The photograph of President Jonathan on stage is “historic” to all Nigerians depending on one’s school of thought. Both friends and enemies of GEJ, APC and PDP all have different view about the message of the picture. No matter your school of thought, I’m very optimistic that this picture is not one of the good pictures President Jonathan will love to see in his album.
If it were in the analogue age, the photographer of any news media that snapped the picture must be a guest of our security agencies. The picture went viral on April 15th 2014 after PDP rally in Kano to welcome Malam Shakarau that was displaced in APC by Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso.
Terrorism can be scary or terrifying. It is not the wish of any President or Governor to encounter it no matter how equipped or fortified your security/defence is. Let us recall that President George Bush was flown into Air force base in Louisiana from Sarasota Florida when the World Trade Centre was struck due to concern that he would be targeted by terrorists. Take note also that George Bush first National security meeting was through electronic means at Strategic Air command in Nebraska before returning to the white house. This example is a typical demonstration of how every leader trembles at the mention of terrorism. What vindicates or vilify leaders are your actions and reactions after terror attack. George bush statements after 9/11 restored Americans confidence on him. It was on record that Bush had 24(twenty four) national security meeting between September 11 to October 11. That is leadership redefined!
The kidnap of over 200 school girls of Chibok in Borno state on the 15th of April while Mr President was attending the PDP rally in Kano was not the first of its kind nor the worst done by book-Haram insurgents. School children were once massacred in their dormitories; over 20 pupils were kidnapped in the wake of missing Sanusi 20 billion dollars. Plus other heinous massacre that took place in Yobe, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and Adamawa states respectively.
What subjected President Jonathan to world vilification was cumulative anger triggered by the “unspoken word of I don’t care” depicted by the above photograph. Seeing Mr. president dancing and raising his hands in Kano while the likes of British high commissioner in Nigeria was in National hospital in sober mood donating blood to rescue Nyanya bomb blast victims portrays President GEJ as uncompassionate man desperate for power and a leader who places less value to the lives of his citizens. Unfortunately the Chibok girls were kidnapped same day Mr. President was displaying his olingo masterpiece. This dance now resurrects the cumulative anger and unholy silences in the land leading to the popular believe that Mr President is clueless. That does not mean that government has done well in terms of handling security challenges ab initio
All the reasons cited by Labaran Maku to defend the Kano dance was more of fuelling the burning bush. Maku said,” the Terrorist aim is to stop governance and the dance/rally in Kano was to prove them wrong”. Some thinkers like Maku bought into that disgusting statement but I’m sure that no national election is fast approaching and therefore, the rally can be postponed for another day. Moreover, when does rally become part of governance? Rally is weapon of political parties not weapon of governance. Any action labelled governance must be for the interest and benefit of the nation not political party. Furthermore, how does GEJ glorifies and celebrate frustrated enemy in the event of national calamity? Is he joining GEJ because he likes him or is he joining out of frustration? What brought Shakarau to Jonathan? If not for APC leadership tussle between him and Kwankwaso, will he not be one of the leaders of the opposition in Nigeria today? No matter your political affiliation, Shakarau is never a plus to GEJ and people of Kano can has proved it in the just concluded LGA election. Some shallow readers will argue that LGA election is not a measure of one’s political strength but I will refer them to Edo and Anambra State LGA election where (LP) Ifeanyi Uba and (PDP) Tony Anenih proved their political worth in their local governments. I expected Shakarau to do the same in Kano but he couldn’t. Therefore, GEJ and his advisers failed woefully on that Kano rally.
Some has also underrated the consequence of incompetent advisers and lack of political intelligent unit. But success of George Bush can be attributed to his team of professional staff and his humility to listen to every one of them. I do not expect every leader to be an orator nor has exceptional vision like Obama or Clinton. But I will not also spare these GEJ advisers who are the worst I have ever seen in my life. I’m sure not even Satan can tolerate their advice.
Rather than summoning for national security meeting after the Nyanya blast, the advisers confused GEJ and converted it to PDP meeting signalling politicization of national security. Blame game rather than united front was the outcome of the meeting. Reno Omokri(PA new media to GEJ) added more fuel to the fire by telling public lie that APC governors boycotted a security meeting which they conspired to convert to party meeting. This is a very shameful act in the light of sorrow and grief in the land.
What broke the camel’s back was the misinformation, lies and attempt to blackmail or sabotage, the struggle to rescue the abducted Chibok girls by the presidential advisers. The misrepresentation of the #BringBackOurGirls clamour as people opposing the government was the first evil plot of this group of advisers. We all laughed at the “open assassination of grammar” by the first lady but the bitter truth we must accept was that she strongly believe that there was no kidnapping and there was grand conspiracy against her husband (this might not be totally wrong assumption though) but condemning the apolitical citizens that felt sympathy for the victims of this kidnap is condemnable.
Godwin Okeke is on linkedIn