Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Nigerian Naked Emperor and the Silver Lining For President Jonathan

Hans Christian Andersen: Danish Author
In a Danish fairy tale (children story) written by Hans Christian Andersen and first published in 1837, as part of Eventyr, Fortalte for Born.
This is the story: There lived an emperor who cared only about his clothes and about showing them off. One day he heard from two swindlers that they could make the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they said, also had the special capability that it was invisible to anyone who was either stupid or not fit for his position.

Being a bit nervous about whether he himself would be able to see the cloth, the emperor first sent two of his trusted men to see it. Of course, neither would admit that they could not see the cloth and so praised it. All the townspeople had also heard of the cloth and were interested to learn how stupid their neighbors were.

The emperor then allowed himself to be dressed in the clothes for a procession through town, never admitting that he was too unfit and stupid to see what he was wearing. For he was afraid that the other people would think that he was stupid.

Of course, all the towns people wildly praised the magnificent clothes of the emperor, afraid to admit that they could not see them, until a small child said:

"But he has nothing on"!

This was whispered from person to person until everyone in the crowd was shouting that the emperor had nothing on. The emperor heard it and felt that they were correct, but held his head high and finished the procession.

The Nigerian Naked Emperor And the Crisis Response
It is more than 3 weeks since our children were snatched from us in the dead of the night by some lunatics. We saw a gut wrenching video released by these lunatics recently made in a forest somewhere in Nigeria. We repeat, SOMEWHERE IN NIGERIA.
What we have witnessed since this crisis began has left all the right thinking humans in a state of shock and disbelief.  Today, we firmly believe that we live in a Nation that cannot protect her children.  The new reality is that no one is safe in Nigeria anymore. 
President Goodluck Jonathan: The "Naked Emperor"
 Not after this disgraceful and the inept response by the Nigerian military and the security Services.

If President Goodluck Jonathan still believes that he has competent advisers around him, then he must be living in a fairy tale world reminiscent of the Naked Emperor. The collective ignorance of these advisers is manifested by the administration's unacceptable response to this crisis and the disbelief that is palpable around the world.

The total breakdown of Nigeria national security as exemplified by the impunity of these lunatics, taunting the entire world with their criminality has rendered us faithless in this administration. A bunch of ragtags and their clandestine sponsors are holding this administration in a political headlock. We do not want a President that will leave us a trail of political assassinations or summary executions without due process; but this president cannot even hurt or kill disease-carrying flies or mosquitoes. As much as we love this president, he is driving us crazy with his flawed character of 'no drama".  This president is working hard day in and day out to make lives better for Nigeria, but his weakness on national security has been exposed and this cannot augur well for our economy.  No investor will be confident on a long-term investment in this kind of unsafe environment. If our children are not safe, then the entire Nigeria is in jeopardy.

At Center for Modern Nigeria, we strongly condemned this administration in its response to this crisis.  There could never be an acceptable excuse for this lackadaisical response to this crisis.

What should have happened 
  • Rallying the Nation in Public Broadcast: As soon as this crisis began and within 24 hours in a public speech to the Nation, a credible Commander-in-Chief  should have condemned this criminality, rallied and assured the nation of the rescue strategies and the safe return of these children to their families as soon as possible. Any presidential advisory to the contrary is condemnable. The nation and the world never heard from President Jonathan for weeks after the fact. Our children are still in the clutches of these lunatics and pedophiles for over 3 weeks !!!! 
  • The Nigerian Defense Chiefs should have swiftly responded to this national tragedy with crisis response strategies on the rescue mission within 24 hours.  We have learnt that these service chiefs no longer take orders from 'bloody civilians". A credible and a formidable military would and should have fought its enemy to a standstill before calling for backup. Our call for external technical assistance was prompted by the inaction and inept response of the Nigerian military and security services during this crisis. We expected an overwhelming military response of Nigerian military might against these hoodlums. What we got were a bunch of wimps clad in medals whining about insufficient equipments. We are horrified by their ineptitude.
  • A total blockade of these forests should have been activated immediately to stymie an escape and to strangulate their survival. Instead, these lunatics are moving from forest to forest ferrying nearly 300 children in convoy of brand new vehicles with impunity. There were reports of audacious kidnaps of more girls in some villages.
  • In a situation of national emergency, external technical assistance from those with past experience in similar crisis is critical to quick and effective resolution. International coalition of forces were used in both World Wars, Korean War, Iraq and in Afghanistan wars.  Nigeria is now at war.  This administration's resistance to global assistance was ill-advised.
The Crisis
There will always be crisis. We saw sinister and clandestine political motivations to this latest crisis by those who did not wish Nigeria well.  This crisis, like all other crises, is an opportunity for this administration to prove itself worthy of the constitutional powers granted by the sovereignty. Our weakness as a nation has been exposed by this crisis. The crisis response by this administration woefully failed the test of time.
  • Everything must be done to bring these children home safe and sound.  We may need to talk to
    This Innocence will be Avenged
    these lunatics to bring our children home.
  • Nigeria and the World must be prepared for a long struggle against these hoodlums. 
  • The sponsors of these lunatics must be investigated, exposed and fully sanctioned.
  • The President must review and reshuffle all his advisers.  They have failed.
  • All the Nigerian Defense Chiefs should be ordered to explain their incompetence with the options to resign their commissions or retire. They have failed this president and Nigeria during this crisis. They can no longer be trusted with our National security. They have lost our vote of confidence.
  • We do not even know how many of these advisers and Army Generals or cabinet members are sponsors or sympathizers of Boko Haram. 
  • This administration must name and expose all suspected sympathizers of these lunatics for further investigations and sanctions.
  • It is time for house cleaning.  Mr President must muster the political will to do what is right and put his political house in order.
The Silver Lining:
  • Approval or not by this administration, the world would act justly in the defense of these children. The World can never stand by to watch this crime, by these ragtags go without response.
  • It is not the crisis itself, but the abominable response and the failure of this administration during this crisis that could and should have been a political death knell for this president and his political party during the elections, if we had a credible opposition. This administration failed to prove to the world its strength on national security and its ability to protect Nigerians.  It cannot even protect the least and the most vulnerable Nigerians, our children.
  • We do not have a credible political opposition to the ruling political party.  The opposition's clandestine activities and utterances to undermine this administration have played out in the genesis of this crisis. Their promise to make our nation ungovernable, and the promise of a violent change of our political ecosystem will be remembered. They shall pay for this crisis and all their efforts to sabotage our democracy at the ballot box.
We advise this administration to do whatever it is needed including talks with these lunatics to bring our children home safe and sound.  Then this administration must prepare itself for the next phase of this struggle. It will be a bloody campaign until these lunatics are rooted out from our midst.

We will not consider this rescue an operational success if even ONE single child failed to come home safe.

We are humbled and subdued by this crisis... but we are undaunted.

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