The Oasis Reporters
May 12, 2022
By Greg Abolo
Many Nigerians were stunned when some Fulani herdsmen spoke on television platforms that they had purchased an All Progressive Congress (APC), presidential nomination form for Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest as president again.
But why would, of all people, it is not the fishermen of the Niger Delta where Jonathan hails from that are buying this form for him?
Fulani herdsmen who did not buy forms for their kith and kin from the north that seem desperate for power to be thrust upon them, like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Aminu Tambuwal, Alhaji Hayatudeen or Governor Mohammed of Bauchi State are buying it for Jonathan.
Why didn’t they buy the form for their own fellow tribesmen that so desperately desire the presidency and perhaps could do so much with home support but rather, they gave it to a non Fulani, gratis !
What’s in that gesture, many Nigerians are scratching their heads, desperately trying to unravel.
On the surface of it, the herdsmen want to be seen as non tribal in outlook. They portray themselves as nationalistic who desire a multi ethnic nation. That is certainly a lofty height to attain.
From the look of it, their lofty gesture supports what they openly expouse.
But there’s a catch.
In Nigerian politics, the Fulani tribe gets horrified, being outside of power. It doesn’t matter how well they can deploy it for the general good. To them, that is secondary. The critical issue before them is how to protect their own group interest first, then be the sole dispensers of patronage.
Before the nation begins to notice their pattern, they make a short dribble of the power ball to someone they trust would make a backpass to them and them alone.
For now, Jonathan fits the bill. If they succeed in making him president for only four years and no more, he would pass the ball back to them. They could then hold and play with the ball for another eight long years. After all, they are the ones that set the ball rolling with the investment capital of one hundred million naira.
Can you beat that ?
Currently, chances of the ethnic group losing power after eight years of one of their own is very real. President Buhari would finish his two terms in 2023. And amongst those jostling to take over through a popular vote is the incredibly good candidate who may reengineer the economy away from chronic debt and rent seeking. That’s Peter Obi.
Peter Obi is Ibo, obviously not a favourite tribe for power. Worse still, Obi that they could have suppressed and controlled as a vice president under Atiku Abubakar has broken loose under soaring wings of mass popularity presents an antithesis to the old ways of doing things.
In their thinking, why not seek an interregnum to cool the steam off and dampen Peter Obi by presenting Goodluck Jonathan? Just four years and then reset the power algorithms ?
But here is the catch that may entrap that thinking:
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is actually not the clueless simpleton they make him out to be.
Yes, he humbly bowed out peacefully when he lost because Jonathan was strategic enough to know that if he had stayed put in 2015, his Niger Delta people and supporters would have faced mass slaughter. There were intelligence reports of mass trafficking of arms and ammunition. Customs men intercepted truckloads of such that they were ordered to release. The information was all over.
So Jonathan quit.
So dare to make him president again to enable another game of power draught.
What his sponsors would find out is that the presidency is very powerful as Nigerians are seeing today.
Imagine a Goodluck Jonathan becoming president again in 2023 till 2027. No doubt, his Fulani sponsors would be adequately compensated.
But just as Olusegun Obasanjo did not handover to his then sponsors but chose his own anointed successor, consider President Goodluck Jonathan doing the same thing in 2027 by insisting that power must go back to the north for eight years till 2035 and presents a hitherto marginalized northern minority Christian. Then, quo vadis, herdsmen?
And that same northern minority Christian decides irrevocably that his successor would be a 12 year older Peter Obi from 2035 to 2043 ?
The Hausa majority would by then have become more educated and bolder to demand their rights, what would the outlook be for power mongers who want power without Control and without Development ?
May God fulfill his plans in our lives.