Before the commencement of the presidential election on March 28, 2015, figures acquired from the Protocol Department of the Presidential Villa suggested that President Goodluck Jonathan received nothing less than two thousand visitors on the average in a week inside the Presidential Villa.
This statistical survey exempts those that visited the president in his official residence in the Villa, nor outside the precincts of the Presidential Villa.
However, as of Sunday, March 29, 2015, after the presidential election, when collation and count of votes had begun and it seemed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was not doing well and was, in fact, trailing behind the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the polls, the merry-band of sycophants, who thronged the presidential villa in search of futuristic political gains – that is if he (Jonathan) wins – started to dwindle in number, as less than 30 persons attended the Aso Rock Chapel which had hitherto been a beehive of activities every Sunday.
This is in a nutshell, the tale of life before/after the presidential election for President Goodluck Jonathan.
Following the defeat to the candidate of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, the unexpected abandonment of Jonathan by people who, some months ago, were frequent visitors to the Villa and some even reportedly vowed to swim and sink with the president is absolutely reprehensible.
The swift switch of loyalty only exposes us human to our fallibility.
Although, Jonathan was said to have been stung by the sudden abandonment of people he had considered his friends, he was said to have recovered from the betrayal and accepted his fate with stoicism. Vanguard report.
If we recall Mr Jonathan confirmed this while speaking to the congregation during Sunday service, he said: “Some people come to me and say ‘look at this person or that person, is he not your friend who benefited from you? Has this person not benefited from your government? Imagine what he is saying’? I often tell them that worse statements will come.
If you take certain decisions, you should know that those close to you will even abandon you at some point. And I tell them that more of my so-called friends will disappear. When FW De Klerk took the decision to abolish minority rule in RSA, even his wife divorced him. I hope my wife will not divorce me. But that is the only decision that has made RSA to still remain a global player by this time. If we still had that minority rule there, by this time, nobody will be talking about RSA.
“If you take certain decisions, it might be good for the generality of the people but it might affect people differently. So for ministers and aides who served with me, I sympathize with them, they will be persecuted. And they must be ready for that persecution”.
With less than two weeks to the hand over, Mr Jonathan seems to have accepted the reality of his position and the ultimate fate that awaits him as he retires to Otuoke, his village in Bayelsa State.
But one aspect he is unwilling to let go, is the exercising fully of his presidential power to the end of his administration. The confirmation of the appointment of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, is a demonstration of the fact that though the Jonathan presidency may be shrinking, his presidential powers remain intact and he will exercise same to the very end.
However, as the Jonathan shrinking presidency gives way to Buhari’s burgeoning one, the president-elect may do well to learn a lesson from the Jonathan’s presidency.
Not all those who surround him and sing his praises to high heavens mean well for him. Perhaps if Jonathan had known this, the shock of the betrayal of some of his friends would have been less.