By Usama Dandare
Imagine those times when words actually fails you, and you shake your head several times to know if you are dreaming or still awake, you shake again to ascertain your former disappointment, yet, you was disappointed. Then you wonder, how comes this is happening? How did humans get to this level, when we put material stuffs above reality. Absolutely this has nothing to do with politics, but rather a society that decides to honor a man who ruined the future of the most promising black country on earth and plundered its goodwill, a man who spent six years in office destroying every institution possible to please his selfish interest, a man who funded violence and encouraged ethno-religious division when it served his purpose, a man who defended corruption with all his might and rewards corrupt practices. Suddenly he is being hailed as a courageous person and a hero today. This is not just a national shame, but a shame on humanity.
Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria – the “ineffectual buffoon” (apologies to the Economist Magazine) – has since loosing election embarked on a dubious mission to steal legacy and rewrite history, he’s seen roaming from one end of the world to another gawking for honours simply for the simple act of conceding an election he clearly lost and possibly for rubbishing the hard earned patrimony of his fatherland.
Still fresh in our memories is Jonathan politics of rascalities; his many failed promises; how he soaked the hands of the military in the murky waters of dirty politics; how he deliberately punished some sections of the country but pretended to be their best friend; how he tore the entire country into two religious camps; his reign of corruption, terror, impunity and nepotism.
Goodluck Jonathan, the erstwhile president of Nigeria was around this time last year juggling up for what was widely regarded as Nigeria’s most tense election ever where he opted for a do-or-die way back to power, having squandered away the unprecedented goodwill on whose crest he comfortably rode to victory in the 2011 general elections.
Having forecasted an imminent defeat, he resorted to buying support and cheap endorsements from traditional rulers, women groups, youth associations, opinion leaders, political leaders, elder statesmen, security forces, religious groups, militias, musicians, media and even street thugs. And at same time bullying and intimidating the opposition, their associates, activists, opposition sympathizers and supporters, and even electoral officials; in a move clearly showing how unpopular he had became after wasting six years in power. But despite deploying all the resources possible and going extra-miles to rig himself back to power, Jonathan was monumentally rejected and became the first incumbent president to lose a presidential elections in Nigeria. And to launder his self-tarnished image, Jonathan immediately placed a dubious phone call congratulating the opposition candidate and now incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari and at same time conceding defeat. An action albeit commendable but enormously deceitful.
Weeks after leaving office, the true picture of Jonathan’s irresponsible stewardship began coming to the fore with daily revelations of mind-boggling litany of abnormalities under his sheer recklessness. Not only did Jonathan presided over a practically non-existing government, but a government characterized by unending corruption and impunity; a regime where plundering of the commonwealth and contempt for the rule of law was officially legalized, and a regime where criminals are meritoriously celebrated with honours and state pardon. No money was spared, even repatriated funds looted by previous presidents got looted again on the orders of Jonathan. While Jonathan was busy sharing to his cronies and political associates the money budgeted for arms purchase for the military to fight Boko Haram, a disastrous war raged in the north-east resulting to the lost of thousands if not millions of innocents souls and also thousands of ill-equipped soldiers while millions turned refugees in their own country.
But despite all these mass destructions and monumental mismanagement under his regime of recklessness. Instead of sliding back to Otuoke and reflect on the national shame and international disgrace he brought to his fatherland, Jonathan has sought to continue insulting our collective psyche and further upgrading his sheer cluelessness by masquerading round the world parading himself as a man worthy of honour.
Every now and then, we are regaled with photos of him receiving awards from some unaccredited and amorphic groups simply for conceding defeat in an election he clearly lost. Perhaps enclaved in an euphoric elucidation, Jonathan is deluded into believing that his forced concession was truly worthy of a Nobel Peace prize, and even going further to claim greatness and heroism as deceived by many of his brainless worshipers.
I wait to see how a Nobel Laureate will emerge in a man who publicly bribed traditional rulers and ethnic militias to win elections, a man who only decided to fight Boko Haram after forecasting an imminent election defeat and an irresponsible impostor who wholeheartedly refused to be responsible for a country when given the chance to do so but now he wants to take-on world responsibility when he cannot. A Nobel who believe and still insist stealing is not corruption. A Nobel laureate indeed!
It beats my imagination to see Jonathan going round the world telling people how he intends to make the world a better place after woefully failing to secure his country as a president, he’s shamelessly trying to portray himself as someone capable of transforming the world when all human developmental indexes monumentally decreased under his Transformation Agenda despite the huge financial revenue gained during his reign, courtesy of booming oil prices at that time. How on earth will Jonathan suggest he wants to work for peace after hobnobbing with ethnic militia and condemned criminals while in power and looked away when his supporters rained all sorts of terror and violent attacks against the opposition? He now wants to work for world prosperity after squandering all his country’s wealth and reducing the nation to rubbish.
That Jonathan has resorted to dance this shameless dance while the country is still in premature rejuvenation from his reckless and corrupt leadership is clearly substantiating the fact that he is nugatory, harebrained, illogical, absurd and vagrant. Rather than tendering an unreserved apology asking Nigerians to forgive him for bastardizing their country and their only symbol of pride, Jonathan has chosen to live in self-denial and continue to deceive himself by thinking he was a great leader who left behind real legacies after fully knowing he left non. Conceding defeat in an election he glaringly lost does not in anyway bestow greatness nor deserves honour, neither does it makes him a hero in anybody’s book.
Fearful of the inevitable retributions of his pro-capitalist and viciously anti-masses government, Jonathan and his handlers hope to use these arrangée awards to rehabilitate his battered image in the eyes of the world. At a time when President Buhari is being praise vociferously in the global arena for his gargantuan efforts in righting the wrongs done by previous administrations and a time when the west is commendably helping in repatriating billions of Dollars stolen under Jonathan’s merciless and anti-democratic stewardship, some frivolous and unaccredited groups in the west are making Jonathan look foolish with unrighteous and dubious awards.
Nonetheless, awarding these kinda indecorous awards will not only portray the awarders as fraudulent but will go a long way to solidify the beliefs that those awarding these awards are mostly undemocrats who are running some deceptive vissionless groups to award their own pockets also. Otherwise, how could a genuine pro-democratic group honour a leader who believes and still insists stealing directly from taxpayers’ wealth is not corruption? An accidental leader under whose leadership corruption and impunity got authoritatively legalized, a leader whose litany of mismanagements nearly shutdown a whole country after spending five years in hibernation mode. Indeed, honours are not to be given, they are to be earned. And now that all the “awards” that can be bought have been bought and presented at some depressing locations in America and Europe. What is next?
As Nigeria persist to heal from the blatant rape on its treasury and outrageous pen robbery supervised by the shoeless Jonathan, his true legacies in office continues to unfold: they are legacies of gross irresponsibility, inhumanity, monumental corruption, sheer arrogance, impunity, absurdity, ethnic-religious division, destruction, incompetence, desecration of sacred values, wickedness, sheer devilishness and above all legacies of blatant lies. While his self-apportioned legacies will only exist in his deluded elucidation, that of his brainless worshipers and those international fraudsters paid to honour him.
Instead of mocking himself and Nigerians across the world begging for cheap recognition, Jonathan should spare us from this shameless dance of his by sliding back to Otueke and allow us to overcome the misfortunes he and his cohorts brought to our dear nation, only if he knows anything called shame but if he has no shame, we (Nigerians) are ashamed on his behalf. I am ashamed to have had a clueless and unfit leader like him! #Neveragain
Usama Dandare, a social commentator write from Sokoto. Contact him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @osadaby