By Denrele Animasaun
Above all, don’t lie to yourself. ‘The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love’ -Fyodor Dostoevsky
There is a known saying that: you can lie to others but at least, do not lie to yourself. It seems the memo was not circulated to some people. They say the truth will set you free but of course, this was also lost in the post.
As you know GEJ dropped his book – My Transition Hours recently.
The launch also coincided with his 61st birthday. Now the dust has settled, I must congratulate him on his work of fiction.
You could be fooled to think that Jonah, was so altruistic and his decision to concede defeat was a selfless act and not because the nation had had enough of the grand corruption and erosion of morality and a total breakdown of nation’s economy and leadership.
No, Jonah wants us to believe what his version of the truth is and not what was experienced by millions of Nigerians. In fact according to Jonah, it did not happen, because he said so. In fact, under his leadership millions of Nigerians thrived and prosper.
Jonah wants us to believe that Northern leaders and some groups in the region worked against him in 2015 and this led to his administration’s defeat. Fact is, Jonah needs to man and should take his defeat like a man. This is a man who tried to repackage the act of corruption as stealing, while trying to explain the difference between ‘corruption’ and ‘stealing’ in his book, according to him, led to “false claims” that he said “stealing is not corruption”. I do not think so.
And in spite of his explanation to whitewash this claim in his book; “Immediately after the 2011 elections, my administration was repeatedly accused of being corrupt,” and he went on; “Despite the blackmail, I remained committed to combating corruption in a systemic way, knowing it was endemic. We vigorously devised and implemented a thorough and strategic plan to fight corruption, using technology, albeit within the context of the rule of law and due process.”
On his watch, politicians got stupendously rich, looted the commonwealth, eroded the middle class, and plundered the oil proceeds unabated. He was the leader and he wants to shirk his responsibility and lay the blame elsewhere.
He has his spin doctors, who rush to his support to douse any displeasure of his account:” My attention has been drawn to regurgitated and discredited allegations by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo blaming former President Jonathan of saddling Nigeria with debt and ruining the economy by the alleged corruption of his administration. “How can Vice President Osinbajo, a man who had just been indicted by the House of Representatives in one of the biggest corruption scams ever in Nigeria’s history, have the gall to point accusing fingers on Dr. Jonathan, a man that is celebrated internationally for his efforts at achieving Nigeria’s best rating in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Rating when Nigeria improved 8 places from 144 to 136 in 2014? “ And “On the issue of debt, the fact remains that in the entire 16 years that the Peoples Democratic Party governed Nigeria, the total amount of money borrowed was 8.06 trillion Naira. These are facts sourced directly from the budget office controlled by the Buhari administration.
To be frank, GEJ is no shrinking violet, nor he is modest or humbled and despite his protestations, he is a main player in the depletion of Nigerians wealth so I think he protests too much: “What rang persistently in my mind was the futility of vanity. What would it profit me if I clung on to power and let my country slide into an avoidable crisis? Who would stop the impending crisis? Too many things were bound to go wrong. “Before I go deeper into this, let me address a false narrative my detractors have used to besmirch my name. They claim that I once said that ‘stealing is not corruption’. This is not true. Following the constant stigmatization of Nigerians as corrupt, I invited the leadership of the legislature and judiciary to a meeting.
I feel his recollection is very fuzzy and with scoop full of saccharine. It should come with a warning that readers beware, it can seriously distort ones reality. In fact, it should come with a disclaimer.
It seems others have waded in, like the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has dismissed GEJ’s book as an “elementary book of fictions,” that lacks courage.
In particular, the Chibbok girls and the conspiracy theory by GEJ and his administration spin on the nature of the girl’s disappearance: that the schoolgirls’ abduction was a product of conspiracy by the then opposition All Progressives Congress and the Borno State Government. This spin may have contributed to the delay in retrieving the girls in a timely manner.
Nigerians have lived the truth and no matter how much spin and misdirection, I am sure many are still living the reality of GEJ’s legacy.
The truth is the truth, even if no one believes it. A lie is a lie, even if everyone believes it.
Can someone wake up Jonah? 2013
When President Goodluck Jonathan addressed a Christmas service in Gwarinpa, Abuja, he said that because his government appeared slow, does not mean that his administration is not working. On the contrary, he maintained that his government is taking its time to take action on urgent social and economic issues and that he would not be rushed!
The people, he said, do not understand the way government works. Will someone tell this Jonah that Nigerians have been so patient and any more time will require the patience of a saint and Nigerians are not that way inclined? So he goes on to say that the apparent slowness of his administration in deciding on major national issues was to avoid costly mistakes. Well, let us look at what has gone wrong on his watch: it is too numerous to enumerate and the evidence is there for all to see except, perhaps, the president.
So while Nigeria disintegrates, our president is waiting to take an executive action. The people are tired of waiting for real and positive change for many and not the few, and he yet, he does not appear to be listening to the voices and the agony of the people. If only, he can use the same swift executive decision and zeal that he used when requisitioning the senate for the aggrandising of the presidential palaces, overblown salaries, ostentatious lifestyle, perks of the jobs, banqueting hall, fleet of presidential cars, jets and annual padding of national budgets.
This while the rest of the country has inadequate health care, social care, high youth unemployment, training or education, needless accidents, human rights violations, widespread insecurity and preventative accidents. There are kidnappings, sectarian killings, and youth on youth crimes, insecurities and Boko Haram. Of course, perpetual power outage, inequalities, high maternal and infant mortality rates, poor health, and the list go on.
So, please, can someone wake Jonah up and tell him he has failed Nigerians spectacularly and that he should get going and make good the promises, which was the ticket on which he was elected.