by Isi Esene
After so much ruckus in the polity where the interim leader of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC), Bisi Akande referred to President Goodluck Jonathan as a “kindergaten leader”, presidential handlers have gone all out to defend the achievements of the president saying the APC is crying wolf where there is none.
In a swift response to the statement attributed to Bisi Akande, the special adviser to the president of media and publicity, Reuben Abati called out the APC leader on watching his utterances adding that he should respect his age before making such statements which is seen as a disrespect to the office of the president.
Not ready to let the matter go without being addressed, Oronto Douglas, the Presidential Adviser on research, strategy and documentation has contributed his two cents to the issue by putting up a post on his Facebook page buttressing his points with facts, figures and comparative analysis.
Read his post below:
A friend called me from Gboko, Benue State, insisting that we aides of President Jonathan must do more “to defend the President and the institution of the presidency”. Specifically he said that negative “words are used on a daily basis by desperate individuals who are out to capture power and destroy our country”.
My dear brothers, sisters and friends here gathered in Mark Zukerbergs’ Stadium, I told my friend that though President Jonathan has no newspaper, radio or TV Station outlet of his own to defend himself and propagate his views without distortion, ordinary Nigerians will stand with and defend him when it matters most.
The words my friend mentioned have been used to unjustly describe leaders around the world.
Specifically I drew his attention to President Barrack Obama the first black to be president of the USA and his travails of “incompetence” “cluelessness” and “corruption”.
I said it maybe because Jonathan is also a pioneer on account of him being the first minority from the South to become President! (quite an unexpected event that only God can explain).
When you put yourself forward for service I reminded my friend, you become a target for all kinds of diatribes. My friend was not in the mood for excuses, “rambling and noise” he said and asked: “what has Obama got to do with the insults been heaped on our president?”
I said to him quiet a bit! A quick Google search at 0.29seconds speed on “Clueless Obama” revealed a hit of fifteen million seven hundred thousand references (15,700,000); a search for “Incompetent Obama”, at 0.35seconds gives three million nine hundred thousand (3,900, 000) hits, while “corrupt Obama administration” will grant you a whooping fifty-four million, eight hundred thousand (54,800,000) hits.
Now if you add the latest word in Nigerias’ political lexicon “Kindergarten” and do a search on “Kindergarten Obama” you will get Seven million eight hundred and forty thousand (7,840,000) hits at 0.25seconds!
These are citizens of the most powerful nation on earth expressing themselves! As we expand the frontiers of our freedom and deepen our democracy, more of such high decibel negativism is to be expected.
The result from Google on GEJ says that: two million one hundred and fifty thousand (2,150,000) hit by persons who allege or wrote on “corruption” dragging GEJ into the piece (compared to 54, 800, 000 against Obama); one hundred and seventy-six thousand (176,000) below the belt punch on our beloved President on “incompetence”, compared to (3,900,000 punches on Obama), Seventy-four thousand five hundred (74,500) slams on “clueless” (compared to 15,700,000 on Obama) and Eighty five thousand five hundred (85,500) knocks on “Kindergarten” GEJ (compared to 7,840,000 kindergarten Obama even though most refer to Obama visiting kindergarten schools!).
I am saying that Nigerians must stand together to defend the Presidential institution. On his own part the President continues to take action to extend the frontiers of our freedom; His politics is clear cut and it is anchored on: deepening our democracy. He has “no enemies to fight”, All votes must count and that “one man one vote, one woman one vote and one youth,one vote” in addition to “a dialogue based inclusive approach to decision making”.
The current diatribes to detract and distract GEJ from continuing the good work of building our economy through Agriculture, Aviation, Transportation, Energy Security, Trade and Investment, Education, Peace and concensus building etc, may have been designed to delay Nigeria’s forward march. His desire and commitment in delivering on critical infrastructure (rail, roads, airports, electricity etc) plus his abiding focus in strengthening our institutions especially, NHRC, INEC, EFCC, ICPC, NASS, etc. (no interference) is what will eventually count.
The DNA of good governance can only be transferred from one government to the other and from one generation to another when governance institutions are allowed to grow strong and complement one another!