Amid the din of protests against President Goodluck Jonathan’s latest fiasco of unpardonable proportions, I am constrained to make this passionate plea, not just for a ceasefire but also a national pardon for Mr President. Though he has again given no damn to whatever Nigerians think or say about his ethnic exercise of presidential power to please his scandalized tribesman, fellow Nigerians should understand that there is no better place to extend charity than one’s hometown. Besides, why is it that an act of mercy and forgiveness by the President is being rewarded with merciless malice by Nigerians who not so long ago adopted His Excellency as the embodiment of good luck and divine pre-destination, the God-sent President? At least for this spiritual spin-off, the President stands pre-pardoned by popular demand.
One is even more appalled by the mass hypocrisy being exhibited by notoriously nepotistic Nigerians because the President has laid his own clannish wreath at the national shrine of ethnic allegiances, following the flat footsteps of his predecessors in office. Paying pious respects to home grown habits in public without the slightest hint of hesitation is a national malady that we have always celebrated rather than condemned. Ask the Federal Character Commission for more authoritative confirmation of the scourge of naked tribalism influencing employment, promotion and the allocation of privileges in government agencies. Even the Chief of Army Staff had the delicate task of dispelling mounting concerns about the ethnicity behind recent recruitment, appointments, promotions and retirements in what is regarded as the last surviving bastion of patriotism and nationalist outlook. If you had to squat atop this heap of ethnic championship as President, you should be pardoned for promoting the reconcilable similarities in the thickness of blood and water?
Perhaps there is more mischief than morality in the atrocious attempt to give the President a bad name for doing good to his political master, whose mentoring can now be justifiably associated with the stunning success of the Transformation Agenda’s war within corruption. We are all living witnesses to the country’s marvellous attainment of dynastic distinction in corruptive influence thanks to the independent accomplishments of off-shoots of the big masquerades. The hypocrites trying to victimize the President for indulging in a tradition of his countrymen and the mischief-makers speaking ill of the just-pardoned have no local standing for their treasonable transgressions and must not only pardon but profusely apologise to Mr President in addition.
Now to the nitty-gritty of matter. Mr President has correctly assigned to his infamous attack dog the duty of barking out the required riposte to forever silence the political parrots that have parodied the lawful exercise of presidential sentiment into the realms of the ridiculous. The President indeed has no apology to offer Nigerians whose charity begins abroad because there are no such Nigerians dead or alive. If not a fellow Ijaw, one who has been divinely elevated to rule over the majority of mega-tribes that have consigned the country’s minorities to perpetual onlookers, which other Nigerian will so appreciate the odium which DSP acquired for serving his people as to bestow him with presidential pardon? And while you acquire migraine in the futile search for the anomalously “de-tribalized” Nigerian, it will be useful to remember that DSP was treated to a hero’s welcome in Yenagoa where he reportedly re-appeared from thin air after his no less bizarre escape from UK. The Ijaws know Nigerians well-enough not to stretch the streak of good luck said to be embedded in their son the President too far even on the jinxed altar of self-perpetuation. Mr President must be pardoned for leaving no Ijaw interest for future reference while he has this chance of a lifetime to actualize the Ijaw Nation without hindrance.
I also appeal for a pardon for Mr President for stirring more ghosts, this time with very well known faces, in his bid to maintain federal character while servicing an ethnic agenda. I can bet my tribal marks that the inclusion of so many souls departed in a cleansing ritual for diseased reputations of the living was not intended to murder sleep or cast a death spell on the pardon of the living. The unpardonable assault on the federal character of Mr President should be halted forthwith so that fellow Nigerians can be pardoned by the Ijaw Nation for unpardonable hypocrisy.
Abdulhamid Babatunde, former Editor of The Democrat, writes from Kaduna