By Donu Kogbara
WHILE he was addressing a Nigerian Bar Association conference in Abuja earlier on this week, President Jonathan claimed to be the most criticised President in the whole world and I think it is fair to say that this is a huge exaggeration!
Jonathan has lost tonnes of goodwill, alienated many former fans and acquired countless detractors since he won last year’s election because a lot of Nigerians (this columnist included) feel that he hasn’t tried hard enough to solve pressing problems and lead us out of the quagmire in which our nation is floundering.
But let’s put things into perspective: Jonathan may be a disappointment on various levels but he’s a saint compared to some of his foreign counterparts and he is much less criticised than Bashar Al-Assad of Syria, for example.
OK, so it’s not a major compliment to be favourably compared to a butcher who allows innocent children to be shot by government troops, day in day out.
But while I am whingeing about Jonathan’s performance, I am also thanking God for substantial mercies such as the fact that he is not a cold-blooded killer AND praying that he eventually proves increasingly disillusioned complainants wrong.
In addition to describing himself as a victim of unfair criticisms, Jonathan assured his Bar Association audience that “Before I leave, I will be the most praised President”. And I was pleasantly surprised.
This stirring statement did not impress those who are convinced that Jonathan lacks capacity; and I wasn’t happy about his refusal to accept at least some of the blame for our current woes.
He definitely needs to admit that the buck stops on his desk…and that he and his cronies have made numerous mistakes.
But I’m glad that he felt confident enough to make such a bold promise; and I’d like to believe that he has what it takes to cast off the twin shadows of mediocrity and failure…and transform himself into a stunning success story.
Fingers crossed that he rolls up his sleeves, works with the right people and earns himself several glowing chapters in several history books. Sorry if this sounds sectional. But I will be SO thrilled if the first-ever Niger Deltan President of Nigeria turns out to be the best-ever President of Nigeria.