Alright, I am done with being a Government critic—that line of work is not altogether lucrative any more. It has never been lucrative, anyway. I have sold out completely (apologies to all those I may have disappointed with this rare act of ‘turn-coatism’. That sounded Obahiagbonish, right?). My hands are up right now in total surrender. I have transformed into a Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) Campaign Co-ordinator. And it only took two hours…
You realize you are doing a horrible job as a public affairs commentator, when the youngest of your siblings waltzes into your office at lunch time with one aim in mind: to convince you and your colleagues that President Jonathan is the best thing to have happened to Nigeria since sliced (cassava) bread.
Brian Egbas argued so passionately for President Jonathan last week, it still beats me how he escaped the office without a kick in the head as he raged on in that preacher’s cadence. Soon after he left my office however, I realized my folly and began singing President Jonathan’s praises without even realizing it. He must have ‘jazzed’ the hell out of me. So, here are a couple of reasons why we should all choose ‘shoelessness’ over competence again in 2015….
1.Rome Was Not Built In A Day…Because Jonathan Was Not There: Well, we voted in the Jonathan administration for four years. But what really were we thinking? It is impossible to even speak properly in four years. You can’t fix any type of road infrastructure in four years and you just cannot even articulate your programs and agenda coherently in four years. Nobody does that!
And we should all be thankful that the President has promised that in 2013( that is next year, in case your Calendar is so two thousand and late), we will all be feeling his bouts of fresh air and transformation from the streets to the living rooms. In 2013, President GEJ would just have spent two years or thereabout as Nigeria’s number one citizen. The only reason why that cliché of ‘Rome was not built in a day’ gained so much traction was simply because President Jonathan was not alive at the time! Simple.
2.For The Love Of The Committees: There is only one solution for all of our country’s problems. It is a ‘one –size- fixes- all’ solution. Our President has the magic wand. When you catch a cold in the morning what do you do? Set up a committee. When you can’t afford to pay your children’s school fees what do you do? Set up a committee to find out why your earnings have hit rock bottom. If Cassava bread is not the favorite for most families, set up a committee to find out why. Fuel is stolen at the open seas and subsidy funds are been diverted by your friends? Just set up a committee to probe the committee you set up few months before. Never look into the findings and recommendations of previous committees, just ‘dey set up committee dey go’.
In 2015, we may not find another Candidate on the ballot with this much love for setting up committees. We are just so lucky to have one now who can fix all our problems with a string of committees. Why shouldn’t we grant him another four years in office? No brainer!
3.Always Organize A ‘Pity Party’: “I am the most criticized President on earth……The problem with Nigeria is that people play politics with everything, that is why I have not achieved much….I did not cause Nigeria’s problems….” President Jonathan can be so simplistic; he makes Reuben Abati so proud. And we should all appreciate this rare occurrence on our Planet. Gratitude should be the least we could offer. It will be difficult to find anyone else this ‘simple’ and who courts so much pity, in 2015.
In 2015, just few days to the polls, he will ask us to pity him and say something along these lines: “ I am running for office again because you all criticized me so badly four years ago. Don’t you feel some ounce of pity towards me and my people? I am from a minority tribe. Please pity me some more… and vote for me…It will take a while before my part of the country gets another shot at the Presidency .” And then he will sob. If ‘simplicity’ is what you love, kindly vote for President Jonathan again in 2015, and thank me later.
4.Boko Haram Are Our Siblings: President Obama referred to his challenger for the office of the President, Republican Mitt Romney, as a man who “shoots first and aims later”. President Goodluck Jonathan aims and shoots in one fell swoop and we want him back in office as our President in 2015. He is that good a sharp shooter!
The dreaded Islamic militia group, Boko Haram, are our friends….ooops….our sisters and brothers, our President reminded us glibly a few months ago. The problem with these variant of ‘siblings’ is that they are wiping out their own ‘siblings’ in the North of the country and have made sure that industrialization and commerce takes flight from the land of their ‘siblings’. Sibling rivalry at its murderous, you may say.
A man who fetes terrorists? Please vote for him again in 2015. He is our man!
5.Childlike Candor: When was the last time we had a President who spoke with such candor, cathartic fervor and fecklessness? My memory could be unreliably poor, but Obasanjo was so crude he slept with his son’s wife. Buhari hated corruption and indiscipline, Gowon handed us some of the best Federal infrastructure and Shagari left behind his trademark cap as a fashion item for generations.
President Jonathan makes you feel you can touch him…the same way you can touch and feel a child. He cried like a child when he arrived Lagos to assess a National disaster, blames everyone else for his troubles like a child would and holds aloft a loaf of Cassava bread during Council meetings like a child. Don’t we all love children normally? I love this man!!!
Any candidate who appears on the stomp grounds in 2015 wearing no shoes and who doesn’t have diapers on like a child will not get our votes. And I mean this.
6.Promissory Notes President : On the campaign trail in 2010, President Jonathan promised us everything under the sun—he vowed to tackle erosion in the East, to address the falling standard of education, to deal with corruption, to bequeath Nigerians with a Southern link bridge and to contain the crisis in Jos. Recently, he has promised to ‘crush’ Boko Haram and to prosecute Subsidy thieves. No thief of note is facing the law. Some of them recently made the shortlist of National Awards recipients.
The trouble with Nigerians is that we do not possess Patience as a virtue. The President married one, so he is better placed to understand the ramifications. We just have to be patient. Only last month, he promised to proceed on some exile if a certain bridge linking the South South to the South West of Nigeria was not constructed under his watch. Never mind that feasibility studies on the said project may not have been carried out.
Never mind, we should do with some promissory notes now and again from the Presidency. Some music to our ears now and again won’t hurt, will it? We really have to vote for this man again in 2015, because he will let us see the promise land from a distance but may never take us there. Here we are with our own Moses at our beck and call—a Moses who never delivers. Let’s adore him and vote for him again in 2015. He is the real deal.
7.Blessed Art Thou Among Women: The President’s spokesman reminded us of how the womenfolk have never had it so good in Nigeria’s history. He was right. President Jonathan loves his women, especially those in his kitchen cabinet ( they may not necessarily be cooking for him, though) and he loves them in all shapes and sizes. He loves his Dame, his DAM and his Stella. And he leads the way in proving to the whole world that our country will be a boring place without women.
He adores his women so much, he never fires them. They may have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, but not to worry, women are…. well….women. They may have supervised subsidy heists and air disasters…they may even be flying to Dubai to shop at tax-payers’ expense, but he indulges them all.
In a world where women are fighting for all kinds of empowerment, including ‘Pounded Yam’ Rights, the President is showing us all that this can be done– that loving women will lead our country to a better place. And he is leading by example. Vote for Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. Please do, because you love a woman. And don’t you say that you don’t!
8.Boring Speeches? Bring Them On!: My secondary school teacher always reminded us of the power in words and in public speeches. Thankfully, none of our leaders attended my school in the countryside. I can’t recall a Nigerian leader who touched my heart with his oratorical prowess. President Jonathan is happily no different. If you feel like a nap while at work, make your way to YouTube and search for some of our President’s speeches. We don’t need good speakers in our political space. We love them drab—very drab.
During the last Presidential debates, a certain Candidate Jonathan dodged sparring with the rest of the contestants and only appeared a few days later to deliver one of the most boring monologues in Presidential campaign history. We learned that his remarks at the time were read from a prepared text. Nigerians waved him on to Aso Rock months later for his reward.
In 2015, we will need more of the same: colorless politicians who cannot address a classroom of ten people with some eloquence let alone inspire a depressed citizenry with words. And should we be looking for other Candidates who cannot deliver a good speech when we have Goodluck Jonathan here with us? Why should we ‘dull’? American politicians keep us awake during the wee hours with some wonderful speeches. Who needs those speeches here? Certainly not us. We have so many leaders who ply their trade for ‘Dundee United’ on our shores and we love them just fine. They are no albatrosses. In 2015, we will make sure we vote them back in as Presidents, Governors and Chairmen, thank you.
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The Writer is on Twitter @egbas