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Atsar Terver
Public Commentator
Port Harcourt
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We ought not to be clamoring for some oil thieves to be throne behind bars to prove that Jonathan is fighting corruption. That is not Jonathanís style. We need to understand that things like this donít bother him because he knows the clamor is the handwork of the opposition who are jealous of his friends who are fingered in the subsidy scam. As far as Jonathan is concerned, he has exposed the thieves, and that is what matters. The opposition is just envious that Jonathans unprecedented imaginary war against corruption has placed Nigeria only second to the USA in the anti-graft war! They are angry that the subsidy largesse was not extended to their members because it was a PDP family affair. He doesnít give a damn about opposition-sponsored protests like the one we had in January. As we can see, after the hullabaloo, Nigerians are now queuing happily to buy fuel at prices even higher than the one they were paid to protest against..

 

Nigeria on Reverse Transformation

Imagine being the President of a country where the people expect nothing and get nothing from you. Where you can make many different and contradictory speeches and get away with all of them. Where you can make 100 promises and fulfill none and no one will hold you to account. Imagine leading a country where you donít have to worry about the security of the people because any citizen who deems his life to be important should get a private security, while communities should organize vigilante groups, and where they cannot afford to do so, members of that community could take turns to keep watch overnight in their neighborhood. If you happen to be the President of such a country, what else would you use your idle brain and time to do than to imagine vain things, do vain things and practically become hallucinated?

 

It is therefore not surprising that the President came up with his scorecard as the nation turns 52 and the report is full of gibberish, a complex mixture of wishful thinking, fiction and outright fabrications that can only come from a highly hallucinated mind. I recommend a scientific study on the effect of cassava bread on the human brainís ability think straight. I have a suspicion that it makes one to imagine things. For instance the President imagines he has been fighting corruption to a standstill with the likes of Otedola, around him. The President thinks he has conquered Boko Haram and yet he got stuck in the Presidential Villa with his tail between his legs on a day when Presidents roll out the drums to cerebrate. For the first time in our history, we had a cowardly Commander-In-Chief address us on our National Day from the comfort of his bedroom!

The notion that Nigeria is a very difficult country to govern is quite a questionable postulation. I have cause to believe that this clichť is a ploy by politicians to blackmail the people and find a cheap excuse for the many failures of leadership in Nigeria. To the contrary an observation of the day-to-day living of Nigerian would reveal that indeed Nigeria is the easiest country to govern. Nigeria is such a country where leaders are paid (no, rather they pay themselves), for doing nothing for three hundred and sixty days in a year.

The people have a way around each and every of their problems, be it Power generation, Water supply, Security, Education, healthcare, transportation or housing. For example almost every household in Nigeria owns a generation set. This translates to a huge market for generator manufacturing companies in China, Japan, Taiwan and even India. These countries have found the Nigerian Market a viable dumping ground for substandard generators as, the quality of these generating sets keep dropping by the year as the demand for them increase. While the huge demand for these products in Nigeria creates employment for citizens of the countries where they are manufactured Nigeria continues to wallow in unemployment, with the government not demonstrating that it has the faintest idea how to create jobs.

Typical of the vain thinking that this government is good at doing, the President recently created the office of Special Assistant for Job creation! Now what is that? When I heard of this I could not help but cringe at the dearth of ideas in the Presidents think-tank. Elementary economics should tell any serious thinker that jobs are not created by fiat. Every job has its origin in productivity. If new goods or services are not created, no new jobs can emerge from the blues irrespective of how brilliant an Adviser on job creation is. Does the President need a special Adviser to realize that if the he decides to build a fast rail line from Lagos to Abuja; that alone would create thousands of jobs at the design, construction and operational phases of the project, added to the multiplier economic effect in terms of the Railway service industry and improved transportation for the people?

In Nigeria, the performance of leaders is measured by the leaders themselves. That makes life really very easy. It is like the teacher allowing his students to set examination questions themselves, then answer those questions and also mark the papers by themselves. Demonstrating social contract accountability by the government is therefore just a matter of getting some shameless aides to write (fictitious) reports. The achievements of the government are not to be seen on ground but rather in the books. Itís proven to be a cheaper model for transformation whereby, for instance, instead of generating 4000 mega watts of electricity and distributing it to the citizens, you simply put together a team that would document in a report that says this has already been done and then you spend a little token pushing that report into public space so that as many people as possible would read and believe that indeed the Government has transformed power supply. This helps to free up the money that could have gone into actual power generation and distribution infrastructure for other more pressing needs like beefing up the Presidential fleets with more jets or bullet-proof cars.

There is a popular saying that Nigerians donít read books; that if you want to hide anything from Nigerians, just put it in book form. I think this is the error of judgment Jonathan has made that resulted in making him the most criticized President in Nigerian history. Instead of reading the books to discover the starling performance of the Jonathan Administration, this lazy generation of angry Nigerians have resorted to Facebook, Twitter, BB Messenger and To-Go to criticize the President.

We have been looking at the wrong places for evidence of transformation. When we wish to see transformation in road construction, we tend to focus their attention on the East-West Road, or the Benin Ore road, or the Enugu-Oturkpo death traps as if the President told us he was going to write his performance statistics on the roads. Check all over the world, where does one see Presidential performance reported on the roads instead of the books?

I think we need to go back to school; our President and his aides are too educated to be talking about transformation without a report to show for it! Donít we realize that this is the first time we are privileged to have a PhD holder occupy the Presidency?

It is very easy to see that there is more power generation in the country if only we can read the Presidentís report. If there is no power in your house itís probably because you expect the government to do everything for you. Why not get your generator? After all the I-Pass-my-neighbor generator is easily available and cheap too! You donít even need to worry about empty Gasoline Stations, your neighbor sells PMS in kegs near you and his supply doesnít run dry. Is that not easier to do than to sit down somewhere and criticize your President, making him to become the most criticized president on Earth?

Our problem as a people is that we love to rush to conclusions too much. When Jonathan came up with his Transformation Agenda, we never gave him a chance to explain what manner of transformation he had on his mind; we just went to town expecting fresh air. Now that we know it was actually meant to be reverse transformation so, letís hold our peace!

Whether we believe it or not, (in fact we donít even need to believe anything because even the president doesnít believe himself) the Reverse transformation of Nigeria has been SSS, that is, Slow, Sure and Steady. Just look at the key transformations that have taken place in less than three years;Jonathan himself has transformed from a shoeless fisherman to a Grand Con-Master of the Federal Republic(GCFR).He has transformed Nigeria to the second only after USA in the fight against corruption(donít mind bad belle Transparency International, Jonathan got his rating from BusinessDay). Do you people think it is easy to Ďcarry secondí?

Even his menu has been transformed from wheat bread to Cassava Bread. Militants have undergone metamorphic transformation from pipeline breakers to pipeline protectors. Mrs. Jonathan has transformed from an absconded Director to an absentee Permanent Secretary. Abati has been transformed from a government critic to mediocre apologists of the establishment. Oil Subsidy thieves, Certificate forgers, election riggers; have been transformed into National Award honorees! What more transformation are Nigerians asking for?

Abati told us recently that President Jonathan is misunderstood by Nigerians. So the issue here really is that Nigerians need to just understand Jonathan. For instance we need to understand that his transformation Agenda was ab initio not conceived to be experienced or felt by the people. It was originally designed to be read like some fairy tale in a book. We need to understand that as a serious Christian who went to kneel before Daddy Adeboye in his full Presidential royalty to be prayed for, Jonathanís government is based on faith which calls the Ďthings that be notí as though they were!

We ought not to be clamoring for some oil thieves to be throne behind bars to prove that Jonathan is fighting corruption. That is not Jonathanís style. We need to understand that things like this donít bother him because he knows the clamor is the handwork of the opposition who are jealous of his friends who are fingered in the subsidy scam. As far as Jonathan is concerned, he has exposed the thieves, and that is what matters. The opposition is just envious that Jonathans unprecedented imaginary war against corruption has placed Nigeria only second to the USA in the anti-graft war! They are angry that the subsidy largesse was not extended to their members because it was a PDP family affair. He doesnít give a damn about opposition-sponsored protests like the one we had in January. As we can see, after the hullabaloo, Nigerians are now queuing happily to buy fuel at prices even higher than the one they were paid to protest against.
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