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The “Goodluck Jonathan” photograph: comments worth sharing

March 16, 2015

Nigeria

ADETOYE Says:
March 16, 2015 at 4:05 am e

Aunty,

Wha-oh! This is vintage you, knowing the iconic importance of obtaining records as at when due and giving such the necessary treatments accordingly.

If it’s Jonathan the Nigerian president, does he have this picture? If not, it is surely a museum document. Anyone can follow up by finding if Jonathan has any traces of Ijebu-Jesa in his autobiography. Does he? If so, then, pundits would realize that Jonathan might be a better Yorubaman than many of us and particularly some of our children. If so again, it would not be out of reasoning to link his penchant for pursuing the ‘national conference’ agenda as one of the MOST needed ailments for tackling the Nigerian Question. He might have been swimming in Yoruba’s cosmopolitan/liberal ideologies dating back the 50s and 60s.

Nigerians, at least the majority, have been shying away from facing the reality of the bases for our co-existence, togetherness and futuristic survival. For instance, I was born and partly raised in Ilorin, Kwara State before we relocated to Osogbo, Osun State where I grew to adulthood. But on record, I’m an Ekiti man! Since birth, I’ve never spent a stretch of one month in Ekiti land. The reality of my lifestyle(s), thoughts, choices, friends, family values, etc. are fashioned after Osogbo metropolitan genres!

We have continued to do ourselves lots and lots of disservice by laying emphasis on races, states of origin and religion. These elements are the oils that continue to add energy to the fires stoking corruption and nepotism that plague good political landscape and economic progress. We all know these facts but refused to agree on best and quick solution.

Sadly, the most popular candidate, the rave of the moment poised to win upcoming election has refused to consider nationality discussion as part of his agenda. Is therefore any hope for light at the end of Nigeria’s tunnel? I doubt!

Adetoye, Boston, USA
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emotanglobal Says:
March 16, 2015 at 8:17 am e

Dear Yemi,

Thanks for this.

First of all, to the point of your Nigerian origin: I was so certain that you and Daramola were Ọṣun, specifically Oṣogbo the way you were gong-oh on the matter of the sad situation in the state’s educational policy a couple of years ago until Dele Daramola clarified his own state of origin as Ondo, and I also learnt that you were Ekiti. It is very sad that the conditioning we receive from childhood brings about these skewed thinking. We do not see a person for who he/she is once we know where we know the area of Nigeria. It is the reason that it would be difficult to find ‘Nigeria’ paired with the word ‘Nation” in my writings, especially in the last two decades. We cannot arrive at nationhood until we shed petty sectionalism.

As for Jonathan’s picture, I got it through happenstance or through what my Significant Other always jokingly describes in me as the “editor” who’s always out for a good story. At least before this “moment” when most in Yorubaland were of the opinion that Yoruba ko le di’bo fun Gambari as someone actually told me in 2011 when I came out publicly for Buhari – pardon the dredging of an old (but still festering) wound but it is along your line of thought – people always have known what I stand for.

That principle, though tempered by the Nigerian situation and my own upbringing and – yeah, Ondo & Ekiti blood where people generally (though things are changing to the Nigerian reality) – basically wants a country that my descendants do not have to turn their backs on, and hence, my support of Buhari is centered around fighting the corruption mess although my doubts do exist if (not about his integrity), as my manicurist/pedicurist told me during our last encounter a week ago: Ṣe ẹ ro pe nwọn ma jẹ ki Buhari le ṣe nkankan, Grandma … ati ‘pe ṣe – here we go again – ṣe awọn Hausa ko tun ti pada lati ma ko gbogbo wa l’ẹru? For my non-Nigerian readers, the not-that-educated but very smart young woman wondered (beyond the words stated here) if those surrounding Buhari would let him fight the corruption that earns him my support because, in her words, again, Grandma, ole ni gbogbo nwọn! (They are all thieves). Hausas – meaning the Moslem North – would take us as slaves, once again. When I asked what we should do because there really is no choice, she said she was not sure but she would not likely leave her home to vote. I told her – at least she knows who Nobel Laureate Soyinka is – that Soyinka is asking that we all take a leap of faith and go with Buhari. Our further discussion is not for here.

Like that young hard-working woman who plies her trade going from house to house in scorching sun, dusty harmattan or pouring rain for her little business from which she supports her family, I’ve spoken to – perhaps – hundreds of people in Yorubaland since end of January, and sadly, MOST say they will sit out the voting because they do believe there really is no choice; paradoxically, most also support Buhari. Where does that leave Nigeria?

The “editor” in me led to my raising the issue of the moment when one of my sisters and I visited the Mommy/retired teacher last week in Ondo State. Then, the bombshell that she taught “a Goodluck Jonathan”. I showed the picture to one of her kids who not only had never seen the photograph but was never aware that his mother taught “any Goodluck Jonathan”; neither does any of his siblings, including the older brother who was sort of baby-sat by the president!

It is a story which sort of fell into my laps and it needs to be told, and I appreciate your seeing the importance of not just sharing the reminiscences with the Mommy and forgetting the story there. The original picture is now in the hands of the Mommy’s 47-year old son in the USA. It must be preserved as you wrote because the man may not even have it.

Greetings,
TOLA.

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