Former President Goodluck Jonathan is not used to frivolities. He also does not make reckless statements. As an academic, he carefully weighs the implications of his words before he begins to utter them. Since he left office about three years ago, Goodluck Jonathan hardly makes public statements, particularly as it concerns the governing of the country, even when it is very impelling for him to do so. 

But this time around, Goodluck Jonathan could no longer restrain himself. He decided to break his silence. Speaking during the inauguration of the first bridge constructed by Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, in Ado-Ekiti, Jonathan said he was ashamed that Nigeria had joined a comity of countries used to illustrate bad governance. 

According to the former President, Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari had become a reference point for negative things. He specifically mentioned recent instances when the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, allegedly mocked the poor state of insecurity in Nigeria as well as the weakening status of the country’s currency, the Naira.

According to Jonathan, “He (Nana Akufo-Addo) said Ghana is not like Nigeria where cattle roam the streets. At another occasion in the United Kingdom, he made scathing comments about Nigeria’s currency”.

” I feel ashamed as a former President that the President of a neighbouring country used Nigeria as negative examples. If a neighbouring African President will use Nigeria to make negative examples, then we as leaders must know certain things are wrong in the country”, Jonathan had lamented. 

Viewed dispassionately, Goodluck Jonathan is not very far from the truth. Nigeria, today, is not a very good product that could be marketed, much more when we ourselves equally demarket the country, through our actions and inactions, as well as through our utterances. 

Is it not an irony of fate that a small country like Ghana knows how to herd their own cattle in ranches, while here in Nigeria, we allow our own cattle to roam the streets and  farmlands, destroying people’s crops, and in the process, several people are killed?

In the same vein, the daily killing of innocent Nigerians across the country by the so-called Fulani herdsmen while the government looks the other way, or seems to be unconcerned, is not something to be proud of or showcased. 

While some people interpret these killings as ethnic cleansing similar to the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s, some concerned Nigerians, like the Nobel Laurent, Professor Wole Soyinka, were however to advise those at the helm of affairs to seek international assistance, since they appear to be incapable of dealing with the situation.

Again, who wouldn’t be ashamed to call himself a Nigerian after reading Amnesty International’s reports on what allegedly happens at the various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the country, where those who were supposed to shepherd these displaced  fellow country men and women would turn round to abuse them either sexually or in some several other ways? 

Even though the Nigerian authorities had consistently denied the allegations, all over the world, Amnesty International’s reports are usually taken seriously based on their past records. In other words, since there appears to be no smoke without fire, reports on Nigeria by the Amnesty International may not be simply wished away.

As if these were not enough, what do we say of our President who often goes to foreign countries to demarket us, to say that the people under his watch are “criminals and corrupt”, and that their “youths are lazy and uneducated”? 

That is why they always butcher us like cattle in South Africa and in many other countries of the world, and our government will not do anything.

If our economy is healthy and strong, and our Naira stable, why will we be going to Libya to carry shit, and to do all sorts of despicable things in that country? 

It is painful that Nigeria which God in His infinite mercy has richly endowed with abundant natural and human resources still makes itself a laughing stock in the eyes of the global community, due to bad governance. 

Jonathan’s observations therefore, should be a wake up call, rather than politicking.

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