Goodluck Jonathan: The Suspicion, The Resentment And The Consequences

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

There are no sensible explanations for the bombing and loss of lives that took place in and around the country home of Governor Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. None; none whatsoever! What happened in Otieke village in the Ogbia area of Bayelsa State was a new element in the state’s politics. Where this pattern will lead, no one knows; and how it will end is beyond anybody’s guess. All one can say is that the lid has been taken off a whirling can of worm, and that “anarchy may also have been loosened upon the region’s earth” with damming consequences. May we have the fortitude and the grace to bear what may follow now or in the future. Ha, Izon!

Sadly, most commentaries in Nigeria-related websites have been nothing short of stroking and stoking violence and anarchy. Most of the commentators have been callous and irresponsible in their utterances and their implications.If the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) or any other liberty or freedom-loving group had attacked or bomb the home of non-Ijaw politicians or taken the lives of police officers in other parts of the country these same Nigerians — in all their duplicity and ethnocentrism — would have called for the total annihilation of the offending group or of Ijawland (as was the case with Odi village).

But because this bombing was fratricidal (brother against brother within Bayelsa State) these duplicitous Nigerians are hailing it as just and appropriate. Criminally, the same sets of people are calling for more brutal actions against Governor Jonathan Goodluck. For some commentators, the violence against Governor Jonathan is a just cause because he allegedly stolen the election. Now, if these Nigerians are genuinely concerned and annoyed at the outcome of the 2007 elections, why are they not on the streets to demonstrate? Why are they not in the court of justice demanding justice? Why are not engaged in extrajudicial activities — bombing, kidnapping, killing and maiming all those PDP officials whom Maurice Iwu and President Obasanjo forced on the nation.

If violent path is good for Bayelsa State, it surely must also be good for Oyo, Ondo, Imo, Anambra, Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kwara and 25 other states where there were widespread electoral irregularities. Going by their logic, why don’t we just bomb the homes of all PDP members who stole the election, stole money, mismanaged resources and committed all sorts of crimes against Nigerians? Why limit it to Jonathan Goodluck, after all President Olusegun Obasanjo is the boss: the man who masterminded everything. Let Nigerians begin with him and his Otta Farm.

Governor Goodluck Jonathan was imposed on Nigerians just as Governor Yar’Adua was. We all hate it. If Nigerians hated Obasanjo’s impositions, why are they not in the Courts or on the streets protesting? The fact is that we are all cowards for not doing anything about it, for not fighting for our constitutional rights. Cowardly, we are encouraging Ijaw youths to “deal” with Jonathan; we are encouraging them to make Baghdad out of Bayelsa; we are encouraging Ijaw youths to let loose anarchy on Ijaw land.

If such Nigerian gets their way, Ijaw land will be busy with brothers fighting brothers, sisters fighting sisters, communities up in arm against other communities as if reliving Robert Kaplan’s Balkan Ghost: “…a dim stage upon which people raged, spilled blood, experienced visions and ecstasies…What does the earth look like in the places where people commit atrocities? Is there a bad smell, a genius loci, something about the landscape that might incriminate?” All the while, the Nigerian government and the oil companies will be busy looting the resources and engaged in ecological crimes.

Jonathan did not conduct the national election. He did not conduct the state election. He was merely one in a million — all reporting to and in obedience of Obasanjo, Maurice Iwu and their secret society. Moreover, Goodluck Jonathan is not the only one who has been illegally elected. If Nigerians want to “deal” with him, they should also “deal” with a thousand or more other local, state and federal level politicians.

There is no doubt, no scintilla of doubt in my mind that the governor’s accusations and name calling against his own people is despicable and unacceptable. He must apologize. That said; does the punishment fit the crime? Why was he not given the chance to ask for forgiveness, clarify his statement, or even blame the Media for misquoting him (as politicians the world over are wont to do?) The governor said something stupid and his home was bombed, a few people killed. Whao, is that justice? Is that reasonable and acceptable? Where is it in the Ijaw article of faith that says a man must be annihilated, or his place of abode destroyed because of reckless statements? Oh no; that is not Izon!

Tell me: what part of Ijaw creed teaches that we destroy a man for being mistaken in his thinking and belief (as Goodluck Jonathan was)? To be Izon is to know the true meaning of truth, social justice and responsible behavior. If we don’t, and then allow our impulses to rule us or if we play to the gallery at the slightest provocation, Ijaw land will become the battle ground for internecine and primordial fears, we will become pawns in the hands of groups within and outside of Izonebe looking to do us in. Is this what the Izons want?

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