Akintunde Oyebode: My president is grey (YNaija FrontPage)

It is also not safe for our leader to ply our unsafe roads. If a former minister of works can die from an accident on a road he neglected as minister, the President is certainly not immune.

Not many people will remember Young Jeezy in 20 years; but I suspect his song “My President” will be not so easily forgotten.  He recorded the song with Nas (another one of my rap heroes) on the day Barack Obama won the Democratic Party nomination for the presidency, which became one of the iconic celebration tunes of the Obama Presidency. The jury is out on President Obama’s first term in office; but what you cannot debate is his ability to work a microphone, and portray the image of a thoughtful and competent leader.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” Thankfully, I remembered this on Sunday, and chose a Skype conversation with two amazing friends instead of listening to President Jonathan ramble about the state of the nation.

The reaction to President Jonathan’s chat with the media was predictable. When a president says he does not give a “damn” about the call for a public declaration of his assets, it is bound to cause some angst. What I found more interesting was his admission that the late President Yar’Adua “forced” him to declare his assets when he was Vice-President. It suggests our leader does not believe a public declaration of his assets sends a big signal that he is ready to tackle corruption, and set the tone for accountability among public officers. After all, there is nothing that suggests this correlation in the Public Administration for Beginners handbook edited by Reuben the Wordsmith.

It was also exciting listening to the President justify his decision to visit Brazil while the country was being terrorized. It was a bold sign that terrorists cannot hold his government hostage. But I was puzzled when he was taken to task on the failure of his government to meet several promises made on the power sector. Suddenly, Boko Haram sprung to the fore, and our inability to focus on developing the power sector was blamed on the influence of terrorists on our government’s priority list. Such beautiful contradictions only confirm how lucky we are to be led by such an intelligent and mild mannered man.

The logic underpinning the President’s decisions is admirable. He was asked why he had not visited Maiduguri and Bauchi, two of the locations ravaged by terrorist attacks; and I found his answer insightful. Both cities, which ought to have functioning airports, cannot land a plane. With the malaise in Nigeria’s airspace, it is only sensible for the President to avoid domestic air travel, especially through moribund airports. It is also not safe for our leader to ply our unsafe roads. If a former minister of works can die from an accident on a road he neglected as minister, the President is certainly not immune. Of course, if Aliko Dangote decides to open a cement production factory in Maiduguri, the risk of any accidents will immediately diminish to zero.

Some believe President Jonathan is a monumental failure, others like Reuben Abati believe he is a resounding success; I believe he is neither excellent nor hopeless. The Goodluck conundrum is the inability to describe him in black or white. In three years, he will either be the worst civilian president Nigeria has ever had, or the man who started our journey to redemption.

My President is grey, the people are blue; I’ll be damned if he ends up no good.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (5)

  1. May,

    This is one year of a four or eight year journey. As at today, the president has neither excelled or failed, but he has 3 years to define his presidency. Today, he's grey, in three years he'll be better defined.

    Clearer now?

  2. Oyebode: You said you cannot describe the President in black and white – but you went ahead and did just that and made it clear that he will only be descibed in either the white and black that you describe:

    "The Goodluck conundrum is the inability to describe him in black or white. In three years, he will either be the worst civilian president Nigeria has ever had, or the man who started our journey to redemption."

    Confused!!

  3. you are Ynaija's best columnist!!

  4. Straight-to-the-point analysis as usual. I'd say my president is blank though, it describes him better in my opinion.

  5. Hmmm….very well said.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail