Tuesday, August 2, 2011


The buck stops here!
Harry S. Truman
33rd President of the United States

When my daughter was two years old, she had this habit of playing around the television set! In the process, she would often, unwittingly, touch the power extension with her leg! 

I tried to remonstrate with her on why she should not play with the power chord!

One day, I came into the living room, and I found her playing with her foot on the extension! When I reminded her that she was not supposed to touch the extension chord, she spared me a glance, with one of those impish smiles only a two year old could conjure, and answered " I did not touch it daddy, my leg touched it"! I was convinced I already had a potential Senior Advocate of Nigeria,or a politician, for a daughter!

Politicians, sometimes, seem to reason like children; particularly when they seek to exculpate themselves from tight spots! 

However,Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of America, believed that there was no one the president could pass on responsibility for an action taken by those under him!

When president Jonathan was confronted by a phalanx of furious opposition to his bid to amend Nigeria's constitution, limiting future holders of the office of president, and state governors to a single term; some say of six, others five years: he came up with the excuse that the proposal was not originally his  idea!

He vigorously affirmed that the decision was taken by a joint committee of all the major political parties, at a meeting he chaired when he was vice president! 

One cannot, but commend his innovative evasive action! His countermeasures under fire were as sophisticated, and impressive,  as those of the F22 Raptor, the World's most advanced fighter jet! 

It is a plane that was described by one observer, as "defying the principles of flight"! 

That phrase is quite succinct in describing Jonathan's defense, it defies the principles of logic, and commonsense! 

I must confess that I found a parallel between his excuse, and my two year old's attempt at exculpation!

Does the Nigerian president want us to believe that every decision taken by the major political parties, is holy writ? 

This is because there is an association called the Congress of Nigerian Political Parties, which is even bigger in membership, and scope, than just the major political parties: I am aware that that association has called for the adoption into law, through an act the national assembly, the Justice Muhammed Uwais' panel report on electoral reforms!

This committee was established by Jonathan's predecessor, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, after his election, which he publicly acknowledged was flawed! 

It was his desire to prevent this injustice from happening again, that led to the high-powered committee! This committee went round Nigeria, at great cost, listening to various shades of opinion: it came up with a report which was widely acknowledged as a watershed for transparency in our elections!

More importantly, it was the closest thing to a referendum on the wishes of our people where electoral reforms are concerned!

The government did not accept all the recommendations, they were not in favour of the ruling People's Democratic party, as they would have jeopardized all the shenanigans the party had employed to rig elections for the past twelve years!

If the government is sincere, if the president means well, it is that report he should be sending again, in it's entirety, to the national assembly!

The presidency of Nigeria, is the highest office in the land! So it is ludicrous, when the president says he wants to do something, and when confronted by opposition, he disclaims his project, passing the buck to some nebulous phantom committee that is only known to him alone, and no one else!

When we were in school, there was a song we used to sing, one of the lines of that song was 

"do not say yes, 
when you mean to say no!

It seems in our president's case, after saying, he has suddenly realized that he was not the one that said it, it was just his mouth, not him!


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