Why don’t you people want to believe I am writing a book? Seriously, I’m working on it. It’ll be my first book in years, since ‘My Friends & I’ in 2010. I think Reuben too is working on a book. We have made a bet, let’s see who will finish first. Also, let’s see who will have the more interesting title. I must confess, I spend a lot of time thinking about the possible titles for my book. Whenever writers block catches me, I think about my title options. ‘The Accidental President’? Nah. I don’t want the Ruffler claiming credit for inspiring me. I will never hear the last of it. All those children of anger will flood social media with propaganda accusing me of plagiarising their hero.
I’ve been using Google a lot (my son keeps saying why do I pronounce it ‘Goggle’, LOL). Clinton had ‘My Life’, George Bush the second had ‘Decision Points’. Tony Blair had ‘A Journey’. Have you seen the pattern? Two words. Brevity. Straight to the point. Even Baba here followed the script, with ‘My Watch’.
I thought of playing along Baba’s lines, and doing ‘My CCTV’. A fine title, God knows. But it will be for another book, not this one. If you know the things a President sees in the CCTV panels in his office, you will know what I’m trying to say.
So, jokes apart, these are the serious ‘Two Word’ ideas I’ve come up with. First is: ‘Number 5!’ You don’t get it, abi? Remember how Baba started the lie that there were five Presidents in Nigeria, and that I was the fifth one. That’s why I thought, yes, let me reclaim that slander and turn it on its head.
Another idea: ‘America Knows’. Indeed America knows. America knows why and how I lost. You people will pretend as if you didn’t see Obama shoot a special video for the elections. Did he do a similar video for the UK elections in May? Or for Canada in October?
Let me not talk too much. Wait for my book. And let me just say that regardless of the problems we had with America when I was in power, I like Obama. He’s a good man. And I hope that when he joins me in retirement in a year’s time, we can bond over our prematurely-grey hairs.
Just this morning I had a Eureka Moment. The title, ‘Goodluck of All Time’, dropped into my mind. It’s more than two words, but it’s a sure winner anyday! Goodluck of All Time. G-O-A-T. One of my most memorable quotes in office had to do with Goats and Yams. Now you get the connection. (I still stand by everything I said back then!) But my publishers may not agree. If at the end of the day finding an acceptable title proves too difficult, I will just settle for ‘Goodluck Jonathan: An Autobiography.’
Someone has suggested ‘Goodluck Jonathan: My Enemies & I’, playing on my last book. The days of ‘My Friends & I’ were the good old days, before the world unfairly turned on me. Back then, I had friends. By the time I was done only enemies were left. No friends, only foes and liars and deceivers. I called one of my people last week; can you imagine he cut it and sent SMS: ‘can’t spk, SMS pls.’
This is someone who this time last year almost left his wife because she suggested she might not vote for me in 2015. This life! Reuben has already written about the misfortune that befalls the phones of former big men. You will be looking at the phone the phone will be looking at you. Ring nah! E no go ring. Oya at least vibrate! Story. Nothing. But at least God uses it to separate the wheat from the chaff. Every day, someone new turns against me. ‘We shouldn’t have fielded him in the elections’. ‘He was too lenient with corruption’. ‘He was the one who approved all the invisible weapons I bought’. I’m just there looking at all of them. The ones that surrounded me are now the ones making noise that I surrounded myself with bad people. They don’t even have shame again.
Me I am relieved, sha, I can’t lie. I am happy. For the first time since 1999 my life is my own again. And the number of reasons for blaming me has dropped considerably. When Real Madrid lost on Saturday I picked my iPad and sat down on Twitter, waiting for someone to blame me. Only one person was foolish enough to do so, and then Reuben told me it was even a stolen tweet, originally from 2012. That social media is the devil’s workshop. Young people who spend their destinies stealing tweets will sit in judgement over me and say I stole Nigeria’s money. When Reuben comes visiting that’s what we talk about: Social Media. Reuben no longer works for me, but I’ve insisted on calling him my Honorary Special Adviser on Social Media. Reuben is a guru there; doing a good job being a responsible father to the countless children of anger.
So, as I was saying, I am taking it easy these days, just enjoying life, minding my own business. I have just come back from America, where I was treated very specially. I think on the whole it was a good outing, I was calm and collected. I got a birthday cake from a wonderful set of University students (at Zik’s – my namesake! – alma mater), along with plenty of love. ‘Goodlove’ Jonathan. How’s that for a name, going forward?
I’m back at my desk now, writing my book. It will be a must-read. I will tell you things that will surprise you. I will entertain you. I will prove to you that the worst job in the world is to be President of Nigeria. There’s nothing worse, I swear to God. I’m not bitter, no, I’m just being truthful.
Oya let me be going. Even if you don’t remember anything from all I’ve been saying, remember this: It’s not easy writing a book o. How does Baba do it? The latest one he published was three large volumes. (He told a lot of lies against me – but isn’t that what everybody has been doing since – lying against me?) But I respect his dedication. El-Rufai too. Almost 500 pages. I hear the first draft was like ten times that size, that he was trying to write a book that will be as tall as him, and almost succeeded, until his editors intervened.
My own will not be that much, I can’t shout. My own will also have plenty of photographs. At least one third of the book will be photos. Nigerians like photos. That’s part of why the opposition defeated us in March. I am told that they spent most of their budget on photographers. Our own campaign was just full of noisemakers. When President Buhari said ministers are noisemakers I was just here thinking, you haven’t met the 2015 PDP presidential campaign. But let me not run ahead of myself, wait for my book. Exercise patience.
So I got a text message recently. It said, will your book be publicly available? Or will we have to use FOI request to get it from the publishers, like your PhD dissertation? Ah, it pained me, I can’t lie. I showed Madam. She said I should forward it to Sambo. I said has she forgotten that he’s no longer NSA? He can’t arrest people again. She looked at me and sighed. Sambo, she said. Your Sambo, Kaduna Sambo. I felt very ashamed of myself. How could I have forgotten?
Follow me on Twitter: @toluogunlesi