Why Jonathan’s opponents are after FCT minister



By Rogers Edor Ochela

That President Goodluck Jonathan is not in the good books of some northerners for politically-motivated reasons is no longer news. It is equally clear that some of the president’s trusted allies are also hated in a classic case of ‘a friend of my enemy is my enemy’. All these smack of taking politics to a ridiculous height.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, is one of such president’s confidantes that is daily buffeted by Jonathan’s opponents, ostensibly on account of the minister’s fierce loyalty to the nation’s number one citizen.
It would be recalled that when the nation was experiencing constitutional crisis, occasioned by President Umaru Yar’ Adua’s trip to Saudi Arabia on medical vacation, Bala Mohammed as chairman of National Interest Group and other members of the group in the Senate rose up to the occasion by invoking the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’, which eventually resolved the constitutional logjam by paving way for Jonathan to assume office as Acting President. That singular act of statesmanship saved Nigeria’s nascent democracy from collapsing.

What made this move of the group outstanding is the fact that it was done at a time when Bala was not even close to Jonathan – an action borne out of patriotism without any strings attached, an occurrence that is rare in a society that is dominated by unprecedented fidelity to the local dictum that says: ‘’If you rub my back, I will also rub yours’’. Even on issues where chicken-hearted contemporaries will not procrastinate in denying their master, President Jonathan three times before daybreak like the Biblical Peter, Bala has remained steadfast in standing by his principal like the rock of Gibraltar. It is this untainted loyalty of the FCT minister that some of the president’s die-hard critics find irksome nay objectionable.
Also, as a close confidant and faithful ally of Jonathan, he has the ears of the nation’s number one citizen, a situation his virulent critics would rather describe as sycophancy. For this singular reason, Bala has been severally blackmailed before the President.
It equally explains why he is under constant attack by some northern irredentists and their agents opposed to the President. But the game plan in all this is to take Bala out first before going for the President. And should President Jonathan fall prey to the dangerous antics of these political desperadoes, then, no doubt he should be prepared to rue it when the chips are down come the 2015 titanic political battle. This is because the FCT minister remains a dependable foot soldier for the president both in the open and the closet. Those who understand the nitty-gritty of politics know that it is akin to committing political hara-kiri for any politician worth the name to sacrifice his faithful ally for any reason whatsoever. And Jonathan cannot be an exception by yielding to the unhelpful agitation of his enemies in sacrificing Bala who has so far displayed absolute loyalty to the president.

It is now an open secret that since he was plucked from the Senate, in a manner of speaking, and invested with the enormous responsibility of administering the affairs of the FCT, Bala Mohammed has remained unwavering not only in his loyalty to his boss, but also in his wholehearted commitment to serving the nation. For all these reasons and many more, Bala must be roasted alive.
In executing his ministerial assignment at the FCT, Bala has equally remained resolutely committed to the presidential mandate of sanitizing the place of briefcase-carrying contractors, who are found of cutting corners at the expense of the collective good of the nation; bring to an end the marginalization and structural disempowerment of the indigenes arising out of criminal neglect by previous administrations. Above all, Bala, in strict compliance with his mandate,  has never hidden his desire to free the nation’s capital city from the suffocating grip of those who have invaded it and raping its scared temple of truth in  order sequestrate the truth in the service of their avarice. In this kind of circumstance, those who want the retention of status quo ante would prefer that the minister is barbecued.
Another fundamental issue that has brought Bala on collision course with some of Jonathan’s opponents is 2015 presidency. While some northerners are stridently opposed to Jonathan’s 2015 ambition by preaching the gospel of power rotation to the region, the FCT minister is one of those at the forefront rooting for a second term for Jonathan come 2015. So, it is natural for the opponents of Jonathan’s ambition to see Bala as an irritant, who must be crushed at all cost.
Be that as it may, it is time for these seemingly implacable opponents of Jonathan and by extension, Bala to amend their ways or stand the inevitable danger of having their names inscribed with the ink of infamy on the writing pad of history and forever assigned pages of dishonour and interred in history’s hall of infamy, where they will reside eternally in frozen opprobrium and everlasting disrepute. In a nation riddled by betrayals of epochal magnitude, Bala’s acts of undiluted loyalty should be commended and not condemned as opponents of Jonathan are currently doing. The pertinent to ask (and answer) is: is it a crime to remain loyal to one’s boss and benefactor? The answer is a resounding NO!!!

Ochela wrote from Abuja. Email: [email protected]

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