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Nigeria: Rivers of blood: A prayer for Jonathan

“God save me from my friends, I can take care of my enemies”, Anonymous.

“In every mess I find a friend’, Charles Dibdin, 1745-1814.Sometimes being prophetic and turning out to be right can cause as much anguish as being wrong – when catastrophe results. About five weeks ago, I wrote in an article titled” PRESIDENT JONATHAN: AMAECHI SHOULD NOT DIE, that given Governor Amaechi’s open feud with Jonathan and the alarm that somebody wants him (Amaechi) dead, then it is the President’s duty to ensure the governor does not die. The fingers of suspicion will point in one direction.

Then, two weeks ago, writing under SS MUTINY: PDP’S CANTERKEROUS ELEMENTS, I also wrote about PDP – the President’s party. “What we are witnessing now is probably the warm-up to 2014 mayhem. By this time next year, a few funerals would have followed the fights. There is absolute bedlam in that “ship” [PDP]. The picture on the front page of PUNCH on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, showing a member of the Rivers State House of Assembly, a lawmaker, wielding and actually hitting a fellow member with a weapon in full view of cameras, has proved my point beyond all reasonable doubt. PDP is home to a nest of mindless killers who would commit murder just to gain power. The victim could have died; and, quite obviously, the attacker, until now presumed to be a responsible citizen, would not care. The question is: what has Jonathan got to do with it?

Dr Doyin Okupe, Jonathan’s intelligent, but not wise, Senior Adviser, while reacting to the call for the impeachment of President Jonathan by Lai Mohammed of the ACN, made the following observation. “The President is not, has not, and will never engineer any act that can cause disaffection between Governor Rotimi Amaechi or any other Governor and the state legislature or any other institution of government”.

I totally agree that President Jonathan cannot be impeached without absolute proof he planned the fiasco in Portharcourt. But, poor Okupe, he should undertake a course in advanced communications. He would have learnt that perception is vital. Whether a person is a villain or hero, in a matter such as this, is a function of the person’s credibility; and the public’s perception of him.

It is also dependent on the situation in which the event occurs. And, finally, it is influenced by whether the “accused” is generally popular or not. Furthermore, Okupe must have easily forgotten our national experience with the third term bid by Obasanjo. Until it failed, none of those working and benefiting from Obasanjo’s bid admitted that such an attempt was being made. Later, people like Professor Jerry Gana came out to admit what Nigerians had already known themselves. Okupe, as an employee of President Jonathan is not a credible witness – given his antecedents in the presidency.

Okupe must be the only adult in Nigeria who does not realize that Amaechi and Jonathan are engaged in conflict – which had divided the PDP in Rivers State and Nigeria. As every grown up knows very well, once your “antagonist” is attacked, whether you instigated the incident or not, you become the number one suspect. Especially, as in this case, the culprits are known to be your friends and the security agencies, which could have prevented the attack, were suspected to have done nothing to avert disaster.

While Okupe is entitled to his delusions, President Jonathan should be aware that, although he did not promote the attack, some people, who are labouring under the wrong impression that they were expressing solidarity with him, have inadvertently smeared the president with mud. One unintended consequence of this ill-advised way of “supporting” the president is the take over of the Rivers State House of Assembly by the Federal House of Representatives – a den of political lions ready to embarrass Jonathan.

Even, the Senate is not exactly supportive of the President and they are going to conduct independent inquiries. The Chairman of the PDP, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BOT, who should ordinarily step in, and quickly put out the fire, are known to be partisan in the conflict between the President and the Governor. That limits their roles almost to the point of making them redundant. Yet, the president needs to move quickly to stop the situation from escalating and from more blood to flow in Rivers State.


“Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are”. Old adage.

If that is a generally true observation, what about the political party to which a person belongs? Should a political party and the activities of its members reflect the ideals of that political party and what the people should expect of it? In less than two months, the PDP had opened Nigeria to shame and ridicules world wide.

First, the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, dominated by the PDP, organized an election with 35 members – all governors, who should provide political and ethical leadership. Surprisingly, till today, the PDP has still not resolved which of its two governors won the election. Instead of driving them away from the presidency, out of shame, the President threw his weight behind one group.

Last week, with cameras clicking away, a person, no, a lawmaker, presumed to be normal, carried a weapon and chased another lawmaker until he unleashed blows, which could have resulted in death on his victims. Both are PDP members.

The next day, the show of shame shifted to the Senate, again, dominated by the PDP, As usual with anything controlled by the PDP, Nigerians and the international community were treated to another round of fisticuffs.

Anybody still deceived by the idea that the PDP will solve its problems in a “family way” must remember that what we are witnessing is not a maturing democracy; but one which is disintegrating right under our eyes. More blood will surely flow. That is the PDP way and Jonathan is now their leader. People, like Okupe, who “eat” from this mess, will certainly do everything to prevent anyone from fixing it. Jonathan, however, must understand, that, like former Egyptian president Morsi, the buck will stop at his table.

His “friends” will not tell him the truth; they never do. They continue to deceive him and then run away when REAL TROUBLE starts. Morsi’s former spokesmen are sleeping peacefully in their beds now. Okupe will also go home without shame – if the worst occurs.


“At the moment there is an average of 18 hours per day of constant power supply to different parts of the country. This feat was brought about by the implementation of the integrated power sector reform programme anchored on the power roadmap”. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, in THE NATION, Friday, July 12, 2013.

Nigeria is again headed for the Guinness Book of Records; we must have the only Minister, a university graduate for that matter, who either does not know the meaning of the word average or cannot count to eighteen. Mr Maku and others like him in Jonathan’s cabinet represent all that is wrong with the bunch. They cannot separate truth from falsehood. When a Minister vainly tries to deceive us about what we know; he makes it impossible for anybody to believe government when he talks about what we don’t know. I am sorry for the President of Nigeria; if he thinks he needs this sort of falsehood to succeed.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websits. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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