Sabella: In what ways has your people gained from the oil and the federal government?
Jonathan Goodluck: Thanks for asking such a beautiful and deep question. That’s brilliant and wonderful. Let me ask you something: what else does the Ijaws want? After all, for the past eight years, Bayelsa had been getting the best from Federal Government. For instance, within the past eight years the state had had the privilege of having ministers besides other political positions at the national level. There are Bayelsans who are ministers, chairs of different parastatals, ambassadors and so on and so forth. Isn’t that enough? Look, they should be grateful to the federal government and to God for those appointments. Look at me; I am by the grace of God the VP. That alone should be enough for the Ijaws. That’s enough!
Sabella: It is said that you don’t take kindly to criticisms. Is that true?
Jonathan G: That’s not true, that’s false. You see, anyone can criticize me, any one can advise me. However, they must do so in a very respectful manner, in private. There should be no washing of dirty linen in the public. If you must criticize, criticize constructively and not dish out outright damaging information to the public in the name of criticism. What is it I have done that other governors and senators and ministers have not done? They are accusing me of misplacing N170 billion; well, it is N150 billion and not the amount they are quoting. And in fact that money has been missing since the days of Alamieyeseigha. They should go talk to him.
Sabella: So, you didn’t steal or misappropriate the money?
Jonathan G: I may be a vagabond and all that, but I am not a thief. God knows I will never steal that kind of money. It is just way too much for one man. Some people are also saying I am gutless and cowardly, that I don’t have the guts and the balls, and that I am not my own man. Well, see where all that got Alamieyeseigha. With all his gragra, he got into wahala with Baba Obasanjo. I am cool-headed. I am good at taking orders. I don’t complain and I don’t question my superiors; I simply do whatever I am told. You see, politics is about survival of the fittest. You do whatever you have to do to survive, including boot licking. Something else, I hear people talk about how I spend all that money for the primaries and the general elections. Nonsense! My critics simply do not have an understanding of the electoral process. You see, you have to spend money for all sorts of things. In my case, I spend money placating General Obasanjo and the entire PDP executives at both the state and federal level. Elections are not cheap you, know.
Sabella: Sir, what about the debt you successor, Governor Timpre Silva, is complaining about? Is there any truth to you cleaning and clearing the state account?
Jonathan G: Haba, don’t mind that novice, that political greenhorn. But for all pressure put on me by Daukoru, Ali, the Chief of Army and others, he wouldn’t have been where he is today. Does he know how much was spent on his behalf for him to get where he is today. Nonsense! What does he know about the things grown-ups like me know. Let me tell you something else: those peddling rumors are ignorant of government administration; they are mischievously heightening negative aspects of administration without commenting on the positive things I did for the state.
Sabella: Sir, at this point, could you please enumerate the good things you did for the state?
Jonathan G: Look, I don’t have to blow my own horn, I don’t have to kiss myself, I don’t have to trumpet all my stellar achievements. But here is a partial list: (1) upgrade of the Niger Delta University which is now accredited by all domestic and international accreditation boards; (2) building of five general hospitals; (3) building of 60,000 kilometers roads linking all parts of the state; (4) the building of water and sewage treatment plants in more than 80% of the state; as a result my people no longer drink from the River Nun; (5) full and complete employment for all university graduates; (5) availability of small loan for anyone who wants to go into business: and (6) the provision of international satellites for the use of farmers and fishermen. And finally, my rural development/electrification program was completed a month before I left Creek Haven.
Sabella: What do you say to all those who believe you are playing a silly, crazy and treacherous game (when it comes to appointment)? And that you favor your clan, Ogbia.
Jonathan G: All politics is local, what can I tell you. You feed the people closest to you before you feed outsiders.
Sabella: Sir, what are your core values, worldviews, and religious convictions?
Jonathan G (cuts in): Thanks for coming. By the way, are you from Ogbia? If you are, send your résumé to Barrister Oronto for consideration.
Sabella: Yes, your Excellency…your honor…