Since the 2015 presidential campaign began, there has been a suspicious and ominous silence by most Hausa/Fulani Muslims holding top and sensitive positions in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan. Those keeping this silence of conspiracy include ministers, special advisers and appointed heads of federal commissions, agencies and departments who are supposed to be speaking and showcasing what the government has achieved under the sector they are supervising.
Jonathan became President of Nigeria following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He won the 2011 presidential election on personal merit and with the support of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). About to serve out his first four-year term, Jonathan is seeking re-election but the Hausa/Fulani Muslims especially, in bed with some other opposition elements, have ganged up to say that Jonathan must not be allowed a second term, insisting that power must be in their hands from May 29th this year, by fire by force. Most of those opposing Jonathan’s re-election were originally members of the political parties which have merged to form what is now known as the All Progressives Congress (APC) and therefore a force to be reckoned with.
While you can understand the position of the APC and its members no matter the region or political zone they may come from, for seeking to wrest power from Jonathan and the PDP, what excuse has a minister, special adviser or chairman of a federal commission appointed by the President under political consideration to remain aloof and rather indifferent while high-wire political fireworks are going on in the nation? Is it not curious that ministers and special advisers who are supposed to be speaking to Nigerians, especially people from their states of origin, about the achievements of their various ministries are not doing that now? Is this not the right time for Jonathan’s ministers and advisers to be seen speaking, sometimes in their local languages, trying to convert their people on the need to support Jonathan and to vote for him in the coming elections. Why are they keeping quite?
We have heard in hushed tones that some ministers and advisers from Gombe, Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Adamawa and some other parts of the North say they are afraid of speaking in public in support of Jonathan because they may be attacked by their people back home if they do so. But that excuse holds no water. You cannot be appointed into an exalted position where all manners of privileges are available to you and say you cannot face the hazard associated with the job. There is no job that is risk-free. Even as I tap on my laptop writing this piece, I know the sort of insults we get, even threats, for being a journalist. For those advisers, ministers and other federal appointees who are keeping quiet while ‘Rome Boils,’ you are nothing but traitors that deserve to be flushed out of the toilet for wanting to eat your cake and still have it.
At no other time is the loyalty of a political appointee needed more than at election time, especially if your principal is seeking re-election; and we have been told a long time ago that in politics, it is either you give a hundred percent loyalty or nothing at all.
A political campaign is a deliberate and organized effort by political parties aimed at influencing the decision making process of individuals and interest groups for the purpose of gaining their votes. This is done through information on what and how the parties and candidates would positively affect the lives of the people if elected into public office. At a time like this, committed party members and supporters as well as individuals holding top offices would rise to the occasion, defend and promote the administration and the president that had considered them for appointment out of other millions of equally qualified citizens for the privileged positions they occupy.
Those days that Alhaji Shehu Shagari was president, his Political Adviser Dr. Chuba Okadigbo suffered no ‘enemy’ of his boss one minute of peace. While advancing and promoting the Shagari and his administration, Okadigbo gave deadly punches to the opposition including his kinsman Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. Give it to Ahmed Gulak the former Political Adviser to Jonathan who was removed for whatever reason we are yet to know. If Gulak was here, the ante would have been higher than what obtains now.
Since this campaign began, Nigerians have been hearing Femi Fani-Kayode speak with confidence in defence of President Jonathan and at other times, ‘attack’ the opposition and their candidates. You may not like Fani-Kayode’s style, but he is doing the job he was appointed to do. The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP Olisa Metuh has been on top of his game, reeling out the achievements of the President and advancing reasons Jonathan should be re-elected. We hear Gov. Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State as he replies anyone who abuses the President and takes leaders of the opposition to the cleaners. We hear even Doyin Okupe speak on Jonathan’s high points, even if you think he goes for insults and abuses but he is talking. We hear Edem Duke, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation who was recently made supervising Minister for Information as he reels out the achievements of the administration. Akinwumi Adesina has been up and doing, showcasing what the president has done in the agric sector these past four years, the same with Prof. Chinedum Nebo who is on air almost every day explaining what has been done and the plan ahead in the power sector.
But all these are Southerners and Christians. Where are the Hausa/Fulani Muslims who are spending our monies in the name of allocations to their ministries and offices? Why are they keeping quiet? Or are they Jonathan’s aides in the day but opposition members and supporters at night?