Wednesday, 25 September 2013
DON’T RUN, JONATHAN, DON’T…: His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie ON 2015
THE Archbishop emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to jettison the idea (if any) of running for a second term in office in 2015.
In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Okogie said “the handwriting on the wall,” does not favour it, even as the election date is two years away.
Making direct reference to the alleged “third-term bid” of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Archbishop, who… decried flattery and sycophancy ‘in high places,’ stressed the need to keep political agreement, if any.
According to Okogie, by 20015, the incumbent President would have served the country in that capacity for, at least, six years, the number of service years, which, he said, is enough for modest contribution to national development.
“If I were Jonathan, I will not try it (running for a second term), because the writing on the wall does not favour it. We have not even got to 2015, (yet) there is so much sycophancy and flattery. It is like telling Okogie now to go into politics: ‘come, you are the kind of person we want;’ you think I’m stupid?”
He continued: “Jonathan will be there for almost six years; there was a time, he was Vice, and now President for four years. What is he looking for again? It is just like comparing it with Obasanjo; what was Obasanjo looking for in third term?
“You know what happened then. Apart from the story that Jonathan made an agreement that he would do just one term, if it is true, do you think those who were there when he said ‘just one term’ are stupid.”
The Bishop Emeritus also expressed dissatisfaction with the manner the Nigerian elite go about the business of politics, describing it in the words of late musician, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, as “chop I chop.” He also condemned corruption and the killings in Nigeria.
“And why are so many people running into politics? 2015 is two years away; see how they are killing themselves. Who even knows who will get to 2015? What do you think they are looking for, money? Nothing else. They are not patriotic; they are not. All our political leaders, how many of them can beat their chests to say they are patriotic. It is just gimmick and pancake that they are doing.”