Jonathan And This Government Must Not Fail —Prince Charles Dickson


The person with the cross-bow thinks that the monkey is not clever; the monkey is clever, but it is following its own strategy. (It matters nothing if one is derided, as long as one knows what one is doing and why.)

Over the years certain key issues have confronted the Nigerian state, its government, the governed and the structures itself, from a seeming lack of system to a lack of will and direction from those saddled with the responsibility to steer the ship of governance.

Such is the fundamental nature of the problems that they have become part of us. Many say most of us who critique government are arm-chair critics, would do worse, seek attention or do not understand, nor have a grip of the problem or in some cases just want a piece of the cake.

As an individual I am particularly accused of hardly proffering solutions. However, the truth and fact of the matter is that to get something you never had, you have to do something you never did and this is one thing the Jonathan administration and those before it are not willing to do.

So, why make suggestions when indeed panels, commissions and committees’ reports litter government cabinets without an iota of hope that they will be implemented?

Like him or hate him, the man Jonathan came with a clear-cut vision and mission for change and transformation as he termed it. Yes, plenty talk, he came along with the PDP paraphernalia, and most of the ills it stands for, not that the nation had much in terms of choices.

The man preached a positive change of direction, but has hardly moved in any but for some cosmetic paintings.

In the few months of this administration, one does not need a soothsayer to tell there is no change in the horizon-ask ASUU, labour, PHCN, security apparatus, just to mention a few.

There is no serious attempt to create a focus among the several multi-sectoral challenges of the nation with a view to tackling one in such a way that it has a multiple effect on other issues, except for the usual policy somersault and the government-know-it all method of tackling issues,for example a la removal of fuel subsidy.

We still remain where we are coming from, stagnant at where we are, where we are going to and how we get there has been remanded in a prison called luck and at best functions on auto-pilot.

From every indication, it seems that the fundamental amongst the many reasons that this government has not taken off, may not take off, is a lack of understanding of the complexities and dynamics of how to achieve purpose from set policies.

For all the transformational mouthing, there is no on-ongoing ethical drive among the populace, or government-led revolution. Sustainable peace and security have become the preserve of Aso Rock precinct. While when we should be pointing at a few intangible and tangible gains of this current team of old horses and not too new horses, we are still labouring at committee levels seeking solutions to self-inflicted problems.

From the Lemu post-election panel, to the various government and administrative reforms of this current group is a fact of life, that these reforms so far show no way at putting food on the table because the reforms ply the route of perdition.

The old wine in new wineskins in the present conglomeration have shown flashes, but no confidence that they can embrace the responsibility, or try better ways of doing things for the collective good of the people. Divided opinions though but the fact is that this government has little to offer.

A president that relies on Dangote’s promise for Nigerians to eat local rice and buy fairly priced cement shows very little chance of Uhuru.

A president that cannot be firm, be the people’s general, the stubborn Pharaoh, the great Nebuchadnezzar, cannot then be David with the sling that downed Goliath. Because he may still not have the gift of direction on where to hit the blow.

There may be comparative tangible responsive and responsible movement in the democratic field at a ratio of 7-3 in terms of backward-forward motion, but a president that cannot step on toes, or diplomatically dialogue change, cannot achieve much.

A group that cannot effectively manage or halt social disruptions that threaten the mutual co-existence of a people and watches almost helplessly as human inequality increases, social justice decays and poverty increases is on a self-destruct.

I started by stating that the person with the cross-bow thinks that the monkey is not clever; the monkey is clever, but it is following its own strategy. (It matters nothing if one is derided, as long as one knows what one is doing and why.) Fears for Mr. President and his team is that they seem far away from strategy, there are no whys and hows.

I end this admonishment by saying as Nigerians, our destiny lies in our hands, easier said than done, but for a government I recall that was once sanctioned by some Association of Witches and Wizards, whether black or white, now is the time for them to help this man by hook, crook, fall or stand. Jonathan must not fail, but he and his team must also want to succeed. If only he could fail alone, but he will fail with us and that’s not palatable news…This government better man-up, if it can.

•Dickson is the editor of, Nigeria’s 1st Online Newspaper