“In all this President Goodluck Jonathan has much to learn and I would be the last person to endorse what I consider to be his inexplicable restraint and obvious weakness in the fight against Boko Haram. Mr. President has failed woefully to protect the lives and property of the Nigerian people and no responsible, self-respecting and rational human being, including those that consider themselves to be his officials and friends, should fail to admit this or should shy away from telling him. We expect far better from him and if he fails to deliver on this he would not only have betrayed his mandate, violated his oath of office and let down the Nigerian people but he will play right into the hands of his sworn enemies and critics. These include the Haramites and their secret friends and others of a more benign nature from the other side of the world like the American Senator John Mcain, who gleefully told the whole world just yesterday that ”no government exists in Nigeria”. It also includes Senator Hilary Clinton, who said only two days ago, that the Federal Government of Nigeria had ”squandered their oil wealth, allowed corruption to fester and now they are losing control of parts of their country”.
I am touched by these admonitions from our American friends but one wonders why it took the Obama administration up until early this year to formally recognise Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation despite repeated calls to do so earlier by many prominent Nigerians including Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of CAN. When Mrs. Clinton was Secretary of State for America the State Department simply refused to label Boko Haram as a terrorist group even though it had butchered thousands of Nigerians by that time.
There is no doubt that the Jonathan administration has handled this matter in a wholly unacceptable and inadequate manner and I have said so more than any other in the last three years; but frankly the Americans, and particularly Senator Clinton, must carry their own fair share of the blame in this matter. For President Goodluck Jonathan, the words of my brother, Opeyemi Agbaje, are instructive. On May 9, he wrote: ”we warned Jonathan. We called for action against Boko Haram and we screamed until our voices went hoarse. Now the people who advised him against taking strong action and called for dialogue, the very people that said it was caused by poverty, the very people that promised that traditional rulers would resolve the matter, the very people that encouraged him to vacillate and do nothing or little, are the ones mocking him. Well that is why leaders must exercise leadership. The buck stops at his table. The credit or the failure goes to him. I hope he learns!” – Femi Fani-Kayode – Spokesperson & Consultant, President Goodluck Jonathan reelection team