Educate me please. I don’t see how President Goodluck Jonathan conference could, possibly, help him secure another term in office. Minus any sugar coating, the impending conference is primarily designed to buy time for this lack luster regime. I marvel at the audacity of this regime. A regime notorious for serial perfidy. A regime mindless of history especially its own. A regime famous for grand larceny. A regime that delights in deepening the fault lines for it to flourish. A regime that is contemptuous of dissent. A regime that is impervious to reason save it comes from quarters that it is culturally intertwined. I don’t see how this grand ploy to bamboozle the citizenry will work out.
The conference option is a trick underperforming rulers have used in the past to perpetuate themselves in office. Such attempts however, came to naught. This, too, will come to naught. It is dead on arrival.
Nigerians in the informed circles, that is, have queried severally the rationale of convening a conference when there is a sitting parliament that boasts of two chambers.
Who, such Nigerians asked time and again, has the legitimate right to discuss the fate of the nation between duly elected representatives and handpicked and clearly leeching jobs men?
For a government that mouths ‘transformation’ often, the impending conference could only mean additional burden for the taxpayers. Billions of naira have been budgeted to host what a cynical writer describes as the biggest ‘owambe’(disco party) of the year. Why waste such huge resources on a jamboree when critical sectors of the economy are yelling for attention .A conservative estimate has put the bill at N7 billion for the few weeks’ conference.
More shocking is the quality of representatives handpicked by the president himself. His nominees bespeak of a parochial mindset. It provided a window into the inner workings of a ruler disdainful of democratic tenets and imprisoned by base sentiments. It confirms what has been in the market place, that in matters of statesmanship, our president betrays an admirable lack of sense of balance. His choice of nominees certainly shows a ruler who, truly ‘doesn’t give a damn’.
Half of his nominees are infirm or bankrupt. Their nomination is like a bribe to rubber stamp a presidential wish. The other half is peopled by the politically wounded. This conference is an opportunity for them to exact their pound of flesh.
I am not in the least surprised by the cacophony that greeted the delegates’ lists. In South-west, people are kicking. They don’t feel ‘represented’ by those the president nominated.
In North-central, people are similarly kicking. They don’t feel ‘represented’ by the president’s nominees. The Itshekiris cried foul and the president, typically, assuaged them.
The president fancies himself as a simple democrat. But his action and inaction since he took charge as the nation’s leadership portray him as, charitably stated, a turncoat. In public, he cuts the mien and posturing of a lamb steeped in the best tradition of the popular will. He has bamboozled not a few by his meek, self-effacing public disposition.
Most Nigerians were agreed that the President is a nice guy surrounded by bad guys way out of his league in the cloak and dagger game that is essentially the nation’s politics. The charitable among the legion of commentators likened him to a sheep herded into a caravan of camels navigating through the Sahara desert. Nothing could be further from the truth. The nice guy posture is a façade intended to hoodwink the unwary. It is a mask worn by the president so well over the years until his obsession to run for another illegal term unmasked him for what he truly is-unworthy of our trust.
The resort to conference was inevitable. Rulers before Jonathan, as expressed earlier, have used that option. They know that Nigerians love hoopla. We also love yakking. The nation’s media reflect these virtuosity. We yammer and yak. And then we go to sleep. Our rulers, those without shoes and those with guns, exploit this malady to the hilt. They know that their prattling subjects love to babble.
A ‘noiseless’ Nigeria is a ‘calculating’ Nigeria. Any time they are boxed to a corner, these rulers reached into their hat and pull out the ‘conference’ rabbit. It is their answer to the nation’s confounding glitches which they promised, at the dawn of their time, in the cosy chambers of power, to ‘transform’. But a year or two down the road, they become ‘the problem’. The incumbent is no different. I dare say on the performance scale, he is down below average.
This conference is dead on arrival. I don’t see other than sheer waste of public funds coming out from it. Governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state and lately, Murtala Nyako have expressed strong reservations about it. Kwankwaso was the first to kick since last year. Nyako only recently. In all, both leaders were unanimous that this is sheer waste of time and resources. A feeling of de javu. Too bad envelops me.