by Atom Lim
What these ‘unexpecteds’ show is that this Jonathan presidency is immune to logical or analytical projections. Where you expect it to at least reason, the government shocks you with its folly. Where you are sure it will fail, the government disappoints you and excels.
This is my debut piece for The Scoop, a platform I am excited about for many reasons. From what I gather, The Scoop promises to be a unique place for citizen engagement on Nigerian politics, power, policies and public affairs. I am also told it shall focus on these four areas without boring readers, which is a huge relief for not-so serious folk like me. I, therefore, look forward to contributing to this platform on a weekly basis.
Back to the troublesome issue of a debut piece in the first week of a New Year! I have wondered for weeks what this first article for The Scoop would be about and even now, as I write, I am not sure what direction it will take. A safe course of action would be to focus on projections and predictions for 2013. Afterall, this is always the in-thing in the early days of a year.
But how does one predict or project anything in this country anymore when we have a government that defies all logic and prediction?
Last year, we woke on New Year’s Day to the news of fuel subsidy removal. I could swear no one saw that coming at the time it did. And so it came to be that throughout 2012, the Jonathan Presidency consistently surprised us with very strange policies.
If it wasn’t a bloated food budget for the Presidency, an embarrassing cassava bread drive, senseless comments on sensitive national issues or a quarter-hearted attempt to fight corruption in the government, it was the conception of a ‘bi-billion naira’ banquet hall for the President.
Surprisingly too, the government seemed to have made significant progress where Nigerians least expected it would; power. Defying all cynical projections, the Jonathan administration improved power generation and transmission as several reports showed by the end of 2012.
The signs had been there for a long time ago that this was a strange administration. In its early days, Mr. Jonathan woke one day and decided to ban our national teams from international footballing activities. A few days later, he reversed the decision. It was with the same impromptu hastiness that he rushed to comment on the Independence Day bombing that his ‘people’ were not behind the attack despite their claiming to be. Days later, he formally accused his person, Henry Okah, in a South African court of being behind the attack.
What these ‘unexpecteds’ show is that this Jonathan presidency is immune to logical or analytical projections. No one seems to know what to expect on a given day or over a period, not even Mr. Jonathan. Where you expect it to at least reason, the government shocks you with its folly. Where you are sure it will fail, the government disappoints you and excels.
I don’t know about other commentators but I have decided I will no longer try to predict the Jonathan administration. I believe it makes more sense to take everyday as it comes as far as this government is concerned.
So instead of making any predictions or projections in my debut article, I have decided I would rather use it to introduce myself and the platform. I have already given brief insight into The Scoop with ease. It’s, however, not so easy introducing myself.
The best I can come up with which will make any sense to you is that I am a recovering corrupt young Nigerian. Over the coming months and, hopefully, years, you will find this internal struggle reflect a lot in my writing for The Scoop.
I hope to enjoy every moment and experience that this journey will bring. I pray you do too. I look forward to a more insightful and focused piece next week. For now, I am more worried about the registration process of my new farm lest I miss out on the multi-billion naira iFarm phones being designed for Nigerian farmer.