It is commendable that our President at least deems it fit to address the general public on the state of the nation through the periodic media chat he holds with leading journalists. One must give him credit that he doesn’t shy away from facing the people in attempting to provide answers to burning national questions, as he did when he failed to attend any of the debates during the build-up to the elections that brought him to power, save for the one organized by the NTA of which he was the sole participant.
The good thing about these media chats is that they give us a first-hand knowledge and experience about our President’s general attitude towards issues disturbing the mind, body and soul of our country, and his approach at seeking solutions to these myriad of problems. While we’re admonished in the Book of Truth to always pray for our leaders and those who are in authority, because it is only by divine means, regardless of the process, that any leader attains such a position. However, it still does not mean that our eyes should be totally blinded to the shortcomings, excesses and failures of a leader, just for the fact that it is hands that are much higher than our own that thrust the leader onto the exalted seat.
While in my heart of hearts I pray for the success of President Jonathan in the discharge of his duties to the nation, after all, his success can only be to the benefit of the general populace of Nigerians, including myself. But then, I must state categorically that his latest media chat yet again revealed gross ineptitude and incompetence, his lack of basic qualities and characteristics to make a good leader. For one, it is absolutely galling that it took a whole three weeks for us to hear from our president on such a calamitous issue as the kidnap of over two hundred of our girls at Chibok. In saner climes, you would immediately see the leader of the country where such an unfortunate incident took place appearing on TV to address the nation. But in our case, all that happens is a release of a well-rehearsed official statement, the same uniform statement that has been saved for any such calamities on their computers in the presidency.
When asked if he knew the whereabouts of the abducted girls, he answered in the negative and stated that his interviewers are supposed to know their whereabouts since journalists knew more than him. How can any leader in his right senses open his mouth and make this kind of unguarded and flippant statement? Where in the world is it the job of journalists to find girls kidnapped in the country you’re leading, under your own watch? It is in the same vein that a report on Channels TV’s website attributed a remark to Mr President that he asked for the help of international leaders to help Nigeria to identify the sponsors and leaders of Boko Haram, the deadly sect that is threatening to bring his administration to its knees. How in the world are we supposed to be taken seriously by the international community if our President goes out and shouts of his own incompetence on the roof tops?
Dr Jonathan’s lackadaisical attitude to the issue of corruption which is about the single most deadly plague inflicting our country was clearly on display during this chat, as all he had to say about his petroleum minister’s alleged misuse of public funds was that there was more politicking going on in the parliament than actual work. In essence, the House probe over the N10billion private jet saga is just a political witch-hunt of Alison Madueke by members of the opposing camps, as implied by our president. But the question I ask is even if the probe is being instigated by political enemies of the Jonathan administration; is there absolutely no substance to the allegations of abuse of power and misappropriation of public funds in this matter? Were those allegations by so called enemies manufactured from the thin air just to discredit the woman and the government she serves? Our dear president even went as far as saying there is a difference between corruption and stealing, of which he didn’t explain how one differs from the other.
Mention must be made also of Dame Patience Jonathan’s most hilarious outburst on national TV to lend support to her embattled husband. More about the tears of sorrow shed before the world by our very illiterate first lady will be explored in subsequent postings. In her own eyes, the crux of all these issues is the fact that some people are simply hell-bent on making life difficult for her husband’s administration. This is all she sees from the situation that is threatening to burn down our beloved country, to the extent that all the protests being held around the country and indeed around the world in solidarity with the kidnapped Chibok girls is all a ruse in her estimation, just an attempt to make her husband look bad. According to sources, she it was that ordered the arrest on Monday of one of the major organisers of the Abuja SAVE OUR GIRLS protest, one Mrs Naomi Nyada.
The most saddening aspect to this entire saga called Nigeria is that many of us are not ready to embrace change and play our own role for the love of motherland, to salvage our country from the grasp of massive corruption, gross incompetence and rabid misgovernance. 2015 presents yet another golden opportunity for us to boot out an inept administration, even in the face of uncertainties as to the character of those that will take over afterwards. But first things must be first, and that is the fact that for us to escape from the cyclical depth of failure we have today, we need better men than the likes of Jonathan.