The Conclave Of Shame At Eagle Square, Abuja By Wumi Akintide

Nigerians at home and abroad owe Sahara Reporters of New York a debt of gratitude for covering “the Conclave of Shame” that gathered today at the Eagle Square Abuja to cheer President Jonathan for finally admitting after so many denials that he is the PDP candidate for 2015. Much as I respect the institution the man represents, I do not hesitate in calling the man a pathological liar. In a more civilized country, the man would not have accepted if nominated and would not have served if elected because the man has been a total disaster for Nigeria and a huge embarrassment given where the country is today.

I am not a fan of former President Obasanjo, but I respect the man for standing on principle and speaking the truth to power by reminding President Jonathan at every opportunity that he lied when he told his party and Nigerians he would only serve one term and quit. In a more civilized country the president would never have been allowed to get away with such a bloody lie given the insecurity and the siege mentality half the country has endured under his watch.

The hundreds or thousands of paid supporting crowds at the Eagle Square, who have been singing Mr. Jonathan’s praise and pretending that the man was being magnanimous in agreeing to run for another term are enemies of Nigeria who benefit the most from the President as their bread winner. They are more interested in their own self-interest and keeping their jobs and privileged positions in government than the best interest of Nigeria.  

I don’t belong to any party in Nigeria but I have a big stake on what happens to Nigeria in the interest of my children and grandchildren and generations yet unborn. The gathering of shame and deceit at the Eagle Square today in Abuja is disgraceful to say the least. The praise singers and “Ojelus” who spoke at the square praising President Jonathan as the best president Nigeria has ever had are being disingenuous and dishonest. Nigeria is much worse off today than it was when Jonathan took over from Umaru Yar Adua.

Every election in a democracy is a job interview. The conventional wisdom demands that the nation settles for the best candidate who is coming in to become part of the solution and not part of the nation’s problem. I imagine that the two candidates to emerge from the two dominant parties are now going to be President Jonathan and former Head of State, Mohammadu Buhari, given everything we know today and barring any unforeseeable last minute horse trading and corruption, which has become an incurable cancer under President Jonathan. I saw President Jonathan ordered the release of the passport of the new Emir of Kano to him in a quid pro quo kind of arrangement because the president now wants to incur The Emir’s favor before the 2015 election.

I saw the same president dressed as a Benin Chief paying homage to Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo while asking the monarch to please support his re-election as president. The respected monarch who I know very well in the Federal Public Service was happy to oblige at a time one of his sons just decamped from the APC to go join the PDP.

I watched the whole scenario on YouTube and all I could do was shake my head at the bread and butter politics we all play in Nigeria. I don’t fault the Oba of Benin for granting The President audience, but I think the Oba played a little politics of his own when he said his ancestors and himself are now favorably disposed to The President.

I guess the powerful monarch told the President what he thought he wanted to hear. We all play politics with the future of our country by not telling the truth to all our leaders. It is unfortunate but that is the truth.

The PDP would have more credibility with me if governor Akpabio were to be their flag bearer against General Buhari. President Jonathan, as far as I am concerned, is a failure and he does not deserve to be re-elected based on his track record so far. The best option for Goodluck Jonathan would have been for him to preside over that election not as a candidate, but as a transformational president whose ultimate goal is to ensure a free and fair election to give Nigerians a free chance to pick the winner without let or hindrance.

Six years in office as president is more than enough for him to clean up the mess in Nigeria. If the man is allowed to serve another 4 years in that office he would become the longest serving president in all of Nigerian history. If Nigeria was a very serious country, it shouldn’t take that long to know if President Jonathan was the right material.

Prolonging his presidency would surely be a big bonus to those who have benefitted the most from his tenure but a great tragedy for Nigeria.

Murtala Mohammed was in office for only 200 days and within that time frame the man changed Nigeria. President John F Kennedy was in office for just over 2 years and within that time frame, the young man inspired and changed America by letting America believe she was still the greatest  country on Earth.

He challenged America and forced the Soviet Union to second place in the race to conquer space. America responded to his leadership and she accomplished the mission in 8 years of hard work.

President Abraham Lincoln ruled America for just 4 years from 1861 to 1865 and within that time frame he changed America forever with his Emancipation proclamation. It is not a matter of how long, but how effective.

Obafemi Awolowo never became president for one day but his record and legacies as first premier of western region are still treasured in Nigeria till tomorrow because the man was larger than life in his accomplishments, despite the attempts by some of our fellow countrymen to blackmail him because they were just too jealous of his achievements.

If Jonathan is a great president, we would all know because you cannot hide light. If he was a truly transformational president his agenda for Nigeria would be totally different. He would have been the first to declare his assets as a role model to all his ministers and top aides like Reuben Abati and Okupe.

He would have been the first to lead his party majority in the House and the Senate to annul the notion of granting immunity to president and governors while they were still in office. While wait till the Governors leave office before you prosecute them for any stealing in office?

Under the old dispensation how many governors or past presidents have ever been brought to justice after they leave office.  Jonathan could not do it because and even if he wanted to do it his first lady would not let him because the woman is not only greedy, but power-drunk.

If Nigerians would let her, she would want to be Corazon Aquino of Emelda Marcos or Mrs. Mugabe who is looking to succeed her husband as President of Zimbabwe. Failing that, she might be hoping to become the “Amayanabo” of Okrika if there is anything like that.

I recall Murtala Mohammed asking the Federal Government to confiscate his row of 20 houses in Kano he had built with money he illegally acquired from his days as a commanding officer in one of the Nigerian units that fought in Biafra. He did that to give himself a clear conscience to declare war against corrupt civil servants in his Government.

I paid a short visit to Calabar during one of my visits to Akwa Ibom and I saw some of the projects initiated and implemented by Governor Akpabio of the PDP. I actually visited the free trade zone he created and the Calabar Stadium, which is now completed. I would vote for that man as president any day because that is the kind of man that can use the limitless federal wealth to repeat some of the miracles he has performed in his state.

I could care less about his party label. He is far more qualified in my judgment than President Jonathan who only claims to be a transformational president by name.

I cannot help but wonder what kind of bedroom chat he regularly holds with his first lady. If the man cannot control or discipline his first lady how can he possibly control the excesses of some of his corrupt ministers?

I recall Obafemi Awolowo as premier of western region forcing one of his ministers to refund the esta code he had drawn from government on the presumption he had gone on an official trip with his wife. While the minister was away Awolowo had arranged a state dinner with an invitation mailed to the minister’s home. The wife got the invitation and he showed up at the dinner for her husband.

Awolowo saw her. He never said a word. When the husband returned Awolowo told the minister his wife came to dinner while he was away.

The minister knew, there and then, he was in trouble because he knew Awolowo very well. Before anyone asked him to refund the esta code he quickly refunded the money claiming his wife was too sick to go with him. Ministers who use official cars to drive their girlfriend knew enough not to dodge inside their car if they were driving on the same road with the premier.

That was Awolowo at his best. Those who accuse Awolowo of corruption just did not know the man. They only hear of him by reputation. The Igbos who said Awolowo committed suicide probably never heard that Baba slept alone for more than 20 years before his death. How could the man have committed suicide with a toothbrush in his hand? The man has had a heart problem for a long time. He simply had a cardiac rest on that fateful day and he died in his bathroom because he slept alone.

Awolowo was a disciplinarian who spent no less than one hour at lunch or dinner table because he liked to chew his food very well. That man was something else. I am able to say it because I have watched him do it. Those who knew him very closely would tell you the same thing. He once told me he attended the auction where his house was being offered for auction because he could not afford to pay his mortgage.

Every day I spent working for him at the Federal Ministry of Finance was a special blessing as I look back on my life and his. The President cannot be a transformational president if he does not have the discipline to even stop his excessive drinking which was a habit he probably learnt as a young  boy whose parents used to brew “Ogogoro” as an occupation in addition to canoe building.

I listen to all of the speeches made about him at the Eagle Square relayed on You Tube to Nigerians in Diaspora. All I could do is scratch my head about the sheer naiveté or stupidity of most of the speakers.  Senate President David Mark who is hoping to succeed Jonathan at some point in the future was very deceitful in his remarks when he thanked the president for heeding the call of Nigerians for him to run and calling him the only Nigerian that can be trusted to lead Nigeria.

That was nonsense and David Mark should have known better. Only those who enjoy the lawlessness and brigandage of his presidency are dying to see him run. The rappers and the musicians who entertained the gathering sang glowingly about the president because they were paid to do so. I don’t blame them. They have to justify their pay for the empty spectacle.

Governor Akpabio and David Mark said more Nigerians supported Jonathan than opposed him. That was another big lie. If the election in 2015 were free and fair Buhari would defeat Jonathan by a landslide. It is going to be “Bako Daya” all the way for Jonathan. Kenneth Nnamani speaking for the southeast said President Jonathan has transformed the railways, power generation and agriculture and the Nigerian economy and that only Jonathan could construct the second Niger Bridge and the Enugu/Onitsha Highway.

Another big lie!  Senator Nnamani should go tell that to the mountains. If you believe that, you will believe anything.

Attahiru Bafarawa speaking for the northwest and Hassan Adamu speaking for the embattled northeast where Boko Haram now reigns supreme both spoke glowingly about Jonathan telling him that 7 million out of the 17.5 million signatures urging the president to run have come from Bornu, Adamawa and Mubi area. That could never be as most of the Kanuris blame the Jonathan Government for all of their woes and deprivation under Boko Haram.

Only 24 hours before the Abuja gathering, no less than 47 school children were murdered in cold blood and several hundreds wounded by a Boko Haram bomber.

Insecurity in Nigeria has reached its highest peak under Jonathan’s watch. In more stable and civilized countries that mayhem should have been enough to cancel the show of shame in Abuja altogether because it clearly showed the Emperor was clearly naked.

Where exactly is the outrage of Nigerians as Jonathan has to bear vicarious responsibility for what is currently happening under his watch as leader of the country?

Why would they be begging Jonathan to run when they view him as their enemy number one for letting Boko Haram devastate their home land while the military sent to protect them by Jonathan always desert their posting leaving the lawful Kanuris to their own devices to avoid slaughter by Boko Haram.

Why would they be praising Jonathan for lying about signing a peace plan that Shekau, the Boko Haram leader, has denounced as the imagination of a lunatic?

Jerry Gana spoke at the rally for the Middle Belt. I know Jerry Ghana, a good orator who could not mention one good thing the president had done.

Since the guy could not lie he simply pledged his support and left the stage. Hassan Adamu also spoke for the northeast while Mr. Peter Esele  of the Trade Union Congress joined  the” Alleluyah boys” to borrow a cliché from the bombastic Patrick Obahiagbon of Edo State. Bode George who was indicted for corruption in the Nigerian Ports Authority was spokesman for the South West. He too said nothing of significance because he knew the president was an empty barrel.

How could Nigerians be so gullible to swallow hook, line and sinker all the rubbish said to eulogize a president who has left Nigeria in a far worse shape in 6 years of drift. I just feel sorry for Nigeria. The real people supporting Jonathan today apart from his kith and kin in the South/South are the Igbos in particular because they figured it out that Jonathan whose middle name is “Azikiwe“ and “Ebele” meaning “Mercy” in Igbo language is one of their own. I don’t blame them.

No other president since the Biafra War has shown more deference to the Igbos than Jonathan Administration. If you don’t believe me just look at the number of high visibility ministries assigned to Igbo ministers today?  Igbo will support anybody ready to identify with them.

Jonathan cannot do wrong as far as the Igbos are concerned. I don’t blame them because the Igbos were neglected and discriminated against for years just because they had the effrontery to challenge Nigeria during their futile Biafra War? It was a wrong move in my opinion for Nigeria not to let bygone be bygone in a war where” there was no victor and no vanquished” according to Jack Gowon, the then Commander-in-Chief.

Jonathan has corrected that injustice and shabby treatment by his loyalty to the Igbos. I only hope the Igbos would not for that reason push Jonathan to the edge as they keep on asking for more like the proverbial Oliver Twist.

I am opposed to Jonathan not because of his closeness to the Igbos. I am opposed to him and Nigerians should be opposed to him based on the facts.

Above are some of the reasons the PDP should never have allowed Jonathan to run. Jonathanism has been described by many as a life-threatening virus caused by notorious multi-drug resistant organism called “GEJ”.

Its main symptoms include poverty, indiscipline, bribery, corruption, theft, and graft, insecurity, unemployment, poor education, bad roads, poor healthcare delivery system and regular power outages.

Some have described the drugs to treat the virus as Atikucycline, Buharimycin, Kwankwancillin Amaechicillin,Tinubustan which are all available at APC Pharmacy nation-wide. I gather all of this information is from some of the tracks I receive everyday on Facebook or the Internet.

While they may all sound funny or made up by people opposed to Jonathan, the information provides credibility to some of the things being said about President Jonathan as we move closer and closer to 2015. 4 more years of Jonathan are going to be a train wreck for Nigeria if the truth must be told.

If the choice of who wins were left to Jonathan and Buhari at this point I can see Buhari scoring a home run if the election is free and fair in 2015. The two candidates are not new to leadership and they both have a track record. Buhari is by no means a perfect candidate but if you look at the needs of Nigeria right now, I think it will be difficult to see how Jonathan can beat Buhari in a free and fair contest.

The Nigerian military is losing very badly to the rag tag army of Boko Haram as we speak and the Commander-in-Chief says Buhari should be the one to take the blame. Can you believe that?  The loss of the Nigerian side is a reflection on our current lackluster leadership at Aso Rock in Abuja. Make no mistake about that. Jonathan is another Dukakis in a Commander-in-Chief uniform. If you trust your security to him, you are a dead man walking.

I take off my hat for Sahara Reporters for doing such an excellent job doing what the main stream press in Nigeria has woefully failed to do because they have been compromised by a very corrupt Federal Government.

The demystification of Reuben Abati is one proof of that. Who could have believed that Reuben Abati with all his powerful editorials in the Concord was only paving way for himself to be sufficiently noticed by government so he can go from being the defender of the poor and the downtrodden to becoming the mouth organ and the hatchet man of the most corrupt and repressive government in Nigerian History?

I am truly amazed to tell you the truth as I now listen to Reuben Abati defend the indefensible and doing so with a bold face because he has eaten out of the forbidden fruit of power in Nigeria. He would suddenly realize like Adam and Eve that he is naked and he would have to go into hiding or seek some clothing to cover up his nakedness as a former top-notch journalist who has caught the bug of corruption.
If I have to choose between Jonathan and Buhari in 2015, my choice will be Buhari by a landslide. It is time for Nigeria to give the opposition a chance to prove their mettle. Nigeria should emulate the United States and other stable democracies by saying “no” to a one party dictatorship that PDP represents in Nigeria. If the APC cannot beat the PDP in 2015 with all the atrocities I have itemized in this write-up, Nigerians should kiss goodbye to democracy.

I rest my case.


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