Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Goodluck Jonathan: The Porous Leader


By on 23:02
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Mr. Goodluck Jonathan.... A diminished Leader?
There Comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, no popular but because conscience tells him it is right -Martin Luther King Jnr.

If you care to do a check on the word “Porous”, other sibling words that will crop up are words like absorbent, leaky, spongy, springy, malleable, supple, bendy and pliable. But among these 8 other meanings of “Porous”, I find these three very interesting—“Spongy”, “Leaky” and “Bendy”.  These three words fittingly define and describe the personality of Nigeria’s leader, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

Anything that is Spongy (Sponge) must definitely be bendy (Bendable) and anything Spongy and Bendy will surely be leaky.  For a long time I have always told friends and well-wishers that Jonathan Goodluck is not my kind of leader and I don’t think he will ever be. This was part of the reasons why I left a former establishment in October 2012 as the helmsman of  the place won’t ever see what I was seeing during the eve of Goodluck Jonathan’s election in 2011
Of course, Prince Emeka Obasi my former employer is one of Nigeria’s most intelligent media managers but that is where it all ends. Like many other people on this side of town, he will rather regale in the euphoria of a man’s “bigmanism” rather than the content of his character. For a long time, myself and my ex boss used to argue over the personality of former President, Chief Aremu Mathew Okikiolakan Obasanjo (OBJ); while my former Oga is widely known as an IBB boy in town, I have had several sweaty arguments with him over my pleasure with the person and personality of General Olusegun Obasanjo and many of my close friends in town will attest   to it, that with me, OBJ can never be wrong. He is the best and clear leader of all times. Maybe because I studied history and many of them studied English and garbage literature.
Malala ...the Little Girl from the East who bought 'Common Sense for Mr. Goodluck Jonathan
Sometime in the middle of 2011 after the return of Goodluck Jonathan as the President of Nigeria, the Boko Haram skirmishes was so hot in Borno state, North Eastern Nigeria  at the time and it has not really gotten out of hand like we have it today across the nation. On a certain Monday morning during our editorial meeting, I remember asking my boss at the now defunct Business Hallmark Newspaper “Sir, the President seems not to be perturbed over the killings in Borno state and his body language seems to be saying Borno is not part of Nigeria” and here was his (publisher’s) response “What do you want him to do?”. His answer punctured my soul and at the same time hurt me like a bad blow. But of course he was my boss or else it would have been a different matter if the person at the other side of the table was a younger brother. My reaction could have almost resulted in giving such a person a slap on his face. Of course I felt like doing exactly that on that Monday morning because I could see the sentiment behind his response which is beyond the casual drop of word of mouth.  How could you say “what do I want a man who claims to be the president and commander-in-chief of a country to do to arrest a debilitating situation that is claiming the lives of the very people he swore to govern and protect?”
General Muhammad Buhari ....the Real Leader that is waiting to happen on Nigeria
  Before that morning and few months to Jonathan’s election, my boss did what I could call an in-house random sampling of opinion. He summoned all the editorial staff to his office and handed us a sum of N500 naira each. We were to use the money to buy telephone credit and recharge our phones. “Send text to ten of your friends; ask them ‘if elections were held today, who would you vote for. A. Jonathan/Sambo, B. Buhari/Bakare, C. Ribadu/Adeola.’ We all rushed out to carry out the emergency “project”. While other colleagues brought back an overwhelming deluge of replies in honor of a Jonathan/Sambo candidacy I went for Buhari. For example,  some got Jonathan/Sambo-5, Buhari/Bakare-3 and Ribadu/Adeola-2, others got the ratio of 7-2-1 in favor of Jonathan, Buhari and Ribadu; some got 6-2-2 for Jonathan, Buhari and Ribadu and some got what?; an entire ratio 10 for Jonathan/Sambo candidacy alone. Those who did that got fantastic commendations from Prince Emeka Obasi. For me, unfortunately I got the reverse; I got the ratio Buhari/Bakare-7, Jonathan/Sambo-2 and Ribadu/Adeola-1. And I remember vividly how Prince Obasi threw my sheet of paper at me in the presence of my colleagues while charging “Asabe, grow, grow and stop being excited over little things. Be objective etc”. To him, it was his own way of ridiculing me and making others see reasons why I was very immature with my discretion, especially as regards uncommon projects like sampling people’s opinion over a presidential election that he already chose his own candidate. But unknown to my ex-boss the deep will always call unto the deep and birds of the same feather will equally flock together. The kind of people I sent my requests to were people who share same line of thought with me that “a Buhari candidacy is hundred percent far better than a Jonathan candidacy”. So, my result was very objective and I was probably the most objective of his entire staff that turned out a clean result but because my boss had a sentiment for Jonathan and a bias for Buhari, he couldn’t see the proof of my sincerity.
Of course my colleagues were equally objective as they called unto people who think along their line of thoughts and maybe that was why their results smelt Jonathan all through and for real, they pleased The Prince of Business Hallmark.  Weeks before the election, my boss did quite a number of campaigns in honor of Jonathan but what displeased me most about him were the several anti-social editorials he did on the person and personality of General Muhammadu Buhari. It was pure campaign of calumny but the General was man enough not to reply him. By the end of 2012, I threw in my resignation from the organization as my opinion will never tally with theirs. But good enough, I am sure Mr. or Prince Emeka Obasi is now regretting his action for campaigning so loud for an empty barrel who cannot take straight decision in a very straight manner without bending to egoistic whims and caprices. I am sure the prince has soon realized that he, not me, was excited over little things because Jonathan will never amount to anything big in the mind of country men two decades from now but General Buhari will continue to do.
Prince Emeka Obasi.....Love making cases for the bourgeoise and Once Upon a time No 1 Fan of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan
Why am I revealing all these in the first place? It is simply because of the very embarrassing episode that played out in our national space on Tuesday July 15 when the Pakistani born girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai visited Aso Rock and “instructed” Goodluck Jonathan to have a meeting with Parents of the missing Chibok  (Borno) School girls almost three months after the incident. It is the greatest act of indiscretion that the President of Africa’s populous nation couldn’t think in a whole three months that it was necessary for him or any high ranking member of his government to meet with and assuage the emotions of a group of very disturbed Nigerians whose children, I repeat, Children (Not Goats) were taken into custody by a most brutal sect like Boko Haram.  I am sure Mr. Jonathan didn’t know that a recent visit by Pakistani Prime Minister, Mian Nawaz Sharif, was a diplomatic trap for him to unveil his inanity.  The Pakistani authorities surely know who they are dealing with and might have felt so sorry for Nigeria and Nigerians for having such a vain individual as their leader.
Let me be honest with you, Jonathan shocks me. He annoys me. He disturbs me. His thinking queries my sensibilities—what does he think the brief of a president is? To hide away from people who are emotionally disturbed? To play pranks with the emotion of people’s children?, to go and dance at a rally when a bomb blast goes off and kill a high number of people? To play hide and seek from a place where news has it that some Nigerians are going through hard moments (Ala Chibok visit), to make merry and always travel to both the smallest of all places including The Gambia where he was nearly poisoned the other day? The man loves to fly aero plane and shake hands with leaders who are far better than him. Our taxes earn him his fun.
Jonathan has taken Nigerians for a ride and unfortunately we have allowed him ride us too far. Who is this guy? What does he stands for?. On a national television station during a presidential chat two years back you told us that “You don’t GIVE A DAMN about declaring your assets to us?”, meaning that “We don’t deserve to question you or know about you or what?. I am sorry, this President has taken us for a ride and it is a ride to perdition.
Malala Yousafzai’s petition for global intervention for the release of the over two hundred Chibok School Girls from the grip of Boko Haram insurgents is a wake up call to the reality of a people who have lost credibility in the eyes of leaders elected to protect them.  If Goodluck Jonathan could not be disturbed over a matter like looking for and securing the release of children, then I wonder what he has to offer adults.
The G.D.A.....Mr. Goodluck Jonathan amuses
me on simple issues of discretion.
The other day during the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma for his second tenure, I watched how a shameless Jonathan and his wife, Patience walked majestically into the South African stadia feeling good despite the burning issue of missing children back home. But unfortunately for him, he was in a country where importance is attached to sanctity of life and protection of children. The master of ceremony quickly echoed the slogan “Bring—back-our-Girls” and I could see Goodluck’s ego deflated in a jiffy. But like the man he is; a man who never GIVE A DAMN, few days later, it was Father’s day celebration, and the clueless President put a picture of himself and his children on instagram, forgetting that some human beings like himself were still in shock over their own missing children tucked inside a mosquito infested Sambisa forest.

I can hear a lot of people surrounding him, like my former boss whispering “What do you want him to do”? Good question. If he doesn’t know what to do I think Nigerians should know what to do with him; in 2015 let’s vote him out.  

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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