- Posted by Edith Ohaja
- On November 20, 2018
- 163 Comments
During the 2015 presidential elections, then president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan emphasised that his desire to stay in office was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
On the contrary, his major opponent, Rtd General Muhammadu Buhari, had threatened bloodshed if he lost his bid in the past election (2011) and the violence unleashed by his supporters claimed the lives of many Nigerians. He made similar threats during the 2015 elections, so although he could have manipulated the electoral process as the incumbent president or contested the results on some legitimate grounds, Jonathan conceded defeat promptly to the annoyance of his staunch supporters.
Ironically, since Buhari assumed office, Nigeria has seen more bloodshed at peace time than she has ever witnessed in her history. Between Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen and bandits, Nigerians have been slaughtered in their thousands in the North and the Middle Belt. The army has also killed many IPOB supporters in the South-east and Shi’ites in the North-central during Buhari’s tenure.
My heart goes out to the families of soldiers who are being decimated through a bungled offensive against Boko Haram; to surviving troops who, malnourished and underequipped, are daily exposed to attacks from Boko Haram; families uprooted and living in IDP camps for years; villagers living in fear and incessantly abducted by Boko Haram – the men to join their ranks and the women to serve as wives and sex slaves to the insurgents; communities constantly raided by insurgents seeking food and livestock…. We were told a retired general would end the crises with a wave of the hand.
That is why today, as he celebrates his 61st birthday, I want to use this short poem to pay tribute to Jonathan, a true man of peace. There is so much more I can say in praise of Jonathan but I just want to focus on this. I first posted the poem on social media when he handed over to Buhari and my prayer now is the same as then: that God would value his life as he valued that of his compatriots and continue to promote him. I also pray God to speedily deliver us from this administration under which we have seen so much needless bloodshed. Amen in Jesus’ name.
Blessing upon the peaceable (Poem) A tribute to GEJ
He who upholds the sanctity of human life
The Lord God shall surely bless
He shall keep you safe even when troubles are rife
And forever, He shall be your solace
When personal ambition is pursued at all cost
It can deaden the conscience
And if unity, peace and safety are all lost
Gaining power makes no sense
The Lord fashioned us in His image
And warned us, “Do not kill”
We must abhor selfishness and carnage
If we want our land to heal
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2018
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