By Kassim Afegbua
The President’s acceptability on face book when he was running for election has taken a downward dive. His praises have turned to curses; his acceptability has turned to rejection.
The same people whom he assured of fresh air are the same people who now accuse him of polluted air. Nothing has been thought through and through since this President came on stream two years ago.
Those who enjoy the levers of government are essentially ex-militants whose credentials are partly their expertise in handling AK47 and the geopolitical zone they come from. They have been singing war songs, and it is not on record that the presidency has cautioned them.
Yet Abati wants us to believe that the President is concerned about the unity of the country. Abati should be reminded that walls have ears. Those who are in leadership position certainly have no private life. They are public persons and nothing is so secret in a manner that cannot be exposed.
I find it rather “unabati” for him to feed us with the menu of ideological precepts of how many female ministers we have in government, in this jet age of ideas where the concern is essentially about how much of service delivery is handed down to the people.
Who is still talking about gender here? What difference has Iweala brought to the table? Under her, our domestic debt is rising in geometric proportion, government officials are buying off all choice properties in Abuja and Lagos, while we swim in abject poverty, inflation is laughing at our follies, quality of life has nosedived while the expectation of the people from the government they elected has become forlorn.
Under such a dissonance, why would anyone belabour our sensibilities by telling us what the President is and what he is not. Telling us like proselytizing monks, the crusading quality of Jonathan, does not remove from who President Jonathan is.
For sure, we do know that President Jonathan is not a good orator. He doesn’t have to be one to impress us. He may not be a man of classical delivery of soul inspiring speeches, but he must learn to be a leader with immense vision and mission.
He does not yet understand the full weight of the powers which a President wields. He has not shown enough courage to confront some of his erring ministers including Dezieani, but trying to play save not to ruffle feathers. I do not say he does not have the power to arrest mere mortals like yours sincerely, but he deserves more than just the power to arrest. He has to show power to arrest challenges that have weighed us down in recent times.
When Jonathan spoke at the NBA conference about the state of roads and infrastructure and blaming critics for their lack of objectivity, I felt like being sawed apart with a blunt scalpel.
How on earth would the President Speech writers contemplate such an incredulous verbal riposte to critics? Was President Jonathan not aware of the state of Nigerian roads when he was contesting for election? Did he not promise to do something meaningful to address the infrastructural decay?
The “children of anger” do not enjoy their pitiable situation, but because society has been unfair to them, they now design ways and means of making sense out of their existence. And it is such missed opportunities that Jonathan should urgently address. Even in the heart of hearts of Abati, beyond the rubrics of enjoying unsolicited patronages of power, there is nothing novel thus far to show the transformational mantra of this government.
Appointments of a long list of aides has become a routine, especially at a time when too much is being spent on our recurrent expenditure. Dr. Reuben Abati should deploy his ample time to think of what the President could do to address the precarious situation we now find ourselves.
He should be bold enough to visit the nation’s troubled spots and inspire hope in those who have captive in their own domain by no ordinary design of their own. That is the way to go and not this long essay of telling us what “they” do not know about President Jonathan, Nigeria’s current President.