A nation of sheep will soon have a government of wolves-Edward Murrow
I am flummoxed. President Goodluck Jonathan has declared to ‘run’ and some Nigerians are chuntering. The declaration has been foretold four years ago. My perplexity is the reaction by some of us. Loudest is the opposition APC.
This is, however, understandable. Any ‘Opposition’ worth its name should necessarily ‘oppose’. The APC has not, to my mind, disappointed in this regard. But it has tugged at my heart in failing to roadmap a new course. What is its underlying philosophy for instance? From where I am seated, I just see it as ‘urban guerrilla fighter’. It just attacks the President and go to sleep. Unless APC changes strategy fast and soon, it faces the grim prospects of losing sympathy among the tribe of the discernible.
APC is whining on the grounds that the declaration came at a time some 36 young Nigerians were wasted in the early hours of Monday morning. All of the gruesomely murdered innocent lads via a bomb were students of Government Science Secondary School in Potiskum Yobe state. As I pen this, a suicide bomber has killed herself in federal college of education Kontagora. She wasted herself and an unlucky student
In the reasoning of APC (JNI shares this too,) the declaration was ‘insensitive’ and ‘callous’ coming just a day after the mass murder of those young souls. The carnival called presidential declaration was, indeed, callous. Reacting to the declaration, the Secretary of Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), Dr Khaleed Aliyu described the declaration as ‘unacceptable’. Its grounds for its grouse? The latest carnage in Yobe.
Monday’s pogrom was not the first in the beleaguered northeast and Yobe state in particular. The cycle of violent orgy has reigned endlessly for years. Before Monday grisly, and I dare say, cowardly attack, schools in the state have been routinely attacked and students cold bloodedly murdered. This list is shockingly long. Between July 2013 and last Monday nearly 200 students have been murdered by insurgents in Yobe schools. Gujba College of Agriculture, Federal Government College Buni Yadi and Government Secondary School Mamuda all bear scars of the fury of Boko Haram.
Evidently, our president is ‘criticism resistant’. He is particularly resistant to criticisms from the opposition. He is impervious to such reproach all right. I am inclined to believe that Jonathan thinks of some elements in the opposition as mere barking dogs. They can’t bite. At the sight of a bone, he must have reasoned, these elements would sooner switch camps with the ease Boko Haram strikes and takes territories.
Tragically ‘amala’ politics has assumed front row status in this regime and those before its dawn. Everyone is for sale. Most Nigerian elite are for sale. Principled politicking has long exited from our national political space. Few including some of grandmasters grandstanding in the opposition can’t be bought with as little as free medical check-up abroad.
Swashbucklers who feed fat on the current chaos have skilfully managed to quarantined the president and subject him to a steady diet of fantastic truths. Among such is that those who genuinely criticize his underperforming regime do so out of envy. The carefully constructed falsehood is woven, invariably, around his minority status and shoeless narrative.
Any well-grounded leader mindful of his history would instantly dismiss such court jesters and see them for what they, truly, are. He would recall instances in the recent past how they misled others before him. Our recent history is replete with such characters. I remember YEAA proponent a certain Daniel Kanu who misled late Abacha with a two million-manmatch. Before him, was a Dr Keith Atkins of the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) who chiefly tried to persuade Babangida to stay put in power.
Heavily sedated with these manufactured lies, our President, I strongly suspect, now sees himself in the mould of such world leaders as Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela etal.
It takes very little for Jonathan to climb up the podium and be among such leaders. All it takes is for him to be the President of Nigeria and lead not from behind skirts and cassocks. His shoeless narrative is inspiring. Ordinarily, it would have roused a sleeping giant like our country to greatness. The narrative exploded all the myths surrounding accessing federal power by all Nigerians irrespective of labels. With an arsenal like this, Jonathan would have been unstoppable. Leaders attend greatness in moments of crisis like the one we are presently contending with. But where is our Commander-in-chief? He is busy buck passing.
Jonathan’s ascendency to the nation’s plum in 2010 is beyond the designs of any mortal. Seizing this once in a life time opportunity to make a difference would have placed him among the leaders of the world, past and present, his brand of YEAA and ABN so covet. But with court jesters goading him with such divisive advertising slogans as ‘those who are with you are more than those who are against you’, he has become a prisoner of his own cabal playing him like a puppet.
With a mindset like this, compatriots not ‘transformed’ by the agenda that flay the regime are labelled as ‘enemies’ of the state. And the state is Jonathan. Criticisms of the serial failure of the government to launch an offensive to check marauding terrorists for example, are dismissed as the ranting of envious political adversaries. God help the citizen foolhardy enough to pinpoint specific deficit in the management of state affairs.
By now the informed know that our President doesn’t truly give a damn. That is why he would serially lie and tell us to our faces to go jump into the lagoon. There is a surfeit of attack lions to make sure we remain at the bottom. The President is chiefly fascinated by power for the sake of it. Juxtapose his hysterical response to Tambuwal’s defection with the deafening silence to the fall of Mubi to Boko Haram; you would then understand how much of the cocktail of sedatives he has been fed with.
Tragic for a leader hoping to be among the Ghandis and Mandelas of the world.