Will Goodluck Jonathan Dissolve The Nigerian People? By Adeolu Ademoyo
After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people And elect another?
Bertolt Brecht-German Playwright and Poet- (February 10 1898-August 14 1956.
On February 7, 2015 exactly 7 days to the date Nigerian people would democratically vote to take a decision whether to dissolve the present government and elect another or reinstate it, unclear what the Nigerian people will do President Jonathan decided to dissolve the people.
Regardless of who the spokesperson of the coalition of security agencies, which carried out the dissolution, is, President Goodluck Jonathan is the Commander in Chief of the Republic, he is therefore the leader of the security coalition that attempted to dissolve the people on February 7, 2015.
In more contemporary period, and in the last fifty years, African, South American and Latin American histories are full of coups of different sorts-military coups, palace coups, coups against a peoples’ government etc. The closest humanity has come in the tradition and culture of coup making to a direct coup against a people is a coup against a peoples government.
In that regard, the closest we theoretically come to are the coups against Salvador Allende in Chile, and the brutal assault against Patrice Lumumba in the then Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Unlike President Jonathan’s direct coup against the people, none of these involved a direct coup against the people or dissolution of the people because in the cases Chile, Congo, there were standing peoples governments against which the coups were planned.
The act of dissolution of the people, which Bertolt Brecht gestured towards, exists in a situation where paradoxically the mass of the people had forfeited the confidence of a standing government. To talk of a situation where the government no longer have the “confidence in the people” or where the “government loses confidence in the people”-where “the people had forfeited it”- is morally and politically scary and paradoxically raises the bar of dictatorship of the government, moral distrust of the government by the people and a fundamental moral crisis in the republic.
All these are present in President Jonathan’s government’s relationship with the Nigerian people for six wasted years under his watch. This is why he has tried many tricks before now to dissolve the Nigerian people. To dissolve the people, President Jonathan played one religion against the other. This did not work. He called his opponents Mr. Buhari/Mr. Osinbajo and APC all kinds of unprintable names. This did not work. The people refused to be dissolved.
He against the history of the country and against all decency he presented and marketed himself as the “candidate of Christians”. This did not work. President Jonathan used a national Christian platform the CAN headed by his personal friend the businessman Pastor, Mr. Ayo Oritsejafor to do this. It did not work. The people resisted Mr. Jonathan’s attempt to dissolve the people. The people stuck together with one voice asking for a moral change in the country where each person’s religious beliefs plays no part.
Failing to dissolve the people through religion, President Goodluck Jonathan tried to dissolve the people using ethnicity. He pitted his own national group against other national groups in the South South. This did not work. He went pan-South and formed a coalition of Southern Peoples headed by social liabilities such as Edwin Clark, Femi Okunronmu, and Chukwuemeka Ezeife etc.
Through such inglorious ethnic coalition President Jonathan sent his men and women to announce the end of the “amalgamation” as President Jonathan’s ethnic jingoists put it. This did not work. The people stuck together saying loud and clear that the people dissolve the government, the government does not dissolve the people.
President Jonathan and handlers became really frustrated. He went beserk broke all (before him) solid, strong and well-knitted bridges within regions and within national groups. Deliberately ignoring the history of who we are and how we are, he invented how some particular regions and ethnic groups “feed” the nation and the rest of the country are mere “social parasites” mere “consumers” feeding on the industry of others. This did not work. The people refused to be dissolved. The people stuck together saying the people dissolve the government, the government does not dissolve the people.
President Jonathan became extremely desperate. He went for the broke. Hunting desperately for religious geopolitical votes, he invented a disease and gave it a name. He called it “Yoruba Christian/Muslim”. Knowing the Yorubas for who they are, knowing their inclusive and non-atomizing philosophy, culture and social practices the disease-“Yoruba Christian/Muslim” President Jonathan invented seemed to be the final straw that broke President Jonathan camel’s back.
Why? All the people saw this-the social and moral disease-“Yoruba Christian/Muslim” dichotomy invented by President Jonathan was the final psychic shock on the peoples’ moral universe for the people know themselves more than any transient government knows them.
Against all these, the people revolted and said enough is enough, anything but Jonathan’s government. And the people forfeited the confidence of President Jonathan’s government for the people resisted President Jonathan’s government as President Jonathan exhausted all the divisive tricks in the bag. The people stuck firmly together looking President Jonathan straight in the face. It is now whose eye will blink first-the people or the government.
Under a civilized democracy voting remains the only legitimate instrument the people have to effect a change of government. Hence, in civilized democracies the peoples vote is sacrosanct. Just as you do not bring the military into politics as President Jonathan has wrongly and sadly done, you also do not militarize the peoples’ votes as President Jonathan has wrongly done through his coup against the people on February 7, 2015 because votes are sovereign and must never be militarized.
President Goodluck Jonathan as the Commander in Chief of the military has powers of oversight. Hence the buck stops on his table. Because he no longer has confidence in the people, because the people “had forfeited the confidence” of his government and because the people are not ready to win it back; and having exhausted all the divisive tricks in the bag to dissolve the people, President Jonathan decided the military option to dissolve the people through a coup.
Having premonition that he will blink first and the people will dissolve his government, President Jonathan asked his military not cooperate with the people on February 14th the day the people decided to dissolve the government and elect Change-a new one or reinstate the old one.
In clamoring for Change as one people, since the Nigerian people had forfeited the confidence of the government and do not want to win it back would President Jonathan government be able to elect another people, or will the Nigerian people finally dissolve President Jonathan’s government? Time will tell. Bertolt Brecht the original owner of this thought already gave us sufficient insight!
President Jonathan’s dissolution of the people through a coup of the coalition of his security agencies which he heads as the Commander in Chief has raised the bar of his dictatorship and has deepened the moral crisis in the country and the imminent dissolution of an immoral government of the Goodluck Jonathan type. March 28 is not far away. Do not go away. Vote wisely.
Adeolu Ademoyo firstname.lastname@example.org Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.