by Femi Owolabi
“If America shows weakness and uncertainty, the world will drift toward tragedy. That will not happen on my watch.” -George W. Bush.
Pick anything against the former President Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Matthew Obasanjo, corruption or whatever, but I challenge you to list ten major security challenges heard of during his reign. Ten major ones. I am not oblivious of the Kaduna, Jos, Benue ethno-religious crisis, but I beg someone to remind me of any particular group or organization that came to the media to brag that they were responsible for so and so attacks.
As I write this, @eggheader’s radar is reporting multiple bomb explosions in Kano, even when we are still preparing our condolence messages to ThisDay that got bombed on Thursday.
Obasanjo was in charge of his country’s security. Where were militants and Boko Haram when Obasnjo was active as Commander in Chief? Well, they were existing, but I don’t know of any who claimed to have masterminded attacks (Please I stand to be corrected). I revere the man Obasanjo for this singular reason which is grand to me. His domineering and somewhat autocratic style of leadership is enviable. Did you notice how he even talked to his governors during economic summits? “Governor Akwa Ibom, do you think we are here to joke?” As though the governors were his sons. After all, aren’t they? This charisma, guts and his aggressive mind of his is obviously traced not to his military background only but also as a war lord! Who the hell are you Boko Haram in the presence of the man who captured the Biafra war (Colonel Obasanjo of 3rd Marine Commando Division!)?
Now to the present. And to the present president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. I will be stupid if I start to mention all the atrocities trailing his government, like you are oblivious of them all. I only hope it won’t become anarchical. It is more than unfortunate that even he that promised a breath of fresh air is fainting in asphyxia. It is akin to the typical joke of a medicine-man hawking medicine that would cure cough, yet he himself is losing his voice to coughing. Search my archive, I have never used insulting words against Mr. President, not even the ‘cluelessness’ that is almost replacing the ‘C’ in the GCFR…and you hear Grand Clueless in Chief….bla..bla..
GEJ is not clueless, GEJ is weak. Yes he is. Weak in the sense that he lacks the might to take drastic decisions (albeit, I still wonder where he got that mind to remove fuel subsidy on January 1). For example, what is stopping him from kicking out Allison Maduke after Lawan’s breeze has blown and we’ve seen the anus of the fowl? His weaknesses have been demonstrated in many of his speeches. I do see it in his eyes. Arguably, his weakness is what this deadly Boko Haram has taken full advantage of.
American President Bush in his first, brief, statement on the multiple attacks on the United States in 2001, the president according to BBC said: “Conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. Terrorism against our nation will not stand.” And later in a full speech I culled this: “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat, but they have failed.” I watched President Bush live and I saw the strong convictions in his words and demonstrations. It is such that sends a threatening signal to whoever masterminded the attacks. I can’t really recollect any major terror attack on US soil after these words were sent.(I stand to be corrected please).
Many months ago when the UN building in Abuja was brought down by Boko Haram, these were our own president’s words: “I and all Nigerians are shocked,” Shocked? I don’t need to remind you that the UN explosion wasn’t the first masterminded by this sect. So why, shocked?
Then in his later statements he said: “We will work with the U.N. and other world leaders to ensure that terrorism is brought under control.” I saw my president saying this on TV. I looked at his face, it was wreath in weaknesses. Well, let me leave it for Public Affairs Analysts to place the statements of Bush and Jonathan in juxtaposition. (I know I have been warned severally to stop comparing Nigeria with America).
Sadly, almost everybody in Nigeria has become a whinger, reacting mostly in written words against the lackadaisical way the government is handling especially this issue of security.
My point in this essay is simple; can GEJ for once threaten these unrepentant barbarians? Just threaten them, just do it.
What message is sent across when a Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces publicly says: “even me, I can be bombed anytime?” This is sickening!
President Jonathan should go tough on Boko Haram! Use string military Intel, launch air-strike, use anything! Boko Haram is neither stronger nor tactful than the esteemed and ever ready Nigeria Armed Forces! Any thoughts of dialogue with terrorist should be swallowed and never ruminated! Flex your muscles as the Commander-in-Chief of every force in Nigeria!
Mr. President should also remember that you don’t trouble trouble till trouble troubles you. The nation has been troubled enough; unleash war on terrorism, on Boko Haram before they kill us all! Even if you’ve said you will bring the menace to an end by June, time is never the best counsellor! Take charge now! You are in charge….sir!
(I heard that President GEJ is to address Nigerians by 9:00pm. Let’s stay tunned)
Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.