• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Jonathan can bring “Good luck” to PDP again

Jonathan can bring “Good luck” to PDP again

President Goodluck Jonathan lost the Nigerian presidency not because he was the worst president in history but because of the conspiracy of the major religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria. If Jonathan was a Northerner or from the south, he wouldn’t have been so maligned and humiliated out of office.

Was the Buhari regime’s eight agonising years better than Jonathan’s five years in office? No rational mind would give an affirmative answer to this question. Buhari, as president of Nigeria, failed in all and every sector of the economy. As of 2015, one dollar was equivalent to N80, and Buhari promised to make the naira equal to a dollar.

By the time he left office, a dollar was equivalent to about N500. Buhari promised to tackle insecurity head-on as a former military head of state, unlike Jonathan, who’s a civilian. By the time he left office in 2023, insecurity had transmogrified to cancerous levels, giving birth to terrorism, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, etc.

Buhari promised to tackle corruption like a cancerous tumour that must be removed from the body. Yet by the time he left office, corruption had sunk deeper into all the organs of the Nigerian nation. In fact, the few corruption convictions that the Nigerian courts recorded under his regime, which involved the high and the mighty, were granted presidential pardon after a few years in prison.

Was that justified? How can a country fight corruption with that action? Doesn’t such action give impetus to corruption rather than fight it? That action seemed to give the impression that it was actually his then deputy, Tunde Idiagbon, who instilled the fear of corruption among the elites when he was military head of state.

Paradoxically, people like Wole Soyinka, Tunde Bakare, Joe Okei-Odumakin, Obiageli Ezekwesili, et al., who were protesting on a daily basis during the time of Jonathan, when life was obviously better for the poor, were silent and mute throughout Buhari’s eight years of locust. What could have been responsible for their lethargic approach? Were they afraid of the North, where Buhari hails from, or his religious faith? Could they have been compromised? Soyinka even compared Jonathan to Nebuchadnezzar, calling Jonathan’s wife Shippopothamus.

Was Nigeria better under Buhari than it was under Jonathan? Shouldn’t these people seek the face of God for repentance and restitution if they actually believe in God? Of course, the most prominent man among them believes that God doesn’t exist. Perhaps his education has made him appropriate the title of God for himself.

President Bola Tinubu and Jonathan are both from the south. By 2027, both of them would be the only Southerners eligible for the presidency for just one term of four years. Any new Southerner who assumes the presidency in 2027 will be eligible for two terms. There’s every possibility that the North will not be comfortable with a new Southerner as president in 2027. Assuming that Jonathan is reelected, he will quit office in 2031. Ditto Tinubu.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be bereft of marketable presidential material at the moment. Former vice president Atiku Abubakar had become the standard bearer of the party for two consecutive terms in 2019 and 2023. He seems to be angling for the ticket again in 2027. But Atiku is obviously experiencing diminishing returns in politics. His best performance was in 2019, when he paired with Peter Obi. He recorded half of the 2019 votes in 2023. Giving him the ticket again will not excite many Nigerians.

What magic will he perform in 2027 to beat incumbent President Tinubu? Besides that, Southerners would like to complete the presidency for eight years, and only Tinubu and Jonathan would be eligible for just one more term before the position rotates back to the North. For me, Atiku forfeited the presidency in 2015 when he supported Buhari to push out Jonathan, who had just one term to go.

What was Atiku thinking when he supported Buhari, a fellow northerner, in 2015? That after Buhari, he would take over? He should have been smarter. In any case, with Tinubu in the race, who will Atiku choose as the vice presidential candidate from the south who delivers the needed votes to help him win? Only Peter Obi can do that for him, but will the south prefer to be shortchanged with just four years of Tinubu, and will the north take over through Atiku?

Nigerians have seen the disaster the All Progressives Congress (APC) has become in comparison with the PDP. The country has been comatose and lying prostrate since 2015. Jonathan may not be perfect, but he must have learned his lesson; he must be wiser now. The PDP as a party has the unique opportunity to bounce back to power if the members of the party can forgive themselves and give the ticket to Jonathan in 2027.

Jonathan can pick Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauch State as his running mate. He can engender or bring good luck to the party again. But if the party members choose to give the ticket to the regular customer, I wish them good luck.

Maduako, writes from Owerri via [email protected].