In ESSAY on October 14, 2011 at 10:11 am


Gbenga Ogundare, Editor, National Standard Magazine
Some Nigerians still want the President of this country to be a lion
or a tiger, somebody that has that kind of strength and force and
agility to make things happen the way they think. Some others will
want the President to operate like an army general, like my Chief of
Army Staff commanding his troops…Somebody will want the President to
operate like the kings of Syria, Babylon, Egypt, the Pharaoh,
all-powerful people that you read about in the Bible. Unfortunately, I
am not one of those.” —President Goodluck Jonathan.

Haba, Jona! You mean to tell me you’re the exact opposite of the kind of
leader Nigerians expect and need. Are you sure you’re bereft of the
kind of strength and force and agility to make things happen the way
Nigerians want? What manner of president you come be?! OK, wait a
minute: is this some kind of national joke at prime-time? Or, an
excessive display of modesty? I think you’ll need some more explaining
to do here.

To operate like an army general is an honour; for such a general
operates with precision, target, strategy and purpose…but none of
these describe you Mr. Jona? Who the heck has been helping you with
your speech? Oh, you got the message through christendom-inspired holy
ghost! I see. You must have some anointing then.

You said you were no Syrian king, Babylonian emperor nor were you the
Pharaoh of Egypt– all powerful statesmen with enviable charisma as
leaders; men who led prosperous nations. These were men gifted with
fiscal genius and military perspicacity. They were those who built cities to
nation-states. Mr. Jona, and you were comfortable to tell millions of
people who believe in you that you cared not to aspire to such great
level of achievement.

Please Jona, recant.

But, wait a minute. Did you also say you were not a Goliath -that
grotesque Philistine guy? Sure, not even my youngest son finds the
Bible character inspiring. However, Jona, there’s something even more
disturbing about your proclamation-confession. You’re a David, aren’t
you? I guess your answer would be yes. But don’t mistake humility for
timidity. The humility of a cat (read David) isn’t a sign of his
timidity. David was a brave boy…barely half your age when he bravely
killed a bear in defence of his sheep. David was merely a boy when he
struck down that loathsome gigantic Goliath.

You aren’t a boy. Where’s your valour? Where’s your decisiveness,
Jona? Where’s the inspiring aura of leadership in you? By your words
and actions you force Nigerians to snore in premature sleep of
resignation of “e go better”.

Faced with TOTAL INSECURITY, Nigerians can hardly yearn for a better
tomorrow. Life, property, investment, career, morals, law, are all
languishing in the dungeon of insecurity. How gratifying does it feel
to preside over a bunch of rogues as politicians, militants,
terrorists, state-patronised corrupt businessmen, kidnappers and
morally bankrupt youths?
Nigerians need you to be a lion to scare wolves; and a fox to
recognise traps. Nigerians need you to be lion-hearted to exorcise the
demons tormenting the national soul. Don’t you think you can do it?

Oh dear! I know how it feels not to want to be a hero in the face of
oddly adversity. It is especially understandable in the case of a man
who has excelled, not on GOOD WORK, but on GOOD LUCK. Chance has
thrust greatness unto your path. And in a panicky frenzy Jona, you’ve
called out to us – your national neighbours- informing us how helpless
you feel in the heat of the kitchen called Naija.

But if you can’t stand the heat, shouldn’t you get out of that kitchen?

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