President Jonathan, What Are Your Spin Doctors Doing?

Posted: September 12, 2014 in Government, Rationality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hashtag disaster has hit the Nigerian President and it because someone created the unfortunate and ill-advised #BringBackJonathan2015 hashtag as a campaign device. But it is not the end of the world for President Jonathan by any means. Sometimes the greatest of presidents make or associated with blunders and as long as they handle wisely it becomes a forgivable memory or a forgotten altogether; apologies, instant rectifications, silence till it blows over and substitution with other news is how it is done. The President has acted responsibly about that affair, but his spin-doctors have not.

News of the victory of the Nigerian Army over Boko Haram in a stronghold in North Eastern is not spectacular news but a good start to the quelling Islamist terror threats the country faces and an opportune diversion from the hashtag disaster. Then these are the back-to-back tweets of a spin-doctor of President Jonathan make an appearance;

Reno Omokri @renoomokri – 23 hrs

Opposition politicians must allow the military focus on fighting terror not their criticisms. It is the Nigerian Army not Jonathan’s Army.

Reno Omokri @renoomokri – Sep 11

Its wicked and untruthful for anybody to allege that @doyinokupe started that hashtag. Twitter has history. Don’t be lazy. Do your research.

In the first tweet it is obvious the spin doctor is attempting to fight off the opposition’s criticisms of President Jonathan over the handling of the Boko Haram problem by stating the “Nigerian Army is not Jonathan’s Army”. Ouch!  The spin-doctor is in effect, as one twerp responded, defying the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and insulting the intelligence of Nigerians by invoking the implication that President Goodluck Jonathan is “not the Commander-In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces”. It is responsibility presidents (or Monarchs and Prime Ministers) to declare wars, call ceasefires/truces and end wars; the buck of war always stops with the president, full stop. The world is watching.

In the second tweet the spin-doctor defends a lateral colleague, who it is categorically blamed for having started the disastrous #BringBackJonanthan2015 hashtag, thus reviving the blunder and making it fresh all over again and with the amazing advice that people do their research. Really? Spin doctor-doctors, journalists and intellectuals “tell people” (even though they have to listen to people too), it is what they are trained and paid for, not the other way round. And he calls people lazy!

The remainder of the tweets by the spin-doctors are mostly vociferous calls for Nigerians to pray for the Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram in their strongholds. When Nigerian politicians succeed it is due to “their hard work” sometimes “blessed by God” and when they fail it is either “destiny” or “they need prayers”. Is James Randi watching, I wonder what his opinion will be on such statecraft? Nevertheless, it is an age-old defense of Christianity by Christians in Nigeria that while they have kept their religion separate from the state, Muslims have always sought to fuse religion and the state. None of President Jonathan’s spin-doctors are known Muslims.

Spin doctors are supposed to create the public image of a President that is much better and appealing than the real person and the same goes for his actions, in Goodluck Jonathan’s case they consistently make him look much much worse than he really is.

Grimot Nane

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