By Sam Nda-Isaiah
It may well be an embarrassment for Nigerians and indeed Africans that American, British and French troops have to come in to rescue a country that is considered the continent’s superpower. Is this the same Nigeria of Yakubu Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, Olusegun Obasanjo and Shehu Shagari? Is this the country of Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar? Indeed, is this the Nigeria of generals T.Y. Danjuma, Muhammadu Shuwa, Gibson Jalo and Benjamin Adekunle? This is very painful. We must accept this as our fate and punishment for condoning the Jonathan presidency.
But that’s just an aside. If you have been listening to the international news media – CNN, BBC, SkyNews, Aljazeera, The Economist of London, New York Times and indeed all other major international cable TV channels and newspapers – it should be clear by now that there is nothing any Nigerian needs to say about Jonathan and his government anymore. The world’s verdict on the incompetence of President Jonathan is unanimous. We should thank God that the international community does not see a problem with Nigeria itself as a country. Their verdict is that it is Jonathan that should not be in power at all.
All the CNN correspondents are in agreement on Jonathan’s incompetence. Isha Sesay even went beyond the call of duty to educate the world about Nigeria and the cluelessness of its government. She is probably angrier than the rest because she is an African herself and the fact that girls are involved; both are good reasons for her to be angry. Richard Quest said it is not that Nigeria is ungovernable, it is governance incapacity that is at issue – a direct reference to Jonathan’s incapability to effectively perform his job as president. The Economist bluntly describes President Jonathan as “incompetent” and the government he supposedly runs as “clueless”; it rightly concludes that “the incompetence of Nigeria’s president and government is hurting the country’s reputation at home and abroad”. It is very true and cannot be put better. Jonathan has brought down the esteem of the entity called Nigeria. We must rebrand our country after we have freed ourselves from him. This we must do by May 29, next year. For Dame Patience, The Economist says “Patience is not always a virtue” and rightly uses words like “bizarre” to describe our first lady. They conclude that she makes matters worse for Nigeria.
The New York Times editorial avers that “Jonathan leads a corrupt government that has little credibility”. How true! Hillary Clinton threw all diplomacy aside to declare that “President Jonathan’s government has failed”. She also said “the government in Nigeria has been, in my view, somewhat derelict in its responsibility towards protecting boys and girls, men and women in northern Nigeria over the last years”.
On his own, the influential United States Republican senator, John McCain, said “the United States didn’t have to wait until a practically non-existent government of Nigeria gave us the go-ahead before mounting a humanitarian effort to rescue those 276 abducted girls”. See how Jonathan is making foreigners insult us?
The world has passed a clear vote of no confidence on President Jonathan and therefore will get more interested in the process and the outcome of the 2015 presidential election. The three words – “incompetence”, “corruption”, “clueless” – have become part of the Jonathan narrative. With this verdict and the way Jonathan has battered our image as a country, I wonder why he still wants to force himself on us as president till 2019. But we wait to see how he will achieve that. Were this to be in most other countries, the president would have resigned, but, in President Jonathan’s alternative universe, he actually wants to continue as president till 2019. And this is a president who not only cannot protect his citizens, but cannot now protect or even guarantee the security of the nation’s children. If the world is currently so outraged about the kidnap of more than 200 girls in Chibok and President Jonathan didn’t give a damn until the world started showing interest in the matter, only God knows how this story will change when the world finds out that, hours after Boko Haram killed over 74 persons in a bomb attack on Nyanya, the president was dancing at a campaign rally in Kano. Not to talk about the fact that he has not made any reference to the burning to death of 60 teenage boys at Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State, a few weeks ago.
There is no need for any Nigerian to waste time on President Jonathan anymore. The world has already united against him. He will now need more than the good luck of his name to survive till May 29!
The New Hashtag
There’s a new hashtag making the rounds. I do not support it and I even think it is rude to our very well respected first lady and Bayelsa State permanent secretary. All those behind this hashtag should know that “dia is God o!” and Madam must ensure that all of those involved are invited so that she wouldn’t have to ask one person, “Na only you waka come?” Chei! Chei! I can’t believe this.
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Sam Nda-Isaiah/Leadership