Mr. Ruben Abati must not have enough to keep him busy. For, if he has enough, he would have missed the press release by a gangster calling on Mr. Goodluck Jonathan to convert to Islam and to resign the office of the presidency of Nigeria. I am sure that Mr. Abati does not read a significant number of press releases. I am 100% sure that Mr. Jonathan sees less than 0.0001% of releases meant for him. Information is read by an army of low level staff and moved up the chain of command until it gets to Mr. Abati and thence to Mr. Jonathan.
That this release (animal manure) made its way to Mr. Jonathan and Mr. Abati and back to the press via a response shows a major flaw in the information processing apparatus of the Jonathan Administration. Mr. Abati has a lot of time on his hand. If his machinery could not flush out this garbage, I wonder what else is passing through the trade mill and what major pieces of responsible information they are displacing.
For, for the release to go up, means that something was removed to make room for it to proceed.
There are calls being made by serious people:
• For bold actions on the economy.
• There are demands from educators for improving education in Nigeria.
• People are demanding immediate actions on political realignment in Nigeria such as strengthening the local government functions.
• Border security, oil subsidy, economic growth, transportation, agricultural improvement, power supply growth and a million other things are being called for every second in the minute by parties interested in a better Nigeria
And a thug calls for Mr. Jonathan to convert to Islam or resign and somebody advances the call to Mr. Abati's attention. And Mr. Abati brings it to Mr. Jonathan's desk and writes a response?
Nothing can be more stupid.
Calls for the president's resignation should warrant a comment if, and only if, it comes from seriously limited sources and in severely limited circumstances such as if a Buhari, in a non campaign speech, or Senate President in a serious speech on the senate floor or the speaker addressing his institution or addressing graduating students at Ibadan/Nsukka, or such settings, makes such a call.
Usually such a call for the president's resignation would be followed by a serious charge of a failing, by the president, on national security matters or the president's ability to lead the nation is challenged. It would almost always be made in good faith by the caller. The speech would almost be televised and the major parts of the speech passed on to the press before the speech is made and even to the president himself by Buhari, the Senator or the Speaker of the House or whoever is making the speech.
It is most certainly guaranteed that such a speech would not be trivialized by a religious conversion demand in such a speech.
That the Jonathan Administration machinery could not see this as trivial and weed it out at the point it made its initial entry in the system is a serious indictment of the administration.
That Mr. Abati took the call to the head of State is a serious failure of judgment on his part.
For this he has done the nation a serious harm and a great disservice.
They have shown the world that every little thing by every riffraff rattles this administration.
What is now needed is a reordering of the information processing machinery. They need to identify what needs to be moved forward and to what level and who would review such advanced information before it is moved even higher.
The system failed woefully this time around. Mr. Abati was caught with his pants down in the public.
I hope that this will not happen again.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
August 6, 2012