By Paul Adepoju
Even though I strive daily to look the other way when it comes to news emanating from Nigeria’s political arena, I fight a bigger battle within myself keeping quiet as Jonathanians attempt to defend what shouldn’t be defended. After giving it a deep thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that even though they are attempting to defend the policies, actions and decisions of the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration, they are doing more harm than Boko Haram.
The other night, I saw a pro-GEJ advert on NTA that attempted to put President Goodluck Jonathan in the same circle with President Barack Obama, Martin Luther King Jnr., and Africa’s latest idol – Nelson Mandela. I couldn’t suppress a chuckle. While the sponsors of the daily aired ad may want us all to know that “the president is doing it,” they are leaving out the negative impact their studio works are having on the president himself – the illusion of heroism.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love and respect the president and would be voting for him if he could solve the challenges of insecurity and power – I’m even willing to cut it some slack over corruption because he didn’t start it and can’t end it either. But no matter the increase and improvement – statistically, in the nation’s economy especially the rebased GDP; no matter how many new roads and bridges are constructed; and jobs – real and fictitious, that are created; as long as the citizens are dying, no achievement could make insecurity acceptable – at least for me.
The president’s number one job is to keep the citizens safe before any other thing. If that job is not satisfactorily done, I don’t think we should be shouting All Hail the President, and forcing the Jonathan Epistle down the throat of everyone yet. The case is similar to a WASSCE candidate that had A’s in all subjects but failed Mathematics and English Language, the beautiful result would be worthless some years ago before the avalanche of schools that don’t require the subjects for admission.
The president himself once said the political ambition of anyone (including himself) do not worth the blood or life of any citizen. With the record-breaking number of bomb blasts, insurgencies and deaths, the focus of Team GEJ should be on making sure no one dies again, no bomb goes off and terrorists are sent packing.
Taking a cue from US president who was placed on the same pedestal with President Goodluck Jonathan, he first addressed insecurity by discretely going after Osama Bin Laden – that is someone that is “doing it”, not Nigeria where we can’t really say how many terrorist groups are killing, kidnapping, slaughtering, maiming, bombing and releasing videos on YouTube.
The impact that Jonathanians’ sheer disregard of ridiculous defense of insecurity in Nigeria has on the president is the feeling he is doing well enough for the African hero status. With that state of mind, he tends to relax and not feel the heat as being felt at the grassroots.
It is not anti-government to blame the government, it is not anti-GEJ to say GEJ is failing on his electoral promises and it is not outrageous to say that the president doesn’t seem to feel the pains of Nigerians yet. He, we, and they – Jonathanians – have to address this anomaly individually and collectively. At the outset of the incumbent administration, he was underperforming but was hearing the truth about the state of the nation. These days however, his actions suggest he is no longer in tune with the real Nigerians; instead, he seems to be hearing the loud voices of Jonathanians screaming at high decibels that he’s the best ever in Africa. Mr. President maybe agreeing with them and insensitive to the rest of us.
I’m not the only one that was disappointed to see the president show up at a birthday party less than 24 hours when a bus bomb blast killed over 70 people in Abuja. The explosion changed victims’ destinies forever. While they writhe in pain in the hospital in Abuja, the president was in Kano for political campaign and in Ibadan for a centenary birthday party. According to El Dee, Nigeria’s president couldn’t miss the “turnup”. Yet Jonathanians didn’t see anything wrong.
Not seeing anything wrong is a major problem here in Nigeria. We’ve seen how it almost ruined Nigeria during Sani Abacha regime. The same thing is happening in the present day Nigeria. The president is surrounded and being hailed by sycophants, paid praise singers, jobbers and opportunists who are so blinded by their political affiliations and ambitions to see anything – no matter how big or small – in the administration of the president. Even when they see such, they are dead-silent on such.
How can we progress with such people around us? These days they are everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, Nairaland. They confront those saying the truth and are screaming GEJ till 2019 even though a lady in Abuja said on NTA, few minutes after the GEJ-is-doing-it-ad that she will never see someone to marry her because her legs were blown off by the latest explosion.
We can’t tackle insecurity if everyone, including PDP members, GEJites and Jonathanians are not on the president’s neck asking him to address insecurity. As long as there are people around the president applauding him in Kano while school girls in Maiduguri are being kidnapped, we will remain where we are – static and dying – even during the Easter period when we ought to be celebrating life.
Paul Adepoju is on linkedIn