The emerging ‘GEJian Buharists’: should we be afraid?

By on October 2, 2015

Olamide FOLORUNSO

Retrospection is a beautiful gift to the human mind. Standing at a distance in time, individuals pause to take a look at the lives they have lived, the words they have spoken and opinions they have held; usually with the benefit of later occurrences, they change.

The excitement of their new beliefs may appear refreshing but questions must be asked: Why did they not get it before now? What were the factors that mediated their new understanding? Will they not repeat these characteristics? How can ‘thinking’ in the now, make future retrospection praiseworthy?

There are always supporters of every form of government or leader. This was true for President Jonathan (GEJ) – he had supporters from active citizens to religious leaders to loyal party members to civil societies. His detractors were mostly of the opinion that these supporters clung around (and praised) him for pecuniary, ethnic and religious reasons- false?

Papa Edwin Clark was one of such supporters- he was fierce and furious against anti-Jonathan forces- he believed GEJ was the best President we could have had.

Thus, it was surprising that he was reported to have made some comments about his best-thing-that-happened-to-Nigeria President:

“Jonathan didn’t have the political will to fight corruption. He’s a gentleman. Drivers of yesterday are living in palatial buildings now…In advanced countries, when you are living above your means, people query you. That’s not so in Nigeria. Former governors, lawmakers are now asking for immunity.”

Expectedly, loyalists of President Buhari (PMB) and APC have gone to town, expressing the joys that abound when a soul is won or when an accused pleads guilty. They are right to dance but they must introspect- how does this apply to their present support of Mr. Buhari?

Has Pa Clark always had his present opinions about GEJ? Did he ever express it to him? Why did he give the public a different story? Could he have ardently supported him whilst still speaking the truth?

For being on the negative response side of most of the above questions, he was tagged a “GEJian’ (one that supported/supports President GEJ, even in the face of facts and reasons to contrary opinions). The disdain in the name GEJian stuck to the extent that a friend preferred you called him ‘Stupid’.

PMB, sadly, is developing such followership. However, with the benefit of GEJians’ hindsight, they are more sophisticated. They provide amiss abstractions, unstated excuses and unconfirmed innuendoes; for criticisms handed to PMB. To them, the fact that the end goal of the PMB administration may be positive; means all (or most) of his steps must be excused. The end would justify the means.

When they are reminded of the increasing frequency of bombings and the ticking of Buhari’s 3-month-end-boko-haram promise; they offer- ‘Insurgency is hard to combat, the General has promised three months’ or ‘It has been contained to Borno’. One imagines the reaction if such words emanated from a GEJian, one year ago. The army’s successes and gaps in fighting Boko Haram, could be better communicated.

When the economy is said to be losing some investors while the ones on the verge of decisions are expecting economic blueprints; they remind us- ‘We have recovered X amount through NNPC’. More like saying, ‘We can lose Y, if we gain X’!

Recently, the list of 21 would-be Ministers were read in Senate. While the President’s choice of his men are his prerogative, some citizens questioned the wait when 90% of the list could have been guessed on May 29th 2015. Again, ardent supporters went ‘If they deliver, the wait was worth it’ ‘He was sanitising the system left by GEJ’. I’m sure they mean that if the incoming Ministers need 3 years and 5 months to deliver on innovative projects, 3 years would still be sufficient.

History tells us otherwise, the country is littered with abandoned projects, not only due to embezzling of funds but also time constraints.

Thus, I present to you GEJian Buharists.

What these persons forget is that though the end may be appreciable in form, the function (processes and social implications) of it is equally important. An end is a concoction of reasonable means.

Pa Clark and GEJians had a low threshold of assessing GEJ and thankfully they are waking up from their slumber, one at a time- a public holiday should be declared when Dr. Doyin Okupe and Reuben Abati wake up!

However, the cohort in the Buhari camp- the GEJian Buharists, are setting another low threshold- GEJ. We did not vote PMB to merely match or surpass GEJ. We voted him to compete with global best practices.

He has taken beautiful steps against which we thought the greatest hindrances were the nascent overzealous hangover-GEJ-fans, then the GEJian Buharists emerged.

They should kindly be Pa Clark now.

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