Jonathan’s ‘Most Wanted’ List of Enemies
By Rotimi Fassan
By Rotimi Fassan
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has many political enemies. The irony of the President’s situation is that many of his very vocal supporters are among his most ardent enemies.
They are in the class of Nigerians I have in the last one week here referred to as the enemies within the President’s government. By self-perception the President himself believes the Nigerian press hates him.
He has bought into the logic of the many enemies he once claimed have infiltrated his government and firmly believes he is the victim of a compromised press. Whereas his problem emanates from the legion of fair weather friends and do-gooders out to fish in the troubled waters they have created for the President.
There is no doubt there are many Nigerians out there who are genuinely troubled by what they perceive as an overly critical press; one they believe is a problem rather than a genuine watchdog and partner of the Jonathan administration.
For the sakes of these Nigerians it is necessary to shoot straight by coming down hard on some of these wolves masquerading in sheep clothing around the President. Last week I identified Alex Badeh, the Chief of Defence Staff as one of those stoking the fire in Jonathan’s bush of trouble.
Another culprit that doesn’t need any special effort to unmask is Mbu Joseph Mbu- yes the same infamous Mbu that was, even as police officer, the de facto governor of Rivers State.
While Badeh could be seen and excused as a recent recruit into the cadre of Jonathan’s internal enemies; while it is even possible to see him as a misguided recruit, Mbu has a relatively long career of deliberate mischief. He is a power-monging anarchist in police uniform.
Nigerians couldn’t have forgotten too quickly that Mbu it was that all but ran Rotimi Amaechi out of Rivers as the elected governor of that state? In the many controversies that pitched Amaechi against the President, his wife and their political supporters in Rivers State, Mbu was the unhidden hand that led the charge against an elected governor.
As a public officer, the Commissioner of Police of Rivers State, that ought to be seen far more than he was heard, Mbu made an art of disrespect to a superior to whom he should be answerable.
He openly took side in a matter that was no concern of his even when he could have successfully served as a peace-maker between two estranged political associates that were his superiors. Certainly Mbu tried to pose as a loyal subordinate and friend of the President. But the true motive of his soapy support and unbridled, even reckless support of the President’s wife was for the purpose of his pocket and position.
He was simply out to make an impression however ignoble as a supporter of President Jonathan, especially his wife and her local supporters in Rivers. Mbu was a major actor in the drama that made life unbearable for Amaechi, making the difference between him and the President irreconcilable. Mbu remained a thorn in the soft underbelly of Amaechi until his shenanigans attracted enough attention as to make his continued stay in Rivers State untenable.
Now as Commissioner of Police in the Federal Capital Territory, Mbu is once more at the game he knows best- courting at once avoidable and unnecessary controversy all for the sake of power and influence. This man is no doubt a politician in police uniform and until the police authorities do something about putting him where he truly belongs he would continue to bring them unfavourable attention. He is simply bad news as his latest misadventure in trying to ban rallies in aid of the release of the abducted school girls of Chibok demonstrates. Mbu last week issued an order he obviously consulted nobody, not even his superiors at Louise Edet House.
By this order, the police man banned any procession aimed at campaigning and drumming support for the return of the Chibok girls. In his warped reading of the matter, Mbu made the astounding claim that the campaign constituted a threat to security as it could be used as a cover to detonate explosives and thus embarrass government.
It was a unilateral decision that could only have come from someone full of his own sense of importance, a deluded public officer unconcerned about the limits of his authority. By this order Mbu sought to return Nigeria to the era of the military or the colonial authorities with whom Nigeria’s founding parents fought the struggle of independence. And a note of warning here: Should any thing untoward, including detonation of explosives, occur during the #Bring Back Our Girls# campaign Mbu should be held accountable.
It is strange what type of trouble some people simply create for others in the name of supporting them. Although IG Mohammed Abubakar has reversed Mbu’s thoughtless order but the damage has already been done. The Police has been in the unenviable position of splitting hair on the actual text and meaning of something as unambiguous as Mbu’s irresponsible order. The man, forgetting that Abuja is not Port Harcourt where he could run amok, has succeeded in portraying the police and the Jonathan government as both paranoid and afraid of criticism however well-meaning.
Mbu has succeeded in bringing a N200 million law suit on the Nigeria Police. He has further helped in publicising what he claims to be against a campaign he believes has been politicised. Which is not impossible really. But who is responsible for that if not the government?
Even from a distance one could see that President Jonathan is a quiet human being. But this very fact is what many jobbers masquerading as friends around him have exploited quite unconscionably for their own purposes. But neither the President nor his minders are any wiser for it. They would need to wake up from their slumber and begin to recognise the likes of Mbu for who and what they are: common busybodies in need of relevance.
These enemies posing as friends of the President are many and come in different guises. Many are members of his party. Others are in his cabinet. And yet others are in the security agencies. But too often the usual suspects for Jonathan and his supporters are members of the opposition many of whom only see an opening of criticism they could exploit.
They are less dangerous in certain circumstances than those in and around the President. He would be doing himself a world of favour to be alert and alive to the tricks of these enemies lurking like snakes at his door.
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