by Ayokunle Odekunle
In as much as I am a free thinker, Jesus Christ is one of the men I respect the most. I am not one for religion but I spend ample time reading the Holy Bible and Holy Quran.
I have noticed that we (Nigerians) are the most religious people in the world, yet the most corrupt. Do we practice the wordings of these Holy Books? We spend hours reading the Holy books but it seems we read them only for leisure. Do the Christians behave like the Lord Jesus and the very early Christians?
My Dear Brethren, I shall take the lesson for today from the Book of Matthew Chapter 5:38-42. Jesus said “you have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I tell you, don’t ‘resist’ an evil doer, on the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other cheek to him. As for the one who wants your shirt, let him have your coat as well…”
What do you think the Lord Jesus was talking about? Do you think he was asking us to be ‘mumu’ and subject ourselves to inhuman treatments? No! What that quotation means is that you give everybody benefit of doubt. Whoever is misbehaving towards you, let him satisfy himself and let everybody see how much you have suffered so that when you take action, you won’t be blamed. Jesus wasn’t saying you should allow someone slap you so hard that you would develop Ogbomoso tribal marks on your face all of a sudden!.
And I believe President Jonathan must have read the above thoroughly as he applied it in dealing with Boko Haram.
The President has always been seen as weak, dumb, clueless and all. I have refused to see him that way. His handling of the Boko Haram affair has brought him under intense fire. Every Tom, Dick and Rufai became security experts all of a sudden. They called him lame duck. To them, he should have taken an AK-47 and then shot that ‘sonafabitch’ called Shekau or better still, left Abuja to see Fadeyi Oloro at Gbekuba, Ibadan who would have fortified him with charms and amulets. He would then start disappearing acts like the ‘jazz men’ we see in those Yoruba films. That way, he would have since ended the Boko Haram impasse.
Ebele, as clueless as he is termed, had his plans.
Watching his last Presidential broadcast, I felt very proud of him. He spoke like someone who had taken some ‘shots’ of ‘kai kai’. That was the second time he ever acted like the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
His message to Boko Haram was simple and straight forward ‘I have taken enough of your nonsense, now I would slap my own back.’ And who would blame him? He had travelled to Borno and Yobe states to meet with the so called ‘Elders’. He even appealed to them to talk to their children. He put his reputation on the line by even announcing that he was ready to grant amnesty to Boko Haram and what did he get in return? Boko Haram said Nigeria should be the one asking them for Amnesty.
The President declared a state of Emergency in the 3 States of Yobe (ANPP/APC) Borno (ANPP/APC) and Adamawa (PDP). He also announced that the Governors will not be removed, rather they should continue their constitutional duties.
While many Nigerians approved of the declaration of war on the Boko Haram militants, some people as expected disapproved. Prime suspect is Mr ‘Lie[ Mohammed. I had told someone that I would walk naked to Dugbe market in Ibadan if ‘Lie’ doesn’t condemn the President’s action. And as if ‘Lie’ knew I was planning to walk naked, he condemned the statement as expected. Bola Tinubu of the ACN/APC was another person who went ballistic. He accused the President of playing ‘2015 Politics’ (whatever that means). Also, this lawyer whose named I have never come across in a law report, Femi Fani-Kayode, also criticized the President for not removing the Governors.
Let me attempt to enumerate the issues people have with the President’s action and further attempt to clear the air on them
- He was criticized for not removing the governors of the States
- He is being accused of playing 2015 politics, that is to ‘scatter’ states belonging to the opposition
- They are saying he has a crusade against the Islamic religion and wants to kill all the Hausas and make the religion go into extinction
The 1999 Constitution is very clear as to how governors can be removed. The Constitution does NOT give the President power to suspend a governor not to even talk of removing him. A governor can only be removed via the following ways:
- Impeachment by the State house of Assembly under Section 189(1) of the Constitution
- When he dies or suffers gross infirmity of the mind
- Removed by the court
- Or he resigns.
Taking a cursory look at Section 305 of the 1999 constitution which makes provisions for emergency rule, nowhere is it written that the Governor be removed.
In the legal profession, there is respect for seniors but I won’t have respect for a senior who would wilfully refuse to interpret the Laws properly all for cheap popularity. I believe Mr Fani-Kayode who in trying to look like a born again democrat to us has failed in trying to paint the President as incompetent in this regard and I pity his many gullible Facebook ‘fans’ who swallow hook line and sinker whatever he says.
And the fact that President Obasanjo removed Governors when he declared State of Emergency in Plateau and Ekiti States doesn’t make it right. Mr Obasanjo set a very very wrong precedent. And I am happy President Jonathan is now acting within the confines of the Law.
Mr ‘Lie’ Mohammed and Bola Tinubu both of ACN did not surprise me when they accused the President of declaring a state of emergency all because of 2015. Infact, after reading Tinubu’s epistle, I felt very sad on his behalf.
Mr Tinubu surprised me when he called for Amnesty on behalf of Boko Haram because to me, no RIGHT THINKING Nigerian should support amnesty for terrorists who have killed and maimed thousands. The President agreed to give them amnesty and these people refused, what was Tinubu expecting Mr President to do? Watch people die so that Mr Tinubu can keep accusing Mr President of incompetence?
I believe If the President really wants to play politics as is being postulated by Mr Tinubu and co, he would have removed the Governors and put a PDP man in charge of the states. With Mr Tinubu’s utterances, I put it to him that he is happy with the bloodshed going on in the North as long as he can use that as an outlet to dislodge the President in 2015.
He lost the very little respect I used to have for him.
I heard from some Muslims that the President being a Christian declared State of Emergency in those states so as to ‘declare war’ on Islam. The following questions are pertinent
- Did he create Boko Haram? No!
- Was he the one who asked Boko Haram to kill them? No!
- In whose religion are Boko Haram carrying out their actions? Islam!
The allegation that he has declared war on Islam is very myopic. The little I know about Islam (My Dad is an Alhaji), I know it is a religion of peace. The President has not declared war on Islam; he has declared war on those tarnishing the image of the religion.
I have always told people that the President couldn’t have handled the Boko Haram issue better than he has. Don’t forget that :
– He comes from a minority region
– He is a Christian and any action he takes against Boko Haram would ALWAYS be viewed with suspicion
– The issue of terrorism is new to us and I never expected us to just win easily. It took the Americans years with all their military might to kill Bin Laden. They are even still fighting the Talibans in Afghanistan after over 10 years.
Furthermore, it is a pity that some people have decided to play politics with the lives of Nigerians. Our opposition parties have been criticising the President over this Boko Haram issue without proffering solutions. To them, blood should keep flowing as long as Nigerians would keep hating their President and then they (APC) would be voted into power in 2015.
Taking a cursory look at the United States of America, whenever there is a bomb blast there, the Republicans (Opposition party) would rally round Barrack Obama of the Democratic party. They would not seek to score cheap political points like the ACN/CPC would do here. To them, the lives of Americans supersede the political interest or ambition of any party.
On a last note, I commend the President for following Jesus’s teachings. He gave Boko Haram enough room to repent, yet they kept slapping him. Now that he has decided to show them that he is not ‘clueless’ and ‘toothless’, he has the support of WELL-MEANING Nigerians.
Watchword: WELL MEANING NIGERIANS.
I must also commend his demeanour and the way he delivered his speech. His ‘teachers’ deserve some praise for teaching him how to behave ‘Presidentially’. As the leader of this country, he should exude confidence and should not give people the impression that he is clueless. Perception says a lot!
For the Borno Elders who have refused to call their children to order and have instead been blaming the President for their woes, I challenge them to come out to say rubbish now and see if their heads wont be used for shooting practice by the JTF!
Some hours before the President declared the Emergency rule in the 3 states, Governor Rotimi Amaechi who is the Chairman of the Governor’s forum had called a conference where he declared that the Governors ARE/WERE against the emergency rule.
I wonder when the Governors wielded power to tell the President when and when not to declare Emergency rule in any state. Does Amaechi see himself as the President’s rival? Is he running a parallel government which is different from the President’s? Who are those pushing him that he is losing his head?
Whoever the gods want to kill, they first make mad.
Amaechi should note this
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