I’ve checked the papers again and in none have I found any report of President Jonathan acting as if Ibadan is part of Nigeria. Are newspapers not covering a presidential visit to unprecedented damage in one of the cities in a country he rules OR what will it take for this president to step out and show he cares? Or may be the Ondo State edition of newspapers went to bed too early to carry stories of such a visit?
I wrote in a Nation on Sunday column last year how the Deputy Governor of Ondo State rode in one of the buses sent up North by the State to ferry Ondo State indigenes from religious strife-torn Jos. I do remember getting a few mails wondering why I was praising the state for doing its job, including a “friendly” knock by a relation. The guy also rode with the indigenes all the way back to Akure from Jos.
Wouldn’t it show true leadership if Jonathan had employed that kind of “publicity”, as one of those who commented on my essay back then described the Ondo State Government’s gesture rather than the seeming who-cares he’s thrown not just at this disaster but as a pattern he employs for the entire Southwestern Nigeria?
During his campaign, Jonathan threw more than one incendiary at the Yoruba: the whole region occupied by these people was ruled by “rascals” from whom it must be saved and returned to the PDP, the most hated party, albeit in power, in Nigeria. There was also the little grenade of Ogun and Lagos States being homes to many other ethnic groups that those two states may not really be THAT Yoruba. For the president of a country, those are not just uncalled for statements but they call for the Yoruba – as we’ve done over and over again – to ask for a renegotiation of our relationship in this ill-fated country.
President Jonathan, Yoruba-land with its historical capital disaster zone, calls for apologies for your inaction/slow action which contrasts sharply with the quick condemnation and swinging into action over the evil UN bombing and deaths. World bodies for which donor countries’ interests are paramount seem to dictate the running of your government but you must act as if you care about dreadful events in the country you rule.
Akure, Ondo State, August 29, 2011.