Opinion – I Am Embarrassed To Have Jonathan As My President by Gbenga Olorunpomi
For weeks, I had resisted the urge to write. So many landmark events have transpired in the last few weeks and despite the persistent prompting by two editors to put my opinion into words, I chose not to. I just wanted to clear my mind for the task ahead.
However, it took me less than a minute to make up my mind to pen some words after reading the unbelievable speech our president, Goodluck Jonathan, gave on the first day of the year. Now, Mr. President has a long repertoire of terrible choice of words. As a matter of fact, you could make a tidy bundle if you wrote a book exclusively on GEJisms. But, this one takes the cake, the baker and the bakery.
The question to Nigeria’s biggest challenge is the easiest to answer. Even the mute, deaf and blind know corruption is at the root of our problems. However, on January 1st 2015, exactly 1670 days after he was first sworn in as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, following the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Mr. Jonathan confirmed to the world he had ignored fighting corruption all along.
“There are two main problems confronting us as a nation: The issue of insecurity in the North, where we have the Boko Haram terrorists and in the South where we have commercial kidnapping. The next thing that people worry about after security is the issue of corruption.
“We are coming out with programmes and plans to clean up. These are things that you don’t just use a magical wand to wave off, otherwise even before I became the President, there wouldn’t have been corruption in Nigeria.”
I have heard people say the damnest things but this one shook me to my core. Here is the man elected into power admitting to the whole world that he had wasted the mandate given to him doing nothing to stem the tide of looting in the country. And, he said it with a smile. He said it in the most laid back, off-handed manner you could imagine. Like he was telling his drinking buddies why a fly was in his beer.
Imagine your security guard proudly telling you how he went out to party every night you left the house in his care and says he plans to get to protecting the home pretty soon. Or your driver admitting he had always driven your children to school while drunk and high but had plans to kick the habit in the near future. Let that thought sink in.
Never in my life has someone admitted his own failure so glaringly without even a little sense of irony or responsibility. Never has a leader soaked his own feet in soup and then go on to suck firmly on it.
Was Mr. President drunk when said those words? Clearly, no one can say those words while in complete control of their senses. I refuse to believe the man trusted with leading the most populated country in Africa admitted deliberately ignoring arguably the most important part of his job and allowing the wolves to run wild over our collective till.
Did Mr. President know that, standing on that stage, he was admitting his inability to fight the Subsidy Thieves that fleeced Nigeria of trillions? That he was admitting that all the work the anti-fraud agencies have done in the last five years have been merely cosmetic?
That he was admitting that every word the opposition had said about his reluctance to fight corruption was a fact?
Frankly, despite the modest but largely incomplete physical work President Jonathan has put in, I can’t wait to see his back. I – and I speak for about 80% of Nigerians here-–am embarrassed to have Goodluck Jonathan as president. Febuary 14th can’t come soon enough.
Booting this man out of office would give me more pleasure than a thousand orgasms.
Gbenga Olorunpomi is on Twitter as @GbengaGold