Friday, January 27, 2012

Can This Government Do the Job?

23 January 2012

Sam Nda-Isaiah


When I read the Yoruba footnote in Segun Adeniyi's ThisDay article last Thursday, I didn't call Atedo Peterside's Yoruba wife for interpretation as Segun had advised. Instead, I sought the assistance of a close friend.

And what eventually emerged as the interpretation should, throughout President Goodluck Jonathan tenure, be his guiding and driving force. "Oba t'o je ti ilu toro, oruko re ko ni pare. Oba t'oje ti ilu tuka, oruko re na ko ni pare," according to my friend, roughly interpreted means, "Neither the king that brings prosperity nor the one that brings destruction will escape the verdict of history."

Nigeria is literally falling to pieces under the watch and stewardship of President Jonathan. And these are not the words of a detractor or an enemy. I have had nothing but regards and best wishes for the president right from his days as vice president when many around him today were openly opposed to his taking over as president, even when it was clear that the then president was permanently incapacitated to continue as president and in spite of section 114 of the constitution. I say this to prove that I have the credentials to speak the truth to the president today as I see it without anyone hanging the albatross of a hazy northern agenda around my neck.

As CNN international correspondent Nima Elbagir insinuated on the cable network on Saturday, it would appear that the Nigerian government under President Jonathan has completely lost control of the situation in the country and can no longer guarantee the security of life and property of innocent and law-abiding Nigerians. For murderers to plan and successfully drop 20 bombs, including grenades, in Nigeria's second largest city, leading to the death of more than 200 people, and the government and its machinery did not pick up any hint of its coming in any way at all to save this country the horror, scandal and embarrassment that befell it last Friday is, to say the least, quite scary. Even during the 1967-1970 Nigerian civil war, I cannot remember anywhere 20 bombs and grenades dropped on a single city in one day. Boko Haram continues to get stronger, more sophisticated and more ambitious by the day while the federal government continues to look weaker, smaller and more pusillanimous.

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