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Oshiomhole Has Forgotten So Soon

You do not try to please a man who may be kind to you by demonizing a man who has been kind to you. When you do that, you are sending two messages

-Reno Omokri

On July 17, 2012, a recently re-elected Governor Adams Oshiomhole visited Aso Rock Presidential Villa and on his way out he had a chat with State House Correspondents and said as follows “what the Edo election has confirmed is that when the President and Commander-in-Chief puts the country first and conducts himself as a statesman, not just as a party leader, credible elections are possible, because people were apprehensive that the Nigerian Army could be misused.

But of course, I told them I didn’t think they were right, but the President’s clear directive was that the votes must count.” The former labour leader continued in his praise of then President Jonathan saying “We need to appreciate the President and encourage him to sustain this principle of truly reminding all of us, who hold political office, that we are at the mercy of the electorate, not of the Presidency. I think the President has done that.

The President has demonstrated statesmanship. I think there is hope for Nigeria”. Going by the statement he made above, many Nigerians were shocked to read his recent statement on August 23rd, 2015 where he said inter alia “if the Igbos were marginalized, it was President Jonathan and the PDP. If Nigerians know what these people did, they will stone them to death – jungle justice.”

How is it possible that three years ago, Governor Oshiomhole saw President Jonathan as a well behaved statesman who rose above partisanship to put the nation first and then make a 180 degree turn to attack the same person and suggest that he be stoned by the public? Anyone who knows former President Goodluck Jonathan knows that the first description of him by Governor Oshiomhole is correct.

Former President Jonathan is a man who does not lust for power and refused to reach out to grasp power even when it was within his reach in 2010 during the saga occasioned by the tragic illness of his boss, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Jonathan demonstrated loyalty, patience and complete submission to the will of God and God elevated him.

When Dr. Jonathan lost the March 2015 Presidential election, he did not wait for the Independent National Electoral Commission to finish declaring results before calling then candidate Muhamnadu Buhari to concede. As a result, for the first time in her history, Nigeria does not have any judicial challenge against the winner of a Presidential election.

President Jonathan is a man of honour who does not deserve the treatment being meted out to him by Governor Adams Oshiomhole. The Comrade Governor should come to an awareness that his party, the All Progressives Congress, is now in power.

They are no more in opposition. The Jonathan administration remains the only administration in Nigeria’s history that promoted Freedom of Speech by signing the Freedom of Information Bill into law so Nigerians could have access to any information they so desire.

Versions of the Freedom of Information Law are also in force in Western nations including the US. Only on August 21, 2015, an investigation by Leadership Newspaper (whose publisher is an APC chieftain and former Presidential Aspirant on the platform of the party) revealed that no US official ever told Governor Adams Oshiomhole or any other person that one minister stole $6 billion under President Jonathan’s watch and challenged the Comrade Governor to name the US official that said so and the minister involved.

Nigerians may read that investigative report here http://leadership. ng/news/world/455409/us-frowns-at-oshiomhole-over-comments- on-6bn-theft Governor Oshiomhole may want to take advantage of the FOI law by ensuring that his aides use it to verify any allegation he may have before going public with it. For example, he could have accessed freely available information from the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, as to the total cost of the 2nd Niger Bridge and he would have established that the entire cost of the bridge was ₦108 billion.

How is it then possible to pay a consultancy fee of ₦140 billion for a project of ₦108 billion as the Comrade Governor alleged? When the Comrade Governor said that the Agricultural Transformation of the Jonathan administration was a hoax, did he know that the International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI, revealed in their annual Global Hunger Index that hunger in Nigeria reduced while Jonathan was President? This fact was carried by no less a medium than Premium Times and most Nigerians would know that Premium Times would not publish anything good about the Jonathan administration if it was not true.

That report could be read here http://www.premiumtimesng. com/news/…ia-remains-alarming-africa-global-report.html. Governor Oshiomhole should note that four years is not such a long time. Every time spent in distracting President Buhari from the task of governance by attacking ex-President Jonathan is borrowed from time that should have been spent in helping the new administration succeed. You do not try to please a man who may be kind to you by demonizing a man who has been kind to you. When you do that, you are sending two messages.

First, you are telling the man who has already been kind to you that he was foolish for being kind to you. Secondly you are communicating to the man who may be kind to you that he will be foolish if he goes on to extend kindness to you. I pray that my Christian advise does not meet with the bombastic response that previous attempts at engaging the Comrade Governor have received. I mean no harm as I only want to draw the attention of Governor Oshiomhole to the fact that no condition is permanent on earth.

•Reno Omokri is a former Aide to President Goodluck Jonathan.

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