Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The desperation of President Goodluck Jonathan

By on 12:38
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“Don’t pray for the long life of a foolish child, because his foolishness will kill him before he grows old” - Anonymous
President Jonathan with Alaafin of Oyo
I would have loved to title this article “The Desperate President” but I yielded to a more elaborate theme that really encapsulates the recent action of President Goodluck Jonathan. Just less than a year to the presidential election, President Jonathan who has not even woken up to the responsibility of making a declaration has suddenly woken up to the reality of making last minute substitutes that will endear him to the hearts of many ‘ignorant Nigerians’.   

The good thing about President Jonathan is the fact that he believes Nigerians are the most foolish people living on the surface of the earth; and that they are so cheap that they can be bought over by what I call “exigency of the moment”.  The Man from Otuoke village in Ogbia Kingdom, South-South Bayelsa state is also a man who loves to talk with his body than his mouth. But one thing I also like about him is the fact that he is not so good at the game of playing power with decorum. He lacks the mannerism and chemistry of myth building and that is why everything from the PDP, CBN, NNPC and even the Presidency has crumble on his head with a large number of Nigerians claiming that he has failed as a leader.
President Jonatha with Emir of Kano
I was not surprised that 8 days after I raised the issue of 3 ministers namely Stella Oduah of Aviation; Godsday Orubebe of Niger Delta Ministry and Nyesom Wike of Education ministry in my article “Why we need to Sack President Jonathan” which was posted on this blog on February 5, two of the funny ministers were fired; that is Oduah and Orubebe. Oduah who is now famously addressed as “The BMW Queen” was enmeshed in a N255 million naira scam at her duty post, which had to do with buying two exotic automobiles for an exorbitant amount of N255 Million Naira that was far beyond her statutory allocation. The very arrogant and stupid woman did not even show remorse as she kept appearing on pages of news papers commissioning projects and flaunting her stupidity at will without shame; and to the extent of even calling a journalist who dared to ask questions about her infamous scandal during one of her illegal outings “an illiterate”.
The second man, Elder Godsday Orubebe earned my discredit right from the day he engaged in a stupid war of words with veteran boxer and Guinness Book of Record aspirant Bash Ali over some little issues that involved Bash and Orubebe’s ministry. Only God knew what transpired between the two and you need to see the kind of verbal missile Orubebe threw at Bash via Short Message System (I still have some of the publications at home) and since then, Orubebe was written off as someone that can never be held in high esteem. He does not worth the post of a federal minster of a nation; he would have done better as a Local Government chairman, and even some of those lots are more couth and refined than the sacked elder. The big irony today is that Bash Ali has his way and Orubebe is now history. You can google the story and you will be fed more.  The third man of course is Nyesom Wike the cantankerous Supervising Minister of Education and “Minister of Special Duties for Rivers State Affairs”.  This man is a super pimp for egoistic warfare between the first family and some perceived enemies in Rivers State.
However, President Jonathan is known for one very bad thing; sluggishness. He never takes decision when it matters most. The Boko Haram issue is a classical case for study. On many issues, Jonathan has played low rather than play high. Even the current $49.8 billion Scandal in NNPC and several other financial scams in the polity, Mr. Jonathan has always turned a blind eye. He annoys rational minded people with his sleepy action and elephantiasis discretion. He will never take action when the Ovation is loud until when the chips are down and things have gone bad in terms of perception and reality that he finds his will to act. He didn’t sack Oduah when it matter most, he didn’t query Orubebe when the issue was hot but this same man sacked other nine ministers last year for what many still termed as “Political Sin” and mere loyalty to other saner politicians in the polity. So, why sack Oduah now? Why sack Orubebe now? Why sack the rest now? Maybe the other two were to just make the list look real. I can prophesy now that Jonathan might soon throw away a cerebral minister like Malam Bolaji Abdulahi; why do I say so? I will tell you when the deed is done.
President Jonathan with Oba of Lagos

So, why did Jonathan became suddenly upbeat to the extent of sacking Stella Oduah his favorite queen among the powerful four (Patience, Diezani, Okonjo and Stella), why did he do some certain things last week? I think the answer lies in the 2015 Presidential election. Jonathan want to run, and with the hate rate in the polity, the President needs to throw some carrots at the same people he wouldn’t “Give a damn” about when it comes to the issue of declaration of assets (Remember the NTA Presidential chat of 2012); suddenly he had to offload Stella Oduah who happens to be his biggest political liability in recent times. And perhaps Mr. President is very confused and in short of the wisdom to appease Nigerians. In the last few months, I suddenly discovered that Lagos-Abeokuta Express Road which happens to be one of the pot hole filled roads in my part of town started wearing some patch-patch look with most of the deadly holes covered by agents of the Federal Ministry of work. Yes, Onomolemen or what is his name is another minister I think deserves to be changed. This fat and robust man from Edo state is more of a politician than a technocrat; he loves designer wears, good Kaftan attires and robust press coverage. He loves to be seen shining than working. But because Jonathan is desperate to return in 2015, at all cost, Onomolemen has started patching some of the major roads so that people can say ‘at least our cars don’t run into potholes any longer’ and maybe that will swing votes in favor of the Unsure Ogbia local leader turn Nigerian President.
President Jonathan with Oni of Ife
The next move was for President Jonathan to hurriedly pay a “Pajawiri” visit to some emirs and Obas in Yoruba land last weekend. He actually started with the Emir of Yola two weeks ago and last week, he used just a day to visit Emir of Kano, Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo and Oba of Lagos. The good thing about desperation is that it can’t be hidden. Desperate people often showcase their desperation through the act itself. From the looks on the face of Jonathan and the royal fathers he visited as super imposed on the pages of newspapers the next day,  the expression revealed just one thing----2015! The heroic welcome and mass presence arranged by the likes of Jumoke Akinjide the Minister of State, FCT for Jonathan at Ibadan Airport was too partisan in nature. In fact it got to a climax when APC supporters also showed their own political might by double-crossing the PDP crowd at the airport. Some of the royal fathers like the Ooni of Ife and Emir of Kano never really gave Jonathan a long time to talk, for instance the Emir of Kano only advised the President to ensure the total security of the citizen of Nigeria, nothing more. No 2015 talk. For Ooni, it was a closed door affair and no press interview allowed. But Alaafin was different, he not only gave Jonathan a talking drum gift, he equally allowed the Ijaw man to talk and drum his aspiration inside his palace to a crowd of guests and by extension Nigerians. And what Jonathan said as usual mirrored his intention for 2015. His comments and commendation in presence of the Iku-Baba-Yeye was full of political fragrance.  Hear what Thisday Newspaper on Sunday wrote “The President told a crowd of residents at a reception in his honor that he had come to thank the people of the South-West for the support they gave him during the 2011 Presidential election” so, why didn’t Jonathan come and thank these people in 2012 or after the election; why now and why you doing it when it is less than a year to another election, why are you so desperate? Why? Why? And why? But the Alaafin who is probably smarter than Jonathan refrained from ascribing any political meaning to the visit but claimed that President Jonathan had come to appreciate the peace in the state and ‘wanted the monarchs to continue to maintain peace in their domains’, you see the wisdom of political sagacity in action? I hope the drum the Alaafin gave Jonathan is one for positive and not negative vibes (Ilu Ibanuje 2015). The next point of call was Lagos where President Jonathan damned the consequence of nature to visit Oba Osualale Akiolu of Lagos at around 8pm. The president was indeed desperate to meet all these Yoruba Kings at their own displeasure and ask for their royal blessing for 2015. All these were just within a spate of seventy two hours or there about after Stella Oduah and others were politically sacrificed to assuage emotions across the nation. But I can tell Mr. President that he got it wrong this time around, the biggest miracle that will happen in 2015 is that someone else will seat in Aso Rock.

President Jonathan with Pastor Adeboye
The next day, Sunday 16th, I saw his picture with that of Daddy G.O of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and his wife, Mummy G.O. at the Olive Three branch of the church in Ikoyi during a special service gracing the pages of newspapers. Maybe President Jonathan want to extend an Olive three to his detractors and as usual, Baba Enoch Adejare Adeboye is the best consultant. To show how bad the situation is, our president was still on the same white attire he adorned a day before when he was meeting Ado Bayero, Ooni, Alaafin and Olowo Eko. From the looks on his face, it was just too sure that this man needs something from everybody and this was just a time to play the politics of everybody. Well, he has not started; he has only visited few kings in Yoruba land, he has not even visited the Olowu of Owu, Oba Dosunmu Amororo who gave him an auspicious title of “Obateru” on Friday 6th of October 2006. He has not visited the Alake of Egba land, he has not visited the Awujale of Ijebu, he has not visited the Oba of Benin whom I am sure would lambast him privately; he has not visited the emir of Nupe, he has not visited the Osemawe of Ondo kingdom and many other traditional rulers with political relevance across the country. So, the job never finish o; and to those who are receiving Jonathan quickly at the moment and who thinks they have found an angel, we have this message for you; A LEOPARD WILL NEVER CHANGE ITS SKIN.
And finally, finally; never underestimates these three things (1) A desperate politician’s abilities (2) A desperate politicians’ cunning and (3) A desperate politician’s greed.  Never overestimate them either. Remember, there is no such thing as a cheap politician.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

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