POLITICS: From Jonathan to ‘Anything But Jonathan’?

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By Efio-Ita Nyok
Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo was Nigeria’s
president beginning from 1999 to 2007. That is to say, his administration
initiated the Nigeria’s fourth republic. He had served as Nigeria’s military
head of state from 13 February 1976 to 1 October 1979. The acronym ‘OBJ’ is the
shortened form of his surname Obasanjo. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is
shortened GEJ is Nigerias incumbent president; while Maj. Gen.
Muhammaddu Buhari acronimised to GMB has been Nigerias military
ruler from  31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985. Ours is an
era of acronimised identities.
On Tuesday 13 January 2015, Sahara Reporters has it that
Obasanjo declared openly his refusal to support President’s Goodluck Jonathan’s
reelection bids in the general elections of 2015; a trend that is captured in
the phrase: ‘anything but Jonathan'(ABJ). He proceeded to demonstrate this by
meeting with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC),
namely, Maj. Gen. Muhammaddu Buhari shortly after meeting with Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan nee GEJ. This was not after OBJ is reported to have written a personal
letter to Buhari to straighten their hitherto strained relationship. It should
be added that GEJ’s meeting with OBJ yesterday, where he apologised to OBJ, was
in the company of two respected Christian leaders, namely, the General
Overseers of Redeemed Christian Church of God(RCCG) and Living Faith Ministries
aka Winner’s Chapel, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Bishop Oyedepo; But OBJ still
rejected the apology from GEJ.
From the foregone, it would be
obvious that OBJ being a statesman in Nigeria has considerable influence to
determine to a large extent, the who for what office in Nigeria. He has
demonstrated this in time past, this may be why leaders of both the PDP and APC
resort to him for endorsement. His moral support for a candidate wields
profound influence towards the anticipated emergence of such a candidate at the
However, while the former
president has the right to affiliate with whatsoever political candidate in the
forthcoming elections, I am still compelled to critically assess his trending
cliché, ‘Anything but
Jonathan’ acronimised as ABJ. It suffices in the main to submit that OBJ no
longer support GEJ; neither has he said openly that he support GMB but rather
ABJ. It is the drift from GEJ to ABJ not necessarily GMB that incites my
putting on a thinking cap.
What does OBJ mean by ABJ seeing
that he, a few hours after meeting with GEJ, was seen to be meeting with GMB
and declaring that he support the best candidate irrespective of party
affiliations? Taken with a pinch of salt, the phrase ‘Anything but Jonathan’ is
referring to Buhari. Is Buhari, that is, GMB the ABJ Obasanjo is referring to?
If the response is in the affirmative, then it is obvious that Obasanjo may not
mean well for this country.
You will agree with me that one
uses the word ‘Anything’ when one does not have a specific choice, especially
if one is disappointed with the choice one would have naturally opted for. Put
differently, supposing Obasanjo(OBJ) were to be asked, as it were: Between
Jonathan(GEJ) and Buhari(GMB), who do you think should be Nigeria’s president?
Who do you think, between these two, is best suited for the job? OBJ then
responds: ‘anything but Jonathan'(ABJ). Obasanjo was given two options to make
a choice but ends up making no choice at all! That is the implication of that
trending phrase.
President Goodluck Jonathan and
Major General Muhammaddu Buhari are not presidential choices for Nigeria, at least
in Olusegun Obasanjo’s thinking. If Obasanjo is not a fool or dishonest, then
that disposition should be taken seriously. It brings to mind the seminal  submission of late Chinua Achebe, who in his
The Trouble with Nigeria(1984), observed that ‘The trouble with Nigeria is
simply and squarely the failure of leadership…the unwillingness or inability
of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal
example which are the hallmarks of true leadership’. This is the palava with Nigeria!
In Obasanjo’s ABJ I also see that
even in himself, that is Obasanjo, there is no option. Obasanjo is not a
leadership option for Nigeria, not because having spent two tenures in office,
the constitution bars him from contesting, but because when he was given the
opportunity, he could be said to have done worst than Jonathan. Even Buhari
cannot  be absolved from this weekness no
matter how the APC paints him a saint. He is far from that saintly class. And
permit me  to submit that we should
expect the worst from either a President Goodluck Jonathan’s or President
Muhammaddu Buhari’s administration, depending on who wins.
Anything but Jonathan, excludes
both Jonathan and Buhari from Aso Rock. If not these two evils, then who!?
Nigeria is in need for true leadership. Truly, Jonathan was right when he
disclosed last week that his generation has failed this country.
#Anything _is _nothing