Former President Goodluck Jonathan shot into international fame and statesmanship by conceding the 2015 elections to President Muhammadu Buhari. That singular move was seen as a redeeming move for Jonathan. Without mincing words, we all know Jonathan superintended arguably the most corrupt regime in the history of the country.
When Jonathan handed over willingly, we all forgot about his weakness and praised him to high heavens. Basking in his new superstar status, the former president was going from one country to another receiving awards. With the coming of the new administration, tales of how the former administration looted our patrimony became front page news. We were indurated with mind boggling malfeasance by the former administration. Through all of this, calls for Jonathan to speak up was rebuffed by the former president on the grounds that most of the cases were still in court.
Probably because of the snail slow pace of the current administration, Jonathan became bolder, started making speeches and subtly criticising the government of the day. Some Nigerians became nostalgic and like the children of Israel in the Bible, who, in the wilderness, begged Moses to take them back to Egypt, some Nigerians began to yearn for the Jonathan days. It was even mooted that the former president may stage a comeback in 2019.
However, all this came crashing down like a pack of cards after the revelations in Segun Adeniyi ‘s book against the run of play where he chronicled events that led to Jonathan ‘s defeat at the polls.
In the book, Jonathan proved to all of us why he deserved to lose the 2015 elections. Not once in the book did he blame himself for his defeat. He blamed the United States, France, Britain, the former INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega press, civil society and even his own party chairman, Adamu Muazu was not left out in his blame game. Not once did he put the blame where it belonged – to the man in the mirror. The former president took leave of his senses in these bizarre revelations. Naivete and timidity is a pathetic mix. Jonathan has taken the art of always playing the victim to pathetic heights.
We all remember in 2011, he had no shoes and appealed to most Nigerian voters. In 2015, religion and ethnicity were his trump cards. He created the ethnic divide, “we against them”. ‘It’s our oil money, it’s our turn to chop’ and boy, did they loot the treasury with reckless abandon. A national figure in 2011, he became a regional and ethnic champion in 2015.
The book really put a dent on his reputation. He should know that he lost the 2015 elections simply because he was incompetent. Under his watch, Boko Haram grew from area boys to international terrorists capturing towns and hoisting their flags. Our soldiers, regarded as one of the bravest in the continent, began to tactically manoeuvre. The capture of the Chibok girls became an international embarrassment and Jonathan, in his usual element, blamed Northern leaders for the kidnap. It became so bad that criminal elements who were supposed to be languishing in jail, took over the functions of our security establishment. Militant leaders made the Presidential Villa their second home. The Aso Rock, our nation’s number one symbol, was demystified.
Under his watch, stealing was not corruption. Government officials turned our treasury to their personal ATM. No matter how he tries to rewrite history, it will amount to flogging a dead horse.
Mindful of the fact that the revelations in the book have really dented the former president’s image, his supporters are stepping up campaigns in the social media to discredit the author of the book.
It was obvious in his revelations in the book that Jonathan is still bitter about his defeat. He should stop whining and accept defeat that his incompetence and not honouring a simple gentleman agreement cost him his election. I blame him for his self-destruction.
Apparently in a bid to do some damage control, he has promised to write his own book. If revelations in Adeniyi’s book are anything to go by, Jonathan should maintain his silence before he does major damage to his already battered image. Sometimes, silence is golden.
Time To Review Minimum Wage
On Monday, the world over celebrated workers’ day. Nigerian workers were not left out as they pushed for the review of the minimum wage. They are pushing for a N56, 000 new minimum wage.
If we want to be truthful to ourselves. A minimum wage of 18 thousand naira is wicked and insensitive. This is less than the amount some governors spend on recharge cards for their mistresses. If we want to fight corruption adequately, the first thing is to take care of workers’ welfare. How do you expect a man to feed, pay schools fees and house rent with 18 thousand Naira? You are telling him to go and steal. Expect the civil servant to pad the budget, sensitive files to go missing.
The irony of the whole scenario is that some states are even finding it hard to pay the N18, 000 minimum wage which is less than $40. The thing is something has got to give. I am advocating a minimum wage of N100, 000. The federal and state governments need to reduce their over- bloated workforce. Too many redundant workers as too many ministries and MDAs are just duplicating duties.
Minimum wage should be moved from the exclusive list, let each state determine how much they want to pay as minimum wage.
The government must have the political will to downsize the work force and the labour leaders must accept that this is a necessary evil.