Home OPINION COLUMNISTS Really, Do ‘All’ Northerners Not Like President Jonathan? By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Really, Do ‘All’ Northerners Not Like President Jonathan? By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Yusuf Ozi-Usman
Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Where did the idea that ‘all’ Northerners don’t like President Goodluck Jonathan emanated from and is now gaining ground around the country?
To many people who have been unfortunate to witness such notion being floated, it is an idle talk by those who have no particular things doing, but to others who understand the long-term implications of such notion, it is a recipe for disunity.
At a cyber cafe yesterday in one of the Area Council’s headquarters in Abuja, the Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), a middle aged man, in what looked like a ‘street’ taIk with another Nigerian, blurted out that President Jonathan has been finding it difficult to rule this country because, he said “all the Northerners don’t like him.”
This pronouncement jolted me up from the story I was editing on my laptop and the question that reverberated in my mind is: All the Northerners??? What a dangerous and sweeping generalization!!!
In deed, it was the third time and in three different places across the country that I have heard such statement made on the President.
The first time was last year in Lafiya, Nasarawa state capital whereas the second one was in Kaduna in January this year. The curious thing about it is that the three persons who made this statement at different places and different dates are christians.
While the level of spread of such notion is yet to be known, it would be foolhardy to dismiss it with the wave of hand, especially as the country prepares for the 2015 elections in which President Jonathan is likely to be a principal participant.
This same ethnic and, to a large extent, religious sentiments developed shortly before the 2011 election in which also, President Jonathan was the major candidate for the Presidency.
As a matter of fact, many die-hard supporters of Jonathan had at one time or the other, went into fist-scuffs with those who dare to as much as oppose the idea that he was being hated by people from the North because of the region he came from and the religion he belonged to. Not many of them would even see the point that Jonathan needed as much the votes of the Northerners, many of who, of course, are christians, to win the election as any Northern Muslim needed the votes of Christian South to win election.
It is unfortunate that the old song is now being rehearsed and made to fly, even when President Jonathan is surrounded by Northerners who are more loyal and devoted to him than the so-called South South or South East people. As a matter of fact, the man in whose care the President’s life is entrusted (his Aide-De-Camp), a fine, loyal and committed military officer, is a Northerner (from North Central), aside from the fact that his number two man, described as a symbol of loyalty, Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, is from the North West.
In deed, the President’s die-hard loyalist, who would ‘scatter’ any opposition with mere words of mouth (information minister) is also from the North, just in the same way his two security strategists: the Minister of Defence and the National Security Adviser are from the North. Even the President’s Principal Personal Assistant is from the far North.
There are many other Northerners, inside his government, in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and outside the political and government systems, that so much love President Jonathan that they would fight in public against his opponents.
Evidences are abound to show that the President has people in the South South, South East and South West who have displayed open dislike for him and what he represents.
This is saying that in the nature of man, and as part of democratic behaviour, a man and, for that matter, a leader would always have to contend with two sides of the divides: those who like you and those who do not like you.
The function of any of the two divides has nothing to do with the circumstance of where you come from and what you are doing. In fact, while you may have some people within the same family not liking themselves, there could be a situation where people from different backgrounds and settings would like you beyond human imagination.
So, as the dangerous idle talkers would want us to believe, is it the preoccupation of “all” the Northerners to dislike President Jonathan and the preoccupation of the people from the Southern parts of the country to like him? That simplistic idotism!
Of course, the first thing one would argue on is that it is only the ignorants that would be lured into that group of negative idle talkers. However, the very unfortunate thing, within the context of poverty-ridden citizenry now is that, Nigeria is filled up with millions of ignorant people, some of them, educated mischief makers.

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