by Kolapo Olapoju
Senior Special Adviser to President Jonathan on public affairs, Doyin Okupe, has lamented the fact that many Nigerians were of the opinion that the president is clueless.
According to him, even if that were the case, it is impossible for people around him like; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Olusegun Aganga to be clueless as well.
Okupe also denied the opposition’s allegations that Jonathan has put in place plans to postpone the 2015 general elections, adding that having followed politics for over 30 years, he remains unimpressed by the Nigerian political elites.
Okupe delivered the tirade on Tuesday, December 9 at the 2014 Nigerian Pilot/Newsworld Annual Public Lecture and Award, which held at Sheraton Hotels in Abuja.
He said: “I have followed politics for over 30 years; I have never ever been impressed by the Nigerian political elites, never. It’s a personal and self indictment but that is the truth. The struggle for power blind folds them and it is not a national struggle, it is a personal struggle and we are ready to do anything and everything. It is not just the style. I was in NRC; I was in Geneva Convention, anytime we need to fight for a purpose, it is always do or die me or nobody. And that is why we have not made progress. I am part of and will not exclude myself.”
“I feel like-this are my thoughts-political parties should offer alternative platforms for people to consider, I come-this is what I will do for the country, this is my background, you come you say your own then allow people to choose. When people choose that is the end of it. All politics should end the day you cast you ballots. I contested virtually all the elections, I have won very few, but I have never ever rigged an election for myself or for anybody. I have never done it.”
He described the lot of them (politicians) as selfish individuals who were not willing to fight for a collective purpose. He also harped on the recent comment by Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who stated that the APC would form a parallel government, if the elections are rigged in 2015.
Okupe said: “The Nigerian political class must- well I don’t want to say things that are rhetorical because it doesn’t make sense, but I want to say must learn great lessons but it is too late. Maybe the younger generation may have different perspectives. We have not undergone the election itself and people are saying that we will form a parallel government for an election you have not lost.”
“We will form parallel government! Parallel to what? Supposing you win? When you have not undergone an election and you assumed that you are going to lose, and that if and when you lose you will form parallel government. In very civil societies, people like that, whatever political tendencies they represent should totally be wiped off from peoples memories as bad teachers.”
Okupe stated that politicians in the opposition don’t mean well for the country, while also reacting to the recent tweets of Kaduna governorship aspirant of the APC, Nasir El Rufai, who insinuated that the presidency was fanning the war against the insurgents, in order to have the elections postponed, a comment he described as “idiotic”
He said: “Those are not people that will mean well for the country. If you are a politician, canvass for votes, say all the good things you know about yourself and your candidates and let the people decide. I have also heard- it is not even a matter of hearing it, yesterday on twitter, another politician said that the president, Goodluck Jonathan, is fanning the war (against Boko Haram), so that the election can be postponed. That was quite idiotic.”
“A man that is waiting to be crowned forgets that is the Otunba that is speaking….this is Africa, this is Nigeria, this is a president that has run and that has held the office for four years, to the glory of God he has been able to make some substantial performance, unarguably.Every indication points out to the lengthy road of his winning, so why will he want to stop the election that his likely opponent has no record of winning anything?”
“It is unfortunate that they are on drugs …if Nigeria were to be a private estate owned by some of us, with Goodluck Jonathan as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of that estate, will anybody change him for a Buhari? It is not likely, but because Nigeria doesn’t belong to anybody and the elites are not stakeholders, that is why people will want to use people just to get power, whether it is for good or for bad they really don’t care.”
Speaking further, he stated: “So when people do things like this, it make issues and challenges that will come in 2015 very very frightful. As a matter of fact, the greatest problem we will have in post 2015 will be the acceptance of defeat by losers. I want to tell you for sure, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is not desperate, even till this morning, I had breakfast with him, and he is not desperate for power. If at this stage you ask why then is he running? He is running on the basis of principle.”
“He is a good Christian and a responsible man. The Bible says no man having put his hand on the plough and turneth back, is fit for the kingdom of God. That is why we are running. We have done so well, we have been encouraged by so many people. We have got the best stars in the firmament. They tell you things, they say that the president is clueless, that is a joke.”
“Let’s just assume for a minute that the president is clueless, is Okonjo Iweala clueless? Can you say the Minister of trade and investment Olusegun Aganga is clueless also? The Director of Budget of this country is a Harvard graduate. These are jokers! My chairman Sir, I was not meant to speak her sir and I do not intend to speak for long. I want to thank the publisher and your team. I want to say here that you are very supportive of the government but you are also very critical of the government. Ladies and gentlemen I rest my case,” Okupe added.