• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Counsel from an ex-President to hotheaded gladiators

Counsel from an ex-President to hotheaded gladiators

Those who have ears must put it to use and hear what an elder statesman and former president who happens to be a Port Harcourt boy is saying.

Ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, has fought many political battles in his life; from his innocent years when he was picked by the late DSP Alamieyeseigha to be his running mate in the Bayelsa State guber election to their victory, to Alamieyesigha’s impeachment, to his becoming the governor, to being picked to run with the ailing Umoru Musa Ya’radua, to winning the presidency and becoming Nigeria’s vice president, to Ya’radua’s death, to his becoming acting president to winning as substantive president, and finally losing it all to Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

Jonathan may have seen betrayals, true and rented loyalty, disappointments, joy, and sadness in politics. So, he seems to be the best man to counsel the men warring in Rivers State.

When his name was announced as one coming to flag off a major road project, there huge joy in some quarters and probable apprehension in another. Many were said to have expected him to come and bombard those they believed betrayed him after he allegedly made them governor.

He did none of that, probably because he met a calm and peaceful host who also made it clear the road needed no political talk.

Jonathan only said: “Rivers State is very critical in this country; the heart of the Niger Delta. If Rivers State is destabilised, the whole Niger Delta will be destabilized, and it will not end there. I am from this part of the country, and I know how the system works. We don’t want any crisis in Rivers State.”

The former president also cautioned on sharing of political spoil, saying: “Leaders must know that nobody takes 100%. You most learn the principle of give-and-take. So, our political actors must work together if you love Rivers people.”

He said he preferred to join the leaders that were working for peace and reconciliation between the former governor, Nyesom Wike, now minister of the FCT, and his political son, Gov Sim Fubara. “”And, I join the leaders of Rivers State and well-meaning Nigerians who have been calling for truce, who have been calling for ceasefire, to also re-emphasise that there is the need for a ceasefire. Let us do things that will rather project this State positively.”

Political war in the state began when Jonathan was president and his wife (Patience) and then minister of state for education (Wike) were accused of vowing to overthrown the then Rivers governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Maybe, if Jonathan knew what he now seems to know, maybe, he would have handled that crisis differently.

It’s up to the present gladiators to heed his counsel when it is not too late.