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Date Published: 05/18/10

FIVE REASONS WHY JONATHAN SHOULD CONTEST THE PRESIDENCY IN 2011 AND ONE REASON WHY HE SHOULD NOT By Jude Egbas

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Poor Mr Cairo Ojuogboh! 

No sooner had he granted an interview to the local media signalling the intention of his principal, President Jonathan, to throw his hat into the ring in next year’s Presidential polls, than he was forced to beat a hasty retreat (by God-Knows-Who) a few minutes later, babbling all the way! 

Never has a presidential aide looked more amateurish! 

The phrase ‘being quoted out of context’ got a whole new meaning when Mr Ojuogboh  in a telephone chat with Channels TV, blatantly denied making those comments even though the TV clips of his ‘famous’ press briefing was being played again and again for all to see. 

You bet he must have been reprimanded behind the scenes; a scenario which must have forced him to retract (or try to retract) his comments. But Mr Ojuogboh shouldn’t lose sleep over his own case of ‘verbal diarrhoea’ in high places. ‘Spilling the beans’ happens now and again in Abuja and this would not be the last time. Here are few reasons why ‘Jonny  Boy’ should have his name on the ballot next year and one reason why he shouldn’t even contemplate it:

Run, Jonny, Run!!!!  

  1. His name is Goodluck: From becoming a governor when he didn’t bargain for one to sitting on the throne a fortnight ago after the death of his Boss, any thing Goodluck touches turns to gold. Surely, if he picks up the presidential form next term, you can be sure he would still be walking up and down ‘Aso villa’s’ terraces as the number one citizen in the land.  

Caution : Luck can run out on anyone when most needed. Pushing one’s luck too far has its own drawbacks. 

  1. Nigerians can be easily impressed: If Jonathan can fix the country’s

Power problems and restore the waning pride of the nation, Nigerians would jump on his 2011 Presidential bandwagon. Fix a few roads and show Nigerians that you care about their welfare, and you are the best thing since sliced bread. In Nigeria, you don’t need to read volumes of books by John Maxwell and Machiavelli to sway public opinion.  

Caution: If by the next election cycle, Nigerians are still entitled to thirty minutes of electricity in a single day and generators are still the gift of first choice at weddings, birthdays and Valentine’s, ‘Jonny Boy’ should thank Obasanjo for prodding him on and hand over the keys! 

  1. Incumbents hardly lose elections in Nigeria: Almost everyone knows this one. Invite the electoral umpire a few weeks before polling day, whisper some stern words into his ears and stuff a cheque in his palms, and he would do everything ( including stuffing ballot boxes in his bedroom) to return you into power. Witness Maurice Iwu chiding other candidates for not doing enough to win in returning OBJ’s man ( Yar’ Adua) to power. Only a bloated bank account can do that to a man. Government house is one place where the cash never runs dry.

Caution: Having not campaigned for a major post himself, Jonathan may find the intricacies of election manipulation a bridge too high. My advice? Employ the likes of Mr Fix It—Tony Anenih-- to do the job and hand the cheques blank. 

  1. Godfatherism is everything : I am sure by now, Jonathan knows his way

around the villa. If your Godfather is anyone like Baba Iyabo, you know even with failing kidneys and lousy squash, you can become president anywhere in the world. Ask Chris Ngige if in any doubt. 

  Caution: As with Ngige, never offend your Godfather, Jonny! When Godfathers invest in you, especially when you are still in power, never ( and I mean NEVER!) ever double-cross them.

  1. For Aso Rock, Read ‘juju’: Jonathan need not worry a thing when he does

fully decide to contest. The ‘juju’ men know how it’s done and they tell you exactly what you want to hear. When they say you would die in power rather than being overthrown, of course you will! And they are cheap—like for two a penny. Most Nigerian leaders have used their services to maximum effect. 

 Caution : juju men reportedly drummed it into Abacha’s eardrums daily that he would transform from a Military ruler to a civilian one and he did! Damn, forgive my fouled up history! Marabouts must have told Yar’Adua that he shouldn’t contemplate handing over because he would not only make a quick recovery, he would make history as the oldest man to compete in the squash event of the summer Olympics. You see, Juju men always get it right!!!!!!! 

And one reason not to….  

Jonathan is certainly smarter than Mr. Ojuogboh made him look. The North is waiting with bated breath for the ‘horse’ to speak. The day he gets a delegation from all corners of the country in Abuja, asking him to become President, Jonathan should thank Nigerians for the opportunity given him to serve, mumble a few words on statesmanship, assure the nation on credible polls and thereafter plan to vacate office with Patience, his wife, who by the way, should proceed on a fellowship to Harvard on ‘curbing money laundering in the third world’.  

 

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