Goodluck Jonathan’s new face

Goodluck Jonathan’s new face
September 11 21:53 2016

By Abdullahi M. Gulloma

There is a story about former President Goodluck Jonathan’s first attendance of the meeting of the Council of State that, even today, still leaves those who witnessed or heard it shaking their heads in disbelief.

Oh! How time flies and how easily Nigerians forget even the most momentous events and periods in the history of their country. Forgetfulness, indeed, sums up the event of that day.

The venue of the Wednesday’s event was the Presidential Villa, Abuja, and the event was the meeting of the Council of State members.

The council comprises president, former presidents and heads of states, vice president, governors, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and present and former Chief Justices of the Federation.

The first meeting of the council, under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership, took place in October, 2015. The second meeting held on Wednesday was the first to be attended by Jonathan. Curiously, that meeting, in a way, it can be said to be dramatic.

The drama unfolded when cameramen and photojournalists shifted their attention from Buhari to Jonathan while governors and other members of the council stood surprising.

And, unsurprisingly, the members had every reason to be surprised at the occasion.

After all, this was a man, Jonathan, hailed as the most corrupt leader Nigeria ever had, under whose watch the country lost billions of dollars through illegal means, Boko Haram carved a territory from Nigeria, abducted the yet-to-be rescued Chibok girls and killed many innocent people.

But, Jonathan now appears to be a darling of many Nigerians, especially those that had loathed him in the past. The ‘undue’ attention he got from cameramen and photographers at the Council of State meeting appears to be a pointer to that effect. Could this sudden change of mind be as a result of the current economic hardship in the country? Is that how Nigerians forget and, maybe, forgive their leaders too quickly and easily? I am just asking!

Agreed, things are hard under Buhari but, still, in another clime, Jonathan and his ilk will be shunned, considering various reports on the level of monumental corruption during the last administration. Here, the opposite is the practice, and you know that too well.