I DON’T like Lions. Their hunt bores me stiff. On sighting a prey, they go too swiftly, too brutal and aim for the thyroid. In seconds they break the wind pipe of their prey and pronto, dinner is served. No real drama, no teasing, all sheer speed and downright efficient killing. One of my favorite hunters is the Hyena. They are pretty much more patient than the vulture. They can chase a prey for days on end, at the end the prey is worn out and more or less surrenders itself as dinner.
There is a sense of drama in their hunt. The prey at the beginning of the hunt is quite agile. The pack of Hyenas knows that it is a matter of time before the prey starts losing strength. Like marathon runners from Kenya they keep up the pace behind the prey.
Their superior will and strength will ultimately prevail. My all time favourite hunter is the domestic cat. The first bust of speed is to knock the rat silly. Thereafter the cat starts a strange game. It pretends to lose interest and allows the rat to attempt an escape. The attempt by the rat is then thwarted by the agile cat. This routine is repeated serially until the cat makes up its mind to have dinner. The joy of the cat is really not in the killing, but enjoying the torture of the mind of the rat.
President Muhammadu Buhari has proven himself an avid hunter. His persistence in repeatedly contesting the Nigerian Presidency has all the markings of the skill of the Hyena. He kept at it even against all possible odds. To the amazement of many of us, he has finally succeeded.
But now, the hunt for the crown of Presidency has been won and a new hunt must start. The new hunt must be the hunt for immortality. His team has since realised that the easiest way for the President to attain immortality in the minds of his avid supporters is to continuously mock, humiliate and ultimately destroy ex- President Goodluck Jonathan. For this hunt to excite his teaming fans, it must not be the Lions hunt.
If he hobbles Jonathan swift and fast, even if it leads to Jonathan receiving a life imprisonment, he would have made a gross political mistake; he would have made a martyr out of Jonathan. The sight of a Jonathan in chains, whilst it will no doubt excite the minds of most Jonathan haters, will immediately win a lot of sympathy from the neutrals for the genial Jonathan.
The angst of the keen Jonathan supporters will also be kindled; invariably a bit of violence may sprout in the creeks. Worse still, the immediate hobbling of Jonathan will lead to calls for more blood from ferocious Nigerians. The thirst can only be satiated if other big fishes such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former Lagos State Governor Sen. Bola Tinubu are also crushed in the process. That will be a massive cull fest that may prove too big for the appetite of moderate Nigerians.
So the plan has to be obvious: make the probing of Jonathan the center piece of the policy of this government and do it very slowly. This government really does not need to tar roads, construct railways, work on the power situation or indeed carry out any other form of governance to be hugely successful. Just keep on probing Jonathan and the place of this administration is guaranteed in history. Already, it appears as if the President has gotten the hang of it. Prior to his inauguration he made it clear that he will probe Jonathan.
When he went to United States he announced to the whole world in an article that under Jonathan, one million barrels of oil was stolen daily, he made the unnecessary error of reducing this figure in an NTA interview to Two Hundred and fifty thousand barrels of oil per day when he came back from United States. Since then the reiteration of plans to probe Jonathan has become a weekly affair. The press statement is usually released after the President has met with one group or the other. He will of course reiterate his commitment to recovering all the Jonathan loot. As of the last count this mysterious loot was said to be $150Billion. This figure was arrived at before any audit or investigation. Surely it may reach a Trillion Dollars when the real investigation is done.
The logical next step is to up the ante. More “cronies” of the Ex-President must on weekly basis be invited by EFCC for “grilling”. Since the ex-President has more than a hundred “cronies”, this process can easily take two years. Nigerians will focus on these invitations and grilling of the ex-President’s aides and marvel at the ultimate spectacle that they will behold when eventually Jona and Mama Peace will face their comeuppance. But this evil day must be delayed and be made to remain the ultimate piece of showmanship.
The time for their arrest must be very close to the next election. By then his supporters will be defined as the supporters of corruption, whilst the supporters of the President will have the higher moral high ground. By hobbling Jonathan, PDP is invariably reduced in the minds of “right thinking Nigerians”, who know that corruption is the exclusive preserve of the PDP. By slowly bamboozling and teasing Jonathan, the President will walk straight into the Nigerian hall of fame as the man who crushed corruption. After all once Jonathan finally goes to prison a week to the next general election, all the corruption in Nigerian Police, Customs and Excise and other Federal and State Government agencies would have been vanquished.
Mr. Emeka Odikpo, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Abuja.