Dear Mr. President, I Am Disappointed In Your Lack Of Class By Ayokunle Odekunle
Look at this scenario.
A family of over 50 people akin to a football academy; a man, 6 wives and 26 children live somewhere. Now imagine 4 of his sons named Kabiru, Kamoru, Sulemonu and Adimula have live-in lovers who have 5 kids each. The house is full and the head of the family called Baba No Regret allows anyone behave as they choose. He is in-charge but not IN-CHARGE.
Suddenly, the family becomes subject to incessant attack from marauding armed robbers. On a fateful Friday, the robbers attacked the ‘Majiyagbe’ cottage which houses the family. They killed 1 of his wives and 7 of his children. Many others were injured. The household was thrown into chaos. Baba No Regret visited the injured members of his family in the hospital and wore a mournful look.
The following day, a Saturday, Baba No Regret put on his ‘Up Nepa’ lace, Abeti-aja cap, Salu bata shoes and headed for a party. At the party, he danced, rejoiced and made merry. He danced heartily to the mercurial Ebenezer Obey’s ‘Alowo Majaiye’.
While his family mourned, he rejoiced. While his household was depressed, he was impressed with the party and life.
Insensitivity at its apogee.
I am not a part of the ‘Jonathan Out’ brigade. Infact, I like him as a person and I tolerate him a lot. I am also one of his stoutest defenders. While I would not be a part of the tyranny of the majority , the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism who see nothing good in him at all, I as much as possible would not want to be a part of the moronic ‘dingbatsy’ of the minority who would develop acute myopia when he errs albeit gravely.
I watched George Bush’s ‘Address to the Nation’ speech which was an aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack in the USA. He was the rallying point for his people, his body language was soothing, and his voice reassuring. He told the American people “…Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” I am not American but I felt moved by those words.
After a terrorist attack in 2012, our President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan told a shocked Nation “Calm down. Terrorist attacks happen everywhere”. Compare that rhetoric to George Bush’s.
April 14, 2014 was a dark day for Nigeria. The activities of terrorists which go on daily in the North-East and which many of us appear unconcerned about reached it crescendo – right in the middle of Abuja, Nigeria’s seat of power, a bomb exploded killing people in their scores. Nigerians deserving of honourable deaths were burnt to death, many beyond recognition. It was a gory sight.
Mr. President rather commendably cancelled his planned trip to Ibadan, Oyo State, choosing instead to visit the scene of the explosion. He also visited the survivors at the National Hospital. Trust Mr. President though, he just had to drop us one of his classic lines. Amidst many things, he said “…We will get over it, this is a temporary setback”. I do not know how to qualify the statement. I however know that those who lost their breadwinners, family members and all to that ungodly attack would not get over it and would not be soothed by that statement. What is there to get over? That government failed in its primary responsibility which is to protect its citizens? What is there to get over, Mr. President?
As if that was not bad enough, while the smoke from the bomb blast was yet to clear, while the spirits of the dead were still wandering and crying for justice, Mr. President, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria hopped in one of the Presidential jets and headed for Kano. No, he did not go there to commission projects; he went to Kano for a PDP rally.
He went to Kano to receive a political nomad called Ibrahim Shekarau back into the fold of the PDP. He went to Kano for subtle campaign, he went to Kano to dance and rejoice. Like a woman in a polygamous home would throw subliminals at one of the wives perceived to be responsible for her barrenness, he went to Kano to throw subliminals at his perceived enemies. He went to Kano to show his lack of class – insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians who lose their lives daily.
I can hear many of the Jonathan apologists saying ’SHOULD HE NOT TRAVEL AGAIN BECAUSE OF TERRORISTS’? Of course he can. I agree that the machinery of government should not be run aground due to the activities of insurgents but pray, that Kano PDP rally isn’t an official assignment. That Kano PDP rally would add little or NO value to the lives of Nigerians. So?
For that man with the acute diarrhea of the mouth, Olisa Metuh, I have no words. Keep playing politics with the death of others. Keep seeking to gain fortune from the misfortune of the unfortunate. Karma beckons.
As for Mr. President, I am disappointed in you. I am not blaming you for the blasts. I know that the security crisis we suffer is a failure of the political class. But as the father of Nigeria, you can do better that what you are doing now. At times like this, when the whole nation despairs, you should not be a PDP leader but a leader to all parties… but what do I know?
Would it be said that Mr. President lacks good advisers? Maybe! But one can have good advisers and fail or refuse to heed advise and one can have bad advisers but still use his own gumption. You can do better than this Mr. President. People get slaughtered in their sleep almost everyday in Borno, Yobe, Nassarawa, Zamfara. Your body language gives the impression that all is well and that ’we will get over it’. No, Mr. President, there is a serious problem brewing. Take charge now and at least show some empathy.
It seems all Mr. President cares about is holding on to his seat next year. He should however know that if the nation burns, he would feel the heat and won’t enjoy his reign. He should remember that history would judge him for his actions and inactions; deeds and misdeeds. People coming after us would read of a certain Mr. Goodluck Jonathan who appeared weak in the face of insurgents slaughtering his citizens like Ileya rams. History would talk about a certain Goodluck Jonathan who galivanted the whole country when his country burnt. History would tell the sorry tales of a President who put on Aso Ebi hopping from party to party, chilling while his citizens were all garbed in black- mourning.
It is not too late Mr. President. The interests of the nation and the citizens supersedes your interest and that of your party. There was a Nigeria before Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP. I can bet that after Mr. Goodluck Jonathan is 6 feet under, food to maggots, after the PDP has ceased to exist, Nigeria will still exist.
I have no more words for you Mr President. But i am disappointed in you. Very!
Ayokunle Odekunle is an Associate in one of Nigeria’s leading law firms. He tweets from @Oddy4real
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