NIGERIA @ 53 AND PRESIDENTIAL MEDIA CHAT: THE MATTERS ARISING
Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not tell truth, whether about the president or anyone else - Theodore Roosevelt
A million positive reports on this country by all traditional media in this country cannot wash away the soiled image we already have in the committee of nations; neither can a billion Reuben Abati sell the bad product of the Presidency to Nigerians. For those who like to remind me that I should remember the bible when writing, and rather be praying for our leaders and the country in general; let me make an open confession today as we mark our independence day. President Goodluck Jonathan is old enough to father me, so whenever I write, let it be known that it is not I that write to him, but over 60 million Nigerians, some of them old enough to father the President. As a matter of fact, we in the categories of youths (15-45) writing, are applying the bible warning to parents not to provoke their children. This country and her leaders have provoked us and this is the way we react as 'kids', pending when we will be bold enough like the Arabs, to carry out a revolution, whether peaceful or violent, but no bloodshed. We are the real patriots and like Edward Abbey opined, “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government”
So Nigeria is 53 years! What an old man, who in the reality of life should be close to her grave by now. And to crown it all, two days before this old man will celebrate his 'birth', her father appeared on Television to answer questions from her puppet children. Wow! Such a caring way to celebrate an anniversary; but let's all analyze how far our father did during the programmed interview, as well as the Nations ride so far in her 53 years of existence.
For all I know, that was not a Presidential media chat, rather a Goodluck Ebele Jonathan chat. The chat was not presidential enough, not after all what I listened to, the jokes that the panelist turned such a serious session to. Secondly, I believe the questions were already shown to Jonathan before hand and as a matter of fact, the panelists were chosen to do the dirty man work of just asking questions which were pre-arranged. I wouldn't blame them sha; was it not NTA, a trumpet of the Federal Government? Such chat should have been taken to Channels TV and let the sunrise daily guys mesmerized him, or allow Gbenga Aruleba to interview him, not these bunch of PR media men that were there, except for the lady who did 30% fair work.
I simply refused to send in any questions via twitter knowing full well that it won't be read to Mr. President. As matter of truth, no questions from the public was asked GEJ.
When I wrote that I doubted President Jonathan's doctoral degree, his loyalists bombarded me with sms and mails that I should not have written such, but today, we have been justified. ASUU strike will continue for all he cares and the reason is not farfetched; those who signed the agreement in 2009 did a mistake. My God! Where was GEJ in 2009 when the agreement was signed? Was he not in the FEC meeting that deliberated on the strike issue or are they dumb that they did not read the terms of agreement before signing it? Now we know that they sign away our billions to foreign contractors without reading the agreement. Do we need a soothsayer to tell us that those we have at the FEC meeting have no brain to drive this nation forward? That a former lecturer can boldly tell the nation that strike is a normal thing and that ASUU strike has been politicized and hence it will continue is a slap on the face of the educational sector. Can GEJ name the politicians among the ASUU members or those politicians engineering them? Our happy Independence anniversary gift to the students is to stay at home for 3 more months. To you students, happy stay at home independence day!
At 53 years, Nigeria is not broke, says GEJ. Lovely and beautiful that my dear country is so rich. I'm lost on whom to believe; the alpha and omega coordinating minister of economy and finance minister or GEJ who does not truly know how much we have? I will rather go with GEJ and if Nigeria is so buoyant that GEJ could ring the New York stock exchange (NYSE) bell, then let the government meet the demand of ASUU and ASUP by agreeing to their terms. That way, we can be convinced that we are not broke; and let us not hear that workers are been owed salary again. Come to think of it; is GEJ sick that when Okonjo Iweala made the pronouncement; his Information minister could not counter it? Guys, forget it. We are broke!
I didn't even know that ringing the NYSE bell is an achievement. While his country is burning with Boko Haram winning the war, our President is going about boasting on how he rang a mere bell. We are finished if ringing a bell and a mere statement of stable economy from President Obama is celebrated as an achievement. And may I ask, as buoyant as South Africa economy, have they rang that silly bell? Certainly, as we celebrate Nigeria @ 53, it will be one of the transformation agenda on the list of his achievements.
One Charisma of a President is saying the right thing at the right time. But I'm honestly sorry to say that GEJ lack this quality; and pitiably enough, he doesn't want to learn. How could he declare during the pre-arranged media chat that Borno State is safe for the celebration of Independence Day? I certainly don't blame him; because these attacks which have claimed thousands of lives is not taking place in Bayelsa or the Niger Delta region; then he would have known that the souls been killed daily are not the cattle that the North rear. Let a one tenth of what is befalling Borno happen to Delta and GEJ will know that blood is thicker than water. Only 60 days ultimatum given by Kelvin Oniarah and soldiers were deployed to close Kokori. Mr. President, if Borno is safe to celebrate the Independence, why didn't you celebrate it there or is there a law that says national celebration must take place only at Federal Capital Territory?
Imagine him saying that politicians are the ones buying AK47 and hilux jeeps to Boko Haram. Lets not be deceived; this president know those behind these terrorist. He has declared it several times and the earlier we demand that he produced those that he knows sponsoring them, the best for us all. We have a heartless President, who could declare that there were Boko Haram members among the APO 8 that his soldiers killed, when he should be apologizing to the parents of the deceased. The Senator he mentioned as sponsoring the sect is Ndume Ndume, yet he's one of the best Senators of GEJ.
This fisherman from Otuoke proudly says that the sect cannot attack Abuja again; that is to say they can attack other places in the country. For me, I love my life and family and will be moving them to Abuja whenever they come into the country. If you love yourself, GEJ has simply told you that he can only guarantee safety in Abuja, not your states. Shikena! This we ask, can he give us an Independence Day gift by calling the names of the sponsors of Boko Haram and MEND?
President Jonathan does not know if the dreaded Shekau is dead. Let's believe him for the Islam religion teaches that we must not declare falsehood to score a point. I honestly believe him; folks lets not call for his head. The security agencies were not even sure. Didn't America make mistake by declaring that Osama bin Laden was dead when he was still alive and kicking? Such errors happen. Mr President, we forgive you but warn your security agents to stop giving us false hope.
Was President Jonathan cursed from the womb to lie? Whenever he opens his mouth to talk on issues heating the polity, falsehood like springs of flowing water rushes out. What utter rubbish and lie is it that it is an electoral offence to declare political intentions before the election time. Smart liar! He probably learnt lying the wrong way, as he contradicted himself that his statement on whether he will contest or not will distabilse the country. Oh no GEJ. Hear this truth; should you declare that you will not contest, Nigeria will leave you peacefully to complete your woeful tenure, but should you declare your intention to contest; that is when the nation will not only destabilize but make the country ungovernable for you, from the media and political opposition angle. Who wants a failure twice?
The way he kept mentioning that governance is like a football team makes me believe that with his type of coach, a football pitch of which Nigeria happens to be to him is in peril. What manner of coach leaves the worst player like Adoke, Alison Madueke and Onyebuchi Chukwu in his team? Let's get another fact right that sacking the defence minister is no big deal, since the main work are done by the service chiefs.
President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan; can you please stop wasting our money in paying salary to a non functional defence minister? As a matter of fact, don't appoint one again, please, after all your ministers are already too much. That a President could justify his ministers having special advisers, and the S.A having aides, and the aides having P.A and the P.A's having S.A's…confirms Sanusi statement that Nigeria money is spent on political appointees and elected officials. What arrant nonsense that people who were not elected by us squander our money paying aides to do what we pay them to do. When the revolution comes, let these S.A's be aware that they will dance the music as well.
53 years of independence does not call for anything worth celebrating but a time for remorse and sober reflection and if anyone thinks otherwise, do send your family or loved ones to the North to witness what they feel. If you truly think 53 years of Independence is worth jubilating over, pray for your loved ones who are security men to be deployed to the Boko Haram zones or volatile borders in the country. If truly you see anything worth rejoicing that a man who is 53 years cannot feed her population and provide employment for them, take a visit to Uselu Psychiatrist Hospital, and then you will know that the psychological frustration of this country put most of them there. And should you think Nigerian @ 53 is really worth wearing the green white green for, then remember that the Stowaway boy, Ricky Daniel attempted to leave the country because Nigeria couldn't give him the dividends of democracy.
And if anyone attempt to say that the problems of Nigeria did not begin with President Goodluck Jonathan, they should also know that Nkrumah presided over Ghana, but Jerry Rawlings made Ghana great, Washington ruled USA, but Abraham Lincoln set the path for her greatness today. There is no crime in making history by putting your nation on the path of greatness. This is no big deal to do; the wealth is there, the mineral and human resources are available, but the greed for earthly ephemeral possessions surpasses them all in the heart of Nigeria leaders. But in all of these do I know that there cometh a leader who will make Nigeria great.
I may not be the best there is in the country neither the patriot that you want me to be; but the greatest patriotism is to tell your country when it is behaving foolishly, corruptly, dishonorably and viciously. From the depth of my heart which is sorrowful, that a nation @ 53 is still crawling; I wish President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan and all Nigerians a happy and fruitful happy Independence Day anniversary celebration.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on [email protected] and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Engage him on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page- secretsreporters