Who Is Really Wearing The Pants At Aso Rock?

By on May 6, 2014

A Hard Look at Dame Goodluck and the Magnification of President Jonathan’s Incompetence over the Chibok Crisis

Considering the prodigious tendency of Goodluck Jonathan for demonstrating incompetency, and cluelessness, at every crisis that has affected our nation during his presidency, it is still a wonder that any rational Nigerian would still be considering President Jonathan for a second term in office. Not only has President Jonathan shown us that he is an unimaginative leader, when it comes to dealing with challenging issues affecting the nation, the way the Chibok crisis is playing out, he is now confirming to us, that even in his own house, he is not the one wearing the trousers.

Without a doubt, the developing heartbreaking crisis about the brazen kidnapping of over 200 children by the cowardly Boko Haram terrorist group, has further helped to magnify the incompetence of the ‘lucky’ man from Niger Delta, when it comes to running the government of a nation as huge, and as complicated, as Nigeria.

Over the last few weeks, we have all watched in disbelief and outrage, the blatant attack on our collective psyche as a nation by Boko Haram. Not only do the Boko Haram terrorists bomb us at will, they have now extended their brand of terrorism to kidnapping innocent children in broad daylight, while our President continues to drink Ogogoro at Aso rock.

To add to our collective injury, the leader of this deadly Boko Haram group has developed so much contempt for our country, and the apparent inability of our government to do anything about him, that he actually went on camera, without any attempt to conceal his identity, to taunt Nigerians, as the world watched in disbelief.

Yes, this brazen uncultured terrorist was actually shown on CNN stating his barbaric intentions against the children he kidnapped. We could only watch helplessly, even as our manhood as nation was taunted and trampled on by this illiterate killer. Yet, all our President can tell us, when he finally granted a press chat several weeks after this insanity  started, is that he could not do much to date because the parents of the children have not supplied the names of their missing daughters! Now, who needs names to find children the kidnappers have actually admitted they are holding? Frankly, this President Jonathan never ceases to amaze us with his apparent cluelessness.

For weeks after this unacceptable saga started, our president did not deem it fit to give an emergency national broadcast. He simply did not have the greatness to rise to the occasion, and show us once and for all, that he has what it takes to be a national leader. He has never been able to do that, and the hopes of many that ‘real’ Jonathan would one day rise up to a worthy occasion, was once more dashed.

Like we say in law, nemo dat quo non habet (you cannot give what you do not have). It is time that even his best supporters acknowledge that, our President who ‘lucked’ his way from his lowly position as an unaccomplished teacher, all the way to Deputy Gov; then Governor; then Vice President and ultimately the Presidency, in less than 4 years, without having any track record of running anything successfully, simply does not have enough greatness within him to deal with the myriad of problems that face us as a nation.

President Jonathan thinking second termFrom the crisis in the Judiciary with Salami; to countless allegations of corruption against many of his ministers; the ongoing Boko haram insurgency; and all the way to this latest kidnapping of our children in broad daylight, President Ebele Jonathan has shown us he is simply not capable of delivering on our expectations of greatness from him. He has shown us he prefers to blame the opposition for every crisis rather than finding practical solutions to the problems. He has shown us over and over again, though we refuse to accept the fact, that we are expecting Statesmanship from a man who should not be ruling anything bigger than a local government. It is indeed sad, and baffling, that some Nigerians (probably paid by this corrupt government) are still trying to convince us that another 4 years of Jonathan will be a good thing for Nigeria. God forbid!

As Jonathan bumbles from one crisis to another, a new suspicion began to emerge that maybe the real person running this government is really not President Jonathan that we supposedly elected, but his over-bearing, but barely literate wife, Dame Jonathan. From the way the crisis at Chibok is being handled, it is looking like those suspicions are probably not unfounded. There have been lots of speculations in the media about the unconstitutional and over-aggressive inclinations of Dame Patience Jonathan for meddling in the government of Nigeria, when there were no constitutional powers granted to her to do so. Now this developing crisis is turning that speculation into an undeniable fact.

For weeks after the crisis erupted, President Jonathan never came out with any practical plan to get those kids back other than saying, ‘we will get them back’. He never gave a nationwide broadcast to reassure the citizens that he has the situation under control. He never called the parents to give them assurances. He never deployed the military to rout the Sambisa forest, where these kids are reportedly being held. He never reached out to governments with experience in terrorismmatters to help him.
No, he did none of these basic responses you would expect from a sensitive and purposeful leader. Instead, he preferred to stay at Aso Rock, and talk about how he would  close down the city of Abuja for an economic summit, while Nigeria burns. He he is more comfortable accusing the APC and the Northern leaders who he claimed were  trying to make the country un-governable for him because he is from the south!

Nigerians waited. Nigerian shouted. Nigerians Twitted. Nigerians blogged. Nigerians demonstrated. Still our President did not take any purposeful action that will reassure Nigerians until his wife stepped into the matter. Embarrassingly, it was left to the Dame, Patience Jonathan to try to make something happen on behalf of her husband.

Patience JonathanDespite not having any political authority to do so, Dame Jonathan called a meeting at Aso Rock and ‘commanded’ the wife of the governor of the state where the incident happened, as well as the parents of the children to attend and meet with her, to find solutions. She declared herself the official ‘Grandmother’ of the children, in her capacity as First Lady,  and then put together an impressive group of people to try and find solutions to the problem. She granted a press conference on the matter. As misguided as Dame appear with all those moves, she is at LEAST TRYING TO DO SOMETHING at a time when her husband was in a state of coma over the matter.

Unfortunately for President Jonathan however, and no matter how well-intentioned, the activities and pronouncements of Dame Jonathan over the Chibok kidnapping, only serve to reveal to all that she is actually the one wearing the pants at Aso Rock.

First, she took it upon herself to exercise the powers of the Presidency by ordering government officials to attend her belated fact-finding and brainstorming meeting over the kidnapping. She also took usurped the powers of the Presidency by unilaterally calling a press conference over a national matter. Not only that, she had the temerity to attack elected government officials, and then threaten them with civil action if they did not do anything over this matter. She did all this while the president and his advisers were looking on in bemusement.

To add insult to injury, Dame Jonathan actually justified her usurpation of political powers by declaring that ‘they know that when I get involved in anything I get results”. Now that is a very telling statement. By implication what she is telling us is that her husband, the president, is not getting results and it is time for the big girl to mount the public stage and make things happen. Her pronouncements, without a prior public authorization by the president to give her the cover she needs to act, serves to show us that Dame Jonathan wears the pants when it comes to ‘solving’ national problems.

Patience5To further confirm what her very public profile in this matter represents, nobody in Jonathan’s government has dared call her to order. Nobody thought it fit to inform her that while she may be well meaning, it is out of place for her to be doing what she is doing, in the absence of an official government mandate. The tragedy of all this is that Jonathan could have simply formed a committee to deal with the matter, and put her in charge as a concerned mother. That would have given her the political cover and authority she needed to act, and helped redeem some of the manhood of our President.

By the way, this is not the first time Dame Jonathan has usurped the powers of our president, and even that of other structures of government with impunity. It definitely looks like no one has the balls to call this woman to order, least of all her husband. Really, it is difficult to blame the officials surrounding the president for their muteness in the face of usurpation of authority, and power, by Dame Jonathan, when they could see that their principal himself remained mute in the face of the unintended public emasculation by his own wife.

Having observed the Dame in action over the last 4 years or so, one must concede that she has shown herself to be more capable of stepping up to the plate, and dealing with issues, than our elected leader from Yenagoa. While she may not be the best grammar speaker out there, and while he may be brash and intimidating, the fact remains that she does have something that is solely lacking in our President – She is bold; she is decisive; and she does get results, for good or for bad. Say what we may about the Dame, it is a fact that she did try to address several issues of importance in the land, like that of the plight of Widows, even if she curiously referred to them as ‘fellow widows’.

Patience Jonathan 4So, given the credentials of our dear Dame Jonathan as an ‘action’ lady and problem ‘solver’, maybe we should perhaps be thinking of voting her for President in 2015, instead of her hapless husband. Love her or hate her, Dame Jonathan has demonstrated she is better at wearing the pants at Aso Rock. Maybe should start thinking of her as a more viable candidate, if we must consider somebody from the household of Goodluck, while we send Mr. Ebele Jonathan back to Yenagoa to provide domestic support for what the wife would need for the assignment.

Yes, this may be HardTalk, but its true talk nevertheless.

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.


  1. yahaya usman msheliza

    May 7, 2014 at 11:03 am

    the thing is that we have it already the weak and incapable president we should not blame him we should blame those in position to removed him for his incompetency and installed the competence one

  2. Phil Ekwui

    May 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    The thing here is that you don’t have what to say or to contribute to the development of this nation, stop all these cheap publicity of yours, because it people like you that will see someone in trouble and walk away without helping out and we don’t need your type here in Nigeria. If the first lady is contributing her part by calling the Governor for solution what have you done in your part. I guess it because you staying in either West, South nor East that’s why you have enough time to write this so called…. I advice you to go to the North and feel what’s happening there. Afterall when the body is been created, the brains got everything that doesn’t make the legs or hands abandon the head. Bonfino

  3. marooph

    May 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    What a great tragedy has befallen Nigeria/Nigerians, on an alter of sentiment, bigotry and indiscretion?………

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