Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Who Is Afraid Of GEJ?

By Enyioma Orji,
Abakaliki, Nigeria

In 1818, Mary Shelley published what was arguably the first science fiction in her book Frankenstein. The book told the story of Victor Frankenstein and his intrepid creation of a humanoid, which later turned out to be a monster tormenting Frankenstein’s life and killing his loved ones.

A really horrifying story, and every reader often shudders with relief that it is only a fiction. The point however is that this particular fiction is a reality in our dear country today.

Our political history since independence has been dominated by a particular section of the country called “The North”. The North is a behemoth which had to absorb into itself every other ethnic group from the boundaries of Nsukka to Kwara in order to remain the dominant male in a territory which would have otherwise been equitably if not symbiotically occupied by every member of the ecosystem. Once this domination was achieved in the largely illiterate community of early post-independence Nigeria, perpetuation was achieved by manipulation of both military powers and democratic process. The North was to remain dominant either in military uniform or in the more bogus civilian garb. Frankenstein’s creation was alive!

However time had a different perspective on the unfolding events. Literacy levels started rising. Cultural and Ethnic identities were springing up. We were no longer a nation of 3 but 250 ethnic groups. Each with its own identity different from the rest. The agenda of ethnic interests were gradually discovered to have been scripted by and for a few self-serving interests claiming to be the core of what is actually a loose amalgam where the periphery were in fact being milked to the advantage of the core. The sad truth remains that the true northerners whose interests are purportedly being served are still very low on all standards of living. Who is fooling who?

The true picture of the state of affairs, and the true strength of ethnic interests was glimpsed when for once in the lifetime of our nation an election was adjudged free and fair by the international community. It became obvious that the so-called strength of The North was not omnipotent after all. Nonetheless the perpetuation agenda has been entrenched, and again the true will of the people was not allowed to see the light of day. By now it was clear that Frankenstein’s creation was a monster.

President Goodluck Jonathan is currently saddled with the leadership of Nigeria. A product of an election keenly contested among other members of the core North. And again the will of the people prevailed. Clearly, hailing from the core North is no longer a criteria for winning an election. Ever since some elements have been disgruntled about the turn of events, and the message had been unequivocal. ‘Do not contest the next election’. Most recent of which is the outburst against Alhaji Dokubo’s vocal support for GEJ.

Why would this particular group of Nigerians want President Goodluck Jonathan not to exercise his constitutional rights. The answer is either they are afraid that the President may decide to subvert the electoral process to his personal benefit or they lack the ideas to match the President’s agenda. To the former I would say it is only the Frankenstein’s monstrous creation coming back to haunt him. President Jonathan has no such antecedents. It is important to remember that GEJ went out of his way to appoint a man well known for his integrity to oversee the 2011 elections, and immediately funded the expensive Voters’ Registration so it would not be said that he stood in the way of a free and fair election. To the latter, it is purely the antics of a group whose subjugation and perpetuation agenda have failed them because more people have come to realize that their interests are only self-serving. It should also be noted that the shouts this time has not been of marginalization as has been common with previous administrations.

While the current paradigm shift may be incomprehensible to those interests who are bent on the suppressive conquest of the will of the majority, the best response to their cowardly calls would have been to ignore them and forge ahead with the current national progressive awakening but silence is often misconstrued for acceptance. The best course of action left for them is to immediately desist from asking the President not to exercise his constitutional rights, then look within their ranks if they believe they have a candidate who they believe would be acceptable to the majority of Nigerians, let us go to the husting come 2015.

Enyioma Orji writing from Abakaliki
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