Disrespecting the President, Iroko and all that, By Ose Oyamendan

Ose Oyamendan

All jokes aside, it’s time Nigerians stop disrespecting His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, our president and God’s gift to every African.

What more does a man need to do to prove that he’s God’s anointed. Plucked out of obscurity, tip-toes through the corridors of power until he finds the crown on his head, you would think Nigeria’s jet-set pastors would by now be flipping through the scriptures to see if Jonathan is the second coming.

Instead, they’ve flipped the names on him, settling for Jonathan instead of the rave of last year – Goodluck.

It’s particularly irksome that journalists are piling up in the hate-fest. Sometimes God shows you the other side of the coin but some Nigerian journalists are so blinded by their dislike for anything out of the presidency they don’t even see it.

I mean how clearer can the heavens be by encouraging Muhammadu Buhari to keep running. Surely, someone must be having a good laugh in heaven. The man is a self-professed part saint and he even wears white kaftan to prove it. It’s always a wonder that INEC has not even considered banning the man for being unfit for Nigerian leadership on account of being too fit to lead.

Nigerian journalists are so blinded they don’t see a Decree 4 when it’s waved right in front of them. They have turned on the president, criticizing his every thought even before he expresses them. Take the publication a few days ago from a very untrustworthy newspaper north of the Niger River criticizing the number of the president’s foreign trips.

Now, talk about being petty. I have not seen a worse case of pettiness since a man got into a fight in a brothel with a whore on account of her charging him two dollars more.

The report claimed the president has been spending so much time out of the country you would think he’s the president of the world. The reporter even tried to lay claim to being a social scientist by breaking down the number of times the president has traveled in three years, where he goes, the hefty amount he’s spent on the trips, his plane full of entourage, how he’s now the president of the air and close to becoming president of the world.


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My first instinct was to chirp “jealous”. Obviously this reporter doesn’t have a passport so he’s jealous the president who may not have had a passport a few years ago is wearing out his passport. My other instinct was maybe the reporter is up to something.

Maybe the president, a born-again Christian who makes sure the country knows he was in church on the few Sundays when he’s in the country, is going the Biblical route. He may be trying to prove, with his several travels, that a prophet is without honor at home but gets plenty in the skies. And, just so you know, it would all become clearer to everyone in 2013 as the president himself has predicted.

But, the nationalistic part of me kicked in and I got very incensed. Why are people bent on turning a blind eye to the president’s achievements, especially the offshoot of his many foreign travels. Every time you open the newspapers you read about foreign investments. And, please don’t insult me or the president by insisting we point out the investments. It’s not our fault you need to visit an optician so you can see what we don’t know where they are.

Every time I’m in Nigeria, I see the Chinese everywhere. Do people know how far China is. People need to connect the dots. No one comes to your country if your president does not go abroad and ask them to come. We need a new national honor for the president for populating Nigeria with foreigners, not attack his sky miles numbers.

And, let’s be frank. Have you lived in Nigeria? Would you love to stay in the country for an extended stretch of time when you have a cool bird like the presidential jet to coast around the world? It’s okay to be critical but let’s be fair. If I had that plane and created the economy, atmosphere and gloom that exists in Nigeria I won’t be trying to break the record of the most traveled president. I would have already broken it.

And, besides, what is wrong with the president setting a record for foreign travels. Nigeria has to lead the world in something. How about the president showing other leaders how to govern from the air.


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On the Iroko

I have a confession. I don’t like Segun Mimiko, the governor of Ondo State. I hate the fact that Mimiko took on the alias “iroko” and goes ahead to prove he’s indeed immovable, not with his words, not with contracts and not with a godfather puppeteering him. He does it with his deeds.

That goes against the grain of Nigerian politics. That goes against the norm of Nigerian leadership. And, that is a threat to our democracy. Imagine the future of Nigeria with leaders not sucking on the breasts of their leaders?

The Iroko is bad for Nigerian politics but good for Nigerians. Congratulations Mimiko, now get ready for the courts!

Ose Oyamendan, a former sports journalist, and now filmmaker, writes a weekly column for PREMIUM TIMES from Los Angeles 

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