Stop These Insults Against Jonathan


Ebiowei Tarila condemns the attempt to relegate former President Goodluck Jonathan to the background in his home state, Bayelsa

*Tarila writes from Yenogoa

It is the Holy Book that declares that ‘the heart of man is desperately wicked’ asking, ‘who can know it?’ That might be a fitting question for some elements in Bayelsa State who recently launched a direct attack on former President Goodluck Jonathan, the erstwhile godfather and political mentor of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson. The article, “What do Jonathan and Wife Want in Bayelsa?” smells strongly of the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau. The entire piece drips of bile, infamy and acute show of malignant disloyalty, the type associated with legendary ingrates.

In a desperate bid to tar the image of former President Jonathan, the piece tried to imply that Jonathan was behind the “coerced impeachment” of former Governor Diepreye Peter Solomon Alamieyeseigha. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Those who followed the political developments at the time know the degree of mischief in the said article.

The direct and indirect authors of the article described President Jonathan as an “accidental politician”, implying that he was just lucky to have undeservedly ascended to the peak of the political practice or career. But does the current rulership in Bayelsa need to be reminded how it needed this “accidental politician” to get elected to office in 2011 against the grain of practice of allowing incumbents to have the chance of a second term? Some people had to be sacrificed for another to go up. Jonathan did just that!

Suddenly, the same people are speaking with magisterial authority, purporting to control the four cardinal pillars of the earth, and seemingly calling out their Chi for a wrestling match. But it’s all human folly at its best. Perhaps they need to be reminded that power is very transient. There were others before them and surely, there will be even more of their kind after them. They do not and cannot play God in the affairs of the entire Bayelsa people. They must not speak like emperors, drunken from a far voyage. A river that does not respect its source will soon dry up mid-stream. That seems a hanging fate for all of them.

Things have gone so bad that those in government refused—during the last election—to co-operate with the former president on who should represent Bayelsa East (the former president’s senatorial district) in the senate. In so doing, they made the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win the senatorial district. It is the same people that are accusing the Jonathans of playing “detrimental politics.”

It amounts to unacceptable political impudence for anybody to aspire to preside over, or defiantly call the shots in the politics of Bayelsa State where Jonathan is alive and well. Indeed, I am forced to reverse that irresponsible question asked by whoever wrote that scathing piece: what do these new generation politicians really want? Do they want to continue to be in power by proxy after stepping down at the end of the year?

The present rulership of Bayelsa State should perhaps be cautioned that no man tests the depth of a river with both legs at the same time. The vitriolic attacks on the former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan is as petty as it is unwarranted. It portrays the small mindedness of the author and his sponsor. It is no longer a hidden fact those in power want to unilaterally decide who succeeds them at the end of their tenure. What kind of democracy is that? How can just a few unilaterally speak for the millions of Bayelsans?

Why are people deaf to the voice of the elders and the youths? Can they not see and correctly interpret the handwriting on the wall? Perhaps, they need be reminded again, that even a faulty clock is twice right in a day. They cannot be biting the finger that not only raised but fed them too. There cannot be two captains in a ship. Bayelsans have been starved of dutiful governance. The tell tale signs are everywhere for all to see.

If the state must move forward and grow in the grid of its natural endowments, these retrogressive politics and small mindedness must be jettisoned. The state is hungry for development and growth. What should concern a sitting governor and his aides is how the state can make progress beyond wherever he stopped, not desperation for a lackey that will shield the oddities.

Whoever was paid to sign that article which accused Jonathan of not doing anything during his years as President to raise the development notch in his home state is a petty liar and mischief maker. Sponsors of these campaigns of calumny need to get back to their political drawing boards and work out schemes that will not produce templates of violence and chaos in a state that is perpetually charged for uprising. If this is all about the oncoming election in the state, I do not think anyone can blackmail Jonathan and his wife against their personal choice.

*Tarila writes from Yenogoa