The Oasis Reporters
November 29, 2018
Ask Viola Okolie who her celebrity crush is : She would sing a song of love with the lyrics that say,
My #CrushOfLife remembered me.
Take a look at the paper back across her broad chest, you’d see the book, ‘My Transition Years’ written by Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The guess would be right, for the former president is Viola’s celebrity crush.
Never mind that she had never seen the man in person or ever spoken to him on the phone, but their political journey as comrades, with Viola in the trenches and Jonathan in the State House started over her strong conviction that she would never let a man go down without a fight or let a cat eat up her fish and spit the bones in her face.
No, the bile in the dogged freedom fighter would rise. Her philosophy is to be strong, and that’s her only option.
She started her appreciation the moment the US postal service in her Downtown Maryland home delivered a surprise package to her. It was an autographed complimentary copy of the recently launched book.
Viola said it made her day. “You see, it is enough for someone to acknowledge the fact that you were there during the rainy season to shield them from the storm, even if it is four years in coming.
I appreciate this.
For those who do not know, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was the ONLY reason I left the comfort of the centrist camp, and jumped feet first into full blown politics.
For a long while, I sat on the fence and criticised a little to the left, a little to the right. I was not that fond of a Goodluck presidency, but that was perhaps because most of the friends in whose circle I was at that time, were in the opposition camp”.
“I began to get uncomfortable though when I noticed that the sum total of our “opposition”, was death threats, malicious gossips, insults and mockery. Oh, and also downplaying the achievements of the administration.
I felt that was not right.
What we wanted was good and credible governance and I felt Jonathan was working, albeit not at the pace Nigeria wanted. So why minimise and diminish all his achievements and go on personal attacks simply because you did not like him? I then also noticed that when I criticised anything the President got wrong, the GEJ team would come on my post and engage.
They would pull up facts and figures, numbers, pictures, achievements. Not a single insult, even when they tagged each other. The tag team would only come on my thread to support their colleagues either morally or with evidence.
Assuming I criticised the then rudderless opposition, Insults, abuses recriminations would be the consequence.
And this was in spite of the fact that I was “friends” with all of them.
Sitting in one corner, observing all these and counting my groundnuts, I knew that kind of politics wasn’t adding up for me.
As soon as the opposition began to discuss Buhari as their flag bearer, I knew that I would have nothing to do with a party that sees white and calls it black. I suddenly saw my ex friends pull out their fangs and head in my direction. I specifically recall a post made by one of them, asking why I was still living in the North when I have proven myself to be anti-North through my rejection of Buhari.
This was BEFORE the sham of a primary that APC conducted.
All the threats began. Some things I would rather no longer talk about, but it did help me make up my mind that it would be
Jonathan all the way.
And when the centrist blinders were off, I saw.
All thanks to people like Chinomnso Awazie that took me on a tour of the
ongoing railways rehabilitation.
I became his back up for the tour of the schools Jonathan built in the North.
There were a lot of us that stood back-to-back as we tried to unravel the Chibok conspiracy theory – how the opposition tried to use the lives of an undisclosed number of teenage school girls to play politics (God, this still sends a chill down my spine anytime I think of it); and so many other things that we fought long and hard together for.
I remember those who are humour-challenged, converting my constant hailing of GEJ as my #CrushOfLife; using that to insult me. I was called a whore, a prostitute, a this and that. It meant nothing to me, anyway.
I am happy I fought on the side of this man, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
I am happy that he “lost” the election because if Dr. Okey Phoenix Ajah can remember that conversation we had, his loss has helped to totally demystify the “messianic” perception of Buhari.
Jonathan inspired the gentility in many of us and made us pull back many punches we would have been too glad to throw.
Bottom line, the man Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is my #ManCrushEveryday. For him, I joined the PDP even though he didn’t know me, still doesn’t.
So did I love his wife, Mama P. She is also one woman that I respect loads. You’ll never catch me say a bad word about her either in the open or in private.
For GEJ, we would do this all over again.
He is a gentleman.
He was the President Nigeria needed, but he came a few years too early.
We needed a Buhari to grind our faces into the gravel first, to appreciate a Jonathan presidency.
I wish him luck in all his future endeavors, whatever they are though, I am always in his camp.
Thanks to all who made this possible.
So long a post?