It is no longer news that there has been no love lost between President Goodluck Jonathan, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi.
However, the last Council of State meeting hosted by President Jonathan yesterday, offered an opportunity for the three men to reconcile even if it was for the camera.
Before the commencement of the Council meeting, the governors across party divide were seen joking, back slapping one another and discussing in groups.
President Jonathan was also seen laughing, shaking and holding hands with Obasanjo.But the one that caught everyone’s attention was when the President, while waiting for the valedictory photo-session at the fore court of the Presidential Villa, had a handshake with the governors around him, and on sighting Amaechi, playfully hit him severally, with his fist on the shoulder and the Rivers State governor bowed, laughing and holding the President’s hand all the while, saying “Your Excellency.”
Obasanjo has been a constant critic of Jonathan’s administration, the latest being in February, when the elections were postponed.
The former president, had at his Hilltop Mansion residence in Abeokuta, likened the politics played by Jonathan to “the do-or-die” politics played by the former President of Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo.
Also, Obasanjo, while reacting to the postponement of the general elections, said it was a grand plan by Jonathan to perpetuate himself in office till the situation became clear that the presidential election would favour him.
President Jonathan had in a swift reaction, fired back, saying the allegations were baseless and absurd.
Obasanjo had also in an 18-page letter a year ago, accused the President of deceit, deception, dishonesty, incompetence, having a killer squad and clannishness among others.
The Rivers State governor on his part, had always pointed fingers at the president and his wife, Patience on any crisis in his state.
Moved by the camaraderie seen inside and outside the Council chambers, a journalist later asked Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State how that could be translated to the common man on the street, and he replied: “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.”