Goodluck Jonathan – My Choice Still?
I did NOT vote for Jonathan in 2011, not because I decided to abstain from voting for him or because I voted for someone else, but because I was out of town. Otherwise, I would have voted for him. However, I did support him one way or the other in that election and even thereafter.
Call me a Jonathanian, and I would not deny it. I’m proudly one. My “market” may not be selling well presently but I must tell you that I am not yet making a product recall. I’m still team-GEJ. If you don’t like my market, buy something else. If you don’t like my candidate vote for someone else. It’s a choice, it’s not by force. We are not bound to like the same persons, or the same things, or to look at life and situations the same way.
I don’t wear contact lenses or goggles, but I always look at life through a screen. And that screen is quite complex. Within that screen are, amongst many things, an allegiance to fairness, and truth, and the balance of understanding.
Talking about the “balance of understanding”, it boils down to weighing matters and issues on multiple scales, and viewing issues from different perspectives. There are persons that relish in insulting President Jonathan at every given opportunity. It gives them some kick and relieves their frustrations even though it doesn’t practically change anything in their circumstances. I can relate with them. After all, I know how to deal with my own frustrations and also get my own “tranquil escapes”.
Occasionally, I have ventured to present my own perspectives to people who hold opposing views and I have been surprised at their level of tolerance. I’m not surprised because they refused to relate with my perspectives while I do relate quite well with them. I’m surprised because these are ordinarily people I expect to exhibit some degree of scholarly engagement.
To be scholarly, in my own view, means that you must have a good sense of reading and listening. “Reading and Listening” would be another topic, so I would not dwell too much on that. The matter immediately before me now, is whether I will be voting for Dr. Jonathan in February – considering his track records.
To answer that, I will go back to 2003. Eagles Square, Abuja. The PDP Presidential Primaries. Delegates had travelled from all over the country to select a flag bearer for the PDP. Several of the delegates were questioned by pressmen on who they would vote for. Many of the delegates, especially those from the “gaskiya” part of the country frankly voiced out their choice. But my brothers from the Southern part (not exactly the Southwest) often answered that “it’s too early to say who I will vote for”. Wow. It seemed bizarre. You already knew all the candidates. You had travelled all the way from your State far down the south, turning away from the rising of the sun, and yet at sunset it was too early to say who you would vote for? Unbelievable!
At the time, I was naive. Now I know a little better. So, like them, I would say, “it’s too early to say who I will vote for in February”. I’m weighing my options. At least, I know for now who the PDP flag bearer is. I don’t know that of the APC as yet.
Earlier this year, I was at a meeting with youths from various backgrounds. We were asked to define democracy. One very “tall” guy sitting close to me gave a definition that jostled everyone. He said, “democracy is when the elite create a few options for the masses to choose from” – or something like that. But this is how I remember it. Ordinarily, if the masses were to decide, would the masses choose as flag bearers the same persons that the parties have chosen? I am not so sure.
However, one thing I have always known for sure, is that the President of any country is not just an individual as we often see it. A president is the face mask of an assorted bunch of persons. His thoughts and decisions are often refined and polluted by the thoughts of many people. The job of a president is an insane one – and a very extreme one at that. There are always too many things and people to read and listen to. It’s a very crazy position, in spite of all its glamorous trappings.
“THINK BIG.” Yes, that’s the title of a book by Dr. Ben Carson that I’ve read severally. But how big can YOU think? When Dr. Carson himself was asked if he would run for the presidency in his country he answered, “It’s not something that anybody who’s all that sane would really want to do when you consider the turmoil, the havoc that it’s going to wreak on your life and the life of your family. It’s a sacrifice.” That’s from someone who has operated on people’s brains. He recognizes how insane the job of any president – whether shoeless or clueless – could be. And I’ll pitch my tent with Ben.