PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and his strategists need not lose sleep over calls by Adamu Ciroma and other Northerners that the President should resign because some bombs exploded in Abuja on October 1. Such calls are frivolous.
Presidents don’t resign because some terrorists are at the door. That is precisely when they are required to stand up and stare the enemy in the face and stare him down. For the threat is ultimately, a threat to the integrity and the stability of the state.
Those who are playing politics with everything should be able to make the right distinctions between what is intelligent and what is downright mischievous. However, President Jonathan must be worried about something far deeper in terms of the responses of the North to his Presidency and his 2011 ambition: it is the manner in which the North is becoming united against him. That should frighten the rest of us.
In the long run, the biggest bomb in the Abuja incident was Henry Okah’s telephone interview in which he revealed that the Jonathan group wants to implicate Northern politicians as the architects. Since then, both the Jonathan campaign team and their Ijaw sympathisers have been targeting a particular candidate from the North. Coming after the long debate within the PDP over whether it is now the turn of the North or not to complete the Yar’Adua tenure, any attempt to isolate the North or its candidates as the threat to Nigeria could have far-reaching consequences.
PDP Northern Presidential aspirants have already spoken with one voice on the bomb incident. Should they decide to announce a consensus candidate as they have been threatening, and they successfully do so, that will change the nature of the game. If Babangida emerges, then it will be a do-or-die encounter at the PDP primaries. If Saraki is the consensus candidate, then Jonathan can no longer talk about youthfulness. If it is either Atiku or a PDP outsider like Buhari, the effect will just be as devastating. If the Jonathan group still wins at both the primaries and the election, the North may be left feeling hurt.
Yet in all of this, there appears to be less talk about the people or scrutiny of the persons aspiring to become the CEO of Nigeria Plc, and their policies. The tone of current politics is dangerous for Nigeria and its democracy. Jonathan should act the statesman and begin to talk to the North and its aggrieved children within the PDP and not respond to the bait for a ‘roforofo’ fight which serves no abiding purpose.