Home OPINION COLUMNISTS 2015: President Jonathan’s ‘Ifs’ By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

2015: President Jonathan’s ‘Ifs’ By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Yusuf Ozi-Usman
Yusuf Ozi-Usman

President Goodluck Jonathan can no longer hide the dilemma he has found himself in, on the issue of whether or not he would contest the 2015 Presidential election to do another four years.
Push to the wall by searching questions coming from both those he see as friends and those he regard as political enemies, the President seems to be afraid to fall for the devil nor into the deep blue sea.
When the question was put to him during the Presidential media chat, which was shown live on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and heard on Radio stations across the country yesterday (Monday) evening whether he would contest the 2015 election for his second term, he said matter-of-factly: “If I say I am not contesting, there will be issue, and if I say I will contest there will be issue.”
And the question that instantly arose was which are the issues?
Of course, many leaders in the past that found themselves in similar circumstance faced the same dilemma, and most of them actually ended up listening to and acting on what those who used the Presidency as a hiding place for their inadequacies and those who are hangers-on said, against the popular voices which, by the nature of their existence, are always inaudible and faint.
It is not hard to guess that President Jonathan is afraid to say he would not contest because of the fear of the people from his ethnic nationality, who have been threatening fire and brimstone that he dares not disappoint them.
There has even been a veiled threat on him, by members of his ethnic group that they would not want to see him near the Niger Delta region (where he comes from) if he fails to seek for second term, which they see as their absolute right and chance.
There are also, the groups who are enjoying all the trappings of power in and around the Presidency, who would not only lose their jobs and all that go with such jobs, but will be divorced from the sweet melody of the Presidency if he fails to contest the 2015 election.
Those in this category are scattered across the country, from North to South and West to East, but have one central point running across them: free access to power at the centre with all the goodies that go with it.
The second “If” of President Jonathan, should he decide to contest, is usually the one that leaders like him do play around with or even regard as “the ranting of political enemies.”
This was the voice former President Olusegun Obasanjo ignored which nearly made him to lose the second term, if it were not his second-in-command, Atiku Abubakar with his forgiving spirit. It is on record that Obasanjo refused to declare whether he would go for second term or not for a long time and when finally he decided to do so, he told Nigerians that it was God who commanded him to go for it.
One of the issues that are likely to come up if and whenever Jonathan declares that he would contest the 2015 election is that he would contend with his alleged promise that he would do only a tenure and leave. Though he had denied making such promise, even when his political benefactor, Obasanjo confirmed that he made such promise, fact is that, such matter will come up over and over again for proper understanding, politically. Another issue may be whether the constitution would allow him to do 10 years as President of Nigeria if he wins the 2015 election. He had done two of the late President Umaru Yar’adua’s last four years, now doing four full years of his first tenure and, another four years from 2015 (of his second tenure) will all add up to 10 years.
And if he decides that he would not contest the 2015 election, one of the issues he would face is anger of his kins men and those who are directly and even indirectly benefiting from him or those who are close to him in and around his offices.
In any case, so long he remains the President of Nigeria, every other action he takes, every other thing he says and every other action he doesn’t take will always elicit issues.
Therefore, it is not just his declaration to contest or not to contest the election that will rouse issues, but all other actions he takes or doesn’t take. This is saying that the President was just saying the obvious at that media chat.

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