The spirit of Nigeria, that enigmatic presence that cries out for expression has been tugging on my conscience. It has been demanding for my participation in the unravelling hope of a new Nigeria. The spirit of Nigeria, that emblematic halo worn by all patriotic Nigerians has been exerting strange urges on my creative sensibilities. Still, fear lingers. The fear is anchored on the potential and consuming shame that enraptures presumptuous political commentators and social critics in a nation like ours.
Politicians are not worth defending, but with the epochal re-entry of an Olympian figure like General Mohammadu Buhari, I had to collapse my old frame of restraint and back a man that is set to redirect and renew our membership to a comity of respected nations. And this is where I stand as a patriotic Nigerian and active participant in her tragic sub-narrative of endless woes seen everywhere I turn. Today, I am a subjective actor in the affairs of my country.
GMB is an enigma. Enigma of a kind. The more we try to delineate him, the more we are confronted with a man approaching infallibility - in decorum, integrity, manner, principle, dream, determination and ambition. Nigeria today is a different country. We are in the dispensation of corruption, economic anomie and moral decay. We are at a crossroad between the catastrophists and optimists. Yes, between Buharophobia and the change brigade. Yes, between decadent continuity and a blast of fresh air!
Now is the time to choose either to be a Jonathan's cockleshell adrift in the high sea or row with Buhari into a safe harbour. Now is the time to change the destiny of Nigeria and put a stop to her mindless drifting in the vast ocean of corruption, economic meltdown, barbaric impunity, social decay, religious genocide, judicial partiality, political immaturity, moral somersault and endemic insecurity.
Nigeria cannot remain a permanent paradox of an example of a failed state. There must be a chance to create alternative spaces in the paralysis all around us. We cannot continue with the phosphorescent blindfold that had covered our national destiny in the 15 years of PDP in government.
Sometimes resistance to bad governance has to come, not through objectivity, but through subjectivity. For far too long this man has put Nigeria through the wringer of dirty, democratic compromises. His complacent weakness has brought defilement to Nigeria's manifest nationhood. Under his watch Nigeria has further degenerated into a cesspit of bloody, no-man's-land where Boko Haram's noxious, sorrowful harvest of death seems to defy containment.
His recent moral bifurcation over corruption has remain a solid enigma among Nigerians. Jonathan's gentle, sinless and disarming persona are all smokescreen. He is the very Judas betraying the desert destiny of Nigeria into the hands of thieves, brigands, exploiters and plunderers. No wonder plunder has become a defining marker of his administration and the PDP looters who have now create for themselves a legal system that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it.
He finds nothing wrong in embracing the moral hazard of corruption. This is seen in his readiness to extenuate corruption through his old anthem, "stealing is not corruption!!!...stealing is not corruption!!! which is inspiring starveling senators, ministers and public officials to steal with impunity and live to enjoy the wealth.
President Goodluck Jonathan embodies the moral challenge of our time. This nation is still miffed by the brutal stupidity of believing that under Jonathan's sense of justice our corrupt politicians are not in jail. The very moment he began to reshape public conversation through presidential pardon for convicted corrupt Nigerians, corruption under his watch immediately became doomed as a sinking Titanic. The stories of monstrous and scandalous corruption under this president should make any conscientious Nigerian permanently angry, radical and committed to a seismic change.
The problem is that with a dull and conformist president, satisfying the narrow agenda of a tiny PDP elites would make acceding to the genuine desire of long suffering Nigerians an impossibility. Worse, in a mad moment of presidential redemption, he posthumously pardoned General Sanni Abacha of evil memory. Chai....chai....haba.....
Also, there is ongoing mass defilement of our national altars like the petroleum industry, education, health, security, Army, employment and transparent democratic practices. These national jewels are being polluted by symptoms of effete high corruption and the banalisation of political opportunities by shameless, 'shoeless' hustlers we called politicians.
The desperation of PDP politicians, their thuggery and the degradation they publicly displayed during the primaries make scavenging pigs seem placid and composed by comparison. Do-or-die politics was brought back from its sepulchre and reloaded by self-serving PDP demagogues and rouges with the telluric power of money to intimidate, destroy, buy and influence outcome.
Rivers state was turned into a battleground through the dictating order of the wife of the emperor in spite of her embarrassing pretence and fabrication of alibi of innocence. That state was turned into a democratic police state under the intimidation of a loose cannon called Mbu Joseph Mbu. So any violence in the ongoing campaign has been duly prefigured during Mbu's reign of terror on the people of Rivers state. We were all witnesses to Jonathan's indifference to the dark events in that state.
On the last death throes of his presidency, Jonathan is thrashing helplessly in the quagmire of inelegant public communication. His obnoxious, vile, caterwauling, vulgar and vexatious semantic diarrhoea against good oratory is an attack on the genuineness of his Ph.D in pig farming.
His arguments for continuity are muddled. The musty odour of his public speaking tragedy will put off his hardened admirers. President Goodluck Jonathan is yet to take a flight of fancy from the ugly genre of Otuekification of public eloquence. For a highly educated president and a Ph.D holder there is dryness in his academic well.
Even Femi (fantasist)Fani-Kayode's dirty role as a campaign Cicero for a lame duck president oddly fits his discredited antecedent. Fani-Kayode's pre-emptive communication role is a political miscalculation of the crudest form. His daily neurosis against GMB is politically gauche, muddle-headed and something quite socially ungainly for a Cambridge graduate. Fani-Kayode is a by living testament of Nigeria's moral poverty.
A commitment to free speech does not permit his infantile, cheap, tacky and sensational projectiles against a man of rocky integrity like GMB.
We are in a seismic moment in Nigeria. GEJ ambition has been clogging this nation's progressive aspirational arteries. Nigerians are tired of paying dearly for the inaction of a clueless, pathologically inefficient, tribally partisan, dull and compromising president. Nigerians are tired of being mentored by a failure. Nigerians are tired of bandit democracy where Jonathan, his wife and 'their people' are basking in wealth and opportunities denied to other Nigerians. Nigerians are tired of a government that has corruption manifest at its heart and the rampant criminality of excesses of government from the president, governors, ministers to the special advisers who are like flies all over Abuja.
Again, we are in a seismic moment and the emergence of GMB remains the primal indicator of the triumph of the spirit of Nigeria that had been groaning for C-H-A-N-G-E for too long. Nigerians have embraced GMB with outstretched arms of love. They have anchored their hope on his famous holdfasts of vision, duty, honour and integrity. His radical opposition to corruption is more than an urgent doctrine that is provoking radical passion for C-H-A-N-G-E! Our politics is moving into a new paradigm of integrity salon.
The acceptance of GMB as the next president is reflecting a sub-narrative of a historic clamour for good governance predicated on accountability, respect for law and order, provision of infrastructures, security, gainful employment and probity. Buharophobia is an offence to commonsense. GMB is not a Jihadist predator looking for infidels to gain paradise credentials. By staging this intervention, GMB is on a journey of historical mission to save Nigeria from an ongoing stigma of a socially, politically, morally and economically neutered nation. FeBUHARI is our moment of victory for collective self-determination for C-H-A-N-G-E.
*Taju Tijani is the Europe and Middle East Coordinator for Global Intelligentsia For Buhari