Why would ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, by his own admission, choose to go into hiding? True, his reelection dream proved to be a fantasy. But that is no reason to play hide-and- seek.
When he surfaced at the home of the late Mrs. Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo in Ikenne, Ogun State, on a condolence visit, he was accompanied by his wife, Patience, and a few loyalists. Jonathan was quoted as saying: “Within this period, my wife and I have been hiding; we don’t even go out. We thought we’ll be hiding for at least 12 months. But in this particular case, we could not hide. So, we’ve come here to console and encourage our brothers and sisters that we are together.”
Jonathan did not provide any details about his hiding place, or perhaps more precisely, their hideout, since he included his wife. That would have been interesting information.
Wherever they might have been holed up before their Ikenne appearance and performance, they must have enjoyed the advantages of domestic adequacy. Jonathan’s words, “we don’t even go out,” painted a picture of internal sufficiency that stretches the imagination. Also, it is food for thought that the former first couple planned to stay in the indoor paradise “for at least 12 months”.
It is unclear when they took the decision to restrict themselves to strictly private space, and when it took effect. When Jonathan left office on May 29, he left the federal capital, Abuja, and reportedly returned to his country home in Otuoke, Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa State.
But on August 17, there was Jonathan, looking animated, in a newspaper picture with this caption: “Dr. Jonathan alighting from the aircraft in Kenya…at the weekend. Standing on his left is his wife Dame Patience and other officials”
The accompanying report said: “Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend stormed Kenya’s Maasai Mara Games Reserve in two chartered planes. One of the planes carried Kenya State security and the second was occupied by Jonathan, his wife Patience and two of their children. He is at the reserve for a three-day tour to witness the wildebeest migration. Jonathan was booked at the new Angama Mara Lodge at the Oloololo conservancy. The ex-president was received by Narok Governor Samuel Tunai.”
The report continued: “Tunai, who is also the Council of Governors tourism committee chairman, said more than 500,000 tourists from all over the world are expected to witness the spectacular crossing of wildebeest across the crocodile-infested Mara River. Jonathan, who refused to speak with reporters on his arrival to the reserve, according to Kenya media, is the second dignitary to visit the reserve in less than a fortnight after the King of Swasiland, Mswati III. The king was booked in the same lodge six days ago. The owner of the hotel, Nicky Fitzgerald, said this tourism peak season is different from the past as prominent personalities from across the world have been calling for bookings. “We have received Mr Jonathan, King Mswati III, a Chinese prominent family and we are expecting other royalties,” said Ms Fitzgerald.”
Is this Jonathan’s idea of going into hiding?