Goodluck Jonathan: Might is Right?

By Tochukwu Ezukanma, Lagos, Nigeria – Jan 6, 2011 – The refrain of one of John Lennon’s songs goes: imagine there is no country; and no religion too; nothing to kill for or die for; you may say, I am a dreamer; etc. Yes, of course, he was a dreamer. We can all imagine that there is no country, no religion and    nothing to kill for or die for. But that will remain just imagination – just the stuff for dreams. The hard reality of life is that there are countries, tribes and races. And nationalism, tribalism and racism are inescapable blemishes on life.      
One Nigeria is an agglomeration of nationalities, cultures and languages. Understandably, therefore, the average Nigerian is tugged by two loyalties, loyalty to the country and loyalty to an ethnic group. We remain attached to both, culturally and emotionally. It was long ago, as I walked through Tafawa Belewa Square in Lagos, beggars besieged me for alms. They begged mostly in Yoruba and Pidgin English. My mind was already made up: I was not going to give any of them any money. However, as I passed by this particular beggar, he stated in Igbo: nna biko nye nu m ego (Mr., please give me some money). I was struck by that statement. It touched my heart and it stirred my compassion. I just could not resist that particular appeal for financial help. Although, I had already passed him, I turned around, went back a few steps and gave him some money.
What was that? Why did I disregard every pleading for money and heeded to the only one uttered in Igbo? Why was I indifferent to everybody else and felt pity for only the person that spoke in my language. Was that an act of tribalism? May be, it was. For whatever it was, the undeniable fact is that more than any other language in the world, the Igbo language strikes a passionate and responsive cord in my mind. For some inexplicable reason, I have a passion for the Igbo language and I naturally gravitate towards things Igbo. It is human nature: people feel this mysterious enthusiasm for their own language and feel more at ease with people of the same tribe, country, religion, social class, etc. Psychologists and other experts of human behavior have not totally been able to understand and explain why human beings naturally affiliate and bond with people of their own kind.  
One Nigeria is not a homogenizing vat where different cultures blend into one. I am unyieldingly and unapologetically Nigerian. However, I am acutely conscious that I cannot be a true Nigeria without first being a consummate Igbo. While we remain faithful to our beloved country, our different ethnic groups also continue to command our devotion and commitment.  
It is this passionate attachment to our different ethnic groups that explains the demand for zoning power along ethnic and/or geopolitical lines. Not surprisingly, the Igbo are longing for an Igbo president. The Yoruba were thrilled by eight years of Obasanjo’s – Yoruba – presidency. As a senator, Authur Nzeribe once made a move to impeach Obasanjo on the floor of the Senate.   He was physically wrestled down by a number of senators who, instructively, were all Yoruba. What did a Yoruba presidency do for the average Yoruba man?   Probably, it did nothing for him. Obasanjo is from Ogun State. I seriously doubt that any empirical evidence can suggest that his eight year presidency improved the lives of Ogun state indigenes in any significant way. But it was profoundly gratifying, sentimentally and emotionally. And politics and human behavior in general are sometimes not purviews of reason and logic, but of sentiments and emotions.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoned the presidency. Members of the party agreed that the presidency will be rotated from one geopolitical zone to another.   In the interest of justice, equity and the peace of the country, it is most imperative that PDP uphold her zoning arrangement. After zoning has run its course, and the PDP finally decides to remove it or the country and her politics have out grown it, then, it can be done away with. To change the rules in the middle of the game is fraudulent and dishonorable. It is an act of injustice that may portend so much trouble for the Nigeria.   
The zoning controversy in PDP is more than the internal wrangling of one of the many political parties that suffuse Nigeria. As much as zoning is the internal affairs of PDP, it is also a national affair of mammoth significance because whoever emerges from the primaries as the PDP presidential candidate is poised to become the next Nigerian president. The opposition parties are all too weak and too disorganized to win power from the PDP at the national level. Even collectively, they lack the spread, organization, structure and machinery to snatch power from PDP. Therefore, the out come of the squabbling about zoning in PDP will invariably determine the next Nigerian president.
The South West took pride and pleasure in 8 years of Obasanjo – Yoruba presidency and resisted every attempt to truncate it. So, quite naturally, the North wants a northerner to serve as president for the remaining part of the eight years that the presidency is zoned to the North. The Northerners’ desire that presidency remain in the North for eight years is equitable and understandable. Why then cannot Nigerians understand that the North must resist Goodluck Jonathans determined attempt to abbreviate Umaru Yar’Adua’s (Northern geopolitical zones) would have been 8 year presidency?
Any attempt to truncate northern power before 8 years, by what ever guise, is unconscionable. In line with the party zoning understanding, Goodluck Jonathan should not seek nomination at the upcoming PDP primaries. No political stratagem and/or monstrous sophistry can belie the fact that his attempt to seize the PDP nomination is mere opportunism and a total disregard for the rule of law. By seeking nomination and re-election as the president, he is disobeying the party rule on zoning and riding roughshod over the Northern geopolitical zones.
He is seeking renewed powers of the president because he found himself in a position where he thinks he can dishonor party agreements and get away with it. He is the president, and consequently has the power of incumbency and a deep pocket for political patronage, and then, can muscle his way into the party nomination and then re-election to the presidency.
This is a brazen, barefaced exercise in might is right. The doppelganger of might is right is, of course, the end justifies the means. Might is right and its identical twin, the end justifies the means, are blindness to standards of conduct that civilization over many years imposed upon human instincts. Does not untamed human instincts manifest s as lack of readiness to sacrifice material self-interest for an ideal? Does it not evince as lawlessness, disdain for conventions and supercilious contempt for justice and equity?   0803 5292908

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Posted by on Jan 6 2011. Filed under Articles, Columnists, Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), Presidency, Tochukwu Ezukanma. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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