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Goodluck Jonathan: Crisis manager of the century


Sir: I read the opinion piece by Patrick Eromonsele in The Guardian of July 8, 2020. He allowed his love for the former president and his sentiment to overwhelm him, otherwise he might have written a masterpiece. A writer should come to the public space with truth, objectivity, facts, reality and history. How was his principal a better crisis manager of the century? I look forward to a Nobel Prize nomination by the Nobel Committee for his principal. Was it not under the tour of duty of his principal that five governors decided to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but two repudiated eventually and the governors of Rivers, Kano and Sokoto voted with their feet out of the party? Where was the crisis manager of the century then?

Timipre Sylva was denied the chance to run for a second term in office at the say-so of his principal. A sitting governor was not allowed to the arena where the primary was conducted. Could he manage the crisis in Bayelsa State then? He couldn’t keep his feelings under control so that people could discuss their fears and worries. Not even his benefactor Olusegun Obasanjo and many party stalwarts that deserted him later in the day.

I love to ask questions. When an incumbent president accepts defeat in an election that he knows he would lose, should that act alone make that incumbent a statesman. Why do people with knowledge bandy such parochial view? The norm should not be mistaken for an exception. How come they get it right in Botswana, Senegal, Malawi, Ghana and we celebrate the adequate and not extraordinary feat? Out of office didn’t we hear him play the victim card by blaming the United States and Britain for conspiring against his reelection?

Power is sweet, so sweet that he abrogated the rotational presidency agreement of his party even though he begged to be allowed to run for only one term. I gathered that he waited for 21 days to make a statement when the Chibok girls were abducted because hangers-on told him it was a hoax by the northern people to undermine his presidency despite security report at his disposal. Were he an Israeli Prime Minister or President of the United States, he would have been impeached the next day for such insensitivity.

To manage a crisis, a leader must function at the highest capacity, that president did not and he lost the trust of his subordinates. What values did he practise continually for the common good? He was not willing to rock the boat and a woman with glee put her snout in the trough of the gravy train meant for a starving majority in Nigeria. Space won’t permit me to mention others. 

Politicians in Nigeria are not mission driven politicians, they give responsibilities and subordinate accountability and I wonder how GEJ whose tour of duty we x-rayed can be classed as a great statesman only because he conceded an electoral defeat. It is laughable.
Simon Abah wrote from Abuja.


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