Archive for December, 2010

Jonathan: Man of Goodluck

December 26, 2010


Jonathan: Man of Goodluck

All activities in Nigeria at the moment are geared towards the general elections coming up in 2011. Many politicians are very busy combing the nooks and corners of the nation trying to convince the people to register when it’s time to register and be able to cast their votes. Many are used to these activities by politicians in any election year. The political atmosphere in Nigeria at the moment can be felt by all because of the different strategies adopted by politicians to get the attention of the electorate.

Many notable Nigerians have signified their interest to contest different offices. This signification of interest brought about the issue of zoning in the ruling party (P.D.P.). The zoning issue brought about differences amongst the members of the ruling party. Many were of the opinion that the ruling party had a zoning arrangement and it should be respected. Many also believed that the incumbent should go ahead and complete the mandate and work he started with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. The issue of zoning dragged on until some people went to court. The court ruling left rooms for the incumbent to contest but some people were still not placated by that ruling.

It will not be out of place to say that the issue of zoning led to the emergence of a consensus candidate from amongst the other aspirants from the North. Former vice President- Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerged as the consensus candidate and the other aspirants all resolved to join forces with him against the incumbent. The other political parties also have aspirants who they would field in the elections. We have seen the emergence of notable people like Major Gen. Buhari (Rtd.), Prof. Pat Utomi, Rev. Chris Okotie, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Dele Momodu, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and others.

The politicians adopted different strategies including releasing of books; biographies and achievements. May be this is part of their effort to get our people back to the habit of reading books. Some people believe that the books are part of their campaign strategies. I have had the privilege of reading some of them. It is a welcome development having seen the likes of Barrack Obama’s Audacity of Hope. It is left to be seen if this approach will not be jettisoned in the near future.

Many things have been said and written about President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Most of the things are in the affirmative. His emergence with the late President Umaru Yar’Adua was heralded by many because of their academic background. Many were happy to see learned men take the driving seat in our history as a nation. I have the privilege also of reading the script of a seminal work on the President titled ‘Jonathan: Man of Goodluck’ about to be released and it was exceptional. It chronicles the life history of Goodluck Jonathan from his ancestral village of Otuoke, his formative years, elementary, secondary and university education in South-South Nigeria. His rise from being a Deputy Governor in his home state of Bayelsa, Governor, Vice President, the intrigues that finally led to his emergence as Acting President and President are epochal events seen by many as simply propelled by divine intervention. As events in his life and his name seem to suggest, President Goodluck Jonathan is a man staggeringly blessed with plenty of good luck. His meteoric rise to power bears testimony to what Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the 3rd president of the United States, once said “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” The fascinating story of this great Nigerian captivates from the beginning till the end, revealing how a delicate blend of elements of loyalty, luck, hard work and dedication to duty propelled Goodluck Jonathan to the highest office in Nigeria.

The book is a collaborative effort by two Nigerian journalists based in the United States of America; Dr Moshood Ademola Fayemiwo and Dr Jimmy Ndubuisi Imo, Publisher/Executive Editor and Managing Director/Chairman, Editorial Board of Chicago-based US-African Pointblank News respectively. The Foreword and Introduction to the book are written by Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Prof. Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye and former Minister of Water Resources and now Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari respectively.

I was moved to read the script immediately I saw the names of the people behind this seminal work particularly Dr Moshood Fayemiwo. He was the man behind the Razor and Evening News -a weekly and a daily evening newspaper respectively between 1992 and 1999. The pro-democracy and anti-military postures of the two publications incensed the Nigerian military authorities with several threats, intimidations, harassments and detentions. The last straw was when he was kidnapped from Republic of Benin where he had relocated to in 1996. Initially the Nigerian military government denied any complicity in his disappearance when prominent world leaders, human rights organizations and professional colleagues across the world demanded for his release including the late Pope John Paul II who had to pay an official visit to Nigeria in summer 1998 to plead for his release and other detainees.  All efforts and entreaties by well-meaning individuals and organizations on the Nigerian government to release him proved abortive. He was tortured, psychologically traumatized and kept in an underground military detention facility/cell reminiscent of the old Soviet Gulag and did not breathe air of freedom until September 30, 1998 when General Abacha died and his military successor, General Abubakar Abdulsalam ordered his release and shortly thereafter he relocated to the United Sates with his entire family. He is an author of four published books and several journal articles.

His colleague Dr Jimmy Imo is veteran journalist and pro-democracy activist. He was very active in the pro-democracy struggles in the 1990s in Nigeria during the military dictatorships of Generals Babangida, Abacha and Abubakar was also a member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) steering committee. While in Nigeria, Dr Jimmy featured regularly on several T.V talk shows to comment on various issues of national importance. He is also widely published in several Nigerian national newspapers and magazines. His latest book titled The Press under Stress: Strategies of Resistance, Journalism and Military Rule in Nigeria published in London, UK has just been released into the market this summer 2010.

I do believe that going by the background of the duo that their seminal work on Mr. President is not biased because they are not resident in Nigeria and not part of the praise singing that we are used to here. When the book is out, many would understand certain things about our President that are not part of the everyday news and see many reasons why we need to have him at the driving seat.

From what I read I believe we need the good luck that goes with the man in many areas of our life as a people. There were many policies I read about in the book that he tried during the time he was the governor of Bayelsa State which I believe if implemented in today’s Nigeria would move us to the promise land. I do believe sincerely that it is time for us to allow him move the nation forward because he has the vision and is very committed. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is not only a man of good luck but a passionate Nigerian who desires not just change but Genuine Transformation of the country and we need to give a change. We do not need politicians with baggage of corruption, we need some fresh air. With the likes of Goodluck Jonathan Nigeria will be great again.

Arinze Alinnor

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