By Babayola M. Toungo
I woke up this morning feeling very angry for a reason I cannot grasp. I looked around my room and went through my mind trying to locate the reason for my anger but couldn’t. Then it hit me – Jonathan Goodluck is going to declare to Nigerians what they all know since – that he will contest for a “second” term. The sheer cruelness of the declaration less than twenty four hours after more than forty nine students were bombed to smithereens and at a time millions of people have been chased away by terrorists from their homes and almost a whole geographical zone has been surrendered by the Nigerian Army to the terrorists with its attendant consequences. I then thought is Jonathan Goodluck human at all? Is there an atom of humanism in him? I then said to myself he won’t dare declare while most of the soil in my part of the world is soaked in blood – the blood of innocent young kids which is yet to dry. No, common sense will prevail. In the event Goodluck decides to go ahead with his declaration, I tried to convince myself that all the northerners with him would withdraw their support or at least abstain from attending this celebration of death and destruction.
Alas, Jonathan declared and northerners were falling head over heels to be recognised as attending. This got me really angry to the extent I began questioning my sanity. Are these bunches of unfeeling, politically disconnected, grovelling politicians, genuflecting before Patience Jonathan, truly my representatives? Do we really think for a moment that the people I saw around Jonathan care what happens to us – whether we live or we die? Have our senses being so dulled to pain by docility and timidity that we are ready to accept these people as our leaders and condone their behaviour to the detriment of the whole northern region in particular and the country at large? Have we been so mentally defeated that we acquiescent our fate with fatalism? What kind of leadership will sit back and dine with those who doesn’t care whether their people are annihilated or not?
In the aftermath of the Kano pogroms of 1966, which itself was caused by the brutal murder of northern political and military leaders by a largely Igbo officer corps, OdumegwuOjukwu as governor of the Eastern Region ask all Igbos then living in the north to go back to the east and declared the Biafra Republic. Ojukwu did that ostensibly to protect the Igbos from being annihilated. Whatever the demerits of his actions then, Ojukwu displayed leadership qualities by trying to protect his people from being massacred, as they saw it. While half of the northeast is taken over by terrorists, politicians from the zone are lining up behind Jonathan in Abuja, back –patting with plastic smiles on their patsy faces.
My Adamawa state has been reduced to two Senatorial zones from three because Adamawa north Senatorial zone is now effectively under the control of the terrorists. This zone is home to two minsters – BoniHaruna and ZainabMaina, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, the governor and Speaker of Adamawa State House of Assembly, a senator and two members of the National Assembly. All of them have remained mute on the happenings in their area. While their people have ran to the bush, they are ensconced in the comforts of Abuja and most of them are with Jonathan at the Eagle Square today, mocking the memory of the dead and those whose lives have been permanently dislocated.
The coterie of northern politicians queuing up behind Jonathan is guiltier of the murders taking place in the region and they should know their hands are dripping with the blood of the innocent. I hope to God that their consciences (if they have any) should continue to disturb them and the ghosts of the dead should deny them peace for the rest of their miserable lives. The people of Adamawa state are now living in perpetual fear of being overrun by the terrorists, yet some people from the state are blaspheming on the good things Jonathan did to the north and the northeast. How did these people ever get to where they are? Riding on the back of corpses, of course. It is terrible. Poor northerners. What the politicians at the Eagle Square forgot to mention is the introduction of violence to a region hitherto known for its tolerance. And fittingly enough it all started at the Eagle Square, the very place they gathered today to pay homage to Satan and Satanism, on October 1st, 2010 the first time Jonathan celebrated independence day as President.
Northerners in Jonathan’s corner are not conscious of their responsibilities to their constituents and whatever God they worship or their traditions of being their brothers’ keepers. It is for them a very lucrative undertaking. It is left for the ordinary man on the street to have the courage to face those crooks whenever they feel safe to come home from their abodes in Abuja. The ordinary poor must accept the shocking fact they “he is on his own” and elevate his survival instinct to a level he could be able to outlive the carnage going on around him. The ordinary Nigerian should endeavour not to let his intelligence be hamstrung by any sentimental concern promoted by propagandists, but to permit cool reason guide his choices in 2015.
Though Jonathan can be described both as mendacious and malignant, he had a collaborative host in the leadership of the north. This accidental president has destroyed the region and the north should therefore unite and vote him out of office. The Quislings among us should be left to the vagaries of time. Goodluck Jonathan has degraded the office of the president of Nigeria by reducing it to a clannish enclave and debauched our democracy through reptilian cunning and divisive policies. Most Nigerians are aware of this apart from the crowd from the north – the region that bore Jonathan’s destructive brunt.
Our politicians should know that allowing themselves the vain corruption of safety is not theirs and must therefore be bold enough to tell themselves that neither Jonathan nor them can give them that. Them and we are all human beings on this earth and in Nigeria, with minds, heart and limbs that could be easily hurt or broken like the poor souls in our troubled areas. The politicians may believe their own position to be high, but no higher than the man in Limankara whose family were wiped out and he was unlucky to survive and bear the pain for the rest of his live; or the woman in Pakka who had to bear the pain of labour in the bushes of Maiha without a midwife or medical attention; or the child in the wilderness of Kuburshosho, wandering the mountain sides, living on legumes and roots for sustenance while grieving the loss of a mother and father.
They should feel no more secure than the school child in Potiskum or BuniYadi, who while hiding in terror, saw how his schoolmate was brutally murdered while the government and its operatives watch. If the ordinary man in Hildi or Abadam could be killed or maimed, so could they.
Babayola M. Toungo via email@example.com