Jonathan’s Liver Problem: How Severe?

In medical laboratory science, the liver function test is a panel of tests that is used to assess the functioning capacity of the liver. Considering the liver’s central role in several body functions, regulations, synthesis and homeostasis, it becomes imperative for its function to be assessed every now and then to facilitate early detection of any aberration that might spell doom with poor prognosis if diagnosed later. While this is true in medical science, the principle also holds sway in governance.

In colloquial Nigerian lexicons, ‘liver’ could be used to describe confidence, assurance, strength and boldness. Hence when someone says “you don’t have liver” he or she is subjecting your self confidence to question.

In politics and governance, it’s an open secret that good administrators and leaders, apart from being good listeners, are also individuals with big ego. Their confidence holds sway, and their dexterity gives followers the confidence to keep following. US President Barack Obama is a living example of such.

At every forum where his authority is subjected to extensive criticism, his confidence always bails him out. Even past leaders that possess a rare blend of eloquence and authority also enjoy such devoted followership, even when wrong decisions are made. However, in President Jonathan’s case, same could not be entirely said.

Like a pendulum in motion, swinging to and fro, Mr. President’s recent decision to rescind on his former position speaks more of confusion than respect for Nigerians’ opinions. The signs were everywhere that the ban was unnecessary and was seen in some quarters as an abuse of power. Yet he made the decision. And as the Commander-in-Chief, Nigerians trusted his instinct. But going back on his previous step makes me question his Excellency’s stance when tougher issues are tabled.

Obama went after George Bush’s jugular during the campaigns by promising to bring back all American soldiers in Iraq, and Afghanistan only to get to the Oval office and approve that more troupes should be deployed. That is like going back on his previous stance when campaigning. Though criticized at the outset, Americans later got used to the fact that lasting peace in the Middle East, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq, could ensure Americans’ safety. Obama’s health reform bill is another show of strength that he has a perfectly functioning liver.

Criticized severally by the Republicans and a handful Democrats, Obama’s health reform bill at the outset looked as if it won’t see the light of the day. It compelled the president to hit the streets- going from Texas to Houston, through New York campaigning not for votes, but for Americans to support the bill that several Congressmen were throwing punches at. Political analysts saw Obama’s plight as a test of his authority and he proved that he was (and still is) in charge by not withdrawing his bill. Hence I would like to ask Mr. President a simple question- why going back on your word, especially one that was issued with such confidence?

It’s supposedly becoming gradually evident that it’s either Mr. President is not getting the right information, or making decisions without extensive consultations and evaluations of the possible outcomes. Even our national thugs in the National Assembly know that banning Nigeria from international football would be a huge mistake. Why did it take Mr. President more than 48 hours to realize this? What if it was a war decision when a country could be leveled in 12 hours with nuclear weapons? Will he be swinging back and forth like this?

Governance is expected to be manned by men (and women) with great ability to make the right decisions with careful consideration because national security depends on their intellectual capacity. Although we are almost 50 years as a nation, the thinking processes of our various governments present us as toddlers in democracy. They need to realize that oscillation experiments are meant for physics laboratories and not government’s situation rooms.

President Jonathan’s recent action, although it’s a right one, brings the roles of the various advisers under sharp criticism. These are individuals who are expected to be giving the president accurate up-to-date details on the situation of things. They ought to be Nigeria’s thinking boxes that are worthy to be studied as geniuses in our various ivory towers. However, like most Nigerians, I’m suspecting that they are possibly more or less of political jobbers constituting nuisance in our corridors of power.

Some things might be acceptable on a personal ground, but are quite ludicrous and phenomenally absurd when they are associated with a nation. Let’s consider the national embarrassment we are now getting on the international scene.

Newspapers, websites and foreign correspondents are now running to press with Jonathan’s change of heart. Sepp Blatter and his crew at FIFA would crack jokes over our national confusion. And Ghana and other serious African countries would take the shine off Nigeria for presenting themselves as well organized countries with reliable individuals at the helm of affairs.

Furthermore, why did it take Jonathan this long to ransack and sack NFF corrupt chieftains when all and sundry knows about the cantankerous corruption in the Glass House? Why didn’t the Presidential Task Force saddled with revamping the national team give Mr. President sufficient report on the mismanagement of our 900 million Naira and what happened to inter-agency incorporation that enables every sphere of government to report to the presidency? Is it that the government is so disjointed, in disarray and not in touch with the voices on the streets? Or was Jonathan just taking decisions on his own?

To all Nigerians, there is need for us to reposition ourselves as the real barometer that analyzes the pressures around us since Aso Rock is very far from us both geographically and ideologically. Let the congratulations over the rescinded decision be short lived in order to contend with the reality that stares us which is Jonathan no get liver.

I hope the President’s advisers realize their mistakes. Nigerians need them to always help Mr. President make the right decisions every time. If they can’t, then we are in trouble.

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