Tension of civility ….The Nation
The president erred in describing the political unease today as normal
The first Sunday of a New Year usually presents a platform for spiritual homily in churches. The one for 2014 was not different except that President Goodluck Jonathan at the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Area 1, Abuja, where he went for the first Sunday service of the year gave an extempore speech that attempted to distort the reasons behind political tensions in the land. He declared at the COCIN service: “….the political environment is always noisy all over the world. There is nowhere you won’t hear so much noise. Even the United States of America, not long ago… was almost shut down. For so many months, people were worried that the country that had practised democracy for so many years could get to that situation. But that is politics for you.’’
The president missed the point through his incongruous comparison on the shutdown in the United States with what is happening in our country. We recollect that the President Barrack Obama administration from October 1 to October 16, 2013, suffered a shutdown and curtailed most routine operations after Congress failed to enact legislation appropriating funds for the 2014 fiscal year. And it is on record that regular government operations did not resume until October 17 after an interim appropriations bill was signed into law by the Republican Party dominated Congress. The United States matter arose out of disagreement over policy issues and not petty personal ambition/other detrimental considerations that remain the root cause of political tensions generated in the country by the Jonathan presidency.
We know that the intent of Mr. President was to downplay the festering of odious bitter rancour that his presidency has foisted on the nation. In vain can anyone decipher what the president sees as normal in the tension of impunity his reign has created in the country. For a start, could it be that the illegal use of Police institution to circumvent democratically elected Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state by Mrs. Patience Jonathan, with obvious support of her husband, something normal in a democracy? The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) chairmanship election witnessed democratic murder when 16 governors taking sides with the president claimed to have won the NGF election over 19 other governors? Shamefully, the president hosted the defiant 16 after the election to a meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa. Is the kind of tension generated by this disdainful electoral abracadabra what the president sees as normal? We ask again: What about the illegal short payments and later outright non-payment of states’ monthly allocation by the current administration? The president and his wife have generated more tension, albeit for the wrong reasons. Sometime last year, Mrs. Jonathan received an honorary doctorate degree from a foreign university at a time when the nation’s universities were under lock and key. Could tensions from all these be normal?
We recollect that disarray in the ruling party has become serious distractions to governance. Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, an acknowledged benefactor of President Jonathan, wrote a damning letter in which he accused him of, among others, corruption, bad governance, putting 1000 personalities on a watch list and regrettably, of training snipers in preparation for the 2015 elections. Could avoidable apprehension arising from these weighty allegations deemed to be normal in a democracy? More alarming is that members of the mega opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) are justifiably scared of their lives because of the wanton impunity with which Jonathan rules over the country.
President Jonathan should learn to put issues in correct perspectives. His deficiency in this regard might be responsible for the wrong approach to most state policies embarked upon by his administration. We want tension of civility and decorum, not Jonathan’s officially created ones through crass presidential impunity.