Lee Kuan Yew Should Drag Jonathan to Court, By Sam Nda-Isaiah
Has anyone been watching Jonathan’s 2015 presidential campaigns on TV lately? My attention was drawn, last week, to the one in which the president compares himself with Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, the father of modern Singapore; Dr Martin Luther King, President John Kennedy, President Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama. I didn’t know that level of shamelessness was possible even in a movie. A second advert portrays Jonathan as having achieved so much for Nigeria and he is just not “bragging”.
I have not met one single Nigerian who is not extremely angry about those cheap and brassy adverts. But I was not angry at all. Far from it! I have instead been having a good laugh since I discovered the advertisement. I wish I had seen them earlier. I do not think that people should be angry at clowns; they should only laugh at them. I daily enjoy myself thoroughly watching those adverts so much so that I now watch the NTA network news for the sole purpose of enjoying the comedy. I even think that advert should be nominated for the Oscars. Those who designed the adverts are wickedly creative. Chai!
But apart from those of us who have been enjoying ourselves, there are those who would not be laughing. Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore, who transformed the tiny city-state from a Third World enclave to a First World country and known for his skills of statecraft, would find that advert the greatest insult to his life. Prime Minister Lee is a senior statesman acclaimed by every great world leader.
My suspicion is that Jonathan probably doesn’t know who Lee Kuan Yew is. For all you know, he may actually think Lee Kuan Yew is a great football star. To speak Dame Patience Jonathan’s inimitable language, “nothing join Lee Kuan Yew with Jonathan”. While the Singaporean statesman was very harsh on corruption during his days as the leader of his country, Jonathan fetes corruption. I will not waste anybody’s time comparing Lee Kuan Yew with Jonathan. But only one comparison will do: When Lee Kuan Yew was prime minister, his minister of national development and one of his confidants, Mr Teh Cheang Wan, was accused of collecting two bribes of $500,000 each. As soon as the rumours became rife, Singapore’s equivalent of our own EFCC, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), started investigating him. When the investigation started, the minister was placed on suspension by the prime minister. Relying on their cordial relationship, Mr Teh then attempted to see Lee Kuan Yew through the prime minister’s principal secretary. The prime minister sent a message back to Mr Teh that if he was guilty, he would not need to see him at all because he would have to face the full weight of the law, and if he was not guilty, there would still be no need to see him because the investigations would be through in the following two weeks anyway and he would be cleared. Seeing that the prime minister refused to intervene, Mr Teh committed suicide, leaving behind a note saying he took full responsibility for everything.
Back to Nigeria. The minister of petroleum resources and the president’s friend, Diezani Allison-Madueke, was accused of massive corruption, the type that this nation has never seen, by the Central Bank governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, even agreed with the CBN governor, except that her own figures were less. Instead of Jonathan to approve the investigation of the minister as Lee Kuan Yew did in his own time, he found a very convenient excuse to suspend the CBN governor instead.
In the last presidential media chat, the president went at length, almost disgracing himself in the process, to defend his friend, the minister of petroleum resources; he even defended her for not appearing before the House of Reps for questioning over another allegation of corruption. That was the same media chat that our president declared that, in his own alternative universe, there was a difference between corruption and stealing. In other words, those stealing should not be disturbed or distracted from the very serious job they are doing. This is the man that is being compared with Lee Kuan Yew? Dia ris God o!
The jesters also compared Jonathan with Martin Luther King, President John Kennedy, President Nelson Mandela and even President Barack Obama.
I think Lee Kuan Yew should simply go to court to reclaim his good name. Obama must do same as soon as he steps down from the American presidency. Maybe the next advert will compare Dame Patience with Michelle Obama and Jackie Kennedy. Jokers all of them.
Jonathan: Chibok As The Last Straw
In faraway Paris, France, when our president was asked why he didn’t go to Chibok as expected, his response was as usual scandalous and embarrassing, if not downright cold-blooded. He said he didn’t need to go to Chibok because the girls were not in Chibok. He went further to say that, apart from psychological comfort, he did not see what his trip to Chibok would have achieved. This clearly is the last straw for most Nigerians. It gets clearer each passing day that Nigeria has no president worth that title. By saying that apart from the psychological comfort, his trip to Chibok would have no value proves finally that Jonathan does not know the first thing about being the president of a nation. Of course, it is psychological comfort that going to Chibok would have provided and, in the circumstance, that would be part of the president’s job specification.
As president, he should have gone to Chibok to comfort the grieving parents of the girls and promise them in person that the Nigerian government would place every security and military asset at its disposal to get back their daughters. And for whatever that would be worth, at least some of the parents who had been telling foreign reporters that the federal government of Nigeria had abandoned them to their fate would be comforted. A second thing would also have been achieved if the president had gone to Chibok. Boko Haram terrorists, who have been reveling in the thought that the Nigerian president is weak and scared stiff of them, would start having a rethink. And, thirdly, the poorly motivated Nigerian soldiers serving in the Boko Haram-infested area of Nigeria would feel better that their commander-in-chief cares about them. But the Nigerian president doesn’t give a damn about his country, doesn’t give a damn about the people and doesn’t give the slightest damn about the country’s children.
The Nigerian president has ceded a part of the territory of the entity called Federal Republic of Nigeria to terrorists and feels no qualms about that. If the world had not picked interest in the abducted Chibok girls, Jonathan would have forgotten them just as quickly as he forgot the murdered children of Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, who were burnt alive by some unhinged criminals in their dormitory recently. The greatest motivation Boko Haram gets to continue to engage in their heinous crimes against humanity is the conduct of President Jonathan.
It’s a pity that Jonathan knows little of what the job of the president of a nation entails and should not have been president in the first place. Maybe Nigeria would have been a better place today if a more competent person from the south-south had been picked as Umaru Yar’Adua’s running mate in 2007.
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