Anyone who swims would tell you what a drowning man is capable of doing as death takes hasty strides towards him. He sees clearly that Mr Death is armed with a spear, an arrow, a cutlass, a gun, even a dagger. It is these deadly weapons that the dying man struggles hard to avoid so that he grabs the tiniest piece of wood with all his strength until he realizes that the tiny piece of wood is in pieces.
One man who can be linked to the above illustration is President Goodluck Jonathan who is seeking re-election into the same office he has abused with impunity. A true and concerned leader would have stepped down long ago after overseeing Nigeria's worst era as a nation.
President Jonathan, aware that he is a drowning politician, has remained committed to his well-orchestrated scheme of “win at all cost” in which he has spent shedload of money including sponsoring documentaries in the media, using state funds. The President is doing this at a time when poverty and unemployment are prevalent in the country. At a time when the country's economic fortunes are in complete shambles. Yet, Nigerians, in their usual fashion, look on unconcernedly. Even Civil Society Organizations, who ought to have contributed in opposing this waste of resources by the Jonathan led government are surprisingly silent. Well, since the President is buying off every group in sight, it cannot be said that their silence is natural. Their vibrant voices may have been muffled by the “generosity” of a sinking President who must hold on to power at all cost, even when his continuous stay in office is obviously against public opinion.
In other climes, incumbents seek re-election by reminding the people of verifiable achievements and with the real promise of doing more if re-elected. Sadly, the Jonathan administration has dragged Nigeria into a strange political phase where the incumbent, knowing that he has achieved nothing except sucking away the nation's milk and breeding corruption, must now embark on assassinating the reputation of his opponents in order to lure voters who lack critical intelligence. Never have we experienced this flagrant abuse of power by an elected President! It is simply unacceptable and unpresidential.
In mid January of 2015, my colleagues and I interviewed one of the Presidential aspirants in the forthcoming election, and I remember him being particularly critical of the media. He asserted that the media, labeled the watchdog of the society, have unfortunately become slaves in the hands of the government. Upon saying this, I noticed the boundless embarrassment on the countenances of my colleagues, but it cannot be denied that this Presidential aspirant was speaking the truth.
It is inevitable for this to happen when we have a President whose moral conscience has been crushed by the overzealous drive of his ambition. It is therefore not shocking by any measure that a media house facing liquidation would take advantage of a dollar-sharing President to boost its empty coffers.
It is sad, however, that the President is presiding over a country where the sins of any political office holder remain relevant for only a short period of time before the same “sinner” becomes a man of the people. Otherwise, the President would have been made to understand that no amount of hard currency is capable of healing the injurious damage that his ineptitude and gross mismanagement have inflicted upon the Nigerian people after six years of maladministration.
How do you leave an immaculate white shirt in a bucket filled with palm oil for an entire month and think you can make it sparkle thereafter? Even manufacturers of the world's best detergents will not contemplate embarrassing themselves by taking up this challenge.
Last year, the President claimed he needed a loan of one billion US Dollars to acquire the needed weapons with which to fight Boko Haram, but a closer examination at his ongoing activities would reveal that he has spent close to that amount or more as he goes about bribing for votes. The question to ask is considerably simple: how exactly is the President getting this money when the country is so wretched that it could not even raise money to acquire weapons at a time some of its citizens were facing decimation? Nigerians must make our “generous” President to answer some crucial questions that are clearly begging for answers.
In spite of the generous distribution of Dollars across the country, the President remains skeptical about his electoral fortunes as March 28 draws closer. And so the plan to sacrifice our democracy for his perceived safety clearly remains a viable option to avoid an embarrassing defeat at the polls. One is left to conclude that President Jonathan and his allies tremble as a result of their bold footprints plastered on the sand of evil. So like cockroaches, they prefer to hide under their current pile of rubbish.
So, in this noble struggle for the emancipation of the soul of our country, the objective remains the same as February 14th: to send a highly disastrous and corrupt President back to his village. We must do this or we set our feet on the path of perdition. Certainly, another mistake won't be blamed on ignorance.
Concluding remark: corruption is like a virus to a computer or mobile device; it eats up the soul of the device slowly before silencing it altogether.
- Elias Ozikpu