Jonathan wasn’t desperate for power, but unprepared for leadership -Saraki
It was another period of evaluation of the Goodluck Jonathan presidency Thursday in Abuja, as dignitaries including the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Borno state and Chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima berated the former president for squandering his goodwill on the altar of inexperience and tribal politics. Saraki-Jonathan Both men spoke at the unveiling of the book, “On a Platter of Gold – How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria”, written by an ex-Minister of Youths and Sports in the Jonathan administration, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi. Shettima who chaired the occasion was the first to fire the salvo, saying inspite of “Jonathan’s fairytale rise to power, his sheer display of bad governance, lack of political sagacity and willpower, he squandered the array of goodwill he commanded and subsequently got humiliated out of office”. Shettima also took a swipe at the ex-president for surrounding himself with religious bigots and tribal warlords who made him believe that the Chibok girls abduction was a balooney. “Sadly, Borno was the epicentre of the crisis that engulfed the Jonathan administration. This is the second book I am reading on the Jonathan saga. I think President Jonathan is essentially a decent person, an unsophisticated country politician caught up in the vortex of power politics in Nigeria. “When the Chibok girls saga started, they made the president to believe that there was no abduction; that the Chibok girls were kidnapped by the governor of Borno state ostensibly to embarrass the Jonathan administration and he believed that line of story. I was in Chibok, my wife was in Chibok and there was a global outcry on the issue but Jonathan was in a world of his own created by the clowns and also the misfits around him. I wasn’t invited to Abuja until nearly three weeks later and even when I was invited to Abuja, I was quiet thrilled that at last I was getting the attention of my leader. I was asked to come along with Commissioner of Police, the Divisional Police Officer in Chibok, the Commissioner of Education, the Military Commander in Chibok and the Director of DSS in Borno. “We were all ushered into the Villa. Sadly, when the president came in, he was still in that mood. He started threatening the school principal that she should tell them where the girls were. ‘principal, you must tell me where the girls are. Commissioner of Police, you have to tell me’. He immediately ordered for the arrest of the principal, the DPO, Commissioner of Police and the Director of DSS, that they must produce the girls. In this very unfortunate saga, MD Abubakar, the then IGP arrested them, took them to the Force Headquarters and informed them; ‘Lady and gentlemen, I cannot hurt you because I am a man of conscience. I will let you go based on self-recognition.’ And they were released to go back to their duty posts but I was shocked, I was quiet taken aback because I thought solutions were going to be found to a very serious national challenge, instead, the president was still of the mindset that those girls were not abducted and that goes to show the quality of leadership in this country. “Incidentally, the Brigade Commander in Chibok, was an Ijaw man, one Capt. Godknows. And because they know the president is such a very unsophisticated simpleton, he is such an honest man, they knew that if they had brought in the man, they would have gotten him confused. So, they deliberately refused to bring the Brigade Commander in Chibok and that made the president to lose a true perspective on the issues. But we have to give it to him, that by conceding defeat, he saved the nation from the precipice.