Nigeria: How the government is selling its lies – Japheth J Omojuwa


Our country has been in the doldrums for decades, one would be asking for too much to expect President Jonathan to correct the ills of several decades. No matter how committed his administration is to the myriad of challenges facing Nigeria, they’d only do enough for others to come after them to continue to correct the failures of the past and build the bridges for the successes of tomorrow. One government cannot fix Nigeria, but the process of getting the nation started on the path of development can at least do just that, start! We have not started.

A Joseph Gobbels wannabe in the Jonathan administration asked Nigerians to pick the mid-term report of Mr. President to get them acquainted with the wonders and successes of the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration. It would be very easy to share such reports amongst well-fed people who need some reassurance that things are indeed getting better. Such people can get fooled by the so called impact of the Jonathan administration because like Joseph Goebbels said “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.” This is what the Jonathan administration is doing, using Google adverts, NTA, newspapers, mid-term report, Gobbels-wannabes and the likes to repeat the lies “in line with the transformation agenda of Mr. President.” Truly if you are exposed to these lies long enough without the counteracting effects of noise from civil society organisations, journalists and active citizens, that the mess is actually getting deeper, you’d be fooled to think that our current national mess is indeed the best state we’ve ever been as a people.

All of these lies are very much in line with the Jonathan transformation agenda. They will not be done until every right thinking Nigerian continues to think inversely. At that point, we’d all join in celebrating the award of contracts like they did with the award of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway contract. These ones do not show off with the jobs they are able to get done because those are few, far and in-between, they are then naturally forced to brag about their intentions. “We plan to…” “Mr. President intends to…” “Benin-Ore road has been awarded…” etc. have come to define our nation’s neo-calibration of excellence. We are at a place where mediocrity is the new boss!  The pun is very much intended.

There is a chance we are able to convince ourselves despite physical realities to the contrary that this is indeed the best government Nigerians have ever known. The conviction will fail when it lands in the angry hearts, frustrated minds and empty stomachs of our nation’s 112 million poor people and forgotten jobless graduates.  The only time the poor will ever feel the impact of the Jonathan government is when you drop the mid-term report in their empty, dusty cooking pots.

We need to stop fooling ourselves and if we decide we cannot stop fooling ourselves, we need not fool ourselves to the point where we start to believe all of us are fools. May be all of us can be fooled but all of us cannot be fooled by the same government at the same time. The time has come for the Nigerian government to come clean. Stop lying about an imaginary transformation agenda when of a truth things are only getting worse. The mid-term report is simple enough; are Nigerians better off today than they were in 2010 when Mr. President came to power via the protests of the average Nigerian? If they are better off today, are they that better off they’d proclaim, “this change is so extraordinary and all encompassing let’s call it a transformation!” So then, let us cut the crap and say it as it is. We haven’t started! This message is in line with the transformation agenda.

Omojuwa states the Nigerian government is living in a box of illusion