Jonathan Must Run On His Record By Sam Nda-Isaiah

Nigerians Saving Nigerians:

Sam Nda-Isaiah

Last week, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the mass murders across the country were the handiwork of some people who were hell-bent on embarrassing President Jonathan because he “is a minority”. The statement was released by the PDP national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh. This kind of statement should have embarrassed any normal president but Jonathan is far from being a normal president. He did not disown the statement and the PDP national chairman did not disown it, so it is safe to take it as the view of both the president and his party.

If the president was not embarrassed by that statement, I was embarrassed for him. I, in fact, felt scandalised and discomfited that a man who is president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces would think he is a minority. I wonder why somebody who is already the president of 174 million people would still be speaking this language of division. The PDP has even gone further to say that it is the statements of General Muhammadu Buhari, former head of state, and Nasiru el-Rufai, former FCT minister, that were the code words for the criminals to embark on their killing spree. The insinuation is that Buhari and el-Rufai are behind Boko Haram. Well, I think this is a good time for both Buhari and el-Rufai to go to court because this nonsense has persisted for too long. If Buhari, who as head of state crushed the Maitatsine uprising forever, would now become a Boko Haram sponsor, then, I think Olisa Metuh should have his day in court to prove this allegation. The PDP publicity secretary even went further to say that the Sheikh Ahmed Lemu panel indicted General Buhari in the 2011 post-election violence. I remember that the last time the PDP told a lie of this nature about Lemu, the Sheikh came out himself to say it was a lie. He said he never said anything like that and the report of their work, which Jonathan had dumped like every other work aimed at solving the nation’s problems, was still there.

All this talk by the PDP is just a desperate attempt to divert attention from President Jonathan’s unprecedented incompetence. If Buhari, el-Rufai and company were behind the violence all over the country, then, they must also be the ones who organized the kidnapping of the president’s foster father in Bayelsa State. And they must be gifted kidnappers indeed because they forced the president’s household to negotiate a handsome ransom. A whole president? That also means that Buhari, el-Rufai and company also organised the attack on the Enugu Government House, a few weeks ago. I didn’t know that Buhari and el-Rufai are also “biafrans”, because their boys who carried out the criminal attack on the Enugu Government House held a press conference to declare that they were “biafrans” and they attacked the Enugu Government House to send a clear message. Buhari, el-Rufai and company it must be that also organised the MEND bombing of Abuja on October 1, 2010. That must be why Jonathan insisted that the bombers were not MEND operatives even after MEND had claimed responsibility several times. If we are to believe the president and his PDP officials, then, Buhari and el-Rufai must be Boko Haram, MEND, Ombatse, biafran, Fulani, Birom, Tarok militiamen all at the same time.

I think the clowns around the president should stop this tomfoolery and face the reality of their principal’s crass incompetence. I have always said that Jonathan does not have the gift of leadership and the nation should have been spared this horror in the first place. It is very clear that the president is unable to secure this country from terrorists, kidnappers, armed robbers and the ubiquitous gunmen. And I think this fact is already too obvious to the PDP mandarins; that is why they want to distract attention from his incompetence. Is it also the opposition that has been stealing all the public funds on Jonathan’s watch? Or, is it Buhari and el-Rufai that have been massively stealing the crude oil in the Niger Delta and the president has been so similarly incompetent to deal with the situation?

If President Jonathan wants to seek re-election in 2015, he is very free to do so. I am, in fact, one of those that have consistently defended the president’s right to do so. But he must run on his record. Nigerians will evaluate how he has fared as president so far. They must know how he has been able to secure the people – which is the most elementary responsibility of any president. The north-east will want to know how he has been able to secure them from Boko Haram; those in the north-central will like to know how they have been protected from the Ombatse and the Birom, Tarok and Fulani militia who visit at night, while those in the north-west will ask how he has protected them so far from the “unknown gunman”. Those in the south-south, including his own household in Bayelsa, would like to know how he has protected them from the kidnappers and armed robbers. Ditto for those in the south-east. And those in the south-west will want to know why they have been abandoned to armed robbers.

Nigerians will ask to know whether this unprecedented insecurity that has engulfed the entire nation like a plague has something to do with the unprecedented stealing that is currently going on and which has grounded the Nigerian state to the extent that the police and other security agencies as well as state governments do not get their appropriated budgets.

Nigerians will also remind the president of the N2 trillion stolen in the name of fuel subsidy in 2011 which he has done absolutely nothing about. Ditto for the N100 billion stolen from the police pension fund and all the other funny figures of theft we hear every day. We will also ask what he has done about the dilapidated Police College, Ikeja, where the president’s dogs cannot even survive in. Nigerians will also remember that the president’s reaction then was “Who brought the press here?” and not why human beings were living in such sub-human conditions. And this is saying nothing about the missing $20 billion (about N3.3 trillion). There are lots and lots more Nigerians will be asking. This is the record the president must campaign on. We are not going to allow anyone to use his place of birth, creed, tribe, minority or majority status or religion to divide the people.

Sam Nda-Isaiah is the chairman of Leadership Newspapers.

He can be contacted at these addresses:
Twitter: @sam4nigeria

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Nigerians Saving Nigerians is registered as a nonprofit corporation with the Secretary of State of Texas, U.S.A. Nigerians Saving Nigerians is a nontribalistic and nonprofit organization, founded on the 27th of September, 2011. The purpose of Nigerians Saving Nigerians is to strengthen civic duties among Nigerians in order to foster peace and prosperity. The purpose of the Nigerians Saving Nigerians website is to provide a platform where Nigerians can organize peacefully in order to strengthen the development of Nigeria.

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