THE VISIONLESS NIGERIA PRESIDENCY IS COMATOSE (1). - Ominous Signs Greet the Arrest of Mr. Jonathan

By Emma Ihejieto

The beat is on, the signs less nebulous, the scars of ineptitude emerge from the remote background hitherto hidden away for a while until hiding places begin to disappear and thus; becoming very scarce.

The masquerade’s only available option is a clarion call to answer his name.This time around not in the shadows of his mentor and godfather (General Olusegun Obasanjo Rtd.) but his name which he and he alone can answer. The chickens have finally come home to roost as the visionless administration of his Excellency President Musa Y’Aradua is left with very few survival options.

A few days ago, (Saturday, October 18, 2008) the news about the arrest of Mr. Jonathan Elendu of the online “Elendureports” fame began to circulate. Initially it appeared like an unsubstantiated rumour until confirmations came through that powerless Jonathan Elendu was actually cooling his feet in the dungeon of the Nigeria Security apparatchik. He was alleged to have been detained for what security operatives termed matters that bother on national security. Mr. Elendu was picked up on his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Nigeria obviously from his base in the United States. This cold and retrogressive step immediately re-awakened the dark ages of military dictatorship in our polity that spanned decades of our troubled political history as a nation. Operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) are still holding the journalist on a phantom allegation of sedition and have refused him access to his lawyers.

100 Days in office under the watch of the current presidency passed with zero activity. Some in the ruling party (PDP) pleaded that Nigerians should be patient since three months in a new administration was too short a time to judge a regime. They suggested that the state of the nation as handed over to him by his master (May 2009) was ridden with problems that required a calculated and careful approach to escape possible booby traps. President Musa Y’Aradua promised to declare a “State of Emergency” in the Energy Sector to kick start and rejuvenate Nigeria’s ailing economy. He was yet given another easy pass as he continued to shift dates from one quarter of a year onto another. Today Nigerians have lost count of these failed promises. He celebrated his one year in office popping zero champagne as is the norm by leaders who have a Charted Compass and Roadmap to victory, stability and economic growth. Six of the twelve months of his 2nd year (4 years term) in office has already gone and blown off by the savannah wild wind. The Presidency remains comatose, confused and completely lost to an abysmal situation that the man who ought to be leading a country of 140 million people is unable to appoint members of his own cabinet. The noise about cabinet reshuffle has descended so low to a ridiculous level a pointer to the fact that this man had no Blueprint before his political party (PDP) foisted him on our people vide a fraudulent election.

If he had been involved in the type of robust campaign going on in the United States presidential election between Senator John McCain (71 years old)and Senator Barrack Obama (47 years old), I am pretty sure it wouldn’t have been so easy foisting him on Nigerians. If there was Presidential Debates for the articulation of party platforms, ideologies and policies, what would have President Musa Y’Aradua told Nigerians? Most electioneering campaign photos saw Ex-President Obasanjo delivering stomp speeches only to raise the hands of the presidential candidate at the end. That was very pathetic; a very sorry sight indeed.

The Nigeria political elite feel comfortable and at home discussing the ongoing U.S presidential elections courtesy of electricity generators when 98% of the citizenry have zero electricity to power their television sets. The nation’s distressed electricity industry is one of such conspiracies against the Nigerian people by the political class. Uninterrupted power supply will surely expose the struggling masses to what party politics is all about. It will create numerous jobs because Nigerians are a very ingenious people. Constant power supply will re-invigorate the private sector and make Nigerians less dependent on the government for full employment. It will also enable Nigerians listen to political aspirants on television and access them purely on their capabilities and/or otherwise. This is one of the reasons “some” of the brainless skulls in the country’s political theatre have conspired to ensure Nigerians have zero access to stable power supply. How else can our political environment attract the best Nigerian Brains scattered all over the 36 states of the federation together with the many qualified but Diaspora based Nigerians driven out of the country in search of greener pastures in Europe, Asia and North America. Nigerian Universities have actually produced many Barrack Obamas still marginalized within the country and many others scattered all over the globe. It is the deficiency syndrome exhibited by “our politicians” that has kept us in this never ending state of backwardness. President Y’Aradua’s palpable lack of vision is the reason he is beginning to clamp down on innocent citizens like Mr. Jonathan Elendu under the guise of “national security”.

Not too long ago the leopard wearing its real colours without change closed the studios of Channels TV and clamped senior journalists of the broadcast station into detention in a commando Gestapo style reminiscence of the IBB/Abacha junta era. This is an administration that kicked off professing the Rule of Law. Nigeria is a democracy meaning that its laws have provided for civil liberties including the right to a free press. The rule of law which entails the supremacy of the law was violated by the presidency when it impinged on Channels TV right to free speech and right to the freedom to disseminate information as a legal corporate citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria .The sin allegedly committed by this media house was that it aired news about Mr. President’s state of health which by democratic civilized tenets shouldn’t have been privileged information in the first place courtesy of his public servant status. By taking the oath of service, he acquiesces his right to privacy to a very large degree. The same applies to any political office holder. The culture of unlimited access to and/or freedom of information are amongst the major corner stones of any democracy.

A comatose state of intellectual abilities has nothing to do with the physical state of health as touted by some. The disorder has nothing to do with ill health; it is the sickness of the mind. The absence of pragmatic intellectual attributes beclouds vision and focus in the attempt to stir the ship of state. The attempt by some commentators to attribute President Y’Aradua’s poor performance in office to the state of his health is unbalanced judgment and an attempt to play God. He is failing simply because he is ill equipped to be president and overwhelmed by the enormous mental demands of the job. He does not know simply what to do on the job and is currently marooned as days go past heralding another at geometrical speed. While a deterioration of the body is not within human strength and personal abilities. It is determined by the divine; so, on matters of health, humans to a very greater degree have very little control. However, an ill equipped and unstable state of mind is one that is built upon naiveté and a very serious handicap when saddled with the extra responsibility of managing human and material resources in an ever changing world in this digitalized age. Politics and leadership in general require certain skills and attributes essential in the arduous task of organizational management. You cannot lead a nation without possession of requisite knowledge and proper management skills. The availability of abundant intellectual abilities remains a prerequisite of leadership more so when abundant human and material resources are at stake. The harnessing of these human and material resources and a proper management and redistribution of these for common good is essential for leadership. The availability of essential abilities to strike a balance aimed at the utilitarian goal of providing the “greatest happiness to the greatest number” remains the modus vivendi of any administration through the provision of adequate welfare to its entire citizenry.

The Nigeria Presidency should immediately respect the civil liberties and fundamental rights of Mr. Jonathan Elendu. The laws of a democratic federal republic require that he should not be incarcerated beyond a 24 hour period without being charged to a court of law. The current exhibition of this junta mentality of holding Nigerian citizens on the flimsy ground of “National Security” is unacceptable and unfashionable in a democratic Nigeria. The re-introduction of despotism in our body politic by an administration imposed through the back door via a fraudulent election can only engender a culture of civil disobedience and mass action. Nigerians have not forgotten the fraudulent nature of the April 2007 General Elections that gave birth to this illegitimate administration that lacks de-facto authority.

The 1999 constitution provides for press freedom as enshrined in Sections (22)/ (39) sub-section (1) which states inter allia: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impact ideas and information without interference”. The continued detention of Mr. Elendu remains a flagrant violation of the 1999 constitution. This breach of civil liberties and fundamental human rights also violates the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mr. President, Nigerians do not want you to get use to this dictatorial tendency with its attendant fascist, authoritarian, despotic and Machiavellian Crisis of Tyranny.


Emma Ihejieto is a Communications Consultant & writes from Toronto, Ontario Canada.

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