The Nigerians They Don’t Give a Damn About – by Ayo Sogunro @ayosogunro

Published:29 Aug, 2012

The Nigerians They Don’t Give a Damn About – by Ayo Sogunro

“They” in this title refers to all the defense men, the pen-brandishing king’s men, the unrelenting, self-appointed applauders, the cozy and established, comfortable, myopic and collective children of corruption, the distant crowd of Presidential addicts, the any-government-in-power cinema crowd of Nigeria, who seem to be in competition among themselves to achieve the favours of President Goodluck Jonathan.

This army of sponsored and self-appointed sycophants is so diverse; many of them don’t even know why or how they should defend the President and neither do they understand, or “give a damn” about, the views or complaints of Nigerians.

The clear danger to public affairs commentary is that we have a lot of intelligent people initiating stupid clichés and too many unintelligent persons wasting public funds occupying offices established to lend relevance to these thoughtless clichés.  Hold on. I don’t want to be misunderstood. I am not saying nobody should defend the Nigerian President. I’ve spent some time understanding that social maxim: “He who pays the piper calls the tune”. Public position comes with its own share of sycophancy and grovelling. But the defending, praise singing, “Special Advisers” and “Senior Special Assistants” crowd of the Jonathan regime must be guided by facts.

Let us gather our well rounded stones. I have spent all my life as a Nigerian. I have watched the leadership of this country since I was capable of understanding such things. I can write a whole book on the Occupy Nigeria movement, but you won’t get to read that until much later.  I am certain that some government people will not buy the book if it gets written. Well, your choice. What I can state, for now is, that President Jonathan and his praise singers grossly misunderstand Nigerians. They think Nigerians are unfair to them. They criticize Nigerians as “ignorant”. They accuse everyday Nigerians as mischievous. And when Nigerians dare to protest, they simply attribute it to the work of the opposition parties. How unfair!

Nigerians say he is a clueless President.  A paid employee in the service of the President says Nigerians are wrong.  Between Nigerians and the employee, who then is clueless?  Nobody is more committed to the Nigerian Project than Nigerians themselves. In spite of unforeseen challenges, in spite of decades of brutal military rule, in spite of a bloody civil war, in spite of continuous government corruption, Nigerians have done their best to remain one and fend for themselves both in private and public enterprise.  And this year alone, President Jonathan has done his utmost best to increase the burden of Nigerians with a fuel price increase and its attendant consequences. Ordinary Nigerians protested against this.  Let it be known now that those parading themselves as “special advisers” to the President, and who claim that the President still has the support of Nigerians, represent only themselves and their selfish salaried interests.

They say President Jonathan is a clever, methodical and intelligent man, and yet he is very adept at wrong footing majority of Nigerians, confusing the issues and distracting from the main agenda. They say he understands the complexity of Nigeria, but he uses it to his advantage— for example, by turning May 29 into an opportunity to raise unneeded dust over June 12. But that aside, Nigerians do not care about his acutely conscious sense of history nor his personal reflection as a representative of all common persons. Nigerians only care about the results of his government policy-making processes. Nigerians are not interested in sentimental expressions about the children of all blue collar workers who never wore shoes or got a chance to eat three-square meals, and whose mothers and aunties could never be part of policy-making processes.

And yet they say he understands Nigerians.

When Nigerians deride Jonathan about not wearing shoes as a child, they meant that as a metaphor for the irony of the President’s purported penurious past contrasted to his clearly comfortable present, and the urgent need to redress such social inequalities. But I have read a “Special Adviser” responding literally that Nigerians meant that people should never vote for a man who never wore shoes. How simplistic! Attention needs to be drawn to the fact that a party-sourced President who has given no indication of how to transform Nigeria, and yet who campaigned on a platform of transformation, will always definitely be defended by those who consider themselves the children of  the new regime, those who think that their descendants  will inherit Nigeria. Wrong.

The Ijaws, the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria, have as much right to have their son as President as do the Nupe, the Tiv, the Efiks, the Ibibio and so many others—and nobody expects Jonathan to dwell on this. He may never have uttered an ethnic statement and he is not expected to do so. Must Nigerians applaud him for this? He is expected to see himself as the President of all Nigerians, which is why he lives in Aso Rock and not Bayelsa. He is expected to be at home with every group which is why he should listen to writings such as this.

They say he is focused on the challenges of nation-building but what about reinstating the President of the Court of Appeal? They say he wants to transform Nigeria, but this is based on an agenda only he knows about. They say he wants to unite the country but yet he is creating avenues for popular protests, strikes and demonstrations. They say Nigerians want regular power supply and that he is working at it—but Nigerians don’t want to cross 4, 400 MW on paper, they want to see it everywhere with their eyes.

Nigerians want infrastructure not a President who knows they want it. Nigerians want the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway fixed not an empty threat to the contractors. Nigerians want the East-West road fixed quickly not a mysterious directive to a particular nameless minister. Nigerians want to see corrupt people in jail, not just ineffective directives to government agencies. Nigeria’s have no issue with foreign relations—they want charity to begin at home. They say he is transforming the agriculture sector, yet Nigerians still suffer expensive food items. The reason Nigerians do not go into a song and dance routine for President Jonathan is because they know that true rebranding of a nation is the actualisation of positive things—things that are already happening and not just a projection.

They say he is not ‘tribalistic’. True. But how many Ijaws voted for President Jonathan compared to the rest of the country? Very few, I can tell you. Jonathan was voted in by Nigerians. Well, there are of course, all kinds of persons, special advisers and the like, who go about telling people that they have the President’s ears and eyes. I have since learnt that some Nigerians consider it fashionable to wear the false garments created by public office.

They say the Presidency qua Presidency is staffed by key officials from all parts of the country, but are these officials efficient? They say the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is from Ebonyi State—but is he the best man for the job? They say the Chief of Staff and the Head of the President’s Secretariat are both from Edo, but do they realise they have a wasteful budget? They say the Protocol Liaison Officer and Principal Private Secretary are from Adamawa, the Chief Detail is from Borno, the Aide De Camp (ADC) is from Kogi, the Perm Sec, State House is from Benue, the State Chief of Protocol is from Kwara, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity is from Ogun, the Chief Physician to the President is from Rivers—but Nigerians want to know the criteria for their selection! They say only the Chief Security Officer, the Special Assistant, Domestic and the Special Adviser, Research and Strategy are from Bayelsa but Nigerians don’t care about where they come from—Nigerians only care about what they have achieved!

They say when the President is in the office, he gets there early every day, and works till very late, and that he is exposed to all categories of Nigerians, but the same is true for even the market woman, especially the market woman.  They say he runs a modern and open Presidency and yet he sends soldiers to the streets of Lagos. If he is on Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS, BB, and reads like they say, then he would realise that he has lost the approval of his initial support base—the people they call “idle and idling, twittering, collective children of anger, the distracted crowd of Facebook addicts, the BBM-pinging soap opera gossips of Nigeria”. This is not even a provincial President—he is a cabal president. The purported intelligentsia in his immediate community should advise him to step out of office.

They say President Jonathan is the first Nigerian leader to appoint a woman as his Chief Economic Adviser as well as the Nigerian leader who opened up the Nigerian Defence Academy to women, but is this the meaning of progress? They say he took affirmative action in political appointments to a higher level by reserving 35 per cent of all appointive positions in government for the women folk, but is this why the First Lady must take a post as Permanent Secretary?

All these facts they point out may be incontrovertible but they are very irrelevant. Nigerians are not interested in whether a man occupies a position or whether a woman occupies it. Nigerians are not stupid! If it is a goat that will do the job well, Nigerians are happy to support the goat as a Minister! It will certainly not do any worse than the current ones are doing. They say the President’s commitment to Nigeria is total, but what about his appointees? They say the President’s children school in Nigeria, but do the children of his Ministers? Let the President wear any attire he enjoys, it is not his dress code that will promote Nigeria.

They say the President doesn’t drink. Well, maybe he had better start drinking if that would make the administration more effective—what with all the choice drinks on every trip.  What’s the use of people who are not allowed to touch alcohol and yet have nothing to show for it? Alcohol is not served during official duties, but neither is it served at anyone’s workplace either. Should we applaud the President for not drinking on the job? Even a student knows not to take alcohol in the classroom. Now they praise the President for not drinking alcohol and try to distort the issues at hand.

The budget states that the Presidential household intends to spend millions on feeding. Well, I have not enjoyed the privilege of eating at the President’s table. But they say he eats fish pepper soup, Cassava Bread, slices of yam, rice, boiled plantain, fruits and vegetables.  If this is the case, then why does the budget require millions of naira for his table? They sat he fasts when he chooses, and fasts all month during Ramadan and Lent—this is all good, but we have our Bishops and Imams to do that for us.   Nigerians do not care about his culinary habits or physical fitness regime. Let him drink kain kain if it will make him stronger, let him drink water if that would boost him. Let him fast if it will strengthen his arm, let him eat roasted turkey, and every delicacy under the sun if it would fire him up.  Nigerians are not concerned whether the President is a glutton or not. Nigerians want a disciplined, hardworking president who has an effective plan for the country without burdening the people further.

Here is a man who started a New Year with indiscretion and insensitivity. The thing about the President’s men is that they just cannot accept that Nigerians are intelligent enough to know what is right and what is wrong.  This is the King George Complex. King George of England could not accept the fact that the simple colonial Americans were sophisticated enough to decide how they wanted to be governed. And just like the colonial Americans gave chase to King George and his army of redcoats, Nigerians will eventually throw away these yes-men and promote a nation with men of integrity at the helm.

Let me end by saying that Nigerians, especially the “idle and idling, twittering, collective children of anger, the distracted crowd of Facebook addicts, the BBM-pinging” Nigerians may be a simple people but simplicity is not naivety. If simplicity were to be naivety then the world would not be where it is today. It is simple people who gave shape to the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Kwame Nkrumah, simple people gave a mission to men who listened to the voice of the people—even when the special advisers around them were cajoling otherwise.

 

Ayo Sogunro

Follow @ayosogunro on twitter

  • @iL_legall

    Wow! There are so many gems scattered all over this article, but the phrase about the market woman dealing with all types of Nigerians from early morning till late night stood out for me. Had me chuckling, giggling, pondering and reflecting all through. Abati needs to read this. Again I say wow. Well done Sogunro.

  • musa

    Good piece Ayo. Thank u for speaking the mind of masses

  • Jerry Fadipe

    We don’t care if he confesses himself as the most criticized president or better still, a World-Wide-Wuss. We deserve and demand economic progression and not the purposeless projection or perdition ‘they’ force into our mouth. Bright writer, i must commend.

  • buy soma carisoprodol high feeling – withdrawal from carisoprodol

  • You realize therefore drastically when it comes to that subject matter, forced me to in my opinion think about the item at a wide range of many aspects. The for instance people are certainly not interested right until it is something to try and do by using Kesha! Your things good. On a regular basis tackle it!

Related Posts

Recent Posts

BREAKING: Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh ‘agrees’ to step down

Yahya Jammeh has agreed to step down as president of The Gambia, according to reports.   Nicholas Germain, a France 24 journalist, quoted sources as saying Jammeh is currently writing a statement where he accepts to cede power.   Guinean officials tell @FRANCE24 that Jammeh currently writing statement where he accepts to leave, in the presence of Guinean officials — nicolas germain (@nicolasF24) January 20, 2017   Jammeh, who lost Gambia’s presidential election to Adama Barrow, initially accepted defeat and...

BREAKING: Donald John Trump sworn in as 45th president of the United States of America

American billionaire Donald  John Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America, succeeding Barack Obama in the White House.   You can follow the updates here on live stream:   http://edition.cnn.com/specials/inauguration-360-live-video

3rd Mainland Bridge Traffic: The irresponsibility of Fashola & FERMA – By Adeeko Ademola

Recently, there have been tales of terrible gridlocks in a particular part of Lagos, the third mainland bridge to be precise and this has over time had it's toll on the traffic situation of some major routes in the metropolis.The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Eko and Carter bridges. The bridge which serves as an alternative route to Agege...

Governor Obiano Commits To Employing 178 Youths In Anambra

The Anambra state government has pledged its commitment to solving the problem of youth unemployment in the state, through opening windows of opportunity in various fields of the economy including agriculture, trade and commerce, in the civil service. The Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, revealed this when he visited the Umuawulu Training Camp where 178 youths were undergoing training ahead of employment into the state civil service under Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra, OCHA Brigade. The agency...

Gabriel Jesus Cleared To Make Debut Against Tottenham

Manchester city have been cleared to play 19-year-old Brazilian winger, Gabriel Jesus, against Tottenham on Saturday, after formally completing his £27 million move from Palmeiras. The Brazil international, Jesus, has agreed to a five-year deal with City in August. He stayed with Palmeiras until the end of the Brazilian season in December. The footballer has won an Olympic gold medal with his country, having scored three times in the men’s football tournament in Rio, after which he was promoted to the...

Lagos To Launch Community Policing To Tighten Security

In a bid to reduce crime and complement the efforts of security agencies, the Lagos state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has announced plans to strengthen community policing.   He disclosed that the government would recruit 5,700 personnel, with 100 in each of the 20 local government and local council development areas within the first quarter of 2017.   The governor also announced plans to extend its infrastructural renewal drive with the construction of 181 local government roads in 2017.   He made the revelation at...

Boko Haram: 75 NSCDC Personnel Killed In Borno In 2016 – Officials

The Borno Command of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps says 75 personnel of the command were killed while 15 were declared missing in action in the year 2016.   The Commandant of the Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told journalists in a news conference that the officers were killed in separate attacks in Gwoza and Gamboru Ngala in the Boko Haram insurgency.   “We have alerted our sister agencies on the issues while the NSCDC national headquarters have assisted the families of the bereaved.”...

NCC begins enforcement of N5 million fine over unsolicited Calls/SMS

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that it has commenced the enforcement of the Do Not Disturb (DND), code which compels mobile network operators to stop sending unsolicited messages to their subscribers.   Prof Umar Danbatta executive vice chairman of NCC at a meeting with the Academia on ITU Study Group Participation held at Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja, said the move became imperative because the NCC had given the operators ample time to comply with the regulatory directive and was now...

Barack Obama berates Republicans for blocking efforts to close Guantanamo Bay

US President Barack Obama delivered an angry parting shot at Congress on Thursday, berating Republicans for blocking his efforts to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The facility “never should have been opened in the first place” Obama said in a scathing two-page letter on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. “There is simply no justification beyond politics for the Congress’ insistence on keeping the facility open,” he added. Trump has vowed not...

Trial of ex-NIMASA boss, Jauro, fixed for January 24.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday fixed Jan. 24 for continuation of the trial of a former Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Jauro, who is facing a N304.1 million fraud charge.   Jauro, who assumed leadership of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), is charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Ltd on 19 counts bordering on fraud.   The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendants, who were...

BREAKING: Yahya Jammeh asks for extension of deadline to vacate office.

Gambia’s leader Yahya Jammeh has asked for the extension of the deadline given to him to vacate office by ECOWAS from noon to 4 pm local time, Reuters reported on Friday.  Senegal forces entered the Gambia hours after the opposition figure Adama Barrow, who won the December 2016 presidential election in the small West African nation, was sworn in at the Gambian embassy in Dakar.   But the military intervention – named Operation Restore Democracy – aimed at installing Barrow...

Washington braces up for massive protests as Trump takes oath of office

Law enforcement officers in Washington were on Friday in brace for hundreds of thousands of people planning to celebrate or protest Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States. About 900,000 people were expected to jam-pack central Washington, including the grassy National Mall facing the Capitol, where the New York businessman and former reality TV star will be sworn in. A disparate group of liberal activists irked by comments by Trump about women, illegal immigrants and Muslims have planned protests...

We shut tomato processing plant due to lack of forex, says Dangote official.

Edwin Devakumar, a senior executive with Dangote Group, says the conglomerate had to shut down its tomato processing factory due to lack of foreign exchange for raw material import.   In an interview with Reuters, Devakumar, said the Dangote group has been cutting down its operations across board due to lack of necessary foreign exchange.   “Where the foreign exchange is not available, we are cutting down our operations. For example … we had a tomato-based processing plant, we have shut it down,” Devakumar...

JUST IN: IPOB Trump solidarity rally turns violent

The solidarity rally by the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for new US President, Donald Trump in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State has turned violent. Media and Publicity ?secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, in a short message he sent to DAILY POST alleged that no fewer than 11 members of the pro-Biafra group have been shot dead by security operatives. “They have attacked our people; 11 have been confirmed dead, many others have bullet wounds”, he claimed in the statement. He alleged that...

Protests erupt in Sri Lanka against Donald Trump

A small, but vociferous group on Friday staged a protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka on the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. President, officials said.   Carrying placards and chanting slogans, the protestors denounced Trump’s comments on various issues including the environment, war and immigrants and claimed they could have an impact on Sri Lanka.   “We are showing our solidarity with all the people throughout the world who are taking part in protests against president-elect Trump,’’ Siritunga Jayasuriya, leader...

Meet The #PadMan advocating Reusable Sanitary Pads for School Girls

With Nigeria in a recession, embracing frugality is helpful and recommended, but there are things that frugality can’t deal with. One of them is the cost of sanitary pads in Nigeria today. Women and girls simply cannot opt out of their periods. Barring pregnancy or ovulatory disorders, menses will occur every month and the flow must be dealt with. Imagine all these worries for teenage girls attending schools combining the fears of expensive sanitary pads with the...

Two teachers rape girl after showing her porn.

Two teachers, Stanley Akanno and Olakunle Hassan, both teachers in a private primary school in Amuwo Odofin, were yesterday paraded by Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, AIG Kayode Aderanti, for serially defiling their 6-year-old female pupil.   The teachers, he said, during extra mural classes, showed pornography on their laptop to the pupil and made her practice same on them. “The pupil has been taken to a government hospital where it was medically established that she had been deflowered. The...

Educate the girl child, stop building mosques – Sarkin Kano

The emir of Kano Mallam Muhammad Sanusi II has called out wealthy northerners to stop building mosques and to stop early marriage of the girl child and start educating female children, since majority of these girls can barely read and write. He made the call on Thursday in his keynote address at the 3rd international conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, organised by the International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, Bayero University, Kano. “I’m just tired of people coming to...

IG raises alarm over the rise of suicide cases in the Police force

The Nigerian Police Force is worried over the rising cases of suicide among its officers across the country. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (IGP) Zone 5, Abubakar, Mohammed, lamented the development in an interactive session with policemen in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Thursday. He said recent statistics confirmed that more policemen are taking their lives. Mohammed, a former Director at the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) office in Lyon, France, said the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has ordered senior police officers...

UPDATE: Jammeh’s step-down deadline may be shifted by 12 hours to solidify negotiations

West African leaders have given Yahya Jammeh, who lost elections last month, until midday on Friday to hand over power and agree to leave The Gambia or face military action carried out by the regional bloc ECOWAS.   However, as it is now, all indications show that the deadline may be shifted by 12 hours as leaders of Guinea and Mauritania are currently in The Gambia for talks with Jammeh to leave power.   Though, this information is yet to be made official,...

El-Rufai donates land for Methodist Church in Kafanchan, begs church not to relocate

Governor Nasir Elrufai of Kaduna State has promised to provide additional land for building of Methodists church in Kafanchan, Southern Kaduna The governor who made the promise when he received the prelate of the Methodist Church Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche in his office also urged the Church not relocate from their present location. He said: “I visited your church in Kafanchan after the violence. We are willing to give you another plot of land in Kafanchan, but please consider...