Propping Jonathan for another Presidential run in 2019 through the media, is the stuff that lazy public commentaries are made of
Public commentators are experts in flying all sorts of kites. Last week, Ovation Publisher Dele Momodu, found the time to fly one of his.
Momodu is no stranger to these sorts of games and the public should be wiser to his schemes by now.
According to Momodu, Goodluck Jonathan who was voted out of office last year, will make a return to the ballot in 2019 and win.
Momodu wrote: “I have been reading about the rising profile of our former President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and wish to state without equivocation that no one should rule him out of the 2019 presidential race. I first hinted this possibility about two months ago and wish to reiterate that Nigerians should prepare for the shock that awaits us.
“The story of Donald Trump should bring us back to our senses. Nothing is impossible. The second coming of Goodluck Jonathan may be so far-fetched or even belong in those categories of impossibilities but I wish to plead with our government and my fellow citizens not to rule it out. As one of those who made our modest and humble contributions to the coming of this Buhari government, I’m pleading with trepidation”.
First off, there’s no “rising profile of former President Goodluck Jonathan” in the manner Momodu describes it.
Only Momodu should “prepare for the shock that awaits us”.
And conflating the Trump phenomenon with another Jonathan Presidential run is a stretch; an overreach. It’s the stuff that shallow, paid-for public commentaries are made of.
Trump was an outsider who campaigned as an anti-establishment figure. His candidacy resonated with voters who saw in him a disdain for all that Washington has come to stand for.
Jonathan has been part of the “establishment” in Nigeria for as long as anyone can remember. He was Deputy Governor, then Governor, Vice President and then President. Jonathan has been around since the PDP swept its way into power in 1999.
Unlike Trump who only joined the Republican fold a few days before the first GOP primary, Jonathan has been dining and hobbling with the same PDP elite who contributed to running Nigeria aground.
And Jonathan was a prominent figure when the same PDP was swept out of power by disenchanted voters, 16 years after.
The “rising profile of Goodluck Jonathan” Momodu refers to has to do with the man’s globe-trotting since he handed over. It’s only fitting that the international audience fawns over and fetes a man who lost an election as an incumbent and handed over without spilling blood.
Especially because it occurred in Africa—a continent where sit tight rulers like Robert Mugabe and Mobuto Sese Seko reign(ed) supreme. A continent where a certain Olusegun Obasanjo made to tamper with his country’s constitution just to get another term in office.
Jonathan was an example for the rest of the continent and for the rest of the third world. He has become a living example that you can transfer power through the ballot box without burning down whole towns and communities; and without suppressing the will of the people by rigging the vote.
He’ll long be remembered for that selfless act.
Momodu and the rest of the cast are ostensibly drawing their “Jonathan will come back in 2019” orgasm fit from an event that transpired in Sokoto.
Jonathan had visited the Northern State to pay his last respects to the late Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki
The late Dasuki is father of Jonathan’s disgraced former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki—who has been swapping prison cells and courtrooms in Nigeria.
Jonathan has sworn that Dasuki couldn’t have stolen the money he has been accused of stealing by the federal government
In Sokoto, the former President was met with a motley crowd who wielded placards with the inscription: “Baba Jonathan Come Back.”
There is the temptation to draw all kinds of conclusions from an isolated event like what happened in Sokoto–from a small sample size.
The State is an APC controlled one. Like most of Northern Nigeria, Sokoto played a prominent role in kicking Jonathan out of office.
To return to that sort of territory and be met with “Baba Jonathan Come Back” placards, can leave the media and columnists like Momodu with plenty of jaded ink for another week or two
Jonathan won’t come back, sorry.
He handed over power after he had done his bit. That bit wasn’t good enough for Nigerians in 2015 and won’t be good enough for Nigerians in 2019.
Besides, the man is enjoying his moment in the sun as an “enabler of democracy” in Africa and the international community is falling over itself just to hear him speak.
He’s also become an election observer on the continent—the one man all countries in Africa want around during elections because he’s been there and done that.
Jonathan will get paid to speak at international circuits on democracy and governance and he’s been asking for photo-ops; surrounded by cheering Caucasians and millennials wherever he shows up.
Heck, he has even become a deft Twitter user!
Why should he trade all of that glory and adulation for the pains, sleepless nights and heartaches that come with being Nigeria’s President?
Why should he trade all of that peace of mind for another perilous, uncertain Presidential run?
Of course, he’s constitutionally entitled to run for President again, but you only needed to see how relieved he was as he conducted Muhammadu Buhari round the presidential palace grounds during the hand-over days; you only needed to see how chubby and happy he looked a few months after leaving Aso Villa; you only need to see the spring in his steps these days, to realise that the man is better off where he is than having to deal with 180 million people who tagged him “clueless” and “corrupt” for more than four years and kicked him out of office for his troubles.
Momodu and his PR specialists should look for another 2019 hopeful to prop up. Jonathan certainly isn’t their man.
For once, what we are looking for in Sokoto isn’t right here in our Sokoto
Article by: Jude Egbas-Editor /Public Affairs Analyst /Pulse