Is Aso Rock Going?…Going!!!…(Reprise) By Tony Okoroji

imageIt is fifteen days to the five star launch of my book ‘ON THE ROAD TO CHANGE’. Even before the launch, the response has been overwhelming. I don’t know how to thank my friends who are pulling every chord round the clock to make sure that the launch is one that will not be forgotten in a long time. Do not forget that the ‘five star book launch’ takes place at Eko Hotel on Sunday May 24.
Four days before, on May 20, the COSON 5th Anniversary Celebration will take place in grand style at Airport Hotel Ikeja. There are several other events and programmes I am battling with.
Right now, I am like a ball juggler trying very hard to make sure that no ball drops. The raging PDP civil war is really intriguing. I promise that we will talk about it later.
Meanwhile, as I continue with my labour of love, I wish to serve you one of the pieces that you will find inside ‘ON THE ROAD TO CHANGE’. ‘IS ASO ROCK GOING? … GOING!!…’ was originally published on January 31, about two months before the March 28 presidential elections. Please read on:
Everything being equal, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should not have fought a ‘war’ to gain access to a stadium in Port Harcourt. At this stage in his career, he is expected to drive into ‘Pitakwa’ on a golden chariot with booming guns, songs of adulation and confetti. The fact that it took Nyesom Wike and a band of soldiers of occupation for Dr. Jonathan to gain access to the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, named after the “Chief Justice” of Nigerian football, shows that things are not normal. Nothing is equal.
Jonathan is a Port Harcourt boy. ‘Pitakwa’ is his home turf. Do not forget that Jonathan got a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree and A Phd from the University of Port Harcourt. His wife who does not play second fiddle to anyone is a proud daughter of Rivers State. His Presidential rally in Port Harcourt ought to have been the home coming of a Port Harcourt boy made good. No Port Harcourt boy has achieved what GEJ has achieved. How then do we explain that something close to a third world war raged in Rivers state over a campaign rally in the state by our President?
I have said it in an earlier column that I do not know how our soft spoken President is going to pull this iron out of the fire. He is fighting too many wars on the home front. At this point, it does not matter whether you like him or not, facts are facts. Anyone who is not prejudiced and can add two and two can see that things are not normal. While his key opponent in the February 14 elections appears to have secured his home turf, Mr. President is fighting a dog-eat-dog battle at home. While the supporters of his chief opponent want the Presidential elections held on February 14 or even today, Mr. President’s men appear to want the elections postponed. Despite the fact that Oga’s opponent was nominated just a few weeks ago, the body language says that PDP is not ready. Forget PVC, Mr. President needs more time. Apart from the little quarrel between two PDP Chieftains, Isa Yuguda and Bala Mohammed, over which of them sold out Bauchi, all the battle is in the South.
Anyone who tells you that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is a fool is himself a fool. No fool gets to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The spiders, snakes and vampires on the way to Aso Rock are mind boggling. To enter Aso Rock, even by means of a coup, takes everything.
I knew MKO Abiola very well. Despite our different ethnic origins, he treated me like a cherished younger brother. Indeed, I had a multiple entry visa to his Ikeja home. Most people remember the late MKO for his prodigious wealth, I remember him for his prodigious intellect. The man was as sharp as ‘Crocodile Narcet’. Before the computer notebook was made public for worldwide use, Abiola had a motherboard and processor installed in his head. Abiola remembered everything and forgot nothing. He could out think anybody at dizzying speed. Yet when it came to Aso Rock, Abiola with his massive intellect, unsurpassed contacts and many-many bags of money saw the gate but could not enter.
Ask Peter Odili how many truckloads of money he off loaded and how many miles he travelled on his way to Aso Rock. Odili did not even see the gate of the villa. He was given an admonition and turned back at Eagle Square.
Atiku Abubakar lived in the very next building to the Aso Rock mansion. He knew all the path ways and back doors to the villa. Atiku Abubakar has deployed money, lots of it; has travelled far and wide on different vehicles; compromised with people he otherwise would not speak with. At times he lost his way, retraced his steps and began the journey again. When Atiku Abubakar began his walk towards Aso Rock, the villa was very close but the more he has walked, the father away the villa has become.
But twice now, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has walked through the Aso Rock gate and occupied the place. However he has done it, it is no mean achievement. The guy might look meek but he has found a way to do that which very few in Nigeria are able to do. Indeed, Jonathan will live in Aso Rock longer than any other Nigerian if his present gamble pays off. He therefore deserves our respect.
But, even the best of men will make one silly mistake that redefines the story of their lives. The incredibly gifted American politician, Bill Clinton changed the story of his presidency for all times when he allowed the young intern, Monica Lewinsky to unzip his trousers, bring out his ‘weapon of woman’s destruction’ and play stupid games with him in the oval office. I have little doubt that if IBB, the great Maradona, had not dribbled himself on June 12, 1993, the story of the presidency of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida would have been told differently.
I believe that President Goodluck Jonathan made a career defining slip when he did not nip in the bud what started as an innocuous war of words between his wife and the Governor of her native Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. I still cannot comprehend how the President underestimated the Amaechi dispute and allowed what would have been a family matter to become a national brouhaha. Much of what GEJ is confronting today is traceable to the fact that he stood by and allowed his wife to dabble into matters he could have resolved himself. Yes the Port Harcourt rally has held but without the Amaechi affair, there is no way that the APC would have developed the bulging biceps to engage Jonathan in a manner that makes me wonder whether the PDP will survive the ongoing contest.
What exactly was wrong with Amaechi aspiring to be Vice president of the Federal republic of Nigeria? Is it not the right of every Nigerian to aspire to any position he wishes? A President who has the skills to persuade the entire PDP not to hold primaries for his office, certainly has the talent to persuade Amaechi to take something else. Why visit him with threats of impeachment, Nyesom Wike, Police Commissioner Mbu, etc? See what happens when siblings fight dirty! Amaechi is clearly not going to be Vice President but he is doing everything he can to make sure that Mama Patience will also no longer be First Lady.
I will not discount Goodluck Jonathan because anyone who discounts Goodluck Jonathan is a big fool. But there goes a bigger fool who discounts the combination of Buhari, Tinubu, Amaechi, Oshiomole, Saraki, Okorocha and the likes of Fashola, all tried and tested in war and operating with well-tuned machinery and with the tacit support of two Generals who have occupied Aso Rock: OBJ and IBB.
Of course, Jonathan has a Tony Anenih, a Jerry Gana, a Pius Anyim, a David Mark, a Peter Obi, a Godswill Akpabio, a Godsway Orubebe, a Fayose, a Doyin Okupe, an Edwin Clarke and the uncontainable Femi Fani Kayode. He may count on some in the leadership of tribal groups like Afenifere and Ohaneze. It will not take him much to line some Obas and Obis behind him. Please forget any Emir of real value. Diezani Allison Madueke, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Stella Odua and all the other fine women that Jonathan has empowered, are clearly spitting fire in the search for votes to return their principal. Indeed, the usually politically restrained Okonjo Iweala has gone for Soludo’s jugular. Added to that, Jonathan controls the national purse strings, the army, police, DSS, INEC and a coterie of other national institutions.
Wow! This epic movie, bigger than anything ever created by Hollywood, Bollywood or Nollywood, will be on show at theatres all over Nigeria on Valentines’ day and the world will be watching!
Why is my heart beating so fast? Why am I beginning to feel that GEJ knows that he has finally met his match and needs a big miracle to pull this thing off? If my feeling is right, Mr. President’s most important assets may not be his political friends but his friends in the miracle business. This therefore is the time for someone to quickly call those friends and remind them that there is no free lunch in New York. The time has come for them to pay for all those visits to Aso Rock and the hobnobbing with the President. They must be warned that if they do not pray, fast and speak in tongues ceaselessly, a new Pharaoh who does not know Joseph may be on his way to Abuja: Aso Rock may be going! … going!!
Believe me, this coming valentine day, Nigeria will be a big movie theater. Let no one talk any more about postponing this entertainment event like no other. OMG! Everybody, get your popcorn. I cannot wait.

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