Jonathan, Whether With A Shoe Or Not, Start Walking...

Ẹni tí ó bá máa jé Ọ̀sákálà a jé Ọsákálá; eni tó bá máa jé Òṣokolo a jé Òsokolo; èwo ni Ọ̀sákálá-sokolo?

Whoever wants to be known as Ọ̀sákálá should be known as Ọ̀sákálá; whoever wants to be known as Òsokolo should be known as Òsokolo; what is the meaning of Ọ̀sákálá-sokolo?

(One should make up one's mind to be one way or the other, and not keep straddling fences).

Well the elections are finally over, the tribunals will go to work almost immediately...Whether CPC goes to court, or it is Buhari that does go,it matters not, it's all political semantics, it won't bring back lives lost in post-election violence, the litigations that follow will help strenghten our democracy but will not change much. Jonathan is the new charge de affaire, or remains president as the case is. He needs to make up his mind to be president with or without shoes.

I would always state for purpose of clarity, I am no CPC supporter or sympathetic to the PDP cause, I stand only for one thing, I stand for good governance, whether in full or as the case is with us in its shadow. I do not care about who brings it and how, because that's the essence of leadership. I will positively criticize whoever is at the helm of affairs towards the pursuit of good governance and all it entails.

In the next few paragraphs, I will borrow copiously from Obama's 'I Have Killed Osama Speech'. And before I go far, I want to equally state that in recent times, as a people, we have not been privileged with leadership of smooth talkers or oratory skills.So this is no comparison. However we have not been blessed with leadership that understands the principles and precepts of nationhood either.

To Jonathan and his men, those that truly are with him for good reasons and the jobbers...In the course of this presidency, many are asking, are we hopeful that at any point, like Obama...Jonathan will say "Tonight, I can report to the Nigerian people and to the world that we have conducted an operation that has brought to book the killers of X, Y, and Z..."

After four years, what will be the achievement of this presidency, off course that is if they do not go beyond four years or if they last up to? The fuel queues are back, the electricity is still where it has been, when will the walk and work start and how will we know that this government is not straddling fences.

We have seen how the blood of innocent children cemented the so-called PDP victory, will it be justified and not be in vain. In the run up to the last general elections, we saw terrible images and like Obama said in the next four years and for a life time, "...we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world and the empty seat at the dinner table". What is Jonathan's government going to do that is new other than being on facebook?

Children will be forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents will never know the feeling of their child's embrace. (Because of Buhari's CPC, Jonathan's PDP, a failure of government to adequately provide for the security of her citizens).Have we seen the last of these mindless killings?

Will the Jonathan government change much; we still remain a nation in which deaths of her citizens do not leave ..."a gaping hole in our hearts".

In recent times, the last time we came together as a nation was during the Abacha era, today, as a people we dwell on our differences and are more united by Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona and the Royal wedding.

Can the Jonathan government and era bring about us, offering our neighbors a hand at some expense? Will this PDP led arrangement help reaffirm our ties to each other and our love of community and country or further push us apart.

When Obama said this, "On that day, no matter where we came from, what god we prayed to or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. We were also united in our resolve, to protect our nation..." I could not but think when will we have a leadership that will inspire such sentiments, such belief, that though we are Ibos, Yorubas, Hausas, Tivs, Efiks, Ijaws, Muslims, Christians or atheists, we are equally Nigerians and without losing our ethnic identities there is something Nigerian about us.

Obama talked about the tireless effort of the American security "Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals...". What has our military accomplished apart from the accolades they get on foreign missions and the many pregnancies they leave in those lands and HIV/AIDS they bring back home. How will the Jonathan administration improve on the stability of the military that is learning to be confined to the whines and bites of a growing democracy run presently by crooks for now?

In weeks baring any significantly unpleasant happening, Jonathan would be sworn in a second time in less than a year, like Obama directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of their war against al Qaeda. Who would Jonathan be directing, for what purposes and to achieve what and would it be achieved?

As Osama's death does not mark the end of the American effort. I am equally not among those crowds that expect that Jonathan will perform miracles but his administration can lay a foundation towards a better Nigeria, I am not pessimistic but I would be pleasantly surprised to see that happen.

According to Obama, "The American people did not choose this fight". As Nigerians we did not choose our nationality, some colonials sat on some table and thought it so, for 50 years as an independent nation, and for 97 years since the union was bound, its been one civil war, an Aburi Accord, numerous constitutions, and conferences, coups both palace and face me, I face you types, countless ethno-religious violence, a million dollar democracy and more in the offing we still remain Nigeria.

Despite the hypocrisy of the Americans, they understand the cost of wars. Yet as a country, they will never tolerate their security be threatened, nor stand idly by when their people have been killed. For Nigeria, will Jonathan and his men and women change that? Is it possible that government will be relentless in defense of Nigerians or as usually they will keep condenming the perpetuators and do nothing?

Without shoe, or with shoe, will governance exemplify professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage to do what is right, as a people is there the possibility of a concerted effort to serve our country in whatever capacity we find ourselves. Another journey beckons, Nigeria, are they ready, are we ready or its business as usual.

Prince Charles Dickson
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Articles by Prince Charles Dickson