Anyone who desires to know how disdainful of the larger society the political class in Nigeria can be, should pay attention to an ongoing subdued subplot within the All Progressives Congress [APC], featuring the name of Goodluck Jonathan. The subplot may yet break into the main act, depending on a lot of factors.
At the time Jonathan left office in 2015, as Nigeria’s fourth elected president and indeed, till date, the jury has been out, on the performance of his presidency.
That, interestingly, has not been the case with his person. He is predominantly accepted as a decent man.His performance in office, truth be told, was also decent. The opposition holds otherwise on the latter, in spite of the evidences of man and statistics.
As record goes, the Jonathan presidency can claim to its credit that while it lasted, Nigeria’s economy was substantially hale and expansive. The living condition of citizens may not have been a walk along the corridors of paradise, but at least it was bearable.
The official exchange rate was less than N200 to one United States(US) dollar, as of 2015 and the country’s debt profile was not scary. Life in Nigeria had more meaning at that era. Jonathan’s problem was not so much with what he did, as with what he could not do. His capacity to rein in a number of elements within and out of his government was manifestly weak.
He could not even square up decisively with opposition elements who, having taken note of his listlessness in the face of a fight, went all out to put him to the sword. No other President in Nigeria’s history stomached with such unnatural equanimity and even smiles, the barrage of insults hurled at Dr. Jonathan.
At the end, Jonathan lost the presidential election in 2015 and Muhammadu Buhari ascended the presidency. And Nigeria has lived happily ever after.
Seven years down the line, President Buhari is rounding off his presidency. The ruling APC is presently caught in a web of contradictions, as it struggles to find a candidate suitable to succeed Buhari.
And who is being mentioned? Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The one the party derided and de-marketed as clueless. It does not matter that he is not even a member of the APC, at least not yet.
The rumored report of APC gearing up to offer Jonathan its presidential ticket should ordinarily be taken, as a joke and an unimaginable proposition. This, however, is Nigeria.
Even as a drama script, it will be a most baffling twist of fate and story signifying the worst in man and a total lack of decency and principle to have APC return to Jonathan with an offer for him to come back to power on their platform, to that same presidency, from which they hounded him out. APC told the world that nothing good can come from this very man.
Whatever the cold calculation behind this rumored move may be, it is an unconscionable slap on the society, a brazen expression of contempt for Nigerians.
Not that the political class cares, though. How do you deploy all arsenal at your disposition to destroy a man and impress it on the people that he is clueless, only to turn round in less than a decade to tell the same people that the same man is the best you can find to lead them?
The APC or any clique within it, cannot seek to make atonement for sins against Jonathan by committing new sins of fresh assault on the values of the society. Any decision by the APC to anoint Jonathan, as its chosen messiah will imply that the charges by APC against Jonathan and the government he led, which charges and actions resulted to the ruination of that government, were false and fraudulent.
It is possible that President Jonathan has not heard of these rumored plots and that he has no part in it. That will be wonderful. Somehow, however, the rumor of his being prepared to join the APC, has refused to go away.
There are several questions that Jonathan himself need to raise for those, who may approach him to move over to APC to run for president. One, what has changed about him that will make him so attractive to the very people, who hounded him out of office yesterday? Has he now acquired the clue he was said to have lacked as president? Since they said he was weak, does it mean that those, who are wooing him now need a weak president?
And by the way, will they be ready to return Diezani’s diamond braziers to her?
For Jonathan and for his erstwhile traducers now reportedly turned his suitors, there may not be any better admonition than is captured in that legendary reminder, “there is God o!”
Ezeani is former Editor, Daily Champion and until recently, Head of the Publicity Division of INEC.