Here THEY go again: Nigeria’s President Jonathan and others reportedly seeking tenure elongations – Tola Adenle

October 16, 2014


The Chibok Girls may be in the hearts of their poor parents and faintly in the minds of many Nigerians but there’s an election around the corner in Nigeria and the returns are far more important to politicians than the lives of hundreds of those ill-starred young girls.

Politics in Nigeria is the surest and easiest avenue to wealth, great wealth, and once men and women get into office, they seem to start from the very first day thinking of how to remain in power permanently. The Nigerian masses have a name for their trade as practiced: politricks.

It’s gotten to a stage that a diplomat, the Swiss Ambassador became undiplomatic when he gave a very true assessment of Nigerian politicians in a recent interview to Nigeria’s Premium Times in which he said: “Our govt officials don’t steal public funds; they don’t use private jets or fly first class …”

Of course in Nigeria these days, it is not only the prosperity “pastors” who own jets; many governors do, and the stealing of public funds is done with so much impunity that Nigerians seem to have gone down without being able to raise a mere whimper: Hunger? Weariness? Acquiescence?

Right at the top, a presidential fleet of jets numbering at last publication over ten, is at the beck and call of the President and those close to him officially and personally in a country that takes grants of under a million dollars from foreign governments and was advertised in a Far East country a couple of years ago to be looking for a partner for a project of under a million dollars.

The UK has no Prime Minister’s jet; nor does the Queen of England. They make use of British Airways. And while a website that speculated that President Jonathan is worth $100 million quickly took it out on being threatened with a lawsuit which means it’s a baseless claim, nobody can claim to know what the president, governors, other politicians and top civil servants are worth. One thing ALL Nigerians know is that none of these people is in the league of political people or professionals in top civil service positions, holding comparative positions anywhere in the world.

Now comes another whammy on the heads of long-suffering Nigerians: the president and his inner circle are reportedly dreaming up tenure extension of two years “… to create new constitution and fight terror”!

Nigerians have traveled this road before, in fact three times as the world knows.

General Babangida, the self-styled “evil genius” took the country’s over 100 million people on many years of go-around, forming parties sanctioned by his government … and finally holding election won fair and square by Late Moshood Abiola who died right after taking tea served him at Abuja in the presence of – among others – the last UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan. He failed.

So did Late General Abacha whose attempt to remain in power took on bizarre and ridiculous forms, including his funding of a for-hire crowd of a million “Youths Earnestly Yearning for Abacha”.

And then there was the deceitful “if-I-want-a-Third-Term-and-ask-God-He-would-give-me” retired General Obasanjo (rGO) from a country filled with many men of Nigeria’s god. Of course that caveat came after his disgrace at every turn he took to achieve tenure elongation and failed. His “I am a Democrat, I am not a manipulator” in an informal interview with then CNN’s Femi Oke at the UN lobby after the elections was embarrassingly puerile.

Till today, I do not know what really was supposed to have happened at Port Harcourt – 600 miles from Lagos and about same distance from Abuja, a supposed zonal razzmatazz on this same “Constitution” reworking, and then at Osogbo where all known Nigerian Human Rights Activists within a zillion miles of the Osun River were clamped down and clamped in. Late Lawyer Aturu bore the brunt of the wickedness of rGO’s minions at Osogbo.

Port Harcourt and Osogbo are state capitals far from Abuja but the cities suited a plan he did not know was destined to fail; Osogbo was the final stop of a plan doomed from a god who did not want to give rGO what his heart desired the most, life presidency, or at least, a “Third Term.”

Ladies and gentlemen, tenure elongation should work this time. Why?

• The ranks of poverty-stricken Nigerians have widened since rGO’s ill-fated attempt at tenure elongation and the middle class has been virtually wiped out. The ranks of The Sycophants are now so large that there are hundreds of thousands of professionals who would sell their souls to politicians as go-fers to be able to purchase a road-worthy vehicle.

• With across-the-board tenure elongations dangled at governors, so-called law makers, et cetera – an omission, perhaps that rGO made – the states’ houses of assembly would pass it and retired Col. Mark’s Senate would assent to it with alacrity – “progressives” and non-progressives, alike.

• The David Mark-headed Senate would support the idea of “fighting Boko Haram” as enough reason to back this great idea and as the report in SAHARA REPORTERS surmises, the master card – no, not the one needed by you and me to tide us to paydays – that “both Mr. Mark and Governor Elechi have insinuated that the 2015 elections may not hold, hinting at severe security challenges” would be played.

When I wrote in August in the old blog that Nigeria is really heading for a one-party state after the National Association of Students’ Union reportedly declared their support for President Jonathan in –
I wrote:

“… with the National Association of Students Union declaring for the president, the leaking dam will soon be broken and whatever little resistance the main opposition party, the APC has left, will, one way or the other, be removed through state’s powers.

“Naturally, many in academia will follow their students down the road of no-return as long as there is something in it for them.

While a very few in the APC would definitely not go down without fighting, most of their new-found allies who had decamped because of loss of personal positions, etcetera, would merely gravitate back to their old home … How are most to forget their old M.O. of – “men of God” or not – snatching ballot boxes on election days or having killer squads on permanent salaries by the parties?

In one of the first few essays on this blog n March 30, 2011, I wrote:
“I think the Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN – now APC) must return to negotiations. The party’s presidential candidate is worthy like Buhari but we cannot take Nigeria back from despoliation having two worthy combatants with near-similar ideologies in opposing camps …”
The PDP has grown more audacious since. While one does realize that politics involve more than straight-forward reasoning (!), the compromise needed back then MUST have been the compromise the APC and Buhari’s group went into this time – three years later.”

The first, second and third tenure elongation projects might have failed woefully but despite what most may think now, I believe this one would succeed if President Jonathan goes for it. Poverty and lack of needs – not even wants – have rendered prostrate the middle class that used to produce the leaders in the fight for equity.

I believe almost ALL the governors would go for it, and only a minority of “lawmakers” or, as Nigerians label them legislooters, would not support it and that would be at the “federal” level where a few principled people remain.

RELATED ESSAYS: (By Tola Adenle)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2014. 10:00 p.m. [GMT]

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2 Comments on “Here THEY go again: Nigeria’s President Jonathan and others reportedly seeking tenure elongations – Tola Adenle”

  1. ADENLE S.A. Says:

    Something is worse than EBOLA or the Chibok Girls accident .That is if our Memories are too short to Even think of considering Murderers and Coup plotters for any elective Post.Any officer that has taken power from any Democratically Elected Government has betrayed his oath of allegiance to the public trust! FLATTERERS FLATTER FLATTERERS ….As ROBBERS ROB ROBBERS! Indiscipline can never Solve Indiscipline. The maximum Robbery is the stealing of Government with arms. “He pass Armed Robbery”

    If I were FELA ‘s son I will compose many songs for them to answer my father’s Quest of his unfinished song…WHERE YOU DE GO…Make a Reach… Where you de go ..Make A Reach…Where you De go….because we are about to reach Where FELA ANIKULAPO OF BLESSED MEMORY DE GOOOO.

    Let us be reasonable enough without our usual short Memories to Assist in creating A MODERN DAY BLACK HITLER.



    • emotanglobal Says:

      Thanks, Mr. Adenle.

      Our prayers should be we never have either another ebola outbreak or another horrendous incident like the kidnapped girls. To me, those two “satanic” events, to borrow a word I found in the comments on ebola as bio-terrorism, are NOT in the league of coups; they are worse. Of course seizing power by arms is terrible but those in power must at all times act well above the kind of brigandage that coups represent; the often do NOT.




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