Mubi tragedy and PDP Abuja’s mockery of democracy

President Jonathan, unlike PDP hawks and ethnic irredentists that have captured him is on the surface a complete gentleman whose words will be his honour. And unlike a politician, a man of many words to whom the end justifies the means, he cuts the picture of a pastor. He is patient, a rub-off virtue from his virtuous wife, Dame Patience Jonathan. He seduces everyone with the coy smiles of an innocent shoeless school boy. It is precisely for these reasons PDP needs him more than he needs PDP. And it is for this reason most people think he is unlikely to survive the wiles of PDP, the nemesis of his better gifted godfather, ex-President Obasanjo who realised too late after his third term fiasco the evil influence of sycophants and appropriately admonished his godson to stay clear of them. But tragically for the nation, President Jonathan has been captured by the same forces that destroyed his predecessors who were first persuaded to believe that without them, there would be no Nigeria. He now truly believes he is the best that has ever happened to Nigeria, ‘the embodiment of the combined virtues of our founding fathers’, as Ebenezer Babatope recently claimed. Like Babangida, Abacha and Obasanjo, he now believes Nigeria will disintegrate without him. He has been conditioned by PDP to see anyone that tries to wake him up from this illusion as enemy envious of his achievements and set to derail his 2015 ambition. Elevated to a status of an oligarch, he like all oligarchs even in democracy now believes he is wiser than any other person in the nation. Worse still, even as the insurgents are perfecting strategies to dismember Nigeria, he believes he has fought it into a standstill and that grateful Nigerians are begging him to continue with the good work…He now sees what he wants to see-his own invincibility

This much is what one can draw from the mockery of democracy which best described the president’s act of picking up of PDP’s only available nomination form in Abuja last week. After picking up the only available application form, the president thanked Nigerians and PDP for the confidence reposed in him by giving him the right of first refusal. He promised to achieve greater things for the country. He went on to ‘thank PDP Governors Forum for providing the N2 million for the procurement of the expression of interest form and the N20 million for the procurement of the nomination form. He was silent on the fact that the generous PDP governors also secured the right of first refusal. He concluded by thanking ‘TAN for providing N22 million for the nomination form, as well as  youths groups, women groups and students for their contribution for the procurement of the form’

The farce was captured by The Guardian on page three of its October 31, edition by a resourceful production editor who juxtaposed the celebration of the president victory with the gory story of anguish, of sorrow and of pain; of destruction of homes, of families who cannot find their loved ones, of bodies strewn around the streets ,of helpless men and children lying helpless without help in the bush; of soldiers allegedly escaping to Cameroon leaving the residents of the city to face the wrath of Boko Haram brutes.(Cameroon has already admitted having in their protective custody about 300 soldiers).

But first, the president’s victory.  The path to his victory like that of Boko Haram in Mubi last week was strewn with carcasses of vanquished political enemies. Prominent among them is Obasanjo, his estranged godfather. His hollow cry that it was the turn of the north to produce the president going by PDP constitution to which both he and Jonathan were beneficiaries, was ignored. The price for telling Nigerians his own side of the story was his substitution as South-west PDP rallying point with the president’s trusted friends- Buruji Kashamu, Segun Mimiko and Gbenga Daniel who recently crawled back to PDP from Labour Party after four years of EFCC harassment and of course Ayo Fayose who has threatened to expel Obasanjo from PDP if he fails to desist from his criticism of the party.

Also listed among his vanquished political enemies was the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), whose leadership had in July issued October deadline to Jonathan to bring back the abducted Chibok girls and put a stop to Boko Haram and other violent killings or forget about 2015. Jonathan had dismissed the threat insisting ‘he needed no ultimatum from anybody to live up to his responsibilities to the Nigerian people.’  Similarly ignored is the body’s insistence that “it is the turn of the north to produce the president.

Another loser is the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). The body’s allegation  that “most of the crisis plaguing the North is a deliberate ploy to weaken the region economically and politically’  has  been controverted by another body from the north- The Transformation Agenda Solidarity Forum, (TASOF) led by a former chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Muhhamadu Gwaska. According to him, “TSAOF has noted with revulsion the unguarded utterances of some mischief makers who masquerade as northern elders and pretend to speak for the entire North regarding the political future of this country.”

But then a critical look at the crusaders behind the president’s victory. Leading the crusade is Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) which claims its objective is ‘to celebrate Jonathan’s sterling human qualities, democratic credentials and landmark accomplishments that are currently under marketed and under advertised’.  It defines itself as a non-governmental organization made up of “individuals of impeccable character”. A leading member of the amorphous group as speculated by the media is Patrick Ifeanyi Uba whose Capital Oil and Gas firm was recently taken over by AMCON following a debt of about N65billion. That was after his running battle with EFCC and Cosmas Maduka’s Choscharis over business deals that went sour.

Others known members include billionaire oil magnate and PDP chieftain, Arthur Eze, who declared during a meeting of the Elders’ Advisory Council of Goodluck Support Group in Abuja last week that ‘President Jonathan reelection is not negotiable’. On the list also is Innocent Chukwuma, a businessman and owner of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited, who donated 24 vehicles to Goodluck Support Group during the same ceremony.

Now let us return to The Guardian’s record of events for history. According to the paper, as at 2pm Thursday October 30, when, the president and PDP were celebrating the farce in Abuja, Mubi had been under Boko Haram siege for two days. The paper reported over 200 killed, the torching of Mubi central market, 19 police stations, banks and the Mubi central prison where over 400 prisoners were liberated. It reported that the bridge linking the emir’s palace with Cameroon was blown off.

In a globalised world where millions saw the video recording of how Obama and his cabinet members monitored from the White House the killing of Osama Bin Laden in his hideout in Afghanistan,  the only plausible explanation for the October 30 mockery of democracy could only be that the president was shielded by PDP from October 29-30  Mubi tragedy.  Even if the president does not know what is in his own interest, how about those paid by the taxpayers to shield him by protecting him from himself?

We can recall it is the same PDP enemies of our country and enemy of the president who once goaded him on to commandeer three aircrafts bought and fuelled by the nation’s taxpayers to ferry PDP members to Ilorin, Sokoto and Kano to welcome defecting politicians shortly after Abuja Inyanya  bus terminus bombing that killed scores of Nigerians. It is the same self-serving PDP men who appeared on television blaming everyone else except government for the abduction of 300 girls from their dormitory and driven over a distance of 200 kilometres within a state under emergency laws. These are the men who persuaded the president to deploy 12,000 security personnel to intimidate and brutalise the opponent of the PDP candidate during the recent Osun governorship election. These men serve neither Jonathan nor Nigeria.

I don’t think it is too late for men of good will to save our nation from the impending doom. Credible members of the Council of State like Gowon can for a moment take a break from endless prayers bearing in mind God’s admonition that we will all reap what we sow. He can mobilize other credible leaders like Emeka Anyaoku, Theophilus Danjuma,  Maitama Sule, Shettima Ali Mongono and  Ayo Adebanjo, to talk truth to power and see how we can reclaim our nation back from those who have no state in Nigeria. And time is running out. With Boko Haram controlling nine local councils area in Borno State, we should not wait until the fall of Maiduguri from where Boko Haram can launch aerial attack on any part of the country.

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