Jonathan's Political Capital
By Ola' Idowu
As you read this its 66 days going on to the 67th day that the Chibok girls have been kidnapped and yet there is still no news from the government as to their plans to rescue them or how they intend to go about their release in whatever form.
Rather than the presidency through hired thugs, the FCT Police Commissioner Joseph Mbu, President Jonathan's Special Adviser on Publicity Doyin Okupe disrupting or castigating the #BringBackOurGirls campaign led by the ubiquitous Obiageli Ezekwesili as an opposition led propaganda, this would have been time for Jonathan's supporters, advisers and his party – PDP- to help him build up his political capital by long negotiating with the Boko Haram marauders in order to get the girls back. What we've heard instead is we don't negotiate with terrorists yet the proponents of such renowned clichés the United States just recently negotiated with terrorists in the form of the Taliban in Afghanistan to release a US soldier for five high-value Taliban militants, and are discussing with Iran (a well known state sponsor of terrorism) to help stem the surge of the Sunni led ISIL militants in Iraq.
The truth is when it comes to making difficult decisions there are no permanent friends or foes only permanent interests. A president who wants to raise his political capital can negotiate with terrorists to get our daughters back and then he can go after the terrorists to destroy them. If I were President Jonathan, I would be thanking Obiageli Ezekwesili for constantly bringing the Chibok girls' predicament to my attention rather than listen to scavengers like Doyin Okupe and Labaran Maku, men who can't win their units let alone wards in their respective states but know better than the rest of Nigerians. Men who have never been elected into any political position but have been in politics for ages, and apparently don't know when to seize a good opportunity to build one's political capital like this Chibok case has presented.
We initially didn't want any foreign help when the kidnapping drama started and wanted to pretend nothing serious happened. Our ruling cabal detest foreign help as they don't like scrutiny on Nigeria so that when they travel abroad to enjoy our stolen commonwealth, they can pretend to be 'successful businessmen', thus when people like Ezekwesili protest and try to force attention on important issues which would bring international media to do more stories on how widespread corruption is in Nigeria as the #BringBackOurGirls campaign has done, these 'successful businessmen' become jittery and want the attention to stop by all means. Thus they appeal to our sense of nationalism and self-reliance which these idiots don't have otherwise they wouldn't be looting our commonwealth. Western nations have sent several surveillance aircraft to assist us in finding the Chibok girls. Britain have sent an ASTOR radar aircraft to Ghana, the U.S has three UAV drones operating from Chad with 80 soldiers and technicians, a Global Hawk UAV in Sicily, Italy and Special forces on the ready to deploy, as well as MC-12W manned air-crafts for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) but we are yet to hear anything promising on getting the girls back.
The foreigners sent to help according to reliable sources have been told to work quietly, with little or no media contact which they have complied with than risk being told to leave, as our looters don't want to be exposed in anyway. But may we remind them that these foreigners would report back to their governments after their missions and the whole world would get to know all the malfeasance they find in our country. But rather than the president taking advantage of this Chibok girls' issue to build his political capital by ensuring their safe release through negotiations and then using the help of the foreigners to destroy Boko Haram, he is busy chasing political permutations in Ekiti and Osun states. He reckons that installing two crooks in Ayo Fayose and Iyiola Omisore in the two states respectively would guarantee him votes from the South West in the 2015 elections. Jonathan needs reminding that the people of Ekiti know what they want and no amount of outlaws in Fayose and Musiliu Obanikoro can hijack their will through rigging. I would like to state that if the present Ekiti state Governor Kayode Fayemi or the Labour candidate Opeyemi Bamidele were in the PDP I would gladly vote for them or canvass votes for them but they are not, and it would be silly for anyone to assault the sensibility of the Ekiti people by rigging in the PDP candidate Fayose.
Jonathan needs to be reminded of 'Operation wetie' in 1963 that was the forerunner to the collapse of the first republic and used as an excuse by the Army for the January 1966 Nzeogwu-Ifeajuna bloody coup. If Jonathan wants to bring down this false democracy we have now he can start by rigging in Ekiti and Osun states. It would be rig and face the consequences, the Yorubas have used the courts to claim back the mandates of Fayemi and Aregbesola and it took forever, this time around we would fight to have our rights back. You can't usurp people's rights and then ask them to go to court, when you know what you've done is criminal in the first place. No American diplomat can tell us jargons, you rig and you pay the consequences. Yorubas are warriors and have fought a long list of wars in their history including Kiriji war, Egba wars, Ijebu wars, Ibadan and Ekiti wars. We also fought the civil war and liberated the entire Niger Delta from Kalabari, Bonny, Sapele all the way to Calabar with the 3rd Marine Commando (3MCDO) commanded by Benjamin 'Black Scorpion' Adekunle with close to 25,000 Yoruba Marines under his command. If you want to win an election in 2015 build your political capital by getting the Chibok Girls released safely and campaign on your achievements not by fomenting trouble in the South West, remember Jonathan once called us rascals in Ibadan during a campaign stop in 2011, well I believe we are ready to prove how rascally we are if our rights are usurped.
Instead of Jonathan using the Chibok debacle to build his political capital, his government is quietly using the Israeli security outfit given a communication contract recently to monitor and intercept the communications of fellow Nigerians they perceive as being in opposition or enemies. So be a member of the opposition party or write an article against Jonathan and his cohorts and they only need to get your email address or phone number and intercept your communications. They use what in the trade is called “spear fishing” (or “phishing”) a Cyber War technique where official looking email are sent to specific individuals with an attachment which when opened installs a program that sends files or intercepts communication on the email recipient's PC to the spear fisher's computer thereby turning one's computer device to a zombie. This writer has seen evidence of that with such emails sent to the email address I leave at the end of my articles but I have nothing fear but only the truth to speak.
Jonathan's government has failed to realise that since the army's massive clampdown on Boko Haram's camps across the North-East started in March 2014, food and other basics like fuel and medical supplies have become a problem to the terrorists, while their sponsors who were airlifting supplies to them with helicopters can't do so any more with the arrival of U.S surveillance drones and foreign help, hence why Boko Haram has been attacking farming villages and markets to raid food supplies burning down the villages and killing villagers to hide the fact they were hunting for food. The Chibok girls were kidnapped from a Federal Government College in April after Boko Haram had raided the school store for food and only took the girls as cover up, their main mission was the food in the school which usually in a typical Federal College can have enough in the store to feed up to 1,500 students over a period of at least a month an amount of food enough for about 2,000 Boko Haram terrorists hiding and starving in forests. Would it not have been better for Jonathan to negotiate these girls' release and build his political capital rather than leave them to die of starvation and malnutrition?
This article would be continued next week.
Ola' Idowu a Management Consultant and Researcher writes in from the UK.