The Implication Of President Jonathan 2011

President Jonathan aspiring to run for the 2011 Presidential Election under PDP, will signal the abandonment or jettisoning of the Rotational Presidency. If this happens, Nigeria will reverse to status quo prior to 1999. The implication of this will be that the North will continue their domination of the leadership of the country. Nigeria without a rotational presidency, is Nigeria of Northern domination. Short and Simple.


The Implication Of President Jonathan 2011 by Hon. Alex Obi-Osuala

When the idea of this article came to me, I wanted to title it “The Danger Of President Jonathan 2011” but l chose a more subtle title “The Implication of president Jonathan 2011”. 

Recently, there have been numerous comments, articles and calls urging President Jonathan to contest the 2011 elections. Even within the Ruling PDP there are very strong movement for Jonathan 2011. This movement is so powerful that it consumed the ex while Chairman of the party Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, due the comment he made about the North retaining the presidency next year to complete their second term of four years. 

In other to help President Goodluck Jonathan make a wise decision, it is important we reflect a little bit. It is vital we know where we came from, to be able to understand where we are going. This article will reveal the implications or danger wrong decision by His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan at this trial time will portend for the future of the country.

 The rotational presidency was a brain child of G34, a group of politicians led by Chief Alex Ekwueme. This group later became what is known today as PDP. When this group came together during the Abacha era, at the time of June 12 imbroglio, M.K.O Abiola was still in Abacha’s Gulag, the nation was in disarray, there were regular strikes, and protests, notable Nigerians were either  in jail, assassinated or attempt were made on their lives, such individuals as Chief Alfred Rewane, Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua etc were killed  Chief Alex Ibru, Chief Abraham Adesanya etc escaped assassination, Former  Head Of State and later President Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Chief Bola Ige, Late Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti, Gen Oladapo Diya, Dr. Arthur Nwankwo, Chief Olu Falae, Late Alhaji Abubarka Rimi, Senator Chris Anyanwu, Chief Frank Kokori, Olisa Agbakoba etc. were all in jail. 

While the strong arm of Sani Abacha, was holding the country hostage, different human right groups came together under the name JACON {Joint Action Committee Of Nigeria}, led by Chief Gani Fawehinmi, demanding the release of political prisoners and return of the country to democratic government. There are other pressure groups in exile, for example,  NADECO,  this group consists of Wole Soyinka, Bola Tinubu, Ralph Obioha, Tony enahoro, Commodore Dan Suleiman, Gen. Alani Akinriade, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun etc. They were putting pressure on the International Community to impose sanction on Nigeria and pressure the Abacha Junta to release political prisoners and hand over power to M.K.O Abiola, who was acclaimed the winner of June 12 elections.

This period was one of the darkest period in Nigeria. The country was in verge of collapse. The G34 {Group of politicians who came together with the aim of finding solution to Nigerian Political quagmire} was formed at this period. They piled pressure on the government of Sani Abacha to restore civil rule. Bearing in mind the tension in country at that time,  they came out with some political models that are designed as a way of moving the nation forward. The two outstanding ones are; 1. Division of the geo-political make of the country into Six Geo-political Zones, 2. The Rotational Presidency etc. 

The six Geo-Political zones simply means six regions namely: South South, South West, South East {On The Southern Part Of Nigeria} And: North East, North West, North Central {On The Northern Part Of Nigeria}.

The Rotational Presidency States: Power or presidency of Nigeria be rotated between the Southern and Northern Nigeria, through the six geopolitical zones.

The sudden death of the Head of state Gen. Sani Abacha, and later M.K.O Abiola in detention, brought in a new transitional government headed by Gen. Abdulsalam Abubarkar, who released political prisoners and brought out a transition timetable to civil rule.  G34 metamorphosed into a political party with the name, People Democratic Party {PDP}. 

The model already designed and the rotational presidency agreed was to be implemented for the first time in this emerging political exercise. It was a consensus agreement within the founders of the party that the South be allowed to produce the President. It was equally agreed by most leaders of the party that south west be given a chance, to pacify them on the June 12 annulment, which their son, was acclaimed to have won, to restore peace and stability in the country. 

President Olusegun Obasanjo’s government was the product of this agreement; and he ruled for two terms of eight years. At the end of his tenure, PDP took the power to the North. President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was the product of that move. He died before finishing his first term. The result of his death, was the current President Goodluck Jonathan administration,  a southerner, who was his Vice President. 

At this point, the Logjam, Temptation and Trial begins. The question is, Should Jonathan serve out the remaining first term of his boss and let the North recontest election next year, 2011 and finish out their second term of four years. Or will he jettison the rotational presidency by contesting 2011 presidential elections. ? 

The decision made here, l believe, will have positive or negative impact on the future of the country.

It is noteworthy that the leadership of Nigeria since independence has been dominated by the North. This is basically due to the nation’s socio-cultural leaning; which made it almost impossible to wrestle power from them. 

They have the population, they have the military. On any presidential election in Nigeria, North mostly wins. 

It was only on one occasion that a southerner was able to make so much enroute to have won; that was M.K.O Abiola, but he never live to actualize the acclaimed mandate. The only reason he was unable to actualize it was because the same North with their Power and Might refused to let him. He died in the process. 

Abiola was once in a generation individual. A lot of things worked for him politically, could we say Religion or Philanthropy? one may not know. Apart from religion, he was a selfless giver, who gives even to his enemies. To me personally, it could be very difficult to replicate Abiola, who could make such a political breakthrough as he did on June 12, 1992? 

I mean the south should not think that Abiola’s prowess or magic could easily be repeated, it does not come often.

During the first republic, with all the education and exposure of southerners led by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe {Zik} and Chief Obafemi Awolowo {Awo}, It was a teachers training school certificate holder Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who was running the government of Nigeria, as Prime Minister; Zik was a ceremonial president, while Awo was on the opposition. The reason could not be because they are not better educated or good politicians; It could be attributed to;

First, the North have the number and the might necessary to hold power; Secondly, due to political division, mistrust and ethno-tribal leaning, the South could not present a strong political front necessary to wrestle power from them.  Hence they held power roughly thirty-nine years {39yrs} out of fifty years {50yrs} of Nigerian Independence. 

President Olusegun Obasanjo eight years in office was only made possible by the North, due to the concept of rotation. 

What l mean is that, in a normal political setting, it will be almost impossible to defeat the North in a presidential election.  We must tell ourselves the truth.

This northern domination of the Nigerian political/governmental environment; created unease and restiveness within the populace; the south agitated and lamented on the lopsided power equation, but power could only be attained by Electoral victory or the Military Coup; both are within the ambit of the north.

Abiola’s imbroglio was a turning point in Nigerian political equation, especially the southerners, who saw an opportunity to ascend the leadership of the country. His subsequent death made him a Marty of political emancipation for all Nigerians,  which brought about a fomentation of model of rotation, to give every zone a sense of belonging and participation at the highest level in Project Nigeria.

President Jonathan aspiring to run for the 2011 Presidential Election under PDP, will signal the abandonment or jettisoning of the Rotational Presidency. If this happens, Nigeria will reverse to status quo prior to 1999. The implication of this will be that the North will continue their domination of the leadership of the country. 

Nigeria without a rotational presidency, is Nigeria of Northern domination. Short and Simple.

There have been various argument against the rotational presidency; Some have posited that it does not allow the best from the country to aspire for the highest office in the land; some say it is undemocratic; others say it is unconstitutional etc.

While acknowledging the limitations of the rotational presidency, it is important to note that political models are designed bearing in mind the socio-political and cultural dynamics of the people. No political model is the same anywhere in the world. No two country, developed or underdeveloped has exact same model. With the complexity of Nigeria, its important we put this perspective into consideration for the survival of the country. Of what use is it having a best candidate for instance from the south, whom the north will not vote for; Even within the south, we have problems too; you may have a best candidate from south east for instance, what assurance do you have that the south west will vote for him and vice versa.

Abandonment of rotational presidency will put the southerners in a very disadvantageous position.  Rightly or wrongly, Ojukwu once described Chief Obafemi Awolowo as “The best President Nigeria never had” we all know the story of Awo’s quest for leadership of the country.

The point is that Nigerians of today do not Vote on Merit but on socio-political and cultural considerations.    

Rotational Presidency should continue, to give every zone a sense of belonging and participation in the country. It should not be jettisoned. All those clamoring for Jonathan 2011 should understand our political dynamics. The interest of the country and not parochial, must be the paramount consideration at this trying times.  

President Jonathan should consider, if it will be in the best interest of the nation and the South to jettison the rotational concept. 

He may be innocent of the power entrusted on him; But he will not be innocent of the decision he makes as the President Of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria.  

Hon. Alex Obi-Osuala

Atlanta Ga

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