When most people visualize Aso Rock villa as some paradise on earth, I see it as a prison. Power in Nigeria is a prison. When you are in power you may never see the truth until you leave power. I am sure Goodluck Jonathan has learned more today barely a year out of power than about his six years in Aso Rock. When you are in power in Nigeria people around tell you what you want to hear and tell you your critics are your enemies or the opposition, everything you do is the best and you can never be wrong. In a country where praise singing is a culture and everyone wants to get close to power, people in power are almost always fed with steroid of falsehood by people close to them. For a leadership that loves to hear what it wants to hear, this steroid of falsehood, lies and propaganda can be so addictive it is the only thing they want to hear and anything contrary is seen as enemies targeting the administration.
There was a budget that was said to be one of the best in the country’s history. When experts immediately pin-pointed some lapses here and there, they were tagged enemies of the administration. In fact some people rushed to the media to promote the budget as the perfect budget ever. You all know what is happening to the budget now, it is a complete fraudulent budget, and the president and his team are not taking responsibility for their failure but looking for scapegoats. Did they go through the document before taking it to the National Assembly, rushing back to steal it and taking it back again? So the economic ‘change’ experts didn’t go through the budget? This budget drama is so ridiculous and pathetic.
Prior to the budget debacle the Nigerian Information Minister had boasted that they have finished Boko Haram technically, tactically and militarily and Boko Haram have been so incapacitated that they cannot carryout an organized attack. In fact people were even being advised to go back to their villages in the North East as the crisis is about over, then Boko Haram struck, destroying villages and killing hundreds, in fact even five kilometers from Maiduguri.
And recently a senator from Borno State has come out to tell the world that Boko Haram are still in charge of some places in Borno and the government is doing badly at defending that. Suddenly we are realizing that most of the things we hear from government does not reflect the realities on ground. This government is supposed to be the government of reality, transparency and change, isn’t it?
I don’t want to blame the president for all this. Like all occupants of Aso Rock he is being fed stories from people he has put in charge of these things. In a recent interview the president told an interviewer that the military told him this and that about the situation in the north east and he said, ‘I believe them.’ I am sure they fed him stories about the budget too before he signed it.
The president looks to me like he is ignorant and in prison but these recent scandals would bring him back to the realities on ground. I am sure he is waking up now. The picnic is over.