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Atsar Terver
Public Commentator
Port Harcourt
more articles by Terver



Doyin should be told that sometimes silence does a better job for a Presidential Spokesman who doesn’t have anything meaningful to say.


Okupe: When Silence is Better

With their claim that the crisis in Rivers State and The NGF has no negative effect on democracy, the Jonathan administration has once again clearly demonstrated that they do not know what democracy is all about. If they did, they would have known that where a minority rules the majority, then democracy is non-existent.  If they truly don’t understand that 19 is greater than 16 and 27 is greater than 5 in a democracy, and that foisting such absurdity as they did in supporting Jang over Amaechi , on the polity is anti-democratic then one wonders what their idea of democracy is.


The bad precedence set by these acts of subversion of majority will, has far reaching negative consequences on the future of democracy than their shortsightedness can allow them to see. When you pass the subtle message to the younger generation that wrong is right, you lay a foundation for them to do worst things in the future.  It is the precedence Obasanjo set that emboldened Jonathan to attempt to use the same strategy Obasanjo used to remove Alamieyesiagha and Dariye, to remove Amaechi thinking it’s the normal thing to do, as Doyin Okupe shamelessly said, it has been done before in this country.  One of the many virtues of true leadership that the current crop of leaders in Nigeria lack is the ability measure the expediency of their current actions against their future impacts on national development.

In his characteristic manner of talking before he thinks, Doyin forgot that the meddlesome wife of the President has recently owned up to her role in the Rivers crisis, when she gave a blow-by-blow account of the genesis of the crisis. Mrs Jonathan said: ‘This matter started as far back as four years ago at Anyugubiri  in Okrika when I begged him not to demolish a part of Okrika but (that he should) dialogue first with the people’ . We recall on 24th August 2010, Mrs. Jonathan had an altercation with Governor Ammaechi over the demolition of the water front in Okrika. In a heated argument at a public function, she had warned: “I want you to get me clear; I am from here, I know the problems of my people so I know what I am talking. I don’t want us to go into crises…’’ So obviously they went into this crisis underground and the drama we the people were made to see in the House of Assembly is just the apogee of an iceberg.  It is no secret that the arrowhead of the impeachment saga in the RSHA is a close family member of the President’s wife, who calls her ‘Mother’ a.k.a ‘Jesus Christ’. So Doyin was either being deceptive or naïve in his attempt to tell the world that the Presidency is not involved in the Rivers crisis as it is simply impossible for the First lady to be deploying Presidential arsenal in fighting battles in which the Presidency is not involved.

In his crazily petty and ‘unpresidentially’ mundane statement by Doyin Okupe, he used Amachi’s trip to London on official duty as a proof that Rivers State is safe. Indeed! We are witnesses to the many times the President jetted out of the country in the heat of crisis on the homefront, like when in June last year twin bomb blasts occurred in Kaduna and Yobe States , the President jetted out the next day to Brazil, when leadership expediency demands that he should have stayed back to command the response to the emergency, but they justified their folly by saying the President needed travel out so as to demonstrate to Boko Haram, that they (Boko Haram) can’t stop the President from travelling out of the country.  Recently some 40 school children were massacred in Borno and Yobe States but Mr. President jetted out of the country to China on to borrow money that he would eventually bequeath to the future generations as a  debt burden to pay back. Perhaps Amaechi too wants to demonstrate to his detractors from Abuja that, they can’t stop him from travelling out of Rivers state. This again demonstrates the danger in setting the wrong precedence. The thinking would be that Jonathan did it, so why won’t Amaechi do same? 

Doyin Okupe should be reminded that sounding worried and jittery over the visit of some Governors to Amaechi, only betrays their insecurity. Perhaps this is the exact purpose of the visit and with this statement; the President’s spokesman has only confirmed to the public that the visit of the four ‘wise men’ from the North has produced their desired result.  Doyin forgot so soon that not long ago after the NGF election, solidarity visits to The President and his stooge Jonah Jang by some anti-democratic Governors like Godswill Akpabio, Gabriel Suswam, Seriake Dickson, e.t.c became the fad. So one wonders when Doyin realized that solidarity visits by Governors are intended to create fear, despair and sense of apprehension among the citizenry?

Doyin should be told that sometimes silence does a better job for a Presidential Spokesman who doesn’t have anything meaningful to say.



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