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Frisky Larr (MA)
Journalist/Interpreter
Author of the book “Nigeria’s Journalistic Militantism” probing into the poor role of Journalism in Nigeria! ISBN: 9781456777906.
Bochum, Germany
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Jonathan’s Nigeria: What a peculiar Mess!

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The furious media campaign that facilitated the negative image of Olusegun Obasanjo would no doubt, have been one of the consequences if Jonathan had chosen to fight corruption in the oil sector hands down. The moguls have their dragnets in every sector of the economy. His government would probably have been overthrown if he had cried out loud enough and exposed the sponsors of Boko Haram. He probably would have been killed in crossfire. But Jonathan shied away from these adverse consequences of occupying the high stool considering Nigeria as not worthy of dying for. We may speculate all we wish, but Jonathan alone knows the real truth underlying his criminal misgovernance of Nigeria. Yet he wants to be re-elected for a second term and I pray God forbids his return to power and hold him accountable for his misdeeds so far.


Frisky Larr is author of the book “Nigeria’s Journalistic Militantism” probing into the poor role of Journalism in Nigeria! ISBN: 9781456777906.

It is no doubt, a "PEMKELEMESS"! And in case you’re left wondering what "Pemkelemess" stands for, it means nothing else than "peculiar mess". It is said to be the creation of the infamous Yoruba politician Adegoke Adelabu of blessed memory. Adelabu is reported to have asked what "pemkelemess" someone was talking about, who pointed out the "peculiar mess" of a dire situation. Even though there are different versions of what truly transpired to produce "pemkelemess", it is certain that the word "peculiar" was not known to someone's stock of vocabulary at the time the word was coined. Of course, we are not comparing the intellect of President Goodluck Jonathan with that of a person who "yorubanized" the word peculiar into "pemkele" but it is also worth remembering that President Jonathan is also reported to have authored the expression "Nigerians will feel one kind if....!" Just so much for the comparison of intellects!

Where did Jonathan pick Nigeria from in 2010? Where has he left the country today in 2014? Opinions will differ on the direction of “Transformation” the country has gone through in all the four years of the President’s flagship policy slogan.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan picked the pieces of a drifting country from a vicious and desperate mafia that was determined to rule the country through the back door in the name of an incapacitated President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. The entire nation rallied around the then Acting President to wrest power from the sectional and divisive cabal. There was no shortage of goodwill and public support.

Four years on today,what is the flagship achievement of President Jonathan's administration? What does his government stand out for?

At home and abroad there is hardly any respectable observer who has praises for President Jonathan's government except his self-incited accolades of containing the spread of the Ebola disease.

Very early into the days of the administration, many were enthused by the massive award of contracts for infrastructural upgrade. Some made haste to rate President Jonathan's government as best in infrastructural improvement in the recent history of governance in Nigeria. Mine was one of few voices, which cautioned that contract awards were not the end in themselves. They were just the means as reality shows today.Many of such projects no longer feature in headline news and have no results to show.

In the field of positive achievements, the most notable feature till date remains the activation of the railway line from Lagos to Kano. A structure that was left to dilapidate over several decades of misgovernance! Else, progress made in the area of enabling economic environment through the competent work of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala hardly features on the radar for lack of positive impacts on the overall picture that the country presents. One strongly sloganeered epistle of grace was the "Rebasing" of economic data to declare Nigeria the largest economy in Africa. In other words, rebased data simply revealed that Nigeria may have long being the largest economy in Africa unknown to it due to reliance on obsolete figures.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who shot to fame under former President Obasanjo for helping negotiate away Nigeria's foreign debt with the Paris Club is now popularly known under the Jonathan administration as the rebasing Minister, who is holding on to relevance in spite of a filthy surrounding built upon a rock of unwavering corruption. Such is the household achievement that is held high in the Jonathan’s banner of major accomplishments. Some may wish to count refurbished roads and government buildings as major successes, whose impacts no one knows except the few affected by such refurbishments.

In the end, the crucial question remains: "What use are all these self-styled achievements if they are drowned in major failures unsettling the foundation of the entity itself?" President Jonathan seems to have picked up the pieces of a drifting Nigeria and ended up tearing them into further more pieces.

President Jonathan has thrown Nigeria light years back in the fight against corruption by actively and not even secretly defending the interests of corrupt people who seem to be his friends and thus privileged individuals. We remember his obstinate refusal to combat corruption and fraud in the oil sector. Whoever came close to revealing the decay in that sector was promptly hacked down, discredited and thrown to the wolves to devour. Nuhu Ribadu headed a committee to investigate the decay. The mole named Oronsaye was planted beside him to discredit any positive investigation Ribadu may have carried out. In the end, Ribadu’s report did not see the light of day and several "credible" claims were conjured to condemn it to a perpetual death. Unfortunately, this same Nuhu Ribadu has foolishly and wantonly displayed a lack of character and is today, dining with the same devil that he once claimed to be fighting. We remember Farouk Lawan whose sensational public inquiry revealed a lot of fraudulent acts and actors, whose prosecution and ultimate punishment the public impatiently yearned for. In the end, Farouk Lawan's own greed and stupidity made him a laughing stock in a government-orchestrated sting operation. Yet the public figures in the sensational revelations were suddenly left off the hook and offered the President and his men a resounding relief. We remember Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who suddenly became a Boko Haram sponsor soon after he threw a hint at the unprecedented scale of theft in the Jonathan administration. Today, the rest is history.

While many of us condemned the one-sided prosecution of corruption under former President Obasanjo for favoring his own allies, President Jonathan moved one step further fighting neither friends nor foes but anyone who dares to fight corruption. Farida Waziri was the first victim when she began growing wings to hover above the dictates of the questionable Attorney-General of an unfortunate Nigeria. In the end, there is hardly any move made by President Jonathan within these four years that does not make reasonable critics regret their vehement attacks on Olusegun Obasanjo, who after all, now appears to have meant well for Nigeria as opposed to the steady path of destruction that Jonathan is bent on treading.

A Governor that was impeached and convicted of corruption under Obasanjo was resurrected by Goodluck Jonathan to rerun the Governorship race, which he has allegedly won. Yet he reportedly ended up leading a mob to beat up a judge that was to adjudicate on his electoral victory. Another character that has been publicly accused of drug-related crimes, indicted in the United States and has been publicly ostracized by former President Obasanjo now plays a major role in the PDP and governance of the country under Jonathan's watch.

The dreaded Nigeria’s military establishment that was once the envy of the neighborhood fighting to liberate and re-establish entire nations from internal divisions is today the laughing stock of smaller neighbors and the entire international community. An Australian negotiator recently revealed two names and an unnamed actor within the Nigerian Central Bank as collaborating sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgency. Some Nigerians cried foul on hearing the name Ihejirika. Yet it was under the same Ihejirika that evidences of military collaboration with Boko Haram piled up relentlessly. Checkpoints vacated for free passage when Boko Haram's convoy came crawling, military targets attacked with insider knowledge were no rarity under Ihejirika, who became a millionaire overnight in line with the general pattern of Jonathan’s understanding of integrity in governance. Millions of money allocated to the military that were meant for the purchase of weapons disappeared under Ihejirika's watch. If these are not indirect sponsorship of Boko Haram, I will beg to ask what is. Aside from the fact that the Australian should know what he is talking about, anyone should dare believe that Jonathan does not know the sponsors of Boko Haram at his or her own perils.

In his quest to remain in power beyond 2015 as tele-guided by his sinister cabal, Jonathan has not only condoned the sponsors of Boko Haram, he may have also tacitly enhanced the activities of the sinister operators as long as his position as President was left untouched. While the President and his kitchen cabinet know fully well what has been playing out behind closed doors, observers like us have seen the sudden removal and death of General Azazzi (former Security Adviser to the President) soon after he linked Boko Haram with the PDP. We have also seen the sudden removal of Ihejirika from his position without any credible explanation. We saw the absurd theatrical state of denial on the Chibok Girls and the subsequent attack on a frontline advocate -- Oby Ezekwesili. We also saw the President's sudden attempt at image laundering in foreign newspapers and with the help of overseas propagandists.

Today, Cameroon ridicules the Nigerian army claiming to have crossed the border to help the Nigerian army kill the fugitive leader of the insurgents. Reports of soldiers absconding when Boko Haram comes swooping is no rarity in headline news. Thank goodness, the tide now seems to be turning but Jonathan knows precisely what script is playing out in the wilderness of the battlefront.

Crime has grown uncontrolled through the nation with more and more Nigerian citizens turning their back on the country in search of greener pastures in foreign countries.

Lawlessness and chaos have seen government agencies arrogating powers to themselves in self-serving interpretation of the law to exploit the masses. The Road Safety Commission was the latest example in the battle to ascertain the authority responsible for the regulation of driving licenses and number plates with no power from above wading in to assert sanity. Today the customs authority is reported to have started imposing duties on imported vehicles implementing a law that has barely passed through the second reading. A bill that has not been passed into law to say the least of being signed by the President, so to speak! Such is the chaos in today's Nigeria that Nigerian policemen openly drink alcohol while on duty and disobey orders at their own convenience. Soldiers pushed to the wall in their futile fight against Boko Haram rise up against their commanders and attempt to kill one of their own for sending their comrades to a Boko Haram ambush. The soldiers are sentenced to death but the cause of their grievances remains intact under the watch of President Jonathan. Nigeria now seems crawling cap-in-hand begging for arms from South Africa while Nigerian cash is disgracefully seized on money-laundering charges. In spite of all his vices, many of these catastrophes would never have happened under Olusegun Obasanjo who knew what he wanted and did not shy away from confronting anybody. The untenable argument that Olusegun Obasanjo foisted the "Ph.D" Jonathan on Nigeria will hold no weight today since no one would have remembered Obasanjo if Jonathan had turned out a brilliant leader.

The furious media campaign that facilitated the negative image of Olusegun Obasanjo would no doubt, have been one of the consequences if Jonathan had chosen to fight corruption in the oil sector hands down. The moguls have their dragnets in every sector of the economy. His government would probably have been overthrown if he had cried out loud enough and exposed the sponsors of Boko Haram. He probably would have been killed in crossfire. But Jonathan shied away from these adverse consequences of occupying the high stool considering Nigeria as not worthy of dying for. We may speculate all we wish, but Jonathan alone knows the real truth underlying his criminal misgovernance of Nigeria. Yet he wants to be re-elected for a second term and I pray God forbids his return to power and hold him accountable for his misdeeds so far.

 

Follow me on Twitter @FriskyLarrimore, Watch out for my new book "Africa's Diabolical Entrapment"

Frisky Larr is author of the book "Nigeria's Journalistic Militantism" probing into the poor role of Journalism in Nigeria! ISBN: 9781456777906.

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