“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln

I don’t like Goodluck Jonathan. I have asked myself why because I believe emotions should have a rational basis. It would be illogical for me to have an unexplainable aversion for someone. I dislike Jonathan because I detest insincerity. And I hate people trying to insult my intelligence.

Why should Jonathan use over $1.2 million of Nigeria’s money to clean up a mess he created all by himself? After all, didn’t he appoint Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe all by himself? How then can he justify hiring a PR firm at said cost to repair an image he has undone by his own action and inaction and with the help of his two aides? Is he going to sack them or are they going to continue receiving salaries while Levick and co do their work for them?

And thinking about it, it’s actually quite wicked of Levick to take our money knowing very well that there’s very little that can be done to repair Jonathan’s image. In fact, it’s like adding insult to injury. First they take our money, and then they try to insult our intelligence. Chai!

‘Levick will be … working to publicize “President Goodluck Jonathan Administration’s past, present and future priority to foster transparency, democracy and the rule of law throughout Nigeria.”’ (Premium Times, 26 June 2014)Oh, please! Transparency? Democracy? The rule of law? Where in the past and the present of this administration’s record have we seen these qualities? I’d like to see how they will do this, but I’m not holding my breath.

’For me, after talking to him, the priority for President Jonathan beyond any is finding and bringing home the girls,’ says Lanny Davis an executive vice president at Levick. Well of course he would say that! That’s why his firm is receiving all that money isn’t it? He’s not going to say the Jonathan’s priority is to be re-elected in 2015 is he? This Lanny Davis thinks we’re stupid!

Their first task was to craft Jonathan’s op-ed in the Washington Post just over a week ago, and that wasn’t a very promising start was it?

‘’My silence has been necessary to avoid compromising the details of our investigation.’’ That is just so dumb! I’m not a PR specialist but even I know that when there’s a crisis the rule is to tell it first, tell it all and tell it yourself. Jonathan didn’t even know anything had happened! I’m reminded of the oft-quoted truism by Steve Backley about there being three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who ask what happened. The details of the investigation he must be referring to is finding out what happened in the first place. In that case, I don’t blame him for the silence. I wouldn’t want people knowing I was clueless either!

‘’On my orders, our forces have aggressively sought these killers in the forests of northern Borno state, where they are based. ‘’ Now this is just a fat white Levickian lie if ever I heard one. Did he say ‘’aggressively’’? If my memory serves me correctly, the people of Chibok were initially tempted to go into the Sambisa Forest themselves because the military was doing nothing! Not that one could blame the military’s reluctance in the first instance because they were very poorly equipped and knew it would be like David going to face Goliath.

‘’My heart aches for the missing children and their families. I am a parent myself, and I know how awfully this must hurt.’’ Well he has a good way of showing it doesn’t he? Not only has he not visited Chibok or the families of the missing girls, but he didn’t even have the courtesy or the empathy to give them an audience when they came to his doorsteps. He told them to address their grievance to Shekau. Kai!

‘’We also know that, as it seeks to recruit the gullible, Boko Haram exploits the economic disparities that remain a problem in our country.’’ Whose fault is that? Who has been facilitating the looting of our coffers and harassing those who have demanded for accountability? Who is protecting the minister of petroleum from being investigated for financial impropriety? Who is it that is employing a foreign firm to clean up his mess using Nigeria’s money?

‘’We are addressing these challenges through such steps as bringing stakeholders together…’’ Umm, sure. So Jonathan has reached out to the mother of the Chibok girls, right?

‘’… and creating a safe schools initiative, a victims’ support fund and a presidential economic recovery program for northeastern Nigeria. ‘’ This one is not meant for us alone. It’s meant for the international community who like this sort of parlance. At least we are not the only ones Levick think they can fool.

‘’We are also committed to ridding our country of corruption and safeguarding human and civil rights and the rule of law.’’


Ms. Ishaya Audu, a lawyer, school administrator, and member of the Premium Times editorial board maintains a Friday column on politics, policy, culture, and the Nigerian life. She writes from Abuja.