THINK OF GREED, you imagine someone, who have enjoyed vast and elevated privileges, but wants more. He wants what he may not, rightly, deserve. He becomes obsessed with his quest for more, and feels discontent with what he already had. He becomes deluded with his inordinate quest for more, and ignobly pursue it. Greed has a despicable associate – pride. Both are undesirable traits – that plunge to disaster.
Greed has many parts, and it is in all facets of life. In religion, politics, commerce, monarchy and countless other real-life experience, over the centuries. It led, and still leads many to abysmal and disgraceful fall. One of God’s angelic sons, became Satan and Devil, as a result of greed. He may have had a privileged position, among other angels, but wanted more. He began to crave and desire what, rightfully, belongs to God – worship.
Satan wanted to be worshiped like God. He got his first victims – mankind’s original parents, Adam and Eve to toe his part. They too, wanted to be like God, “knowing good and bad”, as Satan assured them. Greed consumed them. They fell, despicably, beyond redemption. The result? Satan’s lustful greed, along with Adam and Eve, and other rebellious angels, has disastrously, plagued the human race, from Adam into centuries, after Adam.
History is abound with humans – in high and low places, consumed by greed and paid ignominious price. Judas Iscariot, seen as contemptible traitor, was close to his master, Jesus. He was privileged to keep the money chest, used to care for the overheads of his master’s followers, as a result of trust. Due to lustful greed, Judas betrayed his master for pieces of silver, and handed him over to be killed. Unable to put up with his disgraceful act, Judas committed suicide – hung himself. Price for greed.
THE VAST YEARS OF NIGERIA’S political power and leadership, were dominated by the country’s military. They ruled without impactful governance on the citizens, and development of the country. The nation’s economic growth and development dwindled. Living standard of the people progressively deteriorated. This led to the clamour for return to democratic governance, so that the military could return to the barracks and stay out of politics.
The military elites refused to give in to the pressure and quest to return the country to democratic governance. They arrogated to themselves better leadership qualities, than the politicians and erudite technocrats in the country. They believe they could fight corruption better. End poverty. Enhance better living condition for the citizens. Build “robust” economy and place Nigeria among the best economies in the world. But achieved nothing near their ambition. Greed for power.
Each time the military struck and took over power, Nigerians applaud and welcomed them. Greed for power kept the military in politics for several years in Nigeria. It led to one regime change to the other, through military coups. Was the country and the citizens better off with regime and leadership change under the military? Finally, the military exited power and governance, and returned the country to democratic governance. Nothing strategically, changed. Simply, greed for power.
DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA, in the present dispensation, took front seat, from 1999, when a civilian president was inaugurated on May 29, that year, after the exit of the military from political power. Twenty-three years of democratic governance and leadership in the country, greed and blind ambition, still propel and rule Nigerian leaders. No prospect, it will end soon. National interest is subdued for greedy and selfish ambition on the part of the political class.
Sule Lamido, a chieftain of Nigeria’s major opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former Governor of Jigawa State, altruistically was sober, in an interview he had with Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper, published, May 1, 2022. He spoke on the perceived ambition of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s avaricious move to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Lamido’s heart must have bled, as the interview revealed.
Jonathan acquired successful, larger-than-life, political career, Lamido noted, on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP – as deputy governor, governor, vice president, acting president, and president of the federal republic of Nigeria. Presently, Jonathan is in international limelight, as special envoy to nations. Jonathan, now, plans to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to further his ambition as Nigeria’s president in 2023, to complete his unserved second term of four years.
This is atrocious of Jonathan, according to Lamido. He said, for Jonathan to decamp from PDP to APC, was deservice to PDP, and all those who supported him, under thick and thin, during his presidency; and during his bid for second term in 2015 general election, which Buhari won. Lamido recounted the travails of eminent political leaders of PDP, including himself, who stuck with Jonathan. They were ridiculed, called names and their reputation smeared for supporting Jonathan’s ambition ahead of 2015 general election.
Lamido’s words: “The issue of Jonathan going to APC to be their flag bearer, I pray it is not true. I hope it is not true because if it is, he is inviting on himself self-destruction. This was somebody who came from a very humble and decent background. He came from a family with good upbringing and high moral values. That is what he said. And he grew up in life. He got education”.
“He became a Director in OMPADEC. And through good fortune and God guidance, he was picked to be deputy governor. The same good fortune and God guidance followed Jonathan; he became a governor. The same God and good fortune followed this kid from a very humble background, he became Nigeria’s Vice President.
“The same God and good fortune following this humble kid, he became Nigeria’s President, in a country of 200 million people. Only three people have become Nigerian President in the last 14 years under the PDP. All these achievements he made and his political ascendancy were under the PDP platform, which means PDP gave him his biggest world any PDP member can get in Nigeria.
“It is for him to reflect on the love, the family bond of the PDP, the sacrifices made, the humiliation we went through, the vilification of the APC of his own [Jonathan’s] government, the way he was being demonized, the way Wole Soyinka was calling his wife hippopotamus, and calling him clueless. The entire APC 2013, 2014 literally destroyed him”, Lamido stated.
SULE LAMIDO LAMENTED further, and believe, however, that Jonathan should be able to reflect, how “we had the heartache, the pains, humiliation and persecution”, the people of the North had in 2014, for supporting his second term ambition on PDP platform, against Buhari on APC ticket. And added: “There was a man from Katagum, his house was destroyed and burnt down in Azare just because he was supporting Jonathan”.
Lamido said, in Bauchi, “our people were persecuted and burnt. In Kano, my office was burnt down. And the mob was heading towards my house to burn down my house and kill my family members alive, only for the army to intervene. In Zamfara, people received 50 lashes to be cleaned of the Jonathan dirt. People were going from house to house to give them 50 lashes because of Jonathan. The same thing happened in Sokoto”.
People of the North, Lamido further stated, stood for Jonathan because they believed they were working for Nigeria. They believed in Nigeria. Lamido said, he was called a Christian and pastor because of Jonathan. His words: “I was called anti-Islam because of Jonathan. Everything evil was me and all PDP people who supported Jonathan. That means all they went through, the pain, the humiliation, for supporting Jonathan in 2014 was nothing”.
Attahiru Jega, INEC Chairman, in Jonathan’s administration, Lamido said, was not left out. “We went through hell in 2014 all for Jonathan. He called me during the election in Jigawa. I said ‘sir’, he said ‘I hope you are safe’. I said ‘don’t worry sir. We are home and dry’. He said ‘thank God’”
Lamido said he was taking the pain to give these narratives, to show how Nigerians suffered for Jonathan. And how “God has been very good to Jonathan”. And added: “It is for him now to reflect and see those people who demonized him, who called him evil, who said Boko Haram was PDP company in 2014. Buhari with APC members went on demonstration because fuel price was increased to 60-something naira. He (Buhari) was on the streets demonstrating”.
Jonathan, Lamido said, should “check what El-Rufai (Kaduna Governor) said about him”. He urged Jonathan to “check what Lai Mohammed said about him”. And “check what the APC propaganda machine said about him in 2014”. And he lost the 2015 election.
Lamido said he knew the humiliation Jonathan went through. How he lost the election through “blackmail, threat and division between tribes and Christians and Muslims”. He met Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, four days after Buhari won the election. “What I told him in the Villa is for another day. I won’t say that now. He should remember what I told him. He should take all this into consideration”, Lamido added.
BOTHERING ON JONATHAN’S image and greed, Lamido, rhetorically, asked: “Is this way he is going to reward PDP, for inventing him? Minus PDP, who will ever know anybody called Jonathan? Today, he is an international person, being called upon by the world to perform functions for the world.
“How did he get that kind of status? It is from PDP. Now, he is said to be going to APC because of greed, to destroy all this history of his? God will not allow him. If he goes, God will defend PDP. If he goes, he will meet the wrath of God. I urge him not to do it”.
Lamido berated the APC for courting Jonathan, whom it demonized, to join the ruling party. His words: “The people courting him now are liars. They lied to get to government. I urge him in the name of God, the very God that made him from nothing, to think about PDP which made him from nothing. He should please reconsider. People are looking at him”.
And added: “You do not destroy the foundation that made you. These people ‘evilized’ him. He is now going to them, to turn him into saint? He should never ever believe in APC. APC is a creation of lies, cultured by lies, maintained with lies”.
Sule Lamido is not the first to criticize Jonathan’s rumoured move to APC. There has been barrage of criticism on his move. But Lamido’s narratives seem thought-provoking, and most elevating. Will Jonathan listen? Which way Jonathan?
Greed blurs vision. Greed deafens the ears. Greed turns men’s heart to the heart of beasts. In most cases, no lesson is learnt.