Obasanjo Reconciles Jonathan, Amaechi…for the Camera
The last Council of State meeting hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, had enough intrigues as expected when the calibre of people seated at the meeting joined hands together. Not only did the meeting offer the space and time to sort and plan national issues, it also offered the opportunity for three men who before now could not see eye to eye for political reasons to reconcile!
At least, that was what we saw with the unusual camaradarie between former President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Rotimi Amaechi! Before the commencement of the Council meeting, while they converged and waited for some of the past Presidents, the governors across party divide were seen joking, back slapping one another and discussing in groups.
President Jonathan was not left out as he also was spotted on several occasions being familiar with the Governors. He was also seen laughing, shaking and holding hands with Obasanjo after the meeting before the photo session that followed at the Court of the Presidential Villa.
The act that, however, caught everyone’s attention was when the President went around and shook hands with all the governors around him, and on sighting Governor Amaechi, Jonathan jabbed him playfully on the shoulder and the Rivers State governor laughed, held the President’s hand and curtsied: “Your Excellency.”
It is no longer news that Obasanjo who tore his People’s Democratic Party membership card and openly declared that he would not have anything to do with a failed government, has also been a constant and stern critic of Jonathan’s administration, the latest being in February this year when the elections were postponed.
Also, Governor Amaechi, once a close ally of the first family before the good times turned sour, before and during the elections, was always pointing fingers at the president and his wife, Patience on any crisis in his state. So it was surprising, if not shocking, that Obasanjo would hold Amaechi and Jonathan in the same embrace and reconcile them.
Speaking on the new and unexpected friendship and camaraderie seen inside and outside the Council chambers, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State explained that it was a lesson to the common man.
“I told you that one of the former heads of state moved for all these to be recorded, so that we make it as part of the tradition. Politics is not war. Yes, there is a price, but the moment there is a decision and someone gets the price, everyone should come back and wait for another chance.
“So, the camaraderie that you noticed is how it should be and we should send it down to our communities, to our people; so that even in one house, you can afford to vote for different parties but the moment results are announced, you will remain brothers and not enemies,” he explained.
Still, many Nigerians fear that Jonathan’s friendly jab on Amaechi’s shoulder and all the warmth witnessed at the Council of State meeting may just be for the sake of the camera! Or was it not?
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