There have been whispers that our dearly beloved president is in chains. A self-imposing chain that has coiled around him like poison ivy. There have been noises about the ties that continue to bind President Goodluck Jonathan. The rational question is: who put him in chains? Can he free himself from the evil ties that bind him into inaction, incomprehension and indecisiveness?
Before we set forth any practical answers, we have to contemplate other questions. Who are his binders? Who are the people that put Jonathan – a president for that matter – in captivity? Recently, the polity was heated to a boiling point over the activities of cabal. There were many interesting permutations on the bewitching strangulation these enemies of the state have on our psychic, social, political and economic existence. Some averred that civilian cabal apart, there is also the military cabal that control the president and put him in shackles.
Such is the rudely shocking realisation of this fact that many governments of the world are controlled by shadowy and nameless figures with the express aim of protecting their class interests. In the UK, David Cameron, the PM, is wedded to the flowing gown of her majesty, Queen Elizabeth, the second. In the US, President Barrack Obama is tied helplessly to the starchy tailcoats of corporate America. In Russia, President Vladimir Putin is bound to the oligarchs. He must avoid stepping on their delicate toes. The difference between the West and Nigeria is obvious.
Cameron will not stand idly and watch Britain collapse just because an aged, stuffy and thoroughly pampered monarch will be upset for pursuing the good of Britain.
Neither is Obama a glorified wimp who would not seek for self-liberation from the selfish dictate of corporate America. Putin will not rule under any self punishing agony of keeping quiet while aggrandising oligarchs strip his country line by line like sugarcane.
However, President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is different. Both in weight, size and vision. He has been struggling since May 2011 to overcome those vague foes called cabal. Each time he engages them in battle, he still feels tied down. The cabal are the stones in his soul that cannot be shaken loose. They will not allow him to ‘move the country forward’, to use Abujalese. This self-strangulating pattern has dogged his presidency. It has dent the initial goodwill and support that Nigerians freely gave to him.
Why are the cabal so impregnable that Mr. President could not bring them down brick by brick? Perplexing question of this nature is not far fetched in beer parlour discussions. It is the kind of meat and myth that editorialists chew on almost daily. Why is Jonathan sleeping while Boko Haram is turning the nation into a bonfire of theomanic inflammation? Why is the president enjoying his circle of self-imprisonment? Why couldn’t he escape? Why must he remain enslaved like a caged canary?
But before his tenure sinks further into compromising cowardice, restriction, apathy, siddon lookism, indolent shame and disgrace, the president has to announce his readiness to embrace a life altering self liberation for the good of Nigeria. There are some brilliant break-through secrets I will share with him that may help untie him from whatever cabal –civilian or military – that have been binding his presidency. We have a joint task to smash the compulsory servitude of Jonathan to the dictate of any power that pretends to be wiser and mightier than our collective mandate.
First, President Jonathan must stop blaming any exterior condition as the demon behind his captivity. He has a free mandate from the people of Nigeria to be their leader. Power was not handed to the cabal. Therefore, whatever limits the president from exercising the power freely given to him must reside in the invisible interior of his nervous mind that is avoiding the gateway to freedom. No doubt, the enemy imprisoning the president is not the cabal, persons or circumstances but his level of consciousness.
Secondly, he has to run from the terror of discouragement. It is a negative emotion that is constantly bringing him back to where he desires to leave. The fact that the president has complex national challenges ahead of him points to the need to put all discouraging emotions where they belong: behind him. President Jonathan is no more tied to any cabal, persons or circumstances than say the wind is tied to the skies through which it moves. He must see past his discouragement which brings about great weariness that tends to dash any hope of self liberation from the invisible that binds him.
Thirdly, the president has authority over any condition he finds himself. No cabal, persons or circumstances have authority above the one he has. They can only have authority over President Jonathan the very moment he surrenders to them. These forces are neutral and they are neither for Jonathan nor against him. The lesson to learn here is that it is not the conditions that Jonathan finds himself that holds him in captivity but the way he thinks toward it that is creating a sense of captivity. Loose yourself and be free!
Fourthly, a year is a long time in democratic politics. It is a passing time and not fixed. If within this first year Mr President has failed, he can start afresh at any moment. The power of starting over is to correct the mistakes of the past. Start afresh from where you are right now.
It may start with cabinet reshuffle. We renew our life daily. Go ahead and re-embrace the vision. Further, the president should not be afraid to see when something does not work. His inner signal must have shown him that his policy on Boko Haram is not working. The road that the president has insisted upon taking so far especially on Boko Haram is leading to nowhere.
In addition, freedom from the ties that bind does not come easy. Anytime the president feels compelled to go around a problem by taking the easy way, that problem always rebound. For example, probe panels and committees will not solve the problems besetting this nation. Action will! Jonathan must volunteer to make “hard choices” his mantra and through it learn the real easy way.
Above all, the president must stop running and bumping and start seeing. He has to shine his eyes and begin to delight us with the rawness of a typical Ijaw man. He must never accept defeat; he must learn to let go of painful pretence, he must have no fear of being rejected or accepted. He has to choose freedom or the fear of freedom will further keep him in captivity. His fear or accommodation of the cabal is a mental mistake. What Jonathan desires is not the consent of few cabal but honour and respect from the Nigerian masses that elected him. The president needs neither the permission of the cabal nor the co-operation of any other power to put Nigeria right. He needs to know that light need never fear any shadow and anything he discovers within that looks frightening must come from the shadow of the powerless world of cabal or circumstances. He is the commander-in-chief and the buck stops on his ornate table.
If Mr President will imbibe the wisdom here, he will experience a release from all the ties that have bound him into nothingness. And since release always follows revelation, it is hoped that this revelation will turnout to be something that had always been there but just out of his presidential sight.