Nigeria Matters

Jonathan: Thank you Sultan, thank you Shagari

In a recently widely published piece: ‘ACF Hijacked, Unnecessarily Rattled’, I asked variously: What is Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) up to; why allow itself to be hijacked, and lately so; is this to give Atiku Abubarkar some relevance after his atrocious and loutish outing and brutal defeat; or, is it something beyond that; what’s cooking? I also went further to ask: What is this daringness about; is Atiku’s thesis playing out from the backside since the military refused to buy into it; has ACF bought into Atiku’s idea of making the polity ungovernable if he loses the PDP primaries or if Jonathan participates; why is ACF now letting the chips fall where they may; is this the last stick Atiku knew he will result to when all else fail; could this be why he has refused to congratulate Jonathan for his overwhelming victory; and must this be why he talked touch and reminded us of the sad days of Nzeogwu!

ACF I advised must get off the hook of Atiku and allow itself and Nigeria march forward, for really it doesn’t make sense that while PDP was closing one chapter and entering another, ACF woke up as if from slumber to call a signed and sealed chapter to question. I held that it will be too bad to disrupt democracy, discountenance delegates’ choice and deny a citizen’s constitutional right; and to do that must be action de profundis, and can only be pitied anyway. We thought the earlier people realized that we have left all primordial attachments and diversionary groupings behind in our body politics and onward to build one nation where no man is oppressed the better.

But it appeared my position did not affect anything as the spate of riots, bump blasts and what have you increased in the North, suggesting a nation that was becoming ungovernable. And honestly this made us to remember that Atiku actually decreed something like that very recently. And, sincerely, we feared for Nigeria. All that may now be history. And this is because the Sultan of Sokoto and Shehu Shagari spoke most enthrallingly recently, when Goodluck Jonathan visited them separately during his electioneering in Sokoto. For the Sultan, Jonathan ‘is our son’; and he (the Sultan) thinks that no Muslim can win presidential election without Christians votes and vise versa, suggesting a trainload of advice for all of us including Arewa Consultative Forum and Atiku. Shehu Shagari went down memory lane and said what E. K Clark has been saying over the years; and that is to the effect that the South-South has had a long time of political cooperation with the North, and of supporting Northern candidates in previous elections to the most exalted post in the country. It is natural therefore that one good turn should deserve another he seems to say.

So succored, I remembered a piece I did in the Vanguard of March 17, 20, 21 and 22, 2006, where I stated that from Zik, the Governor-General to Zik, the Ceremonial President (no matter how you view those two offices) to Obasanjo 111(having held office rightly or wrongly thrice), there are 16 openings or chances so far at the top of national governance in the country without the South-South getting it even once…It has been very off-putting. I made bold to say then that “It is even only reasonable that all of us should invite the South-South to come to the rescue as the only zone that is free from this misgovernance; the only zone sustaining and keeping the country going; and the only zone left with refulgent light to lead us to reconstruct this country and take it to desired destination.” That was written 2006. The South-South was not invited then.

Today, God must have heard the cry of Niger Deltans, and He is working things out by Himself. He has picked Jonathan; the PDP candidates at the primaries where Atiku was pounded, floored and smashed think so. Like I also wrote before now: They (those candidates) saw a je ne sais quoi or an indefinable quality and, or interest in him that attracted them, and which Atiku was bereft of. “Gimmicks and skimming will not now do. They can only be totally unwholesome at this stage. All the jeremiads should now also stop. They cannot hold back the mandate to contest. Any wonder that almost everyone is getting jiggy with Jonathan’s candidacy! Jonathan has been asked to ride; so, let him ride on. Ah! The man is even jetting already!”

The more Atiku and ACF try to scuttle Jonathan’s party mandate, the more the man has overwhelming national support and approvals from personages that matter. And now that the Sultan has spoken, and Shehu Shagari has spoken, ACF and Atiku may want to file in, for after all no one living today can be more Northern than those two.

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