NOTFew Nigerians from diverse backgrounds expressed their gratitude to God for averting what would have been a national disaster, even though it still ended on a sad note claiming two precious souls and inflicting injuries on several others, including Nigeria’s immediate. former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. A horrific car accident which took place last Wednesday evening along Airport Road Abuja, involved the former President’s convoy. Although he survived even with some hospitalization after the incident, two police officers in his circle were not so lucky as they paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. This “Penpoint” column hereby expresses its condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased souls, as well as its sympathy to all those who suffered some form of injury during the incident.
Since development, goodwill messages as well as development queries have been trending on multiple platforms. Touchingly, among those who expressed remarkable concern about the accident was this author’s younger brother – (name withheld), who, even in the face of his compromised state of health, was deeply saddened to learn of the fate of his former neighbour. as well as dear friend, and whom he is now inclined to regard as apparently lost for politics and high public office. After all, what are friends for, one might ask?
Meanwhile, even as many backlash streams flow over the incident, the question is raging in multiple circles – what if the outcome of the crash was worse and even affected the ex-president’s life. “God forbid,” is the traditional exclamation that follows this question even as this writing progresses. However, the issues surrounding the incident go beyond the “God forbid” exclamation. Isn’t that the African proverb that, it’s when you break the leg of a chicken that’s seemingly strayed for some reason, that you see the owner enraged, charging you for settlement.
In the current atmosphere of the country, where the issues that border on national unity and cohesion have remained delicate, the personal fortunes or not of the leaders at all levels of society, often remain attributable to their primordial bases. It is therefore easy to conceive that if President Jonathan had suffered more harm than is the case, the reactions would also have flowed in torrents not only from the Niger Delta where he is from, but from several other regions of the country where since leaving office, his popularity has skyrocketed. If nothing else, several insinuations would have swirled around, including those that fall into the realm of the mundane.
If the outcome of the crash had been different, two of several factors would have driven the final complement of valid and invalid accounts. First, the praise of Jonathan after his tenure, thanks to the grossly flawed management of the subsequent administration of President Muhamadu Buhari on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which has failed to endear itself to Nigerians ever since. that he took the reins of governance in 2015. The gross failures of the current Buhari administration have revered Jonathan so much that there is much clamor across the country for him to be drafted by the ruling APC who defeated his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, for the presidential race of 2023. on his platform. Even though the mere contemplation of this situation disturbs the ears of many well-meaning Nigerians, it is actually a measure of Jonathan’s new political worth across the country.
Second, the wave of resentment over his misfortune that is said to have swept the entire Niger Delta region, for which the man is still an everyday hero. Although there have been mixed reactions to his tenure which some critics may argue he has not demonstrated sufficient representation of his region in sharing the proverbial “national cake”, Jonathan’s emergence in as the country’s president, even as a member of the country’s minority between 2009 and 2015, established him as an icon in the pantheon of heroes beyond even his Niger Delta base.
This is even though the root cause of the accident could have been human error by one of the drivers driving the crashed vehicles or even the condition of the road. It’s also no surprise that the public can be insulated from any snippet of any form of investigation into why the incident even happened. For many Nigerians, this is too much to ask even though no public knowledge investigation has yet been carried out into the recent terrorist attacks on the Abuja-Kaduna train which left multiple dead, injured and kidnapped for ransom. . The earlier incident of armed attack by terrorists at Kaduna airport has also not been significantly mentioned in the public domain beyond the summoning of security chiefs by the National Assembly.
It is indeed a very interesting stage in the life of the Nigerian country where anything can happen to anyone, anywhere and anyhow. And what follows can also be anyhow.