by Sam Nda-Isaiah
President Goodluck Jonathan’s sudden sack of some of his ministers last week says a lot about the man who presides over the affairs of our country at the moment. The action reveals the mind of a man who cares less about the country that has been handed over to him but more about his own person and interests. The significance of the mass sack did not escape the notice of the nation’s intelligentsia who immediately saw that he was sacking the nominees of the “new PDP” governors who are currently in a battle of wits with him. It did not matter to the president that some of the ministers were among the best he had in the circumstance. It did not matter whatever difference they might make to the nation.
Nigerians had expected a cabinet reshuffle from the president for a very long time. But Jonathan has clearly proved incapable of doing it. That’s because the president is more concerned about Jonathan’s interests than Nigeria’s interests. This president has some of the most corrupt ministers this country has ever known. And here I mean real corruption, not petty stealing. Some of the ministers steal as if they were sent by the devil to finish Nigeria off. They do not care who is watching. But Nigerians are no fools; they know these ministers. Yes, there are still a couple of good ministers in the cabinet, but they are too few. So Nigerians know exactly the names of the ministers they expect to be “reshuffled”. None of those they expected to get the sack was on the president’s list last week. It has become clear that our president does not have what it takes to remove these thieving ministers. It is obvious that he would never let go of these well-known ministers, and it is very difficult to fathom why.
There are many who believe that it will be easier for the president to pass through the eye of a needle than for him to let go of these “juicy” ministers. A few others will not go because Dame Patience wants them in those offices. They serve at her pleasure. This category of ministers – they too are well known – serve the dame and not the nation. And Nigeria continues to suffer for their continued stay. Dame is something of a god to these ministers. A certain Evans Bipi, who is one of the five Rivers State House of Assembly members who attempted to remove Governor Amaechi a few weeks ago, declared last week that Dame Patience was his Jesus Christ.
I am sure Nyesom Wike, the minister of education who lives in the same alternative universe with this clown called Bipi, would agree with him. Wike is one of the ministers who should not have been a minister in a decent society but will continue to remain a minister because he serves at the pleasure of Dame. Remember, it was Wike who threatened to make Rivers State ungovernable for Governor Amaechi and, because of that, the Rivers PDP structure was handed over to him as his reward. None of the ministers Jonathan sacked last week was among those who have started working on a governorship ambition. All those who are using their offices to fund such ambitions are still solidly in Jonathan’s cabinet. Nigeria was the last thing on the president’s mind when he sacked ministers last week.
President Jonathan also completely lacks political nous and strategic clarity. Why sack the ministers because they are associates of the G-7 governors when he could cultivate and appropriate them himself? Is that not very simple common sense? A smarter leader would have turned some of these ministers against the governors. Now, I hear he wants to replace the dropped ministers with more militant PDP members who would be well funded (with public funds, of course) to fight the governors of their states. This is not just childish, it is very foolish. The president needs more Nyesom Wikes all over the G-7 states? It can’t get more obtuse.
The dropping of the ministers last week is only one clue to the president’s mind. The NGF election in which the president recognised the loser, Plateau State governor Jonah Jang, as the winner is another. This one is not just shameful but disgraceful, and I expect Nigerians to really feel frightened about it. Is this the type of man we have presiding over the affairs of our country? It should surprise no one that the country is in such a confusion.
Also last week, the president’s thug-in-chief, our own Mujaheed Alhaji Asari-Dokubo, formerly Melford Dokubo Goodhead Jr, had threatened to kill all of us if we do not vote for Jonathan again in 2015. I am not bothered about Asari-Dokubo. He is doing his job as a thug and it has paid him handsomely. The last time he said that kind of nonsense, he got a N5 billion contract to do some supply job with the Nigerian Railways. Maybe this time round he qualifies for an oil block. My only worry is about the president himself. Does President Jonathan really think that Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo’s threat will frighten all of us to vote for him or allow him to rig the presidential election in 2015? And, by the way, does the president not think that thugs like Asari-Dokubo are his real enemies? If the president must know, Asari-Dokubo has damaged his 2015 ambition irretrievably. With Asari-Dokubo, President Jonathan does not need the G-7 governors.
In doing a thorough job deconstructing the president, we must also factor in what the police are currently doing in Rivers State. Last week, they blocked the governor, who is the chief security officer of his state, from using one of the roads that leads to the government house. And the IG declares that the Rivers commissioner of police is one of the best they have. Boyloaf declared last week that they were the ones stealing Nigeria’s crude, more or less, and nobody has invited him for questioning. That is the persona of the man running Nigeria at the moment and he wants us to re-elect him in 2015 with our own hands to continue all these. He must think that Nigerians hate their country.
Farida Waziri, Please Go Ahead
Last week, former president Olusegun Obasanjo amazed the nation again when he came out (again) pontificating about corruption. Atiku was corrupt, Nuhu Ribadu went haywire but he did not use him, Farida Waziri was corrupt, but he who spread corruption, sharing third-term bribes to the National Assembly and collecting bribes with wanton abandon from billionaire businessmen as president in exchange for favours is not corrupt. This man has continued to lie to himself and distract the nation. He continues to make a nuisance of himself to everyone’s consternation. In a more decent society, he would remain silent for the rest of his life for the high crimes against this nation.
But the most significant response came from Farida Waziri, the former EFCC chairman, who warned Obasanjo to respect his age and threatened to expose him. As a former EFCC chairman, she most certainly knows a lot about Obasanjo’s corruption escapades. So why is she not exposing Obasanjo? Nigerians already know Obasanjo stole billions and billions of naira through his all-powerful presidential aide in Aso Rock but they only want to have the details. I am not interested in the altercation between Waziri and Ribadu. I am only interested in who will thoroughly expose Obasanjo. The two most qualified to do this are Waziri and Ribadu and, since Ribadu will obviously not do it no matter how he (Obasanjo) abuses him, this great national service now falls on Waziri to perform. So what is she waiting for? The world is waiting.
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Sam Nda-Isaiah