Jonathan and his growing followers

By mohamed jalingo

This It is evident that, from different parts of the country, more and more support continues to flow to ensure the return to power of former President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential election of 2023. Of course, there are good reasons why Nigerians across the six geopolitical zones desperately want their beloved YEG back in power.

Since November 2020, when governors-elect on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) began visiting former President Jonathan, the visits have sparked debate in multiple quarters. Within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it has sparked panic among party leaders that the APC is courting one of their best possible presidential materials for 2023.

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However, to political observers taking note of developments on the political ground, APC governors appear to be taking proactive steps to ensure the party retains power beyond 2023. Over the past few years, Nigeria has come close to a failed state and there is an urgent need to pull the country from the precipice. To achieve this, the country needs a capable president that all sections of the country can trust.

This may have informed the APC governors’ decision to bring former President Jonathan closer to them ahead of the party’s 2022 national convention. In 2015, Dr Jonathan shocked the world with a very rare display of sportsmanship and statesmanship when he conceded defeat by calling his opponent, General Muhammadu Buhari, before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announces the final result of his second presidential term. election.

Certainly, Nigeria is steadily approaching the most anticipated presidential election in our country’s history and many Nigerians, and indeed observers of Nigerian affairs from outside the country, have watched with keen interest where the pendulum would swing with particular reference to the binary North-South Power Blocks. This is because Nigerian national democracy revolves around geopolitics, which is usually mixed with ethno-religious nationalism.

What makes this even more interesting is the reality of the perilous times we live in as a country in terms of national security. Since the current government of President Buhari came to power, the country has been embroiled in protracted conflicts at dimensions higher than those it inherited.

There is more than a decade of insurrection in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, conflicts between farmers and herders in the North-Centre, which has spread to the South-East, South- West and South-South, as well as kidnappings across the country, including the incursion of kidnappers into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

There is an overwhelming perception that banditry and farmer-herder conflicts are criminal activities primarily perpetrated by Fulani and that the federal government, led by a Fulani in the person of President Buhari, has provided moral and logistical support to suspects. .

This accusation seems to have been supported by the fact that security agencies have been controversially involved or allegedly compromised in that they have shown no real commitment to arresting and prosecuting criminal suspects; rather, they are singled out as providing protection to suspected criminals to carry out their barbarism in order to carry out a land grabbing program and take over the country in a so-called jihad.

As a Fulani man, inasmuch as I abhor and refuse to accept such demonization of my race as criminals, it is very regrettable that the Buhari administration has failed to dislodge these allegations through action. decisive security forces to stop the fighting, killings and daily displacements. Across the country.

This is not to ignore another weighty accusation that the APC created the conflicts as political launching pads, which it massively deployed in the bitter election campaign of slander against President Jonathan of the PDP in the preparation of the 2015 presidential election, which subsequently swept Jonathan from power.

The current government and its foot soldiers have failed to refute the range of such allegations that have been going on for years. In fact, senior officials in this APC-led government have knowingly and unwittingly admitted to this very telling label.

This led to violent regional unrest in the South East by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOD), the Yoruba Nation in the South West, etc. Clearly, those of us who witnessed the events that snowballed into the civil war know that since that national pogrom, Nigeria has never been so divided along ethnic, religious and geopolitical lines. .

Where then can our country, under such disruptive forces, find peace, unity and progress? President Buhari’s second term will end in May 2023. To whom and to whom should the country turn at this critical time? These questions are as important as concerns about the future of Nigeria.

At this point, many people may ask: why GEJ in 2023? Of course, from all indications, the GEJ factor in the 2023 elections is critical to the survival of democracy, which is anchored on peace, unity and progress.

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More importantly, the shift of power to the South will definitely create that political and power balance between the North-South power rotation circles, i.e. after eight years of Buhari administration (the North shift) .

We live in perilous times in our country, where the government seems to be unaccountable to no one. No country can be called free if it is ruled by absolute power; and it does not matter whether it is an absolute royal power or an absolute legislative power, for the consequences will be the same for the people. Sadly, that is exactly where the country is today.

If there is ever a time when Nigeria needs a national figure, a statesman who promotes the country and its people above himself, a man who has gained more confidence and national accolades and international affairs after leaving power, this “hero” of which Koyenikan speaks is GEJ.

Arguably, GEJ is one of the most respected African voices in the world among former leaders of the African continent. Young people are missing out on their freedom of speech, media and association under him.

Among the contemporary national leaders of our dear country Nigeria, GEJ is certainly the most accepted national leader in Nigeria who is openly respected across political divides. Members of the ruling party and senior officials of this government have confessed and apologized to GEJ for working against him in 2015, because time has proven them wrong and he (GEJ) is right when it comes to the economy, d political accommodation, tolerance and humility.

Among several refrains GEJ has written in our political lexicon is that “My ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian” in a country where elections have been ignominiously described as a war or a matter of death or death. In one of his farewell talks before the 2015 presidential elections, GEJ clearly stated that “the choice in the upcoming elections is not between President Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari, or between the PDP and the ‘APC; it is between freedom and regression”.

Of course, Nigerians were pressured into making their fatal choice and today we are buying our freedom with the blood of our citizens, a very expensive price indeed.

If we are to move forward as a country, we must let go of ethnicity, religion and overriding interests so that we can live together as one harmonious entity and the only national figure who can forge this bond in our current history is GEJ.

As Albert Einstein once said, “the only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance” is what some elements of the Buhari government and some northern conservatives are trying to show. The upcoming election in 2023 and of course Nigeria is bigger than any region, group or individual.

If by any means power is retained in the North in 2023, it would become very clear that the North is creating a very dangerous imbalance in the already fragile system. This means that the region sows the wind and it would, for sure, reap the storm, which would finally nail the coffin of the entity called Nigeria.

It is obvious to discerning minds that the North has made fatal mistakes in its regional interest policy, as evidenced by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and the current President Buhari. Unfortunately, this is all the result of visionary leadership whose voice provides clear direction and direction.

This is why despite producing more Presidents and Heads of Government in the history of Nigeria, we remain the most underdeveloped and poorest region and people. In other words, the region must play its politics well this time.

Nigeria needs national cohesion. The country must find its way back to victory in the committee of nations under truly inspiring leadership and not the other way around. There is an urgent need to rebuild and bring together the various entities that are hurting and heating up due to evident marginalization and exclusion in the governance structure under the current regime. This would betray common sense and friendship between the North-South power structure.

• Alhaji Jalingo is based in Wukari, Taraba State

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