BONN, Federal Republic of Germany. (Temple Chima Ubochi)
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Nothing can stop the [person] with the right mental attitude from achieving [their] goal; nothing on earth can help the [person] with the wrong mental attitude (Thomas Jefferson)
On Saturday 4/11/15, if anyone of you goes against Ambode, who I picked, that is your end. If it does not happen within seven days, just know that I am a bastard and it is not my father who gave birth to me. “By the grace of God, I am the owner of Lagos for the time being. This is an undivided chair. The palace belongs to the dead and those coming in the future. On Saturday, if anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die inside this water.”For the Igbo and others in Lagos, they should go where the Oba of Lagos heads to. When they were coming to the state, they did not come with all their houses. But now, they have properties in the state. So they must do my bidding. And that is the bidding of the ancestors of Lagos and God. “I am not ready to beg you. Nobody knew how I picked Ambode. Jimi is my blood relation and I told him that he could never be governor in Lagos for now. The future belongs to God. I am not begging anybody, but what you people cannot do in Onitsha, Aba or anywhere you cannot do it here (Oba of Lagos)
The President must have been going through the mill since his defeat; just as John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917 -1963) said, “victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan”, President Jonathan must be feeling politically lonely right now, as many people, who were milling around him, must be deserting him. I just read that workers and security operatives have deserted PDP head office. Likewise, many will be distancing themselves from the president, now they know that he has less than two months to remain in office, and will be a “lame duck” from now till he hands over. That’s life; only his real friends will stick around him now. Even those who hitherto accompanied President Jonathan to church service, have abandoned him; the chapel at Aso Rock is now poorly-attended during services, as those who flocked there, for his sake, through the years, prior to the election, see nothing to gain again from this president. My personal advice for the President is that this is not the time to give up, he shouldn’t lie in defeat, he has to hold on and be strong, because, greater things are ahead for him. The President should know that Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter (1969)) said “I will not lose, for even in defeat, there’s valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me”. Mr. President, there’s a saying that “when life gives you lemons, Make lemonade”. I hope that the president must have learned a valuable lesson from his defeat, as Nishan Panwar wrote that “the most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths”. Mr. President, these words from Anne Frank (1929 -1945) would offer you solace or consolation right now, and they are “I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains”. Mr. President, please stay strong, don’t let anybody bring you down because you lost an election, you are not the first and will not be the last to lose an election. I implore you, Sir, to listen to what Michael J. Fox (1961) (afflicted with Parkinson’s disease at age 30) told all of us, and that is “One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered”. Mr. President, you made a fatal mistake, but, life goes on. If you ever have another chance in your life, you would act in a better way, and won’t disappoint all those who counted on you.
What I think is that God raised Goodluck Jonathan to fulfill the obligation of being the person who deepened Nigeria’s democracy, by being the person who conducted a relatively free and fair elections in Nigeria, losing his own re-election for it, thereby living by example, by not having do-or-die mentality Nigerian politicians are known for. What President Jonathan did was summed up by Debra Wilson (1962) thus: “It’s all about humanity, humility, and integrity”. I remember that some people suggested in 2011 that Goodluck Jonathan shouldn’t contest the then presidential election, rather, that he should only midwife a free and fair election, and then hand over power, since the north was clamoring that one of its own should be allowed to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure. Those people were of the opinion that that was the only assignment God gave to Goodluck Jonathan, and the reason he became the president, and not to continue ruling after 2011. Were those people right? For Goodluck Jonathan to have achieved so much, in such a little time, and still remains unsung and abused is a puzzle to me. Accept it or leave it; Goodluck Jonathan achieved more more-than any of his predecessors, and will remain the best president of Nigeria, before or thereafter, ever. Nobody is like Goodluck Jonathan, and nobody will be like him afterwards. He has changed the political landscape of Nigeria for good. Nigerians would miss him when it’s too late! Mr. Uche Ezechukwu said the gesture of Jonathan by conceding defeat in defiance of reported pressures from close advisers was `historic’. In his words: “This is the first time in the history of the country for an incumbent president to concede defeat. It might not be easy for ordinary minds to grasp”. President Jonathan has exhibited his wisdom by conceding defeat without anybody forcing him to do that, just as David Star Jordan (1851 -1931) wrote in “The Philosophy of Despair”, that “Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it”.
From what President Jonathan did, many would now understand Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) better, when he wrote that “Humility is not cowardice. Meekness is not weakness. Humility and meekness are indeed spiritual powers”. President Jonathan was magnanimous in defeat when, after conceding and congratulating Buhari, he also made this statement: “I congratulate all Nigerians for successfully going through the process of the March 28th General Elections with the commendable enthusiasm and commitment that was demonstrated nationwide. I also commend the Security Services for their role in ensuring that the elections were mostly peaceful and violence-free. To my colleagues in the PDP, I thank you for your support. Today, the PDP should be celebrating rather than mourning. We have established a legacy of democratic freedom, transparency, economic growth and free and fair elections. For the past 16 years, we have steered the country away from ethnic and regional politics. We created a Pan-Nigerian political party and brought home to our people the realities of economic development and social transformation. Through patriotism and diligence, we have built the biggest and most patriotic party in Nigerian history. We must stand together as a party and look to the future with renewed optimism. I thank all Nigerians once again for the great opportunity I was given to lead this country and assure you that I will continue to do my best at the helm of national affairs until the end of my tenure”.
Let’s acknowledge it that President Jonathan and his party, PDP, are brave fighters, because, despite the decampment of many of PDP’s prominent members to APC, despite the exit of Obasanjo, despite all the problems PDP are facing, the president kept on fighting and lost the election with less than 2 million votes. That’s worth commendation. Really, Raymond Lindquist was right that “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar”. After all these, PDP will become a very formidable party and will come back stronger, because, all those pulling it down must have left by then. Forget of APC and its winning of the election, it will not last long before the APC implodes, because of the strange bed fellows and criminal elements in the party. Nigerians must pray that the crooks in APC will allow Buhari to work for Nigerians.
I don’t belong to any political party; previously, I have endorsed gubernatorial candidates, from different political parties, in some of the states: For Abia, my home state, I endorsed Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of PDP; for Lagos State, I formerly endorsed Ambode, but, after listening to that state’s organized gubernatorial debates, I changed my endorsement, and is now for Jimi Agbaje of PDP. That’s the importance of debate, and that’s what Buhari denied Nigerians, so, people didn’t hear how he would tackle Nigeria’s problems, and still, they voted him in. Let’s hope Buhari’s victory wasn’t a mistake; for Imo State, I endorsed Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho of APGA; for Kaduna State; I endorsed Mallam Nasir EL-Rufai of APC; for Adamawa State; I endorsed Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of PDP; for Rivers States, I didn’t endorse any candidate, as that state will be too close to call. So, looking at the few states I mentioned here, one can see that I am not for a political party, but, based my endorsement on candidates’ character and past records in office. I urge all Nigerians to do the same, as that will lead to the election of the best. What I am doing is what the words of Terri Guillemets asked me to do, and that’s “Let right be your light. May you always burn bright. Glowing the path for others”!
Even though I don’t belong to any political party, but, I feel sorry for PDP, right now, because, I know that the members are now disappointed and dismayed. The president’s defeat, if not well handled, will be a catalyst that will lead to PDP losing many of the gubernatorial seats and house of assembly seats in the states where these were foregone conclusion, for PDP, prior to the presidential election. The presidential defeat might demoralize many PDP faithful or many of the party members might not see any reason to go to vote, thereby handing over the control of their respective states to other parties, which were struggling to meet up, before the conduct of the presidential election. I must tell PDP members not to despair; the party leaders should motivate or ginger their grassroots, so that they will be able to win as many governorship seats and house of assembly seats, as possible. We need a viable opposition, both at federal and states’ levels. I want to tell the PDP stalwarts that their party will come out of this presidential defeat stronger. Believe you me; in all my analyses, people might think that I’m wrong in the short run, but, in the long run, I am always vindicated. The defeat suffered by PDP at the presidential poll, happened for a reason, PDP will bounce back more forcefully, if it can surmount the challenges the defeat of its presidential candidate will present to it. Remember, had Al Gore won the United States’ presidential election against Gorge Bush then, Barack Obama wouldn’t have become the President of America. It was Al Gore’s defeat that cleared the way for Barack Obama (a black man) to be elected. Let’s see what will happen in Nigeria in four years time. One thing is for sure, a coalition of strange bed fellows will never work. I hope my premonition misses, in four years time.
To be continued!