Presidential declaration: A misplaced judgment


Let me say this quickly, I am not an All Progressives Congress member or even a politician to begin with. So, nobody should think I am being influenced by party loyalty. I write based on personal conviction that the presidential declaration for a second term in office by President Goodluck Jonathan some couple of days back was badly done because the timing was wrong.

On December 12, 2012 in America, a young man visited a school and shot 26 people, 20 of them children. The next day, President Barack Obama, himself, and not his media aide or spokesman, gave a speech about the issue. He was able to shed a tear or two. He displayed empathy. It will be unfair to bore you with his lengthy emotional lexical outburst but the crux of the matter was that he spoke to Americans not as a president but as a parent who had lost a loved one.

Coming back home, President Jonathan declaring for a second term in office just some couple of hours after 36 boys lost their lives to bombers in Yobe State was not only unfair, but selfish and insensitive. Modern style of leadership involves putting the people first. It involves fighting for the people and making personal sacrifices on their behalf.

Leaders like Obama, Nelson Mandela, Lee Kuan Yew and Martin Luther King Jnr have all at one point or the other gone an extra mile for their followers. President Jonathan has a bovine attitude to the affairs of the people, yet he compares himself with this set of world class leaders.   I hope many of us have become used to that advert on television by now. A model always follows its pattern. I think our President will do well to truly emulate and imitate these exemplary statesmen in deed and not on television adverts alone and Nigeria will be the better for it.

Nigeria will be a good place to live in if the activities of the insurgents are curtailed and totally put to a stop and President Jonathan will be able to go about his gatherings and Reuben Abati will not be giving unnecessary speeches. It will be recalled that this act of the President “celebrating” immediately after an evil occurrence has happened twice now. The Kano political rally came immediately after the Nyanya bomb blast. And President Jonathan was present.

Nigerians need a compassionate President; an emphatic leader that will understand the significance of the price of garri to the common Nigerian; that will be interested in the prices of kerosene, petrol and tomatoes and the burden of being a pensioner in this country. President Jonathan in his declaration speech claimed that he sought the face of God, consulted with his family, and listened to the voices of the people. One can understand the claim of God as almost any person can lay claim that God told him bla, bla bla. So is that of the family. After all, they all enjoy the largesse together. But if I may ask, President Jonathan, which voice? From which people? Certainly not the parents of the Chibok girls or the old pensioners awaiting their pensions or the ordinary Nigerian who is struggling to buy kerosene and garri and onions at the market. It is certainly the voices of the PDP members who have benefitted a lot from the government.

Whatever President we get come 2015 should be sensitive and emphatic to our problems, our hopes and aspirations as a people and a country. I wish President Jonathan all the good luck in the world in the hurdles ahead. It is unfortunate that I do not have enough money, I could have contributed like others for his purchase of the presidential nomination form

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