By Omoniyi Ibietan
By my reckoning, students of political science, political psychology, political sociology, political communication, and allied disciplines connected to psephology, should open a new vista of scholarship on former President Jonathan.
I think he has an uncommon forgiving spirit. He appears to be a disciple of the late Kanuri politician, businessman and leader of Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP) in the Second Republic, Waziri Ibrahim.
Ibrahim was an apostle of “politics without bitterness”, a prominent co-founder and a major financier of the Nnamdi Azikiwe-led Nigeria People’s Party (NPP) of the Second Republic, who later left NPP to establish the GNPP and contested to be president of Nigeria in 1979.
Waziri Ibrahim was Federal Minister of Health, and later Economic Development in the Administration of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa. Ibrahim’s GNPP scored about 10 percent of the votes in the 1979 federal elections. He died in 1992 at age 66. Indeed, it is an auspicious time too to remember Ibrahim, who was born on 26 February 1926.
I am not a fan of President Jonathan but he reminds of what Ibrahim preached and lived for. Rather than be bitter, President Jonathan’s embrace of his former political opponents, some of who were so vitriolic and virulent, is a great lesson some of us should imbibe, especially at this time.
Even as I write, there are families whose forebears were political opponents in the First Republic and who inherited the bitterness that came with that political opposition.
As long as I have breath, hale and hearty, I don’t want to nurse hatred towards anybody, and I beseech God, my Maker, to engrace me sufficiently not to cultivate any form of bitterness or resentment towards anyone, nor willed any form of anger or grouse to my children concerning anybody or any matter.
I have read writeups that I thought were unprintable as exchanges among and between Nigerians concerning the ongoing 2023 elections and I must confess that I was frightened. Considering the inherent vile in some of the exchanges, I imagine what such fellows would do to themselves if and when they meet offline.
Personally, I have tried to be as civil, courteous and charitable as much as circumstances permit, in relating with people who hold opinions that are different from mine, especially online. However, I seize this opportunity to seek forgiveness from anyone who may have been offended by whatever I have written or may write in future.
May God give everyone who requires it, the forgiving spirit of President Jonathan.
May The Almighty God heal our land by imbuing us with a new spirit of tolerance.
May God bless Nigeria. 🙏
Dr Ibietan works with the National Communications Commission and lives in Abuja
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