Metropole Magazine

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24 Feb Written by  Japheth Omojuwa

President Jonathan and His Fading Authority

In a sane country where incentives and disincentives influence socio-economic and political behaviours, where leaders bear the brunt of their own failures, President Goodluck Jonathan would be an ex-president by now. He would be somewhere in his hometown thinking about what he did wrong and how he could have done things better as the president of Nigeria. He would have honourably resigned if he had a personal code of honour.

But sane country or not, honour is the crest of men and women who have chosen to live by values they stand for, beliefs which when not upheld would mean to either die or to compromise their very essence. Seeing that President Jonathan didn’t even understand the question “what do you stand for?” when CNN’s Isha Isatu Sesay posed it to him, it would be unfair to expect that one who doesn’t know what he stands for would know what moral codes to defend.

If you assumed my words have been chosen because of the alleged $20 billion scam by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, you have assumed in error. As long as this government remains, corruption will grow from strength to strength, new seeds will fall off the tree of impunity and new forms of corruption will sprout, bloom and bear damaging fruits that will continue to ensure Nigeria is one of the world’s most productive countries in terms of grand scale corruption.

But this is not about corruption and the NNPC and the suspended whistle-blowing Central Bank Governor. It is about the endless deaths in Borno and government’s continued nonchalance at finding a lasting solution. President Jonathan will tonight in a media chat wax lyrical about the strides of his transformation agenda, an agenda that has ensured those in his clan have become overnight billionaires, an agenda that continues to feed hunger and poverty to the Nigerian masses and death to the people of Borno State. The transformation agenda of President Jonathan is the most expensively-run, government lie in Africa.

On security, at no other time have Nigerians felt more unsafe in their country now. At Konduga, Borno State, about 60 Nigerians had died from terrorist attacks on the 11th February. As if that was not worrying enough, nine Nigerian soldiers were killed the following day. Just days later, Gwoza came under another attack as over one hundred people were killed. There have been more attacks and deaths since then.

There has been no statement of condolence, care or interest from the Nigerian president. While the Governor of Borno, Alhaji Kashim Shettima was crying out loud about his helplessness, the abandoned and forgotten presidential aide on public affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe felt the governor was a good target to re-launch his dwindling Aso Rock career. To political jobbers like Dr. Okupe, it is never about the people, it will never be about the people, it will always be about what their bellies can take.

The Nigerian Presidency has lost touch with the Nigerian people. This will be the only explanation to defend a president that had enough mental space left in him to speak of “fine, fine girls in Imo State” while 20 Nigerian schoolgirls remain in the dungeons of Boko Haram. The Nigerian people on their part have since gotten used to a system that never works, they have gotten accustomed to having governments that say everything and do virtually nothing so it would not matter to them if Mr. Labaran Maku continues to spout success stories about this administration that is only reflected in the fact that, a few people continue to feed fat on the Nigerian masses.

Ukraine is an example of what could happen here. The streets of Nigeria may look empty without protesting youths and angry citizens. But the anger remains static and latent. And the venom continues to form and gain destructive power in the unexpressed emotions of the masses. When this finally boils over, the delusions of grandeur of those who hold power today will become the cries for salvation of tomorrow’s powerless lot who once wielded the power for their own good alone. That time will come. Insha Allah!

- @omojuwa