I still can’t fathom the type of leeches and sycophants who surrounds and counsels President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. For him to strut out and go on political campaign at Kaduna soon after over 100 Nigerians lost their lives to a terrorist bomb blast at Nyanya Bus Stop in Abuja is quite inexplicable. However the part that is more baffling to me is the president’s own decision to engage in scurrilous attack on the governor of the state he went to campaign at. The fact that the campaign event also happened on a day Professor Wole Soyinka, Nigeria’s only Nobel laureate, called for a bipartisan solution to the ongoing terror war is quite numbing. The questions that kept coming to me are these: what is wrong with Aso Rock? Are there no adults around anymore over there? But the most embarrassingly shocking thing for me are the content of the president’s words at the campaign event. This is indeed a case of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
Let’s take a look at the president campaign rhetoric at Kaduna, on a day he had just visited blast site and learned that additional 80 Nigerian school age girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorist. According to Punch Newspapers, “President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday took on Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano State, accusing him of embezzling the money his (President’s) campaign office provided to mobilize the state delegates for the 2011 presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party and the main election. “Even the little money that my campaign office provided for refreshment of the Kano delegates and for their transport, Kwakwanso refused to give to the delegates. “He did that so that the Kano delegates will be angry and they will not vote for me. “Even for the main election, the little money the campaign office sent to Kano State to facilitate the movement of people, Kwakwanso refused to give the money to anybody. How can Kwankwaso tell people that he voted for me?”
Let’s set aside the propriety of the president making such a jejune issue a campaign talking point, (because if the money is “little money” it matters little to him and probably to politicians like him), and focus on legality of providing money to voters during election time (apparently to sway their votes), be it at the primary (it is expressly prohibited by PDP constitution) and general election (INEC statute actually makes this a ground for criminal investigation and disqualification). A president dumb enough to campaign on the day he lost a centurion of his citizens and over 80 young girls kidnapped is definitely not a serious leader.
It is high time Nigerians of all hue begins to talk about a post Jonathan administration in Nigeria. Nigeria leadership of all hue needs to come together in a bipartisan way to address the terror stalking our land. The charade going on in the name of National conference is not a vehicle that will get us there. You do not go ahead with a national conference where only those who agree with you attend. You work out the kinks and reach out to the opposition to get them involved. So forget the sleepers at the National Conference. Let all Nigerians begins to clamor for the leadership of the two political parties to come together and establish a joint framework on how we can decisively deal with violence in our land whether it be those fomented by MEND, OPC, Kidnappers or Boko Haram. We cannot rely on this presidency to get us out of quagmire politicians drove us into. The time for change is now!