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“The US Department of State needs lie detectors”: 7 takeaways from President Jonathan’s CNN interview

Aso Rock

“The US Department of State needs lie detectors”: 7 takeaways from President Jonathan’s CNN interview

  1. Boko Haram exists in the midst of so much wealth and good governance

President Jonathan, responding to a question about whether Boko Haram is as a result of poverty, answers that poverty has nothing to do with it.

“No, no, no!! Boko Haram is not as a result of misrule; definitely not. Sometimes people say it is as a result of poverty; definitely not. Boko Haram is a local terror group”

We can then infer that it is a mere coincidence that terrorism is thriving in the two poorest regions of Nigeria, the North-East and the North-West.

2. The United States Department of States needs to start using lie detectors

In response to a question about extra-judicial killings and torture by Nigerian security agencies, President Jonathan said that it was the insinuation of some interest groups.

When told by Amanpour that one of the interest groups is the United States State Department, he responded in a way which makes one think the US officials may need lie detectors:

“People get wrong information to the State Department. The State Department has the means of knowing the truth. They should try and know the truth.”

And the truth shall set them free.

3. Logic: The president believes that power has improved, Civil Society agrees that power has improved, therefore power has improved.

President Jonathan’s proof that power has improved in Nigeria is that ordinary Nigerians and civil society members both attest to the fact that power has improved.

“I wish you would ask the ordinary Nigerian on the streets of Lagos, Abuja and other parts of Nigeria this question about power. They know that our commitment to improving power is working. So if you are saying something different, it is surprising. That is one area, one area that even civil society members agree that government has kept faith with its promise.”

The Proof of Electricity Improvement is in the Belief of Civil Society. Well, how about the Civil Society of Twitter then? From this report, most don’t seem to agree. Oh well, those are probably just “the collective children of anger.”

4. Power problem cannot be solved overnight, but it shall be over this year

President Jonathan went ahead to explain why, in Amanpour’s words, many Nigerians are still unable to watch the interview on television due to lack of power supply, saying a problem of many years cannot be solved overnight.

“You know this power problem is one that even if you have the money and the political will to solve it, you cannot do it overnight. But we are working very hard to ensure that we solve it. And I promise you that by the end of this year, power would be reasonably stable in Nigeria.”

Keywords: Reasonably stable.

5. Crude oil theft? Don’t blame me. Don’t blame Nigerians. Blame the international community.

President Jonathan, in admitting that Nigeria has a problem when it comes to theft of crude oil, went on to lay the blame at the feet of the international community.

“When you talk about crude oil stealing, in fact, I agree with you. Frankly speaking, that is why we want the international community to support Nigeria because this stolen crude ends up being bought by refineries abroad and they know the crude oil is stolen. The world must condemn what is wrong.”

Thus saying, the problem is not at the source where the crude is being stolen, but at the end point of purchase by foreign refineries.

6. A situation like the Algerian hostage-taking in Nigeria would be excessive

In responding to a question as to whether Nigeria is ready to quash situations like the Algerian hostage-taking, President Jonathan deftly dodges the question and talks about what the coalition of governments is doing in Mali.

“What happened in Algeria is quite unfortunate, and that is why the governments are working day and night to prevent such excesses.”

Hostage-taking is an excess, which makes one wonder what is acceptable with regards to terrorism and insecurity. Bombings, perhaps?

7. Boko Haram could bring on the apocalypse on Africa

When asked about whether Boko Haram was an existential threat to Nigeria at the moment, he responded thus:

“Of course, Boko Haram is a threat not only to Nigeria, but to West Africa and Central Africa, and of course, to North Africa. There are some of Boko Haram in a link-up with some of the al-Qaeda operating in Northern Mali and other North African countries. That is why the Nigerian government is working with other nationals and other friendly governments to make sure we contain the problems in Mali.”

On this, I would say President Jonathan got his analysis right, as the previously disparate terrorist organizations have unified into an alliance which could destabilize the entire Saharan belt and subsequently, Sub-Saharan Africa. So what is the solution sir?

In between studying for a degree in Environmental Management from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and playing Football Manager, Amaza manages to find time to run a small business consulting firm focusing on strategy, innovation and branding, MINDcapital, and contributing to his blog as well as numerous other sites including Nigerians Talk and His passions are politics, business, youth development, entrepreneurship, and education, Nigeria in general and Northern Nigeria in particular. He describes his political ideology as 'reformist.' Twitter: @amasonic

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