JONATHAN NOW THAT YOU HAVE SHOES, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
This is a second instalment of an essay I wrote some weeks back...in that admonishment, I had asked that President Jonathan should start walking with or without shoes.
Apparently we all are witnesses to how far the President has walked and worked. In the few weeks since Jonathan's swearing-in, the most he has done is the very peculiar smile that we do not understand.
He smiles while at the HIV/AIDS function in New York, he was smiling while at the Police headquarters after the blast. Infact the only time I recall Mr. President not smiling and with was at the PDP primary convention, early in the year with Atiku blasting him.
I am sure that a visit to Borno would put away the smile, but I know that even the President would not dare the firepower of Boko Haram.
It’s funny that now that the President has a shoe, only a visit by Britain's David Cameron is enough to make him visit Lagos, the world’s most expensive slum (after the flood).
Now that Jonathan has in his collection some Brazilian crocodile skin sandals, the best we can see from the Ministerial assemblage is a cabinet of two halves. Yet Nigerians are impatiently waiting for that luck that may never come.
All the pronouncements made by the current administration in practical terms translate to economic voodoo. While the president's collections of shoes are on the increase, Nigerians by flood, by Boko Haram, by preventable accidents are losing their feet and legs and the few that have slippers are tired of repairs.
With all the powers, it is obvious that our low expectations may again be dashed. Campaign promises are nowhere being fulfilled and more promises are being made. At a close look, it’s a case of antonyms and synonyms, saying one thing, doing another.
With shoes, the Jonathan's administration has stirred more controversies, too many conspiracy theories and a seeming lack of how to handle the issues bedevilling the country. A whole lot of these problems started when Jonathan had no shoes, not his fault but now that he has shoes because of his insistence of being the man that the shoe fits. The question is where are we going?
That these are trying times, is no longer news, what may be news is where we would be as a nation after these four years that has commenced in the most difficult circumstances. The eternal optimist and Jonathanian will tell you that we are on track. They tell you that when Nigeria nears a whirlwind, there is good news around the horizon.
They say that Jonathan and his team are going somewhere, the problem for the other bulk of us, is where exactly is these train going. The Boko Haram scourge, a faint and wake power sector, a directionless, clueless ruling party, flood in Lagos, Islamic banking, Christian schools, and a Northern conspiracy cannot be worse places to go compared to June 12, Civil war and other nation-breaking threats of the past.
With all sorts of secessionists talk, a southern Sudan, all the hue and cry for true federalism, theories of the Oduas planning something big in regards leaving us in Nigeria, or the unholy silence of the likes MASSOB, the sharia drama for 12 states according to one arm of Boko Haram. Against these and many dozens of tough problems, where exactly is Jonathan heading to?
What if Jonathan still had no shoes, I mean if, he lost the April polls, would Boko Haram be this active and an issue, it’s another proposition but for me and many, is he expected to tackle it? Yes! Has he? No! Jonathan has not even made pretence that he may visit Borno. The President is a busy man, busy office, a busy nation but suffice to say, it may well be a case of busy at nothing four years from now.
We could not get a point out of the 7 pointer, now it’s a 9 pointer in terms of agendas. I recall that old school axiom that you would have a feel of a nice weekend from Friday, at best; Nigerians are torn in between love for a President for all the wrong reasons and primordial attachments.
I have a host of friends of Mr. President who have told me, spare him, and give him time, some more months. I just smile and say, lets continue the dialogue, we are watching, how much time is enough time. It’s not getting any better, on the contrary some of us already know that someone in the Villa wants a seven or six year run to finish the good works he has not started.
I think the President is battling hard to fit into the shoes having been without one for too long, that is why with or without his consent, opposition is being stifled, (although the quality of opposition remains in doubt). But only a man afraid of his direction is so concerned about another's lack of direction.
We see a government led by Jonathan moving in different directions at the same time, at loss on how to deal with issues, be it NYSC and its review or the matter of corruption. While others call for dialogue and caution on Boko Haram, others call for crush them, and wipe them all out.
No doubt we can see some form of change, though it remains debatable what kind, but we are still towing the same line. Government talking with no action, making comments that show almost complete lack of logic, that it cannot for example fully implement the labour demands until January 2012 and at same time request National Assembly to increase the wages of Mr. President's Special Advisers and Assistants.
A case of where are we going really is one pertinent question that we must seek answers for, Jonathan, is a nice man, he smiles at everything and nothing, my admonishment, all the good intention with no action to back them is like getting dressed with nowhere to go in mind. Kùtù-kùtù kì í jíni lé èmejì; kùtù-kùtù ní Å„jé òwúroÌ€; biri ní Å„jé alé is how the Yoruba's put it. Early dawn does not wake one twice; early dawn is the morning; deep darkness is night. (The morning comes only once; whoever wastes it will discover too late that night has fallen).
Written by Prince Charles Dickson.