I was quite thrilled about what was going on in the church and when I got the information that while we were here, there were explosions in Kaduna and since I don’t even know the casualty rate and what is happening; I have been quite sad and I didn’t even want to say something,but when the priest orders you, you must say something,”- President Goodluck Jonathan, on being asked to make a statement after being told about the explosions at three churches in Kaduna and Zaria on the 17th June 2012.
For one reason or the other, when I saw the above quote used by at least three of my facebook friends as their status update on Sunday evening, I didn't notice it was by Goodluck Jonathan speaking on the slaughter of people trying to worship their God on Sunday. I remember wondering vaguely though, why three different people used the same silly-sounding quote as their status update and promptly forgetting about it.
I was surprised to say the least when the following morning, I heard the same quote spoken by GEJ's voice on the six o'clock (morning) news of the 99.9 Beat FM. I was even more surprised when a few hours later, I saw the video clip on Channels TV, with Mr president making the speech with a trace of a smile on his face, no doubt, congratulating himself on his 'presidential" sense of humour. No matter that this newfound humour was discovered at the same time that scores of the people, quite a number of them children, he swore to protect, and because of whom he allocated an extra-ordinarily and obscenely huge of amount of money to himself as security vote had just reportedly been murdered while in the act of worship.
As if that was not bad enough, the president jets off a day after that to Brazil for an earth summit!!! I normally use exclamation marks sparingly in my write-ups because I sometimes find them too dramatic for my liking, but please, if you are like me, excuse my using it here, I think the situation calls for some raised voice and that is why it is necessary in this piece. An earth summit?!!!! While his house was on fire especially in the wake of the reprisal attacks which necessitated a 24-hour curfew on Kaduna!
I had to ask myself what happened to the minister of environment and why he/she could not lead Nigeria's delegation to the summit if it is so important that Nigeria attends. And if the president did not consider the minister competent enough to lead the delegation, why make him/her a minister?
I do not lay claim to always being right, or even always doing the right things, but if I know I am not ready to shoulder certain responsibilities, I never offer my shoulder. The message Mr President is passing by proceeding to the summit even while a country he heads burns is that he is really not concerned about the people that were killed. Either that, or that his presence or absence makes absolutely no difference to the state of things in the country except that as the Condoler-in-chief of the Federal Republic, his absence will not allow him to condole with the people of Damaturu who suffered attacks from the satanic elements perhaps even while he was airborne en route to Rio de janeiro.
And as if to buttress the latter supposition, the Vice-president reportedly said this morning that the president's absence makes no difference to the situation of the country. If that is so, can someone please help to tell Mr Goodluck Jonathan to get the heck out of office? Would he have gone for the summit if one of his children had been among those bombed? Is he in office just to enjoy the perks and not to shoulder the responsibilities that necessarily come with the office? Does he even know that his statement that the evil boko haram will be a thing of the past by June is responsible for the increased slaughter of innocent people by the group? If the president doesn't know he should get out of office, it's time we the people tell him we are tired of having a president whose only strength appears to lie in his ability to consume a million naira meal per day!