President Obama and President Jonathan to debate? All in last week’s news…with a pinch of salt

by Stanley Azuakola

Obama takes on Jonathan`

The United States presidential elections season is in full gear and already candidates from the opposition Republican Party have squared off in 19 debates so far. President Obama, who has no rival from his own Democratic Party, has complained that he is feeling a bit debate-rusty. To keep President Obama in shape, his campaign organisation says that it has arranged series of friendly debates with foreign presidents, starting with Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, in February.

President Jonathan accepted the challenge to debate President Obama on the topic: “Who has performed better as president?”. He said he’s ready to finally display his oratorical prowess and would use the occasion to propel Nigeria’s bid to become one of the Top 20 nations in the world by the year 2020. The debate would be broadcast live in Nigeria by the NTA in partnership with OSMI sports.   

Why Ringim, DIGs were sacked

More details have emerged concerning the resignation and sack of the top brass of the Nigeria Police Force last week. Contrary to popular belief, the main cause of the action was not the incompetence of the police chiefs but a communication disaster. Reports say after the Boko Haram bombing in Kano which claimed the lives of many officers, former IG, Hafiz Ringim and the DIGs all got really agitated and told President Jonathan that “this last bombing is one too many and would cause what happened in 2009 to repeat itself.” Worried by the development, the president who wanted to give negotiation a chance, realised that if the police force were allowed to go after Boko Haram in their agitated state, they would ruthlessly deal with and decimate the sect. He therefore took the painful step of relieving the officers of their jobs so that negotiations with the sect can happen. But what really happened in 2009, one of the sacked DIGs was asked. “As you all know,” he said, “it was in 2009 that the boys terrorising the Niger Delta were granted amnesty. The president wanted negotiations but we were already calling for amnesty.” 

President Jonathan has no belt, says blogger

A controversial blogger, Ann Odeli, caused a stir last week when she accused President Jonathan of having no belt and that’s why “he always puts on clothes that cover his waist area.” In an open letter to the president, Odeli said it was hypocritical of the president to ask Nigerians to sacrifice and tighten their belts when he had no belt or belt hole to tighten. In a swift reaction, presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, described the accusation as “intentional forgetfulness.” He said, “It seems the young lady has forgotten that the only thing President Jonathan didn’t use to have were shoes, not belts. Why this lady would even insinuate that a whole President Jonathan would lack belts is beyond me. I can assure you that there’s no designer brand of belt that isn’t in the presidential wardrobe. The president has more belts than anyone hence the national belt-tightening would affect him more than anyone else.” 


Recent actions of Edo State’s Governor Adams Oshiomhole gives cause for concern. Everyone is aware of his legendary flip-flop on the issue of subsidy removal which he opposed strongly in the past but now accepts as gospel. Then last week, Oshiomhole reinstated the chairman, Task Force on Demolition of Illegal Structures, Major Lawrence Loye (Rtd), a man he’d only fired five months ago for illegal demolition of buildings and charged to court. A man he’d called “mischievous” and a “sadist.” Now the man is back, and in addition, he’s been made a Senior Special adviser. No explanations were given. In a democracy, leadership without principles is a deadly sin. And Comrade Emperor Adams Oshiomhole receives the CeeCee for his uncertain principles.

 Follow A Pinch…on twitter @stanleyazuakola

Editor’s Note: A Pinch of Salt… is satire – a riff off news over the past week.







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