What Was “Goodluck” About Jonathan?

There were several people who sang hosanna in the highest when the former Bayelsa State deputy and then governor, Goodluck Jonathan, was picked to be the vice-presidential candidate of the pidipi. My friend was among those who orchestrated that jazz homily. He came to me one day and said: ‘’Old boy, there was one headline I saw in the papers today. I really loved. It said ‘’Goodluck smiles on Jonathan’’. I was embarrassed that he was the one to take the venom that I had prepared, like a rattlesnake, to spew forth at anyone who would confront me with that garbage. I allowed his enthusiasm to simmer down a little before I spat on him that there was absolutely nothing goodluck about Jonathan. I told him, without any qualms that I was disappointed that he belonged to that growing group of gullible Nigerians who equate public service with a short cut to fortune and fame, rather than the minefield that it truly is, as Otunba Gbenga Daniel said he just realised. All of this, I couldn’t come out to say because at that time, I just got employed with a news zine and my employees would not have it that I continued to yarn as I used to. But there are things we must say now, no matter whose ox is gored.

The whole thing was sick. Sick. Why didn’t it just occur to any one of us to look just a little bit closer at that innocuous but unctuous little smile of his? Why didn’t it cross our minds that it just wasn’t possible for Alams to have stolen all that money if that didn’t mean Goodluck for Jonathan? But even if we did, what could any one of us do? The man was imposed on us by the septuagenarian from Otta as a veritable successor to the vicepresidentship of Zamunda probably because Goodluck seemeth like the perfect example of executive subordination and subservience. At a time when Atiku put pepper for im eye, and other deputy governors from every state of the federation exhibited that ordinary ambition to be governors or president, wasn’t it just our goodluck, that Goodluck, who just sat there, ostensibly uninterested became the one to be forced down our throats?

We believed there and then that the Yar’Adua-cum-Jonathan duo is an extension of the Obasanjo time, and we should not adjust our thinking just because the new Obasanjo is an educated person, or just because he declared his assets, or just because he wants a government of national unity. Some of us think more in terms of the position adopted by Keyamo. And that is, between Yar’Adua’s asset declaration and Jonathan’s intransigence in declaring his publicly is a battle for legitimacy. Both of them were not really what we wanted. Believe me, for a president we really need somebody with a voice and a passion that can inspire us to be that great nation that we are, not the dour lack-lustre one as we have now. For a vice president, we needed a born-again Atiku, one who would not connive with the president to short-change us the way Obasanjo did. And there were many people on ground that were in, and out of the pidipi who fit this profile. You and I can attest to that fact that there was this over-riding interest by the former president to install marionettes whom he could manipulate. There were signs at the beginning that even his kinsmen knew this and that he was going to be a lackey. In a move that was soundly condemned by all and sundry, but seen by a few to be a signal that they were not impressed with his choice as vice-president, his country home was bombed. His closed-door meeting with his mentor that led to Alams’s plea bargain, as you can see, has not cut off the hydra-headed hostage-taking monster. In fact, it is getting worse and worse, with the stakeholders insisting that the fight is not really about persons, but about issues in the Niger Delta that has escalated in an orgy of violence, kidnap and mothernap of children and mothers in Bayelsa. Therefore, when goodluck was said to have smiled on Jonathan, what did those wordsmiths who crafted that stupid title expect of a man who does not have the balls to come forth and publicly declare how much he has?

Written by
MajiriOghene Bob Etemiku
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