and ethnic irredentist, on critics of his inept leadership. Today as it was in 2011, President Jonathan is urging leaders of different ethnic groups resident in Lagos to join forces to defeat their chief host and owners of Lagos. Yet, Jonathan belongs to the Ijaw nation that regarded Igbo properties in Port Harcourt as abandoned properties 45 years after the civil war.
For four years when not in Jerusalem or Rome, sometimes accompanied by some dubious members of his cabinet, the president was seen at home moving from churches to synagogues, and dismissing as subversive elements, critics of government and conjuring metaphors of the triumph of Biblical David over Goliath, and the Egyptian enslaved Israelis over powerful Pharaoh. But to the president, his opponents who worship their own God without becoming public nuisance are Islamists bent on Islamising Nigeria. For four years, insurgents operated with little resistance killing over 19,000 innocent Nigerians, turning over 1.5 Nigerians into refugees in their country. About 300 young girls abducted from their dormitories have remained in captivity for close to a year. With crisis in the international oil market, the naira now exchanges for about N220 to one dollar. What a shame!
But in spite of the baleful legacies of unfulfilled promises, President Jonathan is breaking all rules in a desperate bid for re-election in two days’ time. He has turned Yoruba land into battleground. It is not as if President Jonathan, the master of political subterfuge has ever had anything but contempt for the Yoruba on whose back he rode to power. This finds expression in the fact that besides his chief of staff and the Accountant General of Nigeria, no Yoruba of note featured among the holders of the first fifty important positions in his administration. Dismissing Obasanjo who betrayed Nigeria to make him president as ‘not a statesman but someone not better that a motor park tout”; he identified those who in his judgment should lead the Yoruba nation. They include the likes of Kashamu Buruji, Gbenga Daniel, Fani Kayode, Musliu Obanikoro, Ayo Fayose, Olusegun Mimiko Doyin Okupe and Gani Adams.
The Jonathan recognized Yoruba leaders say they are ready to deliver the Yoruba votes to Jonathan. Pa Ayo Adebanjo who, some two years back, publicly praised Bola Tinubu for liberating Yoruba land from Obasanjo and PDP has joined forces with Jonathan’s errand boys to say the aspirations of the Yoruba can only be achieved by voting for PDP and President Jonathan who has promised to implement the confab report tucked away along dozen other committee reports until the eve of a national election. But Pa Adebanjo has never struck many people as a successful politician, a successful lawyer or even a successful Awo follower.
If we see politics as ‘an art of the possible’, any politician who is condemned to the past and not the future and what it holds, is a failed politician. In a nation that has according to General Alabi Isama been ruled since independence by a coalition of Igbo and Hausa Fulani elite, even while pretending to be at war, Pa Adebanjo cannot see what Yoruba stands to gain in a combination of Hausa Fulani and the main stream Yoruba political tendency to which he has identified for an upwards of fifty years. He even discountenanced the presence of his Ijebu kinsman, Prof Osinbajo on the Buhari ticket. Pa Adebanjo is prepared to throw away the baby with the bath water because of selfish bitterness against Tinubu.
Pa Adebanjo is not ready to forgive Buhari even after he had said ‘dictatorship goes with military rule’ and after the children of those directly affected publicly pardoned him because of their deeper understanding of the limitation of ill-equipped military junta suffering from messianic complex, Pa Adebanjo has shown he cannot comprehend the essence of Awoism, Awo as philosopher and Awo as a brilliant politician. For instance Awo jailed by Hausa Fulani and Igbo ruling elites came out of prison without bitterness. He moved on to write books because he was deep enough to know the crisis was ideological. It was the ruling elite in the north and east that reached a consensus to send Awo to prison, hoping erroneously that, he would be too old by the time he returns to question how they govern Nigeria.
On the Lagos metro line project of over 30 years ago, it is a good that that Alhaji Lateef Jakande during his 80th birthday celebration recently put the blame squarely on President Shehu Shagari’s administration. The same Shagari, whose administration guaranteed billions of dollars as external loans for NPP and NPN coalition partner governors, prevented the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from releasing the seventy million mobilization fees for the project, long after the specified amount had been deposited by Lagos State government with it. Pa Jakande also accused Shagari of abandoning the Third mainland bridge due to ‘pettiness.’
Adebanjo is selfishly asking Yoruba people to vote for Jonathan that has nothing but contempt for our people. Our youths, in two days time, must demonstrate that our selfless forbearers’ investment in us have not been in vain by rejecting Jonathan and his errand boys and errant old men