Home OPINION COLUMNISTS 2015: Why The Centre Must Hold By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

2015: Why The Centre Must Hold By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Yusuf Ozi-Usman
Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Though the political setting in Nigeria, as it is now, does not have the ingredients that made up Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, but the unfolding happenings, even the ones that are visible, seem to be portending the end product of Things Fall Apart.
That is when the centre is showing signs of not been able to hold any longer and is threatened because of vaulting personal or group ambition, being displayed wrongly.
In fact, when the political gladiators are hungrily eying the centre, and ready to trample on the nation’s unity or political stability or both, as it is gradually manifesting on the political horizon, the centre may end up, after all, not holding.
As a matter of fact, the political jig-saw Puzzle playing out in Rivers state is just a madness that is visible to all, but the scheming; the silence scheming in high quarters, for the acquisition of power at the centre, appears to pose more danger to this country than anyone would care to admit.
As a matter of fact, the political brinkmanship show in Rivers state is coming as a kind of rehearsal for the 2015 political and electoral war, and governor Rotimi Amaechi is only just too early to present the card, true or false, or indicate the hidden agenda to his brethren, for which they have become so much uncomfortable.
The political game being played, from behind the scene appears to be more divisive and dangerous for the health of the nation, because for one thing, it pitches the North against, in particular, the South South.
And, Amaechi appears to his brethren as playing a spoiler’s game for the President that is already gathering momentum, with ‘adoption’ mantra.,
The scenario, ironically, is gradually turning Amaechi, the prodigal son of the South South into a hero of sort, and of course, he is now the toast of the 2015.
This position emanated from what has actually becomes a public knowledge; that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has shifted his support for Jonathan and places it at the door step of the governor of Jigawa state and his long time foreign affairs minister when he held sway at the centre, in the person of Sule Lamido.
As a matter of fact, Obasanjo, Jonathan’s yesterday godfather, has always proved to political watchers that he can correctly read the political geography of this country and would never fail to want to be found in the right position at any given time.
The circumstances under which he threw up Jonathan behind the obviously sick Umar Musa Yar’Adua then are still fresh in the minds of those who understood Obasanjo’s calculation in 2009.
In deed, his initial calculation was to plant a South South man, straight away in the presidency, but when the North stood its ground that it would have nothing other than the President, he obliged them, knowing that democracy is all about number. What he eventually did that shut Jonathan into the Presidential seat is another subject for analysis at another time.
Now that the same North is back agitating for the same presidency, the very simple thing he thought he should do, in order not to be left in the lurch, is to go for his favourite in the North.
Rotimi Amaechi seems to be coming in with two possibilities to the Northern political agenda: either he would be peered with Sule Lamido in what may remain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or goes to the All Progressive Congress (APC) on the same platform (as Vice Presidential candidate) in the 2015 Presidential election.
Even more devastating to PDP is the rumour that speaker Aminu Tambuwal of the House of Representatives is being lured into the fold of APC with Presidential card.
And President Jonathan who may have been briefed about all these political schemings against his second term agenda would naturally, as he is surreptitiously doing, fight back and bear his anger on the traitor (s).
The worry is not that the President or his men are kicking too, but the crude way they are going about it.
Question is, when has it become a crime for a man to think of the next move he needs to make to remain relevant in the nation’s scheme of things? Or, better still, when has it become a crime for even two blood brothers to develop their individual political interests on different political platforms? Would the stronger of the two brothers kill the weaker one because the weaker one’s political plan is at variance with his own? And who would vow that it is any longer the democracy; where the space is narrowed to one-way?
It doesn’t speak well of a leader to resort to crude method of remaining in power or allows his men to do so on his behalf when their are options.
One of the options for President Jonathan, if he feels the carpet is about to be removed from under his feet is to also begin to think of a Northerner whom he would plant in PDP to slug it out with whoever APC or the ‘opposition’ in PDP would eventually present for the 2015 Presidential contest.
Clever scheming would always bring out brighter result, if sentiment to cling to power because a leader feels it is his birth right or because his kins men say so is divorced from political schemings.
We don’t need to pull down this house, this Nigeria because our ego is being touched. Unless there is more to it than ordinary watchers like us can see, the principle of democracy, which is predicated on freedom of association and choice (of political platform, etc) must be allowed to prevail. President Jonathan should be courageous enough to sack anyone in his cabinet that is flexing political muscles in his home state, otherwise, it would be taken that such cabinet member has his backing.
This is the only way Nigeria can remain intact after 2015.

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