Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan is at the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya for a three-day break, with his wife Patience and their children.
Jonathan is said to be there to witness the wildebeest migration across the Mara River. This is coming shortly after witnessing wild beasts in his own party (the Peoples Democratic Party) migrating to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after his defeat in the March (s)election.
Jonathan did not meet Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta on arrival. While they enjoy their break in Kenya, Jonathan would probably be noting that it is Not Yet Uhuru for those Nigerians that kicked him out of office.
The National Assembly seems to be on permanent vacation, while new President Muhammadu Buhari, who promised “change” during the campaign, has been nicknamed “Baba Go Slow”, with no ministers, no senior appointments, no policy changes, and little to suggest that the new government is not also vacationing.
Jonathan is staying at the Angama Mara Lodge in the reserve – the same place King Mswati of Swaziland stayed about a week ago.
His visit with Patience will bring some much-needed Goodluck to the Kenyan tourism industry, which has been affected by terror from al-Shabaab. Insecurity has also affected Nigeria’s tourism industry, especially with Boko Haram in northern parts of the country.
The former president’s ineffectiveness in tackling Boko Haram was a major factor in Nigerian voters having little reservations about sending him on a permanent vacation. And it seems he has declared a vacation in Nigeria as “haram”.
The Yankari National Reserve in Bauchi State could have been a cheaper and closer to home option for the Jonathans. But its location makes it too close for comfort to the Boko Haram operational theatre. The reserve would have received a huge boost by the former First Family and their retinue of flunkeys staying there. Not to mention the benefits to the local economy for the former president to spend in the area some of the money he is alleged to have looted. This bad luck for the locals means Goodluck for Kenyans.
Jonathan trained as a zoologist and a Nigerian once asked whether this was why he treated Nigerians as animals. After watching the wildebeest in Kenya, Jonathan will return to increased calls from the ruling APC for the corruption of his regime to be investigated. Among those calling for Jonathan to be “probed” are some of the biggest looters of public funds the country has ever known, like former president Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-governor of Rivers State Rotimi Amaechi.
So after three days, Jonathan will leave the animals in Kenya for the Animal Farm that is Nigeria.