As I type this article, I hear the chants of change in Nigeria. There is joy, jubilation and gladness for many. Some stay stricken with sadness just at the thought of the former president not being re-elected, not to think of the reality of its not happening. With that done and dusted, there are a few lessons I just want to point out about the person of Former President Goodluck Jonathan. I like to be really objective about it
1) He Was Free Spirited: Well it seems he was not as charismatic as people expected him to be, but one thing can easily be noticed about him, he was free at heart. He has so many pictures of many faces he made in various situations, many of which were used for funny memes and jokes on social media. To me, a man that allowed himself to be seen in such a way, probably as weak and compassionate in some situations is something respectable. Was anyone shut up in a prison, tracked down, killed for saying anything against the former president even when, he could probably have done that? None that I know of.
He even allowed popular musician Seyi Shay dress as she desired to perform in an event he hosted. It was her choice not his. The world is full of people that just want to judge you. Goodluck didn’t seem to be that person. Call it weak, but I see it as character, the ability to accept other peoples flaws and shortcomings. A proof to his spirit is how calmly he handled the election process even when his card reader failed during the elections, and how he called the new President-elect to congratulate him even before the final announcements of his loss. There is nothing like a good spirit.
2) He Stayed With His Wife: Picture this: being the number one citizen in Nigeria, having to please millions of citizens. Imagine the level of responsibility that comes with this position, the international eyes watching you and expectation on your shoulders. Many of us do not even have one tenth of the level of popularity or comments that Goodluck got during his tenure. And we have made so many changes to our lives because other peoples words and thoughts.
If you had about 1 million people laughing at your spouse constantly and for years, would you still accept your spouse? If at every event you went with your spouse, you could hear sounds of laughter, would you stay? Or would you go for the easier route, divorce? Well Dame Patience had millions of people watching out for her next grammatical error, to be laughed at. Her popular “Chai there is God oo” became a slang. Yet, Goodluck would still go everywhere with her proudly. She was with him when he was nobody, he didn’t leave her when he was President. That, I believe, is commendable.
3) He Handled Mockery Well: President or not, we are all humans. I personally don’t think there has been any President as abused as Goodluck Jonathan. I must have said some not postive words about him somewhere along the line as well. Going through my gallery of saved pictures recently was when I saw how ‘looked down on’ this man was. He was mocked daily even by a people that were meant to believe him. It’s not surprising that he lost the elections though.
His self handling was super, even in the roughest situations when the country was against his views and moves. Many people lack this sort of calmness even in their daily lives. For example, Prof Jega handled the tough situation presented to him during the elections collation period with much calmness. You don’t need to be the President to learn that! People go around reacting to situations emotionally like the man Hon. Orubebe, instead of reacting logically. I don’t know how you’ve reacted to situations previously in your life, even mockery and jest, but I think you can improve and get better. Simply handle it well, do some thinking before you make a move!
4) He Did His Job In The Face Of Failure: Many times as the tenure of the President Goodluck Jonathan came to an end, it was clear that people had gotten tired of him. People were disappointed in many of his choices and decisions. But did he stop doing his job as President? No! When you have a job to do, do it. Are the people around not encouraging you? Are they disappointed in you? Have they lost faith in you? Do you have a job to do? Do it! There are some things that must be done, with or without other peoples approval.
Regardless of whether you win or lose, whether you have failed in your past or you plan to be a better person in the future, do your job! Work to justify your conscience. Ensure that you have done all you can possibly do, even if you couldn’t meet up to all you should have done.
5) He Tried Again: This one gets people all the time. “I am not going to try to do this, this and this thing again. I know what happened to me the last time I tried doing it the first time.” With all the clamour for change and the new candidate, he tried again. Even though President Goodluck thought he won’t run for the post of Presidency in 2015 a few years back, he ended up running again. Call it what ever you want, but that takes a certain level of faith, doesn’t it? He had failed many people already, but he was willing to get a second chance to correct his wrongs.
Have you given up on the wrongs of the past and still living with them? You can give yourself a second chance, by correcting your past wrongs, by living right today. The twist in this lesson, is that the soon to be President General Muhammadu Buhari has been trying to be President since 2003, but finally now in 2015, he has finally achieved that goal. That’s a total of 12 years. Try, try, try, try, try and try again! Interesting isn’t it? Don’t give up on your dreams, as long they are truly yours, and regardless of how many people are doing what you intend to do.
I know quite a number of people have personal issues with the present president, but it is wise to remember that he is a man like you. He can also fail like you must have done at some point in your life. We must learn to even in the toughest and hardest situations in life, to see and appreciate the positives, it’ll help a lot. You’ll surely not like someone who only speaks of your weaknesses, faults, failures and laughs at them all the time. If in spite of your failures and shortcomings, someone appreciates your strengths and successes, you’ll be a much better person.
Let’s share this with every single Nigerian, even those in the diaspora too. Nigeria has done well to have successfully had free and fair elections with little violence. Let’s promote peace. Thank you for reading
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Hope you learnt something? Are there other lessons you have learnt to from President Goodluck Jonathan? Share your thoughts & please drop a comment. Thanks.
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