On 26th September 2011 in an article titled ''On Goodluck Jonathan, David and Goliath'' I wrote the following-
''A few days ago President Jonathan proclaimed as follows- 'I am not David, I am not a general, I am not a lion- I will defeat the Goliaths in our land'. These are deep and instructive words yet I do wonder whether Mr. President understands the spiritual and practical implications of what he is saying.
I say this because if he says that he is not a David how can he then possibly slay the Goliaths in the land? If he says that he is not a general how can he be an effective Commander-in-Chief who commands the respect and confidence of his army and his officers? If he says that he is not a lion how can he overwhelm the animals in our jungle that seek to destroy and ravage our land?
Every king worth his salt must have the spirit of the lion and the warrior in him to a certain extent. It is a fundamental pre-qualification for good quality and inspirational leadership and that is what distinguishes the pretender and the usurper from a real king. History proves that weak kings and weak leaders always end up pulling down and destroying their own empires and kingdoms simply because they are incapable of providing strong and decisive leadership. Always remember, whether you are a king or a subject, that courage is the greatest of all the virtues. Would someone please tell our President?''
With the blowing up of dozens of people by a Boko Haram suicide car-bomber in Maiduguri on January 14th 2014, the shooting of opposition leaders like Senator Magnus Abe and the killing of some APC youths by security forces in Port Harcourt on January 12th 2014, the attempted murder of the father of Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and the cold blooded slaughter of some people that were with him in Kano on January 7th 2014 by individuals that many suspect to be agents of the Federal Government, the killing of twenty four people in Borno state by Boko Haram insurgents on January 8th 2014, the shooting and hacking to death of 30 villagers and the burning of 40 houses by fulani gunmen in Shonong village, Plateau state on January 6th 2014, the bombing of a High Court in Port Harcourt by unknown persons a few days ago, the killing of 91 children by Boko Haram in Damatru a few months ago, the slaughter of 200 Nigerian troops by Boko Haram in Borno state a few weeks back, the massacre of 41 school children in Borno state by Boko Haram four months ago, the burning to the ground of 53 churches in Borno state by Boko Haram in 2013, the mass murder of no less than 7000 thousand Nigerians by Boko Haram in the last 3 years, the burning to the ground of an army barracks with it's attendant slaughter of the family members of army officers and military personnel in Bama on December 2013 and the raging war that is going on in the north-eastern part of our country between Boko Haram and our military today those words and that counsel that was offered two years ago seem even more relevant today than they were even then.
I believe that the carnage that we are witnessing in our country today has come as a direct result of the manifestation of collusion and weakness at the top. When a President tells the world that Boko Haram are his ''siblings'' whom he ''cannot move against'', as he did early last year, he is asking for trouble. When a President keeps offering Boko Haram amnesty even when they kept rejecting it and whilst they were murdering his people, as he has been doing for the last three years, he is asking for trouble. When a President installs a party National Chairman, by the name of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who describes Boko Haram as ''freedom fighters'', as he did last year, he is asking for trouble. When a President tells the world that the islamist insurgency in Nigeria and the scourge of Boko Haram is just ''Nigeria's share of the war on terror in the world today'', as he did late last year, he is asking for trouble.
When a President announces to the world that he is ''not a lion or a David'', as he did approximately two years ago, no-one should be surprised when his people are killed like flies before his very eyes. May God bring us a real leader that can save our nation and may He take away this one who feels no pain and has no empathy when Nigerian blood, nay even the blood of innocent children, is shed with impugnity. Under the tenure of our ''lamb'' President more innocent Nigerians have been slaughtered by terrorists than at any other time in the history of our country except during the civil war.
What a record. I continue to ponder about one thing though- would the President have been so unperturbed and detached from the whole thing if the children that were killed in their school just a few weeks ago had been from his Niger Delta area. It appears to me that simply because those kids were northerners this President just ''doesn't give a damn''. What a tragedy. Whether christian or muslim, northern or southern these are only children and they are NIGERIAN children each of whom is entitled to the full protection of the Nigerian state. I have said it before and I shall say it again, Nigeria has become an abbatoir of human flesh and blood under the tenure of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and all those who support him should bury their heads in shame. The blood of all those innocent people is on his hands because he swore to an oath before God and the Nigerian people to protect them from such evil.
Permit me to make an observation here. I was thoroughly appauled about the fact that when our President was asked about the latest round of killings during his live ''Presidential Media Chat'' programme a few months ago he not only told a lie to the world by claiming that only ''21 or 22 students were killed'' at a time when the BBC and CNN had confirmed that at least 45 bodies had been found (almost 100 were to be discovered later) but he also failed to express his condolences to the families of those that had lost their loved ones. He made the same omission when he failed to commiserate with or express his condolences to the families of the 200 soldiers that were killed in Borno state a few weeks back whilst fighting Boko Haram simply because they ran out of bullets during the course of the battle.
By way of contrast not only was he quick to offer his condolences to the government and people of Kenya for the terrible carnage that was inflicted on them by Al Shabab just one day before when 68 people were killed at a Nairobi shopping mall but he was also quick to offer the Kenyan government military assistance. I guess that to him Nigerian blood is not as expensive or as important as foreign blood.
If President Uhuru Kenyatta ever decides to accept his offer let us hope that our President will provide enough bullets and ammunition to the soldiers that he will send. Our boys are deeply courageous fighters and they certainly deserve that much. They also deserve to have a Commander in Chief that inspires them, that watches their back, that truly cares and that gives them the very best.
The question must be asked – does our President have any balls? And if he does just how big are they? Is he really a man? Does he have what it takes to fight a war against terror or is it that there is more to this than meets the eye? Is there a sinister plan to ensure that elections do not hold in some parts of the north-east in 2015 given the fact that those areas are very hostile to the suggestion that Jonathan should return to power that year? Is this whole thing planned and contrived or is it a case of chronic incompetence, ineptitude and weakness? Does Jonathan believe that it is in his interest for the north to burn and for northern blood to be spilt? Is the mindset of those that are pulling the strings of the view that since the problem has been (to use the President's own words in his last media chat) ''localised'' and ''contained in a certain area'' the government can sit back and watch the locals slaughter themselves whilst they continue to drink champagne and kai-kai in the Villa? If that is the case has it not occured to them that their fellow Nigerians live in those areas where the problem has supposedly been ''localised'' and is the blood of those fellow Nigerians not red as well? Are they less Nigerian because of where they were born and who they are? Are the people that live in the villages and countryside not as important as those who live in the towns and cities?
Whatever is really going on God sees all and anything that is not of Him will surely fail. If it is nothing but weakness and incompetence that has resulted in this unperecedented carnage the President will answer before God for violating his solemn oath to protect the Nigerian people from enemies within and from enemies without. If it is a conspiracy to encourage and create turmoil and chaos in the north just to ensure that they are excluded from the vote in 2015, both Jonathan himself and Nigeria as a whole will reap the consequences. It is worth noting that that is precisely what happened in Mali in the elections that took place before the north was taken over by the islamists and it led to a full scale civil war. Any attempt to exclude any part of this country from participating in the elections in 2015 under the guise of lack of security or Boko Haram will result in the same thing with catastrophic consequences for Nigeria. Yet as Napolean Bonaparte once said, ''we must never account to conspiracy what can easily be explained away by incompetence''. It is more likely than not that the situation that is unfolding in the north-east and the feeble fight that our government is putting up against Boko Haram over there is down to Jonathan's weakness and nothing more. So when asked the question is our President capable of fighting the war against terror my answer would be that I am afraid that I doubt it very much. He just doesn't have it in him. As the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair once said about John Major, his predecessor in office, he is just ''weak, weak, weak''.
I am a great believer in strong government and I am one of those that has always believed that President Olusegun Obasanjo was one of the most effective leaders that we have ever had in this country. Love him or hate him one thing is clear- not under Obasanjo's watch would 7000 thousand innocent Nigerians be massacred at will in the space of just three years by a bunch of heartless terrorists. He would have known exactly what to do to put a stop to such lawlessness right from the start. Equally significant is the fact that regardless of the ethnic group or religious faith of their victims, his response to the terrorists would have been swift, decisive and utterly ruthless. He would have had Boko Haram in ''shock and awe''. This is because in Obasanjo we had a President who not only had balls but who also had the heart and guts to match them.
The greatest error that we ever made and the worst misfortune that has ever befallen us as a nation is the fact that a lamb ended up taking a throne that was designed and prepared for a lion. The consequences of that error are there for all to see. The shedding of the blood of even the youngest, most innocent and most vulnerable in our society by Boko Haram on a daily basis is an eloquent testimony to that fact.
The truth is that Nigeria is in desperate need of a real ''Asiwaju'' to lead her. She needs a man with the spirit of the ''Jagaban''- a ''last man standing'' who has an iron will and who knows no fear. She needs an ''Ebora'' and a ''Balogun'' all rolled into one who is ready to confront evil, defend our nation, protect our people and crush the enemy. Sadly we do not have that today. Instead what we have is what the Yoruba describe as an ''olori oko tio lepon''. Roughly translated that means ''a President without balls''. May the Lord take the leadership of this nation away from the gutless eunuch and give it to a lion king.
For Whom The Gates Open Wide By Prof. Wole Soyinka
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