NIGERIA: BY LUCK THAN DESIGN, A PATIENCE GOODLUCK STORY
Her name is Patience Goodluck Jonathan; I am particularly sure that fellow Nigerians of all nationalities know who she is.
A brief introduction may however be necessary, importantly she is a Dame...in case you don’t know, and a Dame is originally the official title of a female member of the Order of the British Empire, equivalent to that of a knight. I am not so sure of many things but I know Mr. President's wife is not a female member of the Order of the British Empire.
A Dame however was (formerly) a form of address to any woman of rank or authority, on this count no one can begrudge madam first lady; she actually is a woman of authority.
However, I don’t know exactly when people started calling our first lady Dame, but recently, the Plateau state deputy governor became a Dame too and a host of other women too now find it fashionable to be Dames. My wife too, is set to become a Dame next week
I know a lot of Nigerians are not comfortable with her when she speaks English, but trust me, she may not know English but she knows quite a lot about Nigeria, and is a representation of many things that is wrong about Nigeria.
As she canvasses the length and breadth of Nigeria on tax payers’ monies, it’s that same picture of profligacy of government of the greedy by greedy and for the greedy.
The Patience Goodluck story to a large extent is a reflection of our current state as a nation. One we joke with everything not because they should be joked about but rather than cry, we all laugh. We are saddled with such much injustice, we continue to be patient.
By fate, Japan as a result of a tripod disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear wahala have 10% electricity cut off, while Nigeria by design has 80% without electricity.
So by design OBJ started an Excess Crude Account meant for the future. As at today, less than one billion dollars is remaining in the account which once had about 34 billion dollars. Whatever happened to over 33billion in less than 3yrs is luck, or like a friend asked, has that future, which the money was meant for arrived?
Very quickly let me thank those who have jealously stood in 'patient' defence of the First lady, because of such naivety and collective acceptance of that which is not correct we have accepted the 'umblella', they would use it while it’s raining, defending themselves, leave us in the rain, and in the scorching sun, only to return it when they are done.
Again let me quickly remind those that are jealous of her husband to know that with goodluck, everything is possible and also that her loving husband is not the problem of Nigeria, on the contrary together, with their ilk in PDP, they represent solutions.
The only choice we have is to show via the polls that hence with PDP everything is possible, with the peoples' power if we can muster it, nothing is impossible, not that we have all the time and choices.
When people castigate Patience Goodluck Jonathan for saying that we should vote for the "Umblella", they forget or rather chose not to remember that under the rule of the 'umblella' nothing has really worked for almost 12 years so Nigerians remain victims of the Stockholm syndrome.
For example in the whole of 2010, the four refineries with a combined capacity in excess of 445,000 barrels per day could only refine a mere 80,757 metric tonnes of petroleum products.
It was by luck not design that the refineries even worked especially given that the rest volume of 8.1 million MT of petroleum products that came into the downstream sector was imported. And Nigerians still praised Jonathan for availability of petroleum products, when Kerosene was either costlier than fuel or killing more Nigerians that malaria shows that we are sick.
It is by luck that with the country’s daily revenue from crude oil at an average of US$282 million by design there is very little to show for...
And as usual Nigerians blame everything and anything, and I wonder, how is it Dame Patience use of English or her husband's fault that a nominee who is said to be a wife of serving Ambassador to France failed to recite the national anthem and could not name the capital of Jigawa state, when asked to do so by the Senate foreign affairs screening committee.
And so you know, Mrs. Chinyere was beautiful by design, could speak English by design, but could not recite the national anthem, at least Dame Patience Jonathan can recite it and her beauty just like the Nigerian nation is in the eye of the beholder, even if her English fails her, by luck she is the First lady and not you.
After all just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, spoken English is in the ear of the hearer. It's all a function of how we see things.
Strangely because of how we see things, a lot of persons have compared her to former first lady, Hajiya Turai Yar'adua, and they forget that it is not easy to carry second. (Whoever is better amongst the two of them, majority of Nigerians who criticize them can never be first or even second ladies).
Her husband's recent ramblings on oil and gas according to a commentator (An Hausa man) is because her husband and Sambo is a good people.
By luck Jonathan's presidency will unite us, the only problem is that it may be difficult to make fellow Nigerians irrespective of their nationality to see reason and allow him because we are blinded by 'tribalism', a derogatory term only used to refer to Nigerians that are loyal to their identity. Forgetting that it is a similar sentiment used in the Western world to refer to loyalty or patriotism.
Therefore we lose track of the fact that as a people it is only when we are loyal to our identity that we can be loyal to a nation that adequately represents us. In the end due to a lack of design, a lack of planning, the nation under the current crop cannot represent us.
Dame Patience through her campaign trail is asking us to close our eyes to what looks today like a symphony, exhibiting astute exhibition of clueless drifting and moribund spin by the umblella click, one which has driven our nation’s economy through unproductive dealings aptly defined in rudimentary economics as 'Cash & Carry economy' and on the contrary, like "A Good Mother takes care of his Children and believe that her fellow husband will make change happen if we can give him a chance.
I will go into my concluding paragraphs by letting us know that except something magical happens by design, luck will prevail. Luck, a force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as in shaping circumstances, events, or opportunities.
In this instance, goodluck, that which has seen Dame and her husband, and 50 years of leadership on the good end of the nation's misfortune. As we approach the D-day, can Nigerians by all means necessary start by wilfully designing a new course?
We have to put a full stop to the luck being enjoyed by our leaders...we have to re-shape our circumstances, re-direct events, and find new opportunities
The Nigerian politician by luck is an indescribable specimen of anthropologic potency, carrying gold headed cane, more in the cane's head than his. They wear tinted eye glasses that they cannot see through, Brazilian leather wears that slow their movement and agbada that make them look like dressed grasshoppers.
The onus on Jonathan, Buhari, and Ribadu is to prove beyond doubt that by design they can come up with plan that can move this nation forward. The question on the lips of conservative progressives is, do these men have the will or again we are going to make do with the complexities of patience, hoping against hope that it will be well when indeed we watch leadership sap us of the will to live.
Prince Charles Dickson writes from Abuja.