For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar’s angel. Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov had him! This was the most unkindest cut of all; for when the noble Caesar saw him stab, Ingratitude, more strong than traitors’ arms, quite vanquish’d him: then burst his mightyheart . . .. Julius Caesar Act 3, scene 2.
Every leader eventually faces the Julius Caesar situation – beneficiaries of his most noble and patriotic efforts stab him in the back. However, leaders with a treacherous streak, take it in their stride more than leaders like Julius Caesar, who was without guile. Such leaders as Caesar are victims of the truism that to the pure all things are pure; they live their lives believing that everyone is good. When their “Brutus’s” bare their fangs, they are vanquished by the weight and depth of their ingratitude and betrayal. Such was the case with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in the last presidential election. He conceded defeat with the feeling of “ET tu Brutus.” The list of betrayers is endless… ET tu Prof Jega, ET tu some northern PDP Governors (particularly the one who voted openly for APC and showed his ballot paper shamelessly to the people), ET tu some PDP senators etc. He was not defeated by the conspiracy of the leaders of some of the majority tribes against the South-South. He was not defeated by the vote count, because he had severally been warned that Prof Jega was not going to execute his mandate fairly and impartially. When Prof Jega refused to embark on his mandatory terminal leave, he should have smelt a rat. President Jonathan was vanquished by the shocking depth of treachery and betrayal to his noble and patriotic cause by persons who were close confidants and who assured him of their support. These were wolves in sheep clothing. It was a rude awakening for him to discover that the loquacious Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was right when he said that they were in talks with some fifth columnists and traitors within the ranks of the PDP (including governors). That such a boast was made at all by a governor publicly is an indication that Nigeria is morally bankrupt. It is to Jonathan’s credit that in the campaigns, he was indicted for omission, not commission. He should have declared a full emergency in the three insurgency-ravaged states (like Chief Obasanjo did in Jos), but he did not. He should have known better than to seek to end insurgency in the three APC states and give them the opportunity to vote, knowing fully well that these were states, which could swing the votes away from him – but he did not. He did not want to disenfranchise them at the expense of his ambition. He could have stopped Amaechi and others from decamping from the PDP to APC, but instead of defending the Constitution in line with his oath of office, he went to court. He was a very good man caught in a vortex of spiraling evil, and he could not play the devil’s game. No one accused him of corruption. Yet they claimed his government was corrupt. If his government was corrupt, it was because Nigeria is among the five most corrupt countries in the world – not his fault. But all his accusations resembled an oily paper parcel, containing a hamburger, wrapped hurriedly in a driving rain – it had many holes. The main burger was let out of the bag by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who claimed that there was an agreement that President Jonathan should go for only one term. Why was his fate sealed before his journey of service? The most pertinent answer is because he is from the South-South. Is Obasanjo not the man who wanted to tweak the Constitution for a third term? Nigeria needs zoning and zoning should reflect justice in structure and content. We are too attached to our ancestral homes and we think in terms of that – that is why we need zoning as a principle. There is a sense of belonging when someone from your region is the President. The president may not do anything for your area, but his merely occupying that office inspires your confidence in the Nigerian project. That confidence by the South-South in the Nigerian project was asphyxiated that Saturday of March 28, 2015: Starved of the air of justice, fair play and equity. However, nature abhors a vacuum, and in its demise, hope was born. Confidence in the Nigerian project gave way to a newfound sense of brotherhood and solidarity with the South East. That sense of solidarity is strengthened by a common sense of distinctiveness and grievance. It will remain so until Nigeria concedes the presidency to an Igbo.