By Ayo Oyoze Baje
The increasing tempo and tenor of the campaign of calumny targeted at President Goodluck Jonathan by his sworn enemies, over the handling of state affairs, is to say the least condemnable. Ordinarily, criticisms should be made with good intentions, aimed of course at righting the wrongs in the polity and seeking the common good. Such should be well-thought out, robust and rich, backed with unimpeachable facts and figures. With that, the person being criticized would have no option but to make amends.
But when sponsored agents of the pull-him-down syndrome go to town decrying every move made by the presidency, no matter how noble, just to score cheap political points those who can read between the lines would be left with no other choice but to cry blue murder. Especially when the same masterminds of brutal bomb blasts, the cruel and callous killings of defenceless students in their sleep and hideous abductions of innocent school girls are the ones rising to the roof top to cry wolf.
Now, the Bringback the Girls Campaign has become another platform for frustrated ex-ministers who have been left in the lurch to try to seek political relevance. We know those who are behind the scene beating the war drums for their new found alingo dance steps. It is all about 2015, isn’t it? But would it not have served Nigeria better if those now misdirecting their anger against President Jonathan have channeled their energy against the perpetrators of pure evil?
The pattern is obvious-make the country ungovernable for the president, as earlier promised by the Northern political cabal led by the Adamu Ciromas and Ahmed Dattis and still being orchestrated by Junaid Muhammed and distract him from concentrating on good governance. Then, turn round to castigate him as an ’inept, clueless and dumb leader’. That, to me is cheap blackmail. You do not give a dog a bad name just to hang him. You do not ventilate your anger against the president just because you do not like his face or, he does not hail from the geo-political region where some have been wrongly weaned on the dangerous dogma of ‘born to rule’. Nigeria belongs to all. Both Christianity and Islam teach us that no man comes to position of authority without the knowledge of God. Therefore ask God why it is President Jonathan, this time around and none else. What moral lessons is God inadvertently teaching us by Jonathan’s curious emergence on the presidential pedestal? Have you ever given it a thought?
This is not to say that Nigeria is currently having a smooth sail with regards to the state of the nation. No! Critical issues of grave insecurity, courtesy of the blood-letting Boko Haram insurgency, corruption in places high and low, infrastructural decay and massive youth unemployment are but some of the challenges we all face. The truth however, is that many of these anomalies have been with us and worsened over the decades from the Second Republic through the military interregnum to this day. It would therefore, take a selfless, patriotic spirit of our political leaders and our collective efforts to stem the tides of these self-inflicted woes.
Indeed, talk is cheap. But it is walking that talk that makes better meaning. Every arm chair critic could find an air space to vomit his vituperations against Mr. President. “Ah, President Jonathan should have prevented the bombings of churches, the Police Headquarters and the United Nations Office all in Abuja. He should have stopped the Fulani herdsmen from killing people in Benue, Plateau and Taraba states. He should have prevented the Chibok girls from being abducted.” Bla..bla..bla…The senseless song goes on, unabated.
And I tell myself, this President Jonathan must be our version of Superman, the Batman or Spiderman that we watch executing death- defying stunts and espionage escapades in American flicks. He must be some superhero to combine the powers of parents, community leaders, local government chairmen and state governors. With him do we need all these others?
What all this open angst against the president has brought to the fore, is the imperative of devolution of political power from the bloated centre to the federating units. We can no longer sustain this aberrant unitary system of government in a democracy. With the right restructuring of the polity, community policing, complementing that of the state would have effectively nipped the issue of the Chibok girls’abduction in the bud.
Truth be told, every Nigerian has a right to his or her views. It is all part of the democratic culture that guarantees freedom of expression. Even then such democratic licence has its limits. As the Holy Bible admonishes us, first remove the log in your eyes before attempting to get the speck out of the other man’s eyes. And the African adage reminds us of the four fingers pointing toward us as we point one accusing others of failure.
Another sweeping statement that irks me to the marrow is the spurious claim by the enemies of President Jonathan that his administration has achieved nothing over the past four years. Really? This is a topic for another day.
Meanwhile, realize the fact that you as a citizen have an important role to play to get the government machinery running smoothly. Have you faith in this country? Have you ever assisted the Nigeria police with credible information to save the lives of innocent citizens? Are you prompt to your place of work? Do you discharge your duties, without fear or favour? Are you trustworthy, open and accountable to the people you serve at home and your place of work? If not, first take a look at the Man in The Mirror, as Michael Jackson of blessed memory canvassed in one of his hit songs and make a change. It starts from you and me.
If you cannot assist President Jonathan in his Transformation Agenda, please, stop trying to pull him down.
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