By: Muhammed Abdullahi*
If expertise at telling lies, clueless approach to governance and the love to passionately embrace controversies were the three hallmarks of success, the administration of President Jonathan would obviously be nothing short of being impressive.
On Monday, February 20, the president at the 58th meeting of the National Executive Committee of the PDP declared that it was no longer practicable to implement the palliative measures he promised to use in cushioning the harsh effects of the petrol subsidy removal. His sudden change of song, he explained, was because Nigerians did not allow him to completely deregulate the downstream sector of the oil industry. This leaves us to wonder where the N32 he successfully added to the price of a litre of petrol would go. Why on earth did he not tell us that the N97 price would mean a waiver of our right to expect the benefits of the palliative measures he promised?
Recently, the president’s action-plans and policies have lost their ability to upset me. This is not because he’s been meeting the aspirations and catering for the legitimate interests of the citizenry. Far from it! It is because the president has become notorious for anti-people policies and I have become adapted to the shocks such draconian policies give.
In actual fact, the president’s decisions have been as absurd and insensitive as they could be and his promises have always been reneged in the most ridiculous and dishonest fashion. Yet, I’m not shocked, not taken aback, nor distressed because I have learnt to be used to it, to not expect results from a perplexed and sly man with a track record of deceit and ‘promise but fail’.
Like a sage once said, “expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed”. If one is ruled by a leader such as Mr. Jonathan, lives in a remarkably endowed and yet stunningly impoverished society like Nigeria and does not want to kiss hypertension or enter the sepulchre in haste, he must learn to expect little or nothing from this hard-line ‘poli-trick-tian’.
The immoral manner in which the president has ‘slaughtered’ the promise he made to provide palliative measures is not the only grievance of Nigerians. In reality, it represents the pinnacle of the chain of calculated betrayal and anti-people policies of Mr. Jonathan.
Perhaps, a quick timeline synopsis through his administration would make the point I’m making vivid. We have not forgotten how our president engineered his re-appointment by dishonestly disregarding the zoning arrangement of his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He bit the fingers that fed him and, needless to say, he had his way!
Since his re-election in May, 2011, Nigerians have had to endure the non-implementation of the Minimum Wage Act which the president hastily signed into law without serious thought some weeks before his election; the witless proposal by him of a 7-year single tenure in office for political office holders to replace the current 4-year term; the thoughtless ratification of the illegal suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami whom majority of Nigerians acclaim as the most courageous and transparent figure in the judiciary; and the wanton removal of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri few days after she condemned Justice Salami’s suspension.
Lest I forget, the hydra-headed menace of the militant Boko Haram remains unsolved and it keeps sprouting by the day. On February 20, he expressed his displeasure over how some of his party members have started holding meetings on the 2015 Presidential Election, saying such were too early and distracting. This, I submit, is a tacit indication of his willingness to contest the 2015 election in defiance of his earlier promise not to contest for a second term. Again, in his usual nightmares, he bogusly proclaimed on February 22 that the 2015 general elections would be conducted “without security people carrying guns”. What a joke!
I could go on recounting how badly our good luck has treated us as a people. The bottom-line is that the president has had his full cup. I concede that a leader has a right to change his mind, but the people equally have the right to remember. Mr. President has carved a solid place for himself in the history of Nigeria and we’d not forget him. My advice to fellow Nigerians: if you’ll not be disappointed, when next the president makes a promise, please take it with a pinch of salt, it must be a joke. He’s tried and we can’t wait for him to vacate power!