Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?

altIt is the season of goodwill but for President Goodluck Jonathan it must be a season for deep reflections. It is also the season of promises, promises about how he plans to transform the nation in 2013. Ever since Jonathan was elevated to the position of Vice President to former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua from his lesser role as Governor of Bayelsa State, he has never stopped promising. The problem is the more promises he makes, the fewer promises he fulfils. These inconsistencies have helped to construct the image of Jonathan as an unpopular president.

Many people have lost faith in a government that talks a lot but achieves little or nothing. A president who is conscious of his responsibilities as a national leader must be concerned about how the public perceives him and his government. Jonathan’s poor performance record has led many people wondering whether the man reads newspapers or follow discussions in online forums. If he does, could he be unaware of the numerous problems that require urgent federal attention. Is Jonathan ignorant of critical media comments about his government and suggestions about how he could step up his performance in order to endear himself to the people?

It is possible that Jonathan does not read Nigerian newspapers or follow online discussions. It is possible that he has nothing but scorn for the newspapers and those who criticise him in online forums. It is also possible that he has developed a body armour against all adverse comments directed at his government. No one should be stunned that Jonathan is less concerned about the adverse vote of confidence the public has passed on him. After all, former president Olusegun Obasanjo once shocked the nation when he admitted to journalists that he does not read Nigerian newspapers. That was on Sunday, 19 August 2007, when Obasanjo was honoured at the Ogun State Government House in Abeokuta with an award known as “Life Achievement Award”.

In his post-award speech, Obasanjo spoke angrily against the Nigerian press. He said: “I don’t read Nigerian newspapers. When people ask me, ‘have you read the papers today?’ I reply by asking them ‘for what?’ If they don’t write about me, they will not sell.” That was Obasanjo’s bloated ego at play in a public forum. Obasanjo’s outburst against the press exposed his personality flaws – a self-absorbed man who likes to project himself as the tower of strength and the undisputed spring of wisdom in Nigeria.

In August this year, Jonathan used an official ceremony in Abuja to express his dissatisfaction with the Nigerian media and their owners. Jonathan said the media was ill-equipped to dispassionately evaluate the performance of his government. He made the observation at a ceremony to mark the Performance Contract Agreement he signed with ministers. Jonathan said he could no longer depend on the media for an impartial assessment of his government’s achievements because the Nigerian media have become self-serving instruments used by their owners to achieve their personal goals.

Specifically, Jonathan said: “Before, the media used to be the voice of the ordinary people but now, the media is the voice of those who own the media houses and those who own the media houses have private jets and those who own private jets are not ordinary people. So the media is now the voice of the powerful people. So, we have to have a way of assessing ourselves.”

If Jonathan is an avid reader of newspapers and if he cared about growing criticisms of his government, he would see reason to change the course of his government, to identify key national problems that he would tackle to make a positive impact on the nation. Top on that list must be the troubled power sector, endemic corruption and deteriorating infrastructure, not forgetting healthcare, roads, agriculture, higher education reforms and economic development. Unfortunately, Jonathan and his advisers in Aso Rock seem to believe that newspaper commentators are unwarrantedly too hypercritical of the president. Not only that, they believe that criticism against Jonathan and his government must never be regarded as an accurate benchmark to measure the president’s performance.

Right from the early days, Jonathan’s defenders had argued that the man had not been in office for long and that he should be given time to grasp the rubrics of governance so he could take the nation to the Promised Land. All that convenient excuse no longer makes sense to a cynical audience long used to the president’s blank promises. It is now 20 months since Jonathan was sworn in as president following his election in 2011 and yet the government has not shown much in terms of tangible or substantial achievements.

Despite evidence of poor performance, Jonathan has continued to roll out promises. At a ceremony to mark the establishment of the Living Faith Foundation Bible College in Kaduna last Sunday (23 December 2012), Jonathan dug into his bag of promises and told the audience that next year would be better than the outgoing year. He said: “Let me assure all of you and indeed all Nigerians that 2013 will be better for us than 2012 in all aspects of the nation’s history. The New Year shall be better for us in terms of job creation, wealth creation and improved security among others.”

If you believe this pledge by Jonathan, you would believe anything. The man has been in office for nearly two years but already his record of unfulfilled promises has exceeded those of his predecessors. And we are still counting. There is nothing in Jonathan’s promise to lift the miserable mood of the nation or to make the public to switch off increasing concerns that the nation is approaching the precipice of disaster.

To be blunt, Jonathan has no realistic plans to improve security, to create jobs, and to improve the overall wellbeing of the citizens. The president might use empty rhetoric to play a confidence trick on the nation at this time but closer to 2015, when we start to weigh up his achievements, the same rhetoric would serve to expose the hollowness in his government.

It is unthinkable that Jonathan would promise to create, just a few days to a New Year (the year 2013 is already six days away), job opportunities that were unavailable in 2012, wealth that he could not invent in 2012 and greater security that had eluded his government and the nation for close to two years. Jonathan must be a magical president. Can a president whose government has been overwhelmed by growing insecurity across the country, a rising army of the unemployed and an impoverished population find, through some kind of magic, unique ways to improve instantly the welfare of the citizens, an immediate end to insecurity and long desired job opportunities?

When a political leader such as Jonathan makes an unwise and unreasonable promise, civil society must ask vigorous questions to expose the lies that underpin his worthless assurances. How would Jonathan improve the people’s welfare, create jobs and eliminate or reduce insecurity in one calendar year when the government could not deal with these issues in the past 20 months?

When the public expresses increasing cynicism over the ability of Jonathan and his government to deliver the basic needs of the people, it is because the president and his ministers, special advisers and assistants have established a persistent record of telling lies in the public domain. This is the context in which Jonathan’s latest pledge to transform the nation in 2013 must be treated with the degree of derision that it deserves.

To be certain, this is not the first time that Jonathan and the mind managers at the Presidency would point to 2013 as the year of salvation for all Nigerians. In August this year, Jonathan told the nation to await his miraculous transformation of the country in 2013. He spoke in Onitsha, Anambra State, when he commissioned a brewery in late August. At about the same time that Jonathan spoke, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) appealed to the nation to be patient with the government till 2013.

PDP National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh admitted the Federal Government had failed spectacularly to improve the economic conditions of the people, and has not been able to deal with the serious security challenges that confront the country. Metuh said at official celebrations to mark the 14th anniversary of the founding of the PDP: “There have been some shortcomings, it has not been smooth all the way, there have been some hiccups; we are not an excellent organisation, Nigerians should exercise patience, it will be okay next year.”

Why has 2013 been elected by Jonathan and the PDP as the year of great expectations? It is basically a plot to buy more time. In 2013, Jonathan would ask the nation to wait for his special miracle in 2014. By 2014, Jonathan would urge everyone to await his transformation agenda in 2015. This rigmarole would continue till the 2015 general elections when Jonathan would argue that four years was never enough for him to implement his programmes and policies.

As I argued in a previous essay (5 December 2012), Jonathan must go beyond promises and aim to demonstrate practical achievements that will serve as unalterable evidence of what his government has handed down to the Nigerian people. He is running out of time to carve out a glorious name (if he could) for himself and his government.



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Re: Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Uncle Sam posted on 12-26-2012, 00:31:02 AM
I only replied based on the heading of this article. Must he read newspapers? I am asking you the author of this article? Must he?
Re: [Column] Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Agensheku posted on 12-26-2012, 01:26:07 AM
If GEJ doesnt, I think some do for him and that's why he reacts to criticisms and gets free feedback like this...

Facebook friends slam Jonathan over Christmas message

December 26, 2012 by Temitayo Famutimi


QUOTE:

President Goodluck Jonathan came under criticism from his Facebook friends on Tuesday after he posted his Christmas message on the social networking site.

The President in the message said he \"personally\" instructed government officials to make conditions favourable for Nigerians to celebrate the Yuletide.

The airports, he said, for instance, had been given a \"facelift\", adding that the terminals were rehabilitated and the runways upgraded ahead of the festive season.

He wrote, \"I want to seize this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a merry Christmas and a happy New Year in advance. I feel the pains of Nigerians and that is why this Yuletide I have personally instructed that our roads be worked on to enable you and your loved ones to travel safely for the holidays.

\"Not done, we ensured that for the first time in decades, the cross country services (Lagos to Kano with stops in cities along the route) of the Nigerian Railway Corporation were revived just prior to the holidays to provide Nigerian masses with an inexpensive alternative to road and air transportation.

\"This administration also took steps to increase power generation by remaining true to the Timelines of the Roadmap to Power Sector Reform, which has seen history made on Friday, December 21, when Nigeria's power generation hit an all-time high of just over 4,500 MW.\"

But no sooner had Jonathan posted the message on his wall than it was greeted with a barrage of criticisms from his friends.

While a few praised and advised the President on how to tackle the problems bedevilling the country, many others faulted his submissions.

One of his friends, Kaycee Aloy-Obi wrote, \"Mr. President hold your greetings. You and your family are having great celebration. A litre of petrol is sold at N110-N120, against N97 which is the official price. There is unprecedented traffic jam on Ore-Benin road due to bad roads.

\"People cannot go around to visit love ones because of insecurity. Bury your head in shame with your 4,500 MW when South Africa is generating 50,000 MW. It is paradoxical that many Nigerians are having dry Christmas in midst of plenty.\"

Yusuf Suleiman, asked the president to match his words with actions, adding that his \"advisers are not telling you the true picture of what is happening.\"

He said, \"In Nigeria today, under your watch, the country recorded the highest looting of our treasury, and you didn't do anything. We also have seen how citizens were massacred, in fact, the highest since civil war ended (and) your government is not doing enough to stop that.\"

Also, Bethel Vincent, wrote, \"Haba! Mr. President, you know say lie no good at all. Why post something we have not witnessed, yet you refer to us as friends and fellow Nigerians. As I am talking to you, my flat is running on generator; Benin-Auchi road is filled with potholes and you are talking about airport, how (many) Nigerians can afford air transport?\"

A friend, Ajoba David, wrote, \"Sir, congratulations! Merry Christmas and a happy new year. What do we expect as a New Year gift come Tuesday, January 1st? Well, I hope it is not going to be another fuel subsidy razzmatazz like we experienced last year.

\"Nevertheless, Nigerians have yet to recuperate from the fever that was injected into their veins last January as a result of the purportedly and verbally(sic) removal of the fuel subsidy which Nigerians have yet to see any sign of seriousness in bringing (those) culpable to book.\"


SOURCE: THE PUNCH

And this too....

XMAS: 94 die in road crashes in 5 days - FRSC
On December 25, 2012 · In News
10:34 pm





By Chris Ochayi 25-12-2012
QUOTE:

ABUJA: A total of 94 people have lost their lives to road traffic crashes in 191 road crashes recorded in the last 5 days across the country.

Corps Marshall and Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Mr. Osita Chidoka who disclosed this in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, when he stopped over in the course of the aerial monitoring of traffic situation on Lokoja-Abuja highway blamed the crashes on speed violation by road users.

Chidoka who expressed serious concern over the incidents said the attitude of the road users is unacceptable.

He said that with this negative fall-out, the commission has devised speed calming measures as part of strategies to engender safer traffic conduct among motorists especially during the festive season.

He added that \"It is an attitudinal issue as this year witnessed rehabilitation of major corridors of the highways, people tend to disregard traffic laws bordering on speed limits and accelerate beyond recommended speed thus resulting to the figures we have witnessed the last 5 days. We have devised measures to address this unpleasant development\".

Chidoka however appealed to motorists to reduce their speed and obey traffic regulations so as to reduce carnage during the festive periods.

SOURCE: THE VANGUARD
Re: Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Eja posted on 12-26-2012, 02:58:46 AM
QUOTE:
At a ceremony to mark the establishment of the Living Faith Foundation Bible College in Kaduna last Sunday (23 December 2012), Jonathan dug into his bag of promises and told the audience that next year would be better than the outgoing year. He said: \"Let me assure all of you and indeed all Nigerians that 2013 will be better for us than 2012 in all aspects of the nation's history. The New Year shall be better for us in terms of job creation, wealth creation and improved security among others.\"


Yeye cuntry.

While others are establishing colleges of technology, economics, etc. they are establishing colleges to study worthless foreign mythologies.

And of course Mista Pepsident must be there. What an Idiocracy.

Yes indeed. 2013 will be better than 2012. Must be since we are still here. And 2014 will be even better. But it will not be as good as 2015. Which will be outmatched in magnificence by 2016. All dis we pray in de maightee name of Jeeeezaaas!!! A-men!!
Re: Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Uncle Sam posted on 12-26-2012, 03:29:36 AM
QUOTE:
Yeye cuntry.

While others are establishing colleges of technology, economics, etc. they are establishing colleges to study worthless foreign mythologies.

And of course Mista Pepsident must be there. What an Idiocracy.

Yes indeed. 2013 will be better than 2012. Must be since we are still here. And 2014 will be even better. But it will not be as good as 2015. Which will be outmatched in magnificence by 2016. All dis we pray in de maightee name of Jeeeezaaas!!! A-men!!






Haba, Eja, and you believe all they will teach is religion? Come on!
Re: Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Ariteni posted on 12-26-2012, 03:44:10 AM
That is what our Tax Dollars to Labaran Maku, Doyin Okupe, Reuben Abati are meant for. Regrettably, Mr President and Patriotic Nigerians are (as with other Gov services) yet to have value for their Tax Dollars.

The fact that this article could never get published in most Newspapers but only over the web is proof that our Newspapers are largely irresponsible.

Yes, Mr President is right! Many articles over the web are sponsored. Many Editors Editors seem to be permanently on the payroll of many State Governors. The greatest scandal of this democracy has been the failed state and local govts but the Newspapers voice as regards Gubernatorial incompetence and State and local Corruption has been stolen by Naira! If there has been performance at these levels Presidential non-performance would not amount to disaster for all; afterall we are a Federation.

The President, I agree, needs to step up the ante but Nigerians must jettison the Unitary Mentality of our evil Dictators and hold their local leaders responsible! We must focus on Dr Jonathan but we must NOT overlook the evil done to this democracy by our thieving State and Local Officials who have imprisoned the Newpapers Editors with Naira. Many of the Govs perform only on Newspapers. Empty drums! Ministers and heads of institutions out only to please Mr president to retain office.

Repeat, the President needs to step up the ante. The three gentlemen also need to systematically inform and educate Nigerians on activities of Fed especially the Ministers and update citizens from time to time. Many of the criticisms of Mr President are based on ignorance! For example, how does a President force a Judge of Superior Court of Record to convict a looter? The executive's job ends with prosecution because of Separation of powers. Yet Nigerians daily accuse the President of Corruption or covering up of corruption.

Nothing like investigative journalism any more. Newspapers themselves ought to be more professional! That is the only way the answer to the question posed by the writer can be answered in the positive. If 80 percent of features and advertorials are based on brown envelopes by corrupt officials and election losers then the Newspapers would be lacking in integrity and credibility and therefore not worth reading by Mr President or anybody.

Who told you that the job of improving he people's welfare, create jobs and eliminate or reduce insecurity is the exclusive preserve of Mr President?
Re: Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Eja posted on 12-26-2012, 04:11:59 AM
QUOTE:
Haba, Eja, and you believe all they will teach is religion? Come on!


Uncle Sam, if you have information regarding the subjects taught at this so-called 'college', please share. Meanwhile, find below the program of study published on the website of a typical bible studies 'college'.

QUOTE:
Programs of study

Living Faith Bible College currently offers the following programs of study. The basic prerequisites for each program are listed below.

- one year certificate in christian studies
Prerequisite: Acceptance as a student at LFBC.

- two year certificate in biblical studies
Prerequisite: Completion of the One Year Certificate in Christian Studies or equivalent.

After completion of the Two Year Certificate in Biblical Studies, a student may have the option of choosing between two programs, depending primarily on previous academic performance. The programs are listed below.

- Three year diploma in christian ministries
Prerequisite: Completion of the Two Year Certificate in Biblical Studies or equivalent with a minimum
2.75 GPA.

- bachelor of Theology degree
Prerequisite: Completion of the Two Year Certificate in Biblical Studies or equivalent with a minimum 3.0
GPA.

Source
Re: Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Nezie posted on 12-27-2012, 07:13:40 AM
Reading Nigeria's popular news media?

- when you read through their oft rehashed, parochial or compromised (obviously sponsored) editorials;

as well as observe their jaundiced reporting patterns;

you would advice the president to avoid reading them.
Re: Does Jonathan Read Newspapers?
Emj posted on 12-27-2012, 14:37:22 PM
QUOTE:
If Jonathan is an avid reader of newspapers and if he cared about growing criticisms of his government, he would see reason to change the course of his government, to identify key national problems that he would tackle to make a positive impact on the nation. Top on that list must be the troubled power sector, endemic corruption and deteriorating infrastructure, not forgetting healthcare, roads, agriculture, higher education reforms and economic development. Unfortunately, Jonathan and his advisers in Aso Rock seem to believe that newspaper commentators are unwarrantedly too hypercritical of the president. Not only that, they believe that criticism against Jonathan and his government must never be regarded as an accurate benchmark to measure the president's performance.



He does o, afterall through his proxies like Renokri, Reuby and baba Okupe......after waking up from self induced sleep aided by a bottle of akpetesi....confirmed......ehen.

He does scavenge the web too according to a certain somebodi....he reads all that the children of anger post on NVS.


On a very constipated and painful note....what if he does? Igbayen nko? And So? Who gives a damn?
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