The Mistakes of President Jonathan by Dumebi
My name is Dumebi Ifeanyi and I am a political animal. This article is in no way meant to insult/derogate the personality of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Its main motive is to show his mistakes and what he ought to have done.
I feel compelled to write this article in order for aspiring young politicians like myself to learn from the mistakes of one whose actions led to the near destruction of a great party which I dearly support. Many might be pleased, many might not, but affairs of state ought to be seen/stated for the way they are and not the way they ought to be. So let’s begin…..
Any good, prudent leader knows that in order to thrive and grow in politics, he ought to know how to be Soft and Hard, Jonathan is a good man…an overly good man and in politics ‘soft/good men’ don’t go very far. He found himself in several situations where he was supposed to take the best possible action which might have been seen as morally ‘bad’.
You see, in politics and governance as a whole, you are required to be objective….certain circumstances require that you do that which might be viewed as morally ‘bad’, but in order for your government to stand, for your people to survive and for your position to remain, you must take these actions. There are situations whereby you do that which is viewed as morally ‘good’ and you will come to absolute ruin.
How the people see their leader is also very important.GEJ did not manage his image well; he was viewed by the people as ‘weak’ because of his lack of charisma and confidence.
The Love of the people
Of all the mistakes that will be stated here, please pay very good attention to this one….NEVER EVER LOSE THE LOVE OF THE PEOPLE!! This is Paramount! Why? The power truly lies with the PEOPLE!
Jonathan came into power with the love of the people (the ‘I had no shoes’ story), everyone loved him but along the line, he made the people lose faith in him, especially after the Chibok girls issue.
The Media controls the minds of the people. President Jonathan made grave mistakes in managingthe media’s representations of his actions. His leadership skills were already not to impressive andthe media was not helping matters, even when he appeared to make a little improvement it still did not help as people had already grown fond of getting negative reports about him, so what should he have done? Two things I propose….
He should have befriended/enriched some top media house heads, gave them contracts…I mean…everyman has a price.
Anyone who refused to be his friend, he would have crushed…how? Influencing the revoking of broadcast licenses, strongarming…..(there a whole lot of ways to deal with them…contact me if you need more..:-)
You might say these are wicked and underhand but anyone who derives joy in destroying me before thousands of people, poisoning their minds and causing me psychological problems has no RIGHT to enjoy while I suffer! I would be foolish to have the means to deal with them and I don’t….:-)
On the chibok girls issue, the president’s lukewarmness caused his great misfortunes, had he immediately given a speech, a good one, a sympathetic one….even if he had no information yet…he would have just addressed the nation and told them that they were working on the matter/ investigating not releasing press statements through Abati….The people needed to know that they had a leader…If they had seen his face, heard his voice…it would have been much better. Had he mobilized the army earlier(or hired mercenaries), had he also given more speeches, speeches that all media houses, TV stations, radio stations would broadcast live(suspending all other programs), supported the Chibok girls campaign, heavily publicized appeals to the AU,UN..etc, these actions could have salvaged his already battered image.
He should also have invested heavily in social media at an early stage, he greatly underestimated it and thought it to be ‘’child’s play’’ but anything causing you great harm and loss of peace of mind is NOT ‘’child’s play’’.
A leader’s strength is measured by the advisers/men he has around him. He should have properly vetted those he chose for advisers and he should haveweighed his political alliances. He also trusted the wrong people.
Biting the Finger that fed him
His biggest mistake till date is not keeping OBJ satisfied, biting the finger that fed him. You see, those who rise to power on the shoulders of others depend on the fortune and goodwill of him who has elevated them, Jonathan let his rift with OBJ thrive and that was a very, very grave mistake. You see, so far the Old military junta, so far the former military leaders live, Obasanjo is still as relevant as he was in the old days…..He should never have underestimated the power of the Iroko of Owu…he should never have!
In choosing enemies, make sure you know everything about your enemy….his alliances, his strengths. Obasanjo is a man who has ruled this country for a combined 11 years so he knows the inner workings of governance including its weaknesses. GEJ should have been wiser.
He was soft when he had to be firm
He could have salvaged a little of what’s left of his already battered image had he left the likes of Oduah, Abba Moro etc out to dry i.e given them up. He could have successfully built an image of a president who did not condone corruption had he done this, thus increasing the confidence the people had in him.
He associated with the STAINED
A leader should never be found associated with the STAINED, Those who have been publicly labeled as corrupt and evil. He associated himself with men who had been indicted, arrested and had one problem or the other with law enforcement thus giving the opposition media fodder and ‘staining’ himself in the process…come on…never play with ink if you have white clothes on.
Marginalizing the South west
Frankly speaking, He should never have marginalized the south-west…For God sake; they controlthe media and the Judiciary. I am being very realistic; He should have been friends with those with heavy political influence and should have kept them satisfied early enough. He should have sent more developments and foreign investments their way.
Apart from politics, when you build a house on poor foundations it will eventually collapse. GEJ had strong foundations in the SE and the SS but did not in the southwest and in the north, the whole Boko Haram/Chibok girls issue coupled with his Luke warmness destroyed the little he had built there.
In Conclusion, the president’s mistakes were numerous but if he had addressed the few stated above, he could have still been Nigeria’s leader today and I urge all aspiring politicians to draw lesson from his shortcomings than criticize him. Never forget…Politics is not for all, it is for a particular breed of human beings….wanna know if you have got what it takes?…..then Follow me on twitter @itsdumebi_