Punch newspaper makes little efforts to disguise its contempt for the President. From the editorial team to the featured columnists, the refrain is that Goodluck Jonathan is nothing but a lucky incompetent in a high office. Common experience has shown however that, often, people who resort to uncouth insulting language when reviewing the performance of others are themselves utter failure in even more basic tasks. For instance, people who have problems running personal lives or families, heap insults, not on policies, but on the persons of people far more endowed than them, occupying offices whose requirements and challenges, these critics can just not fanthom to start with.
Indeed, government officials need to be criticized - if only to put them on their toes; but those who do so with invective personal insults, often are only venting out their personal frustrations.
With Boko Haram now calling for dialogue – in far away moslem enclave of Saudi Arabia; with one of the most rabid opponents of the President being requested to be the chief negotiator, the Punch apparently believes these are minor points and the country should simply jump up in joy – that peace has finally come! Yes, “Boko Haram” is no longer demanding upfront that all of us, starting from the President, must convert to Islam before they will allow peace, or that several states of the federation be Islamised. All they are asking for, upfront, is that heavy financial compensation should be paid to them – presumably for the hundreds of innocent Christian lives they have claimed responsibility for snuffing out.
It goes without saying also, that there must be a blanket amnesty for the killers. All the talk about Boko Haram not being opposed to prosecution of the criminal aspects of their operation does not make any sense at all. Which of their actions is not criminal – bombing of churches; raiding of banks, police stations, prisons; the shootings, etc?
With all these realities, President Jonathan is still going ahead to play game with Boko Haram; but his description of the sect and their obvious political sponsors as “uncivilized” is what has most caught the attention of Punch editorial team. See front page on Wednesday Nov 7, 2012. In the full write-up on page 2, the Punch describes the president’s comment as an “outburst” that could possibly derail negotiations. “Before the President’s outburst” the Punch wrote, “there had been indications that the government was already considering paying the compensation demanded and that it had began preparing for the talk with the sect”. Punch must be seriously bothered that the compensation and talk might be in jeopardy, hence its labeling the president’s comment as an outburst.
As for “Boko Haram”, what is the meaning of this new tactic? Obviously with preparations for the 2015 presidential election in high gear, it’s obviously time to play conciliation and strengthen the hand of the man who publicly promised to make Nigeria ungovernable unless he is the one in power. By nominating his arch rival from the North to play negotiation with the FG, Atiku is obviously trying to use one stone to kill two birds. Buhari will surely be politically weakened after serving as the chief negotiator in a Boko Haram – Government parley to benefit personally from the deal. And even a baby can predict what the major, non-negotiable demand from a Boko Haram parley in Saudi Arabia will be: nothing other than an agreement that Jonathan will not stand for re-election in 2015! It’s so plain that only the Punch newspapers can’t figure that one out.
It’s amazing and sad to see Christians gullibly gulp in silly stories rolled out by organizations such as the Punch newspapers, with clear-cut mischievous agenda.