Boko Haram: The Voice Of Metuh,the Hands of Jonathan,By Ali M Ali

Jonathan 200.jpg 600I was not, in the least astounded by the recent charge of sponsoring terrorism hurled in the direction of opposition parties by Chief Olisa Metuh, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP)Publicity Secretary. It was not the first time certain elements in the opposition would be blamed for the confounding acts of terror overwhelming certain parts of the country. It will not be the last time a people so affronted by a rogue party apparatchiks would be blamed for the government’s spectacular failure in all facets of governance. It is in the character of this grossly underperforming party and its correspondingly miserably underachieving president to pass the buck. At crunch time, PDP and Jonathan are notorious in blaming others and defending the inexcusable.
Recall, if you will, President Jonathan’s spirited defense of MEND in the wake of the tragic Independence Day bomb blasts in 2010 even after it had claimed responsibility. Juxtapose that with the spirited efforts to link certain political figures especially from the north with the dastardly acts. Henry Okah currently cooling his feet in a South African jail for his role in the blasts confirmed how certain presidency officials tried to persuade him to link the cowardly acts to such northern politicians but he flatly refused.
It is in the DNA of all Nigerian political parties to stretch the truth. Fact. Ruling or opposing, most of our politicians lack character or conviction. They will sooner be found in the short queue of bending the rule than line up on the straight and narrow path of concerted nation building. Except for a few, most politicians including the present Commander-in-Chief are wanton opportunists who see state resources as legitimate bounty. Our present rulers at the centre have conducted themselves like bandits looting the national till and setting the rest of the country ablaze just to keep their tenuous hold on power.
It is not out of sync therefore, for Metuh and his band of co travellers to blame the opposition for the present precarious state of affairs in the country. It is a well-heeled tradition of the Jonathan regime. Fours years in the saddle ,the president has betrayed an uncommon inability to learn on the job. ‘Clueless’ used to be a word wrongly used to describe his initial perplexity in running a mega complex country like Nigeria. But five years as president, Jonathan’s dilemma is not being ‘clueless’ but a self inflicted heavy persecution complex .He is haunted by the “minority complex” syndrome.
This found expression in Metuh shameless allusion to the president minority status. This is bunkum. It is laughable. This argument falls flat in the fade of compelling evidence. President Obama is, by this argument, a minority Blackman competently discharging his duty as president of the world’s most powerful nation. Our president is simply incompetent. Most of those who superintended over the affairs of the nation were minorities. Tafawa Balewa, Gowon and Abacha were all minorities. I can’t recall a time they passed the buck to the ‘opposition’ on account of their failings. To blame the opposition for Jonathan’s sterling under performance is cheap. This is novel even by the low standard set by PDP.
I know most politicians are shameless. I am also mindful of Mao Zedong timeless description of politics being “war without bloodshed and war being politics with bloodshed” but even at that, Metuh’s outlandish claims, take the trophy of infamy.
He is, truly, a ‘spokesman’. He speaks. And often. Each time he does, there appears a worrying disconnect between his brains and his mouth. I marvel. I wonder if his head listens to the incredible words coming out of his mouth. Having seen him a couple of times in action, I have come to the sobering conclusion that he, certainly, as a spokesman has been spared the agony of ‘progressive thinking’. He speaks like an automaton lacking in wits. That explains in part, the man’s incredible proclivity to falsehood. It is possible that each time he spoke , his tongue was independent of his head?
His job description is ‘publicity secretary’. Stripped bare, publicity secretary is an errands boy. He has a master puppeteer who pulls the strings. In this case, party chairman Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu’s, who, in turn, is answerable to the President at whose pleasure he assumed office in the first place. Given the omnipotent power of the nation’s president, it is not out of sync to say the handpicked men running the PDP apparatchik are all puppets of the master puppeteer who goes by the name of Goodluck Jonathan.
A publicity secretary of a ruling party willy-nilly, must necessarily mirror the thoughts and mindset of his principal. In this instance, the president. He or she is the ‘secretary’ who ‘publicize. In other words, he is not part of the difficult process of ‘thinking’ leading to the decision-making. He is, a mere errands boy. The voice may be his but the hand is definitely someone else’s. His job is clear-cut, publicize his party, defend it and ward off evil spirits that may come in the form of the opposition All Progressive Congress(APC). But since Metuh returned as the elected mouthpiece of the ruling party, he has taken the job a notch higher in the odium department. Now he just doesn’t ‘publicize’, he ‘propagandize’. He creates a reality visible only to him. I have seen him run from pillar to post bent on pushing the frontiers of politics along the dangerous edges of our fault lines.
I think in his mind, he thinks he is matching Lai Mohammed, his opposite number in the All Progressive Congress(APC) word for word. Propaganda for propaganda. Having been ‘speaking’ so unsparingly and I dare say ‘unguardedly’ about sponsors of terrorism, I am inclined to believe that it is beyond him. The voice ma is his, but the hand is that of Jonathan. Last word? Unmask them Mr. President.

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