August 30th, 2012
by Dr Mustapha Johnson
NewsRescue– Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan has come under some of the most public criticism in recent history for any sitting president. Indeed, even compared to president Bush of the United States, known for some of the most stupid jokes and remarks, and policies and decisions in clear violation of all humanitarian and constitutional laws, the Nigerian president has been exceedingly ridiculed.
But perhaps Nigerians have been unfair to their leader. Is Jonathan so bad?
Recently the presidents spokesman, Rueben Abati made a poor attempt at revising his boss’ image. In an article he released to the media, this Dr and known writer approached the defense of the president by first reigning insults on intellectual Nigerians. His article was thrashed to pieces and a more distinguished rebuttal clearly put the last nails in the coffin of the presidents media publicity mans outburst.
But that is the very point that brings up the need for a re-evaluation of Nigeria’s president.
Rueben Abati is or rather has been a known eminent journalist, scholar and Nigerian writer. He has been an excellent contributor to national discourse in the past. But all of a sudden, we see him as a ‘useless challenged attack dog’.
Unless Nigerians suffer from a national borderline personality disorder, whereby they paint everything as either good or bad, black or white, it is impossible for such an eminent writer to suddenly become a hopeless publicity stunts-man.
The truth is, Rueben is a typical Nigerian. And so is the president. No Nigerian is better than Jonathan and no Nigerian is better than Rueben. Are we not the people who went to the polls for Jonathan who we can’t say we didn’t already know?
Everyone has a say, everyone claims to be holier than thou. Every Nigerian is simply another Rueben Abati, professing all holiness and wisdom, until they are given office as was Tai Solarin, and their claim to perfection falls to tiny little fragments, as their Nigerianism comes to light.
An intellect based re-evaluation of Nigeria’s president, steering the ship in by far the most troubling times, facing local and international pressure, shows more reasons for credit than criticism. We must ask ourselves,- if we were in his shoes, what will we do? To whose side will we pander?
Every one all of a sudden has an idea, everyone has a solution, but no one has solved the leaking faucet in their very home.
Every one complains that the president does not address the power situation, but yet everyone buys a generator, which ultimately finances the campaigns of the saboteurs, who will ensure that to sell their generators, and quadruple usage and hence profits from their ‘oil baron’ fuel sale, there is never stable electricity. How about Nigerian masses being proactive and refusing to buy electric generators in a strike action? How about Nigerian masses, deciding not to contribute to global warming and climate change by using these highly toxic carbon fossil fuel equipment?
Every day Nigerians give bribe to police men when they are stopped, no Nigerian says, “no I will not give you a penny”, but they do not know that the bribe they give to each police officer, triggers a reaction that ultimately promotes bribe at all levels.
Nigerians in all works of life give and collect bribe in their capacity, they do not execute their duties at their level of operation, always looking for an easy way out, but if or when they suspect Mr President of doing so, then pen’s go to paper, and fingers to key boards, and all sorts of epistles are written and published by the junk media. Yes, that is another part of the problem. The media and especially the availability of so much internet publishing opportunity has promoted so much junk writing and dissemination. Written corruption.
Nigeria is right now in a major crises the Boko Haram terrorist group in the North have been a challenge of grave proportion by all standards. Nigeria’s media have only made the problem worse by giving undue attention to these criminal terrorists, giving them media attention that any western media will never accord such nuisances. In doing so, the media have sponsored Boko Haram, who live off of the publicity they get.
Authors have written all demands and spewed trash about the impacts and effects of Boko Haram, claiming Boko Haram is a reason the nation must divide. This utter hogwash has only helped in emboldening Boko Haram, whose desire is the very divide so they can capture and rule with their extremism some piece of Africa.
Northern extremists like Ibrahim Datti have always begged and/or threatened for Nigeria to disintegrate. So also have Biafra zionists in the south.
Nigeria’s presidents’ ears have been filled with these rants and cries, he could have gotten confused and disoriented by all this garbage on and offline, but not so.
Goodluck Jonathan has remained super-humanly calm. He has not been disturbed by Boko Haram, by Northern secessionist extremists or Biafra fanatics. Sometimes it seems that these unpatriotic Nigerians utter their rants in a desperate bid to dishevle the president and make him falter and fumble. And this is why one of the greatest virtues Goodluck Jonathan as is what is termed his complacency, the president of Africa’s largest nation is cool to a fault.
Goodluck did not fold to western wishes either and refrained from inviting them to take over sovereign Nigeria’s security system.
Rather he steadily dealt with the complex terrorist threat at all levels, never going extreme as a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo would surely have, the tragic tales of his massacre of Odi people of Bayelsa and the Zaki Biam massacre to mention some of his atrocities stands as records to compare.
Goodluck Jonathan revised and again revised his security apparatus, he watched the politics and religion, and with sensible calculations and reasonable measures, he instituted the right measure of placation, diplomacy and military might to frustrate the efforts of Boko Haram. Gradually turning a menace that would easily have fueled sectarian strife and riots unseen in Africa’s turbulent history, into unpopular rejects on the run.
A true Abraham Lincolnian style leader, who has only just been about 2 years in office, President Jonathan made a promise that by the year 2013, his detractors will be silent. I have actually placed some bets on that. May God give him guidance.
There are things we may legitimately be pissed at the president for doing, from the sudden fuel subsidy removal, to the accumulation of a national debt. But despite these we will only seem reasonable if we commend him for the great things he has done, including answering our many calls to combat and disgrace oil looters, his measured, calculated handling of the Boko Haram terror threat and his humble, mature response to criticism. Compare Obasanjo, who might have by now sent the army to burn down all the media houses that incessantly publish media junk.
Jonathan is as best as we are and as collected as we should all pray to someday be.