Goodluck Jonathan: Contending with bad occurrences
I recently had the privilege of attending the naming ceremony of the second son of my niece at Osogbo in Osun State. “His names shall be: Goodluck, Akanbi, Oluwagbotemi, Oluwasemiloore, the son of Aderibigbe,” the officiating pastor pronounced to the hearing of all, as is usually done at Christian naming ceremonies. Everybody rejoiced with the family and prayed for the new baby. I joined the bandwagon to share in the joy of the moment, but right inside me, I began to feel restive about some sentimental aberrations which I felt needed to be addressed. As much as I tried to brush them off, my conscience refused to let go of the concern. Of course, after the christening was rounded off by lavish merriment, I accosted the father of the new baby at a corner to confront him with my observations. First, I acknowledged that the new baby’s entire names fall in line with Yoruba tradition, which require all names to have understandable meanings, possibly tied to prevailing occurrences or expected situations or wishful aspirations or specific prayers or family religious faith, etc. Secondly, be that as it may, I protested that ‘Goodluck’ is not a Christian name and therefore does not represent or advance the cause of the ‘Christian faith’ of their family. Thirdly, I pointed it out that the Yorubas of the South-West don’t bear ‘Goodluck’. That name is usually borne by people from both the South-East and the South-South regions of Nigeria for reasons best known to them. Moreover, that the name: ‘Lucky’, an abbreviation for ‘Goodluck’, is usually given to domestic animals like dogs and cats in Yorubaland. I reminded him of my old dog, called ‘Lucky’, which used to scare him when he was courting my niece. I had since sold that dog to an Akwa Ibom man after I discovered that it was getting unnecessarily troublesome. I therefore would not like to hear anybody call the second son of my niece ‘Lucky’, which could remind me of my old troublesome dog. I asked him to explain the rationale for naming his new baby ‘Goodluck’.
The man pointed out that he gave his son the name ‘Goodluck’ as a ‘faith-way’ of using President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as point of contact to secure ‘divine grace’ for his son. He educated me that ‘grace is unmerited favour’. He stated that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, then later he became the State Governor, and later became Vice President of Nigeria, and then finally became the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, all by divine grace. He found himself at the right place at the right time. He made me to understand that the misfortune of others brought President Jonathan to the top. The financial crimes of former Bayelsa State Governor D.S.P. Alameyeseigha and the untimely death of late President Umaru Yar’Adua, just to mention a few, were Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s pathway to the highest office in the land. He said that the President did not have any political clout, he did not have financial capability to run for the office, and he did not have any spectacular performance credential to merit his being placed over Nigerians by providence, yet he became the President. The father of the new baby thereafter concluded that without any regret for whatever aberrations that I may have observed, he wanted that kind of good fortune for his new son.
I could no less agree. My protest was short-lived. I thereafter began to appreciate God for the good fortune of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan but wondered why the President’s good fortune is yet to spread over to Nigeria and Nigerians. However, I looked at the Acting Presidency and the Substantive Presidency of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, which has so far spanned over two years now, and observed that Nigeria and Nigerians are going through the darkest period of their history. Things are getting terribly bad, and the good luck president is seemingly overwhelmed by a barrage of bad luck occurrences. First, the Boko Haram terrorism is a misfortune that has dragged too long. For over one whole year, the sect has continued to rule Northern Nigeria through the instrumentality of bombings, indiscriminate shootings and goat-like slaughtering of human beings, with gory still and motion pictures of the heinous crimes being posted on websites for the whole world to behold. There is actually no new thing about insurgency and terrorism in all parts of the world. What is, however, new about the Nigerian case is the glaring inability of the government to stop the menace. The terrorists seem to be winning the war because they are succeeding in many of their outings, and they are even enjoying free press coverage of all their ‘achievements’. The Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigerian Police, and all the other Security and Intelligence agencies are still groping in the dark, chasing shadows, assessing destructions and counting death tolls instead of preventing destructions to save human lives. They seem to be deploying conventional warfare strategies where they should be employing counter-terrorist tactics. They seem to fail to realise that the Boko Haram terrorists are suicide fighters who are not so much concerned about their coming home alive after any suicide mission other than to achieve the planned monumental killings and destructions that will have negative impact on the national psyche. Closely related to the above is the failure of the Goodluck Jonathan government to arrest the senseless bloodletting among contending ethnic nationalities in Plateau State of Nigeria. The Fulani settlers have continued to engage the Berom and other ethnic groups in Plateau State in pre-emptive, defensive and revenge killings which have so far failed to yield to the persuasion of humane ethics and godly benevolence. It is very appalling when confronted with terrible stories and horrific pictures of how whole families were murdered, whole village massacred, and defenseless women and children butchered. More appalling is the lack of political will on the part of government to publicly bring the perpetrators of the senseless killings to book. No public hanging, no firing squad, no guillotine, nothing. Is the sitting government sleeping? That attitude is bad luck for Nigeria and Nigerians.
Equally unfortunate is the fact that unrepentant armed robbers now have a field day rampaging the length and breadth of the country by courtesy of the ‘democratic ideals’ of President Goodluck Jonathan. For a consistently long number of days, dare devil armed robbers terrorised banks in Niger, Kogi and Kwara states. After each successful bank raid, the hoodlums and their indolent collaborators in the security forces would release ‘press statements’ that the culprits were Boko Haram operators armed with sophisticated arms and ammunition. And that ends the police investigation of the robbery. While responding to public complaints that he was too soft in his handling of the series of preventable misfortunes bedeviling Nigerians, President Goodluck Jonathan replied his critics that as a democratically elected President, he does not have to be a fierce-looking army general to prosecute and win the war against the wickedness that pervades the Nigerian landscape. Is the President overwhelmed by the demands of his office or by bad luck occurrences?