Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, made this known today in a statement that:
“President Muhammadu Buhari said Wednesday at State House, Abuja, that the priority in Republic of Mali now should be securing the country, which is largely occupied by terrorists. The President spoke as he received briefings from ECOWAS Special Envoy to the West African country, former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The meeting came ahead of an extraordinary virtual summit by ECOWAS heads of state and leaders, scheduled for Friday. President Buhari stressed: “About two-thirds of Mali is occupied by terrorists, and it makes common sense to secure the country, rather than pursuing individual interests.”
He said the sub-region would take a common position on the issue when the leaders meet on Friday, hoping that an amicable and generally acceptable position to all interested parties would be arrived at.
Dr Jonathan brought the President up to speed on dialogue with the military coup leaders, who are seeking to stay in power for three years, before holding elections.
“They call themselves National Committee for the Salvation of the People. We asked them to allow ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to return to his personal residence, where he would be given tight security, but they said he could travel abroad, and not return to answer questions they may have for him,’’ the Special Envoy said.
“We also told them that what would be acceptable to ECOWAS was an Interim Government, headed by a civilian or retired military officer, to last for six or nine months, and maximum of 12 calendar months. The Interim Government would then organize elections to restore full constitutional order.”
“Dr Jonathan disclosed that his team was allowed to meet with the ousted President, who confirmed that he resigned voluntarily, adding that he was no longer interested in returning to his former position.
He added that the military leaders want ECOWAS to lift sanctions put in place, as it was already affecting the country, “but we told them that the authority to do such was only in the hands of ECOWAS heads of state.” He concluded.
In the build-up to the 2015 general elections, the country was divided right down the middle. On one side were the Jonathanians, who supported the then incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, and wanted him to continue in office for another term of four years.
On the flip side were the Buharists (I was one, and remain one of them) who wanted the then former military head of state, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, elected civilian President. It was a pitched battle. O le ku, ija Ore (apologies to non-Yoruba speakers.
The war was robustly fought, and won by the Buharists. That was over five years ago. But you know what? Most of the gladiators are still in their entrenched positions. Most of the Jonathanians, not able to live with the reality of defeat, turned themselves to people who cavil, finding fault with the government of the day at the slightest drop of a hat. They became wailing wailers, and whenever they began to ululate, you would think raw pepper had been inserted into their tender and sensitive parts. Or that their lollipops had been taken away. They throw tantrums.
In history, such people are called Bitter-Enders, who fight to death. What is the etymology of the expression?
The Boers of southern Africa had gone to war against the British in 1899. The Boers were being beaten black and blue, battered on every side. At a point, they found it difficult to get food, ammunition and clothing. They would take uniforms from captured British soldiers, and wear them, minus the military insignia, yet they refused to give up.
The Boers were suffering terribly, but they shunned all peace initiatives. They were fighting all the way, to the bitter end. Till 1902, when the war eventually came to an end, after almost three years.
Anyone who today persists in a cause or action despite difficult or hopeless circumstances, is called a Bitter-Ender. There was one such legendary soldier under French Emperor, Napoleon Buonaparte. His name was Nicolas Chauvin. He was so fanatical, that he became a byword for excessive fervor, bigotry and bias. Wounded 17 different times, till he became badly disfigured, he refused to surrender, even when Napoleon had been defeated. His cry was “The Old Guard dies, but does not surrender.” Well, he died. And the English language inherited the word ‘chauvinism ‘ from his name.
What of during our own unfortunate war in Nigeria? If my memory serves me right, I read My Command by Olusegun Obasanjo nearly 40 years ago. He wrote about some young Biafran soldiers, who continued fighting, even when Gen. Philip Effiong had surrendered to the Federal Forces. They were eventually cut down. Bitter-Enders.
The fissure among most Nigerians today is sustained by primordial loyalties, and by who they supported in the 2015 presidential election. But I have news for the Bitter-Enders. On Tuesday, this week, former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, was at State House, along with President of Ecowas Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
Dr Jonathan had been appointed Ecowas Special Envoy to Mali, to intercede in the crisis rocking the West African nation, after disputed parliamentary elections. Many lives have been lost, and the opposition members, under an umbrella called M5, are sticking to their guns that President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, must leave office.
I was privileged to sit in at the meeting between our former President and the incumbent. And I took away some lessons, which should really be for everyone.
President Buhari and his guest came into the diplomatic room of the Presidential Villa together. Our President ushered Dr Jonathan to the visitor’s seat. A while back, Jonathan was the host in that very same room, ushering visitors to their seat. Now, he is in that same seat. If President Buhari visits the seat of power after May, 2023, he too would be ushered by somebody else. Such is life. Are you holding tight to anything today? Vanity of vanity. We are all birds of passage. Nothing lasts forever. Not power. Not position. Not any office. Not even life. A vital lesson I’ve learnt from President Buhari is his constant realization that he would not be in State House forever. He would often tell in private conversations: “While we are here, we shall do our very best.”
Gen Yakubu Gowon was in Dodan Barracks for nine years. He left. Olusegun Obasanjo was there, left the first time, came back again, left willy-nilly after eight years. Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Chief Ernest Shonekan, and all former living leaders use the visitor’s seat, if they come a-visiting today. The only thing permanent in life is change.
How was the atmosphere between President Buhari and Dr Jonathan? Calm, friendly, characterized by absolutely no tension. No animosity. While uncountable Jonathanians and Buharists were spitting in one another’s eyes round the country, abusing one another’s father and mother at the same time, here were the two men, the perfect picture of geniality. I say again, no tension, absolutely none. They were both perfect pictures of civility.
Dr Jonathan gave a rundown of the situation in Mali. When he concluded, and made his recommendations, President Buhari was full of praises for him, saying he had elucidated clearly the Malian conundrum.
“Thank you for updating me so effectively. I have a very good brief of events now, “ President Buhari said. He promised to wade into the Malian situation, along with some other key Ecowas leaders.
With the briefing concluded, Dr Jonathan went into other issues. He thanked the President for giving him an official jet to make his travels convenient, and equally expressed appreciation for the Itakpe-Warri railway complex named after him last weekend.
“It’s a big present for me. Thank you so much,” he said.
Time to go, and the former President made a move for the visitor’s exit door. But President Buhari would have none of it. He led him through the exit exclusively meant for a sitting President. Very impressive. Meanwhile, out there, the Bitter-Enders are knocking their heads against the wall, sitting on the complaint counter and wailing endlessly. But here are the two main men, treating each other like brothers. May the wailers stop wailing. May the Bitter-Enders be purged of bitterness. Amen, somebody!
Mr Femi Adesina is the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity.
Buhari Is A Dictator, Without Looting Your Money Or Killing Your People, What Will You Call Jonathan After Reading This.
1-Where were the common sense Senator and the wailers when Senate invited Deziani over N10B for chartering of private jet and Jonathan openly ask her not to honour the invitation?
2-Then President Jonathan sacked the President of the Appeal court because he refused to compromise on the case involving the ruling party and ruling that forensic examination be allowed on materials used for the 2011 Presidential election. Even when the NJC asked that he be reinstated, Jonathan refused yet, he is your HERO OF DEMOCRACY.
3-Why didn’t we hear noise calling Jonathan a dictator when house of Rep was locked up in the bid to impeached Tambuwal and we saw Rep members flying over fence and gates with some even tear gassed by the Jonathan police?
4-All the security details attached to then Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal were withdrawn by the Federal Government led by Jonathan yet, you still didn’t see any reason not to worship him.
5-Bode George was tried in the law court and he was jailed for two years and served the term. Saint Jonathan came and asked the court to reversed that judgement that later said Bode George wasn’t guilty as charged and he became an innocent and not ex convict but till date Bode never sued for damages.
6-For weeks in 2014, the Governor of Kano State kept shouting that security aides posted to watch over the state house were recalled as a result of orders from above, not once did you accuse Jonathan of tyranny.
7- For appointing Sanusi Lamido as Emir of Kano which was within the rights and powers of the Kano State Government, Jonathan ordered security agents to lay siege at the Emir’s palace. For days, the Emir operated from the Kano State Government House. You didn’t call Jonathan by the dictatorship that he was acting out then.
8-For the first and only time in the history of Nigeria we had a first lady that also picked up position as the perm sec in the president state without working to attained such position. What did the wailers do?
9- Jonathan withdrew the security details attached to then Governor Amaechi, Jonathan grounded the plane of Amaechi, Jonathan masterminded and hugely supported the division and crisis in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Jonathan allowed his wife to govern Rivers from Abuja, Jonathan used Mbu to embarrass and harass a sitting Governor, Jonathan crippled Rivers because Amaechi was the Governor yet, you still see Jonathan as a demigod.
10- In this same country, we saw how Jonathan supported the destruction of the once vibrant Governors’ Forum by supporting 16 against 19 yet, you see him as one decent man who should be seen as a Hero.
11-We have not forgotten how Jonathan used state power to prevent sitting Governors from reaching a part of the country to support the reelection of one of their own because they were in the opposition and you who is laying claim to fairness and pretending to love Democracy still claim you miss this same character.
12-It was in this country under Jonathan the saint that we saw for the first time the military ambushed daily news papers distributions. They were seized and destroyed without explanations. Yet Jonathan wasn’t tagged a tyrant
13-In this same country, we saw the circulation of an undisputed video by an army officer detailing how soldiers were used to rig the election in Ekiti State to favour the thug governing the state today and yet, you see same Jonathan who was Commander in Chief of all these barbarism as decent enough to be called a hero.
14- In his desperation to see the Governor Nyako impeached, The Presidency under Jonathan had the accounts of Adamawa State frozen. A State Government account oh and not personal account of the Governor and not once did you condemn the action nor call Jonathan the dictator he clearly was then.
15-Same Jonathan you can almost worship today single handedly denied his then state Governor the right to seek the nomination of his party because he had personal grievances against him yet, you never for once accused him of abuse of power.
16-It is in Nigeria we saw how a serving Senator was shot at in a political gathering by the Nigeria police that are supposed to protect our law makers and such Senator is lucky to be alive today after been flown abroad for treatment.
17-For the first time in our history as a country, the CBN Governor was unilaterally sacked by the President without following the due process of our law because he asked questions regarding careless stealing of the nation’s money supervised and supported by Jonathan yet, you never called Jonathan the dictator he clearly was.
18-Under Jonathan was when we witness how 5 house of assembly members out of 32 almost impeached a sitting governor that lead to serious fracas.