That the Falcon May Heed the Call of the Falconer

By Taofeek Lawal


Oh mankind! Certainly the promise of God is true. Let not then the love of this world deceive you; nor allow yourself to be led astray by deceivers of the world from the path of God. Verily Satan is an enemy to you; so treat him as an enemy. He (Satan) only invites his adherents, that they may become companions of the blazing fire” (Qur’an 35:5-6).

“It is abomination for the kings to commit wickedness; for the throne was established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12).

“He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.” (Proverbs 14:31).

The words of admonition and sincere counsels coming to Dr.Goodluck Jonathan from notable Nigerians who are also world-class custodians of knowledge and wisdom are worth some reflections. Bearing upon series of permutations, game-theory experimentations and dangerous political manipulations by the camp of Mr. President, before and after the baseless postponement of an election earlier slated for 14th February, 2015, one may find it very difficult to ignore the hypothesis that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan may be acting a script after all; and that script is apparently towards the eventual break-up of the geographical expression called Nigeria. If the ominous utterances and body language of President Jonathan and those loyal to him are anything to go by, then no amount of warnings and admonitions can be considered too many in order to save our collective ship from sinking.

In case President Jonathan is truly acting such script, it is needful to draw his attention to certain extraneous variables that are likely to alter his mathematical equation. In his determination to succeed himself at all costs, one of President Jonathan’s jokers, and perhaps his ace, will be to let loose members of the Nigerian Army on the defenceless citizens of Nigeria who may want to say ‘no’ to a replay of June 12, 1993. Let the president note here that the first and supreme allegiance of members of the military institutions is to Nigeria. Their allegiance to the commander-in-chief is only predicated upon the fact that the latter’s command is a patriotic call to defend the unity and sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, Mr. President should know that when the bubbles finally burst, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces; the Army, the Navy and the Air Force are people of such high intelligence that they can differentiate between a patriotic call to defend Nigeria and a call to put their lives on the line in defence of the inordinate ambition of an individual (my argument here is reinforced by the patriotic role played by Captain Sagir Koli in the rigging of the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State). But why should anyone think that the military personnel would gleefully allow themselves to be used as weapons of war against the same constitution they have solemnly pledged to defend? Why should they allow themselves to be manipulated to subvert the unity of the country, the defence of which was the foundation of their recruitment in the first instance?

President Goodluck Jonathan should also be reminded that those who stormed the bed room of former Ivorian head of state, Laurett Gbagbo, who dragged him out of the room like a cow destined to be slaughtered at a burial ceremony and also harassed his wife sexually, were not from the civilian population of Cote d’ Voire. They are the same soldiers whom he had thought would gladly do his bidding and obey his command, no matter what. If Ibrahim Babangida had known that he would not be the direct beneficiary of the criminal annulment of the most credible election ever known to Nigeria’s political history, I doubt if he would ever have conceived of the idea in the first instance. IBB was so power-drunk that one of the statements he continues to be remembered for till today was the stern warning he issued to the Nigerian Press while his eight-year despotic rule lasted: “Members of the Nigerian Press must tread with caution. They should be aware that we are still in government; and not only are we in government, we are still in power”. If we may ask our erstwhile “ Maradona” , can he let us know where that power is now? As a Muslim, I’m very sure he (IBB) needs no one to tell him that all the lives lost to that criminal annulment shall be accounted for by none but him on the day of reckoning. Political history globally is replete with numberless examples of cases that prove right the philosophical syllogism that ‘those who make a peaceful change impossible have also made a violent one inevitable’. If the rise and fall of Idi Amin of Uganda appears too distant for our memory to recall, what about the ignoble experiences of people like Samuel Doe of Liberia; Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria; Sani Abacha of Nigeria; Charles Taylor of Liberia; Muhamman Al-Kaddafi of Libya; and Hussnie Mubarak of Egypt?

Agreed, President Jonathan is surrounded by sycophants and boot-lickers who will not blink before telling him that he has performed more than God (using Professor Charles Soludo’s language), but the fact remains that Mr. President also has a mind of his. The Bible is plain and unambiguous enough to have said: “If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked”(Proverbs 29:12). Those singing the praise of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan today were the same set of people behind the fall of most of his predecessors, some of whom have now gone into virtual oblivion in the political history of Nigeria. These political wolves know what they are doing. Their moral credentials and ethical pedigree are anything but enviable. Their only stock in trade is misguiding unsuspecting political leaders for self- gains. They are “ AGIP” (Any Government in Power). They are not in any way different from a bird called “ Adaba” in Yoruba language. Adaba cares less whether or not the bush is set ablaze; for at the burning of the bush, Adaba will take a swift flight and abandon the bush. We are Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s arch-enemies today because we tell him the truth (which hurts and pinches). Those who tell him what he loves to hear are his very good friends. Tomorrow, there will be a reversal of perception and positions; but then it may have been too late. Dr. Jonathan needs no soothsayer to inform him that a replay of June 12, 1993 will be one disaster, too many for Nigeria. He also needs no one to tell him that turning deaf-hear to wise counsels is anything but wise. Mr. President should please tread cautiously lest he should act in contravention of the Ghanaian proverb which warns that: “no wise man ever tests the depth of a river with both feet”. Leading Nigeria to another civil war will be far from being an interesting addition to Dr. Jonathan’s CV; and the earlier he recognizes this truth, the better.

Except some people in PDP who claim that there was an unwritten agreement between them and President Jonathan that he would only run for a term, no other Nigerian ever queried his constitutional right to seek a re-election (even though moral obligation demands that such agreement should have been honoured if truly it did exist). However, what sounds quite absurd is the threat continuously and repeatedly issued by some people loyal to the President (Dokubo et al) that no one else but President Jonathan must be declared winner of the election; otherwise the roof of heaven will come down on Nigeria. Then I keep asking: even if he does not actually win? One should reasonably think that statements such as this should have been spared for those who reside in the animal kingdom. To think that such barbaric statements could be made in a human society is to suggest that such a society is utterly lacking in law and order. Do people like Asari Dokubo ever listen to themselves while such ideas are being conceived in them before expressing them; or they simply ignore the need to open their brain before opening their mouth? The similitude of such reckless statements is for the supporters of a football team to declare, before a match commences, that even when their team is apparently defeated, the referee must award the match in their favour; or else no one goes home with his head on his neck among the match officials and supporters of the other team. If the loyalists of Mr. President feel this is the best way to appreciate the Nigerian electorate for their overwhelming support when Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was voted en masse in 2011 (even in ACN – controlled states), I don’t think this is fair enough. Or was it their intimidation and threat that coerced the Nigerian people to vote for their candidate then? Or, given the reverse logic inherent in their threat, was it that the INEC just awarded victory to Dr. Jonathan in 2011 even when he did not win? My candid advice to Mr. President is to refuse to be misled by those asking him to draw a battle line between himself and the rest of Nigerians. He should know that anyone on whose head a coconut shell is cracked does not eat out of the coconut.

“The natural rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things), until you visit the graves. But nay, ye soon shall Know (the reality); again ye soon shall know! Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, ye would beware! Ye shall certainly see the hellfire. Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight! Then shall ye be questioned that Day about the joy (ye indulged in!)” (Qur’an 102:1-8).

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and  where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” ( Mathew 6:19-20).

God bless Nigeria.

Taofeek Lawal, wrote in from Aberdeen Business School (ABS), Robert Gordon University (RGU), Scotland, United Kingdom.

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