The election of Goodluck Jonathan as president of this country signpost so much hopes for the country. It may be too early for analysts to go full length talking about the huge lot that hope offers us by this historic election. In this work we shall be looking at how this election gives hope to any qualified Nigerian to not only aspire to the presidency of Nigeria but to be able to sunder, as Jonathan did, all hitherto primordial imports into our national life and the skewed and deceptive appeal to some majority ethnic groups that some belong, and which have been used to serve self ends at the end of the day.
Since independence Nigeria has been in the hands of the majority tribes, and more specifically in the hands of the majority tribe. We have only seen situations were government in the main exchanges hands between few sections of the North and Olusegun Obasanjo, supposedly of the Yoruba stock. And the result is that our 51years of independence has only seen how our so-called leaders underdeveloped us. Because our search for leadership has hardly taken us outside those select parts of the North and Obasanjo we have remained a prostrated nation; and that for so long. But now the search – ostensibly by divine direction – has gone elsewhere, and the lenses all have captured one man: Goodluck Jonathan. And the photograph has since come out clean, sparkling and larger than life. Never mind that Mohammadu Buhari thinks he sees himself in the negative; even when the finished product has gone global with celebrity status.
And this is the point. The time is gone when men rely on the demographic figures of their ethnic groups in the race to the presidency of this nation. The days are gone when some men will rightly or wrongly hope to amass votes of a section of the country they come from whether they deserve it or not, then look for one pawn section across the larger divide to form government with. No! People are now interested in a candidate that enthralls all Nigerians; for only such can drive the huge and gigantic machine called Nigeria; for only such can meet with the diverse needs of all Nigerians without discrimination. So, everyone is now beginning to think nationally because without this or without playing down drastically our primordial attachments we shall remain the regressive and toward the back country we have always been. But Nigerians think differently today. Jonathan is the result of this new and fresh mindset; an about-face long overdue.
We are into a phase in our national life when a Middle-Belt man that can really perform and bring home the bacon to all our families will become the democratic president of this country. We are looking forward to seeing a southern Muslim man with enthralling credentials getting the votes from across board to become the president of the country. The moment has come when a Christian from the North West or North East with the needed qualities to govern this country that Lord Lugard almagamated in 1914 making it to Aso Rock; and to our utmost joy at the end of the day. The Tiv man, the Isoko man, Igbira man, the Kalabari man too; and indeed, all that have the unquestionable ingress to make it to the number one position. We are now looking forward to seeing one of our many women evidently equipped to turn things around in this country becoming our president.
There are many Awolowos across Nigeria. We can no longer begin to frustrate them. We do that now to our final peril. The time has come for the best of us to step forward. There should be no more barriers to excellence! Between now and 2015 we want to see a campaign that will encourage the likes of Sanusi Lamido, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, Dora Akinyuli, Babatunde Fashola and performers like them stepping out for Aso Rock either as presidential or vice presidential candidates. We cannot leave our country for very un-political people with their questionable wealth. The people are seeking those that can sincerely and ably govern us. That is what matters now. With Jonathan they have told us this. And if he performs (and we hope he will) then the game would have been finally over for those who think they can continue to sit over our affairs because they have the wealth to squander in elections and or have ‘majority stake’ in Nigeria even though they may know little or nothing about our real affairs. And, of course, if Jonathan performs, Sambo will also be wanted in the 2015 race. After all, Jonathan has said he will not be contesting in 2015; even though Ochereome Nnanna thinks that “If Jonathan is able to fix our power supply woes, give us a ‘people’s constitution’ as he promised as well as improve the economy with more of our people gainfully employed, Nigerians may not allow him to go after only one term” – Vanguard, Monday February 7, 2011. In that case the Nnannas may not only get ready to be stuffed with good persuasive power but get set to own some tools to swing to ‘recall the falcon’. Whatever is the outcome of that endeavor Nigerians will have many good alternatives to choose from in 2015. Call it the great new dawn! This is the hope the election of Jonathan present.
So, the point must be clear: The election of Jonathan changes for good the political ways of making it to Aso Rock from henceforth. It removes the pre-colonial tripod of Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Ibo which has since been inherited by post colonial Nigeria with the Hausa/Fulani stock leading that tripod. We see the so-called WAZOBIA altering to WAZOBIAPLUS. Do you hear me? That is nationhood. Though even this still undercuts or undermines us, but because of the need for some sort of compromise in the making of a nation, we can tolerate it at that. But not to totally undermine us! After all, all the so-called minority ethnic groups put together is about double the Hausa/Fulani group leading that superannuated tripod. The ethnic groups outside the tripod only need to be united and refused to be divided by the other groups to play dominant role in our polity. But this too will be against the spirit of nationhood which is herein canvassed and which has thrown up Jonathan.
Today Nigeria does not belong to any oligarchy. It now belongs to us all. This is the truth that has transfused the nation. Nigerians, the entire nation, have just said so in the election of Jonathan. And to many of us meaning is beginning to be given to this contraption called Nigeria. And it is more heart-warming that Nigerians are poised from now to ensure that patriotism and nationalism moves ethnicity and personal and egotistic consideration to the far rear in our national politics as they (Nigerians) will now be going all out come any election season with their lenses to capture Nigerians truly qualified, fit, and capable enough to lead us from henceforth. They no longer want people who will be owners of universities, blue-chip companies and multi-nationals after governing or more appropriately, after misgoverning us. Henceforth the likes of Obasanjo, Atiku, IBB and others like them will always be screened out of the view of our lenses. And it is for good. Up Nigeria!