Mister, you can call “Dr. Goodluck Eberechukwu Azikiwe Jonathan … the weakest and most ineffective head of state Nigeria ever had”, because he does not perceive government as a vehicle to fleece the people, unlike his “functionally illiterate” predecessors – “a phalanx of bandits, gangsters, crooks, and scoundrels” who hijacked government and used “the machinery of the state to enrich themselves, their cronies, supporters, and members of their own ethnic” and “religious group” to the exclusion of the masses. (My reasoning in parenthesis taken from Dr. George BN Ayittey. Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyranny in Africa and Around the World – New York: Palgrave MacMillan – P.23)

Goodluck Jonathan’s Nigeria and Barack Obama’s United States of America exist in a parallel universe. Think about that.

Some elements fought tooth and nail to deny Vice-President Jonathan his right of succession to the presidency after the demise of President Yara’Adua. For those powers-that-be it was anathema that anyone other than from the region “born to rule” should be elevated to the Presidency of Nigeria – despite the fact that the crude oil, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, the proceeds from which are stolen, looted, and siphoned away in private foreign bank accounts, comes from Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s own region of Nigeria. After he had prevailed, the same elements vowed to make his Nigeria “ungovernable”, hence the rise of the terrorist Islamist group called Boko Haram. Have they wreaked havoc in that moribund country?

In the United States of America, Barack Obama took the country by storm to the chagrin and discomfiture of the ultra-right-wingers, and ascended to the Presidency of the United States of America, the most powerful position in the world. What an audacity of a Blackman, albeit, a slave progeny, the son of a vagabond Kenyan man, they grumbled. It goes without saying that to the largest extent, the United States of America, the status of the world’s greatest power that it enjoys today, was built by the labour of black slaves; the White House itself which President Obama occupies today was built by slave hands. And they vowed to make him “a one term president”. To boot, the Tea Party, and the Birther movements were born.

Both men, smart, intelligent, and enlightened, but try as hard as they are imbued with the accoutrements to pull their countries from near collapse and doldrums they have received neither the accolades for their accomplishments, in spite of all the odds, nor the cooperation for their vision for a brighter and better tomorrow.                    

 Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwuma-Eze Obiajunwa

Marketing Jonathan

His Excellency Dr Goodluck Ebelechukwu Azikiwe Jonathan, Nigeria ’s first PhD holder President must be worried stiff that his image as the weakest and most ineffective Head of State Nigeria ever had continues to go worse by the day. He must be worried that his self-proclaimed dream of becoming the father of modern Nigeria like his godfather once dreamt may actually make him also like his godfather THE FATHER OF MURDERED NIGERIA!

It was not surprising to hear him lament last week that he is the most criticised President in the world. Of course he is; simply because he is the most confused and least performing President there is in the world. He made his case the more pathetic when he tried lamely to argue that he did not create the problems Nigerians want him to fix. This pronouncement from a ‘leader’ shows the shallowness of a President’s understanding of his job.

Leaders are made leaders by their people so that such leaders could solve existing problems. People are elected into office to solve problems on ground. The core essence of leadership is the ability of a leader to solve the problems he did not create!

We did not have electricity because people hitherto entrusted with the task of providing power chose to put currency notes in their mouth. They simply ate the money meant to provide infrastructure.

Nigerians then allowed themselves to have a leader rigged into their sphere in the hope that whichever way such a leader emerged, he would solve their problems and end their nightmare. They reasoned that the new leader might perhaps not like the smell of currency notes and might therefore not be a gormandiser of money.

Now Dr Jonathan is in a dilemma. He is worried about his image. He tried the most expensive perfume made in France ; it did not seem to have worked. The more doses of Giorgio Armani from Italy , he splashed on his body, the worse the smell of his Resource Control Suit.

Our President’s handlers are now more worried and are having sleepless nights. They have a product on their laps. A very bad product. How does any one make orogbo sweet? What quantity of honey can an orogbo be laced with that will obliterate the bitter taste of orogbo or Kola nitida or kola accuninata?

We have reached a stage that even if the presidency gathers the combined strengths of Moses Ihonde, Prince Aleshinloye, Alex Nwokedi, Duro Onabule and Mrs Remi Oyo and link them up with the public relations wizardry of Alex Akinyele, the sum total will still be zero!

Every elementary student of Marketing knows that the first principle in marketing is the product. The product must be good, appealing and credible. And in Public Relations, the brand to be laundered must be properly packaged, appealing and trustworthy. If you have a product that is not credible or you have a brand that is not packageable, no amount of marketing or public relations gimmicks can make such a product or brand fly.

The problem with the image of our amiable President has nothing to do with his dress sense, or the use or misuse of language, or his occasional rushing to conclusions without proper evaluation of events, or his obvious reduction of the presidency to local government level, [by the way the whole of Bayelsa population is about the same as the population of Akinyele Local government in Oyo state], it is more with his style and the obvious lack of being in charge.

Mr President allows too many people to be posing as his face. The obvious result of that is that the real or true face of the president is no longer recognizable. As things stand today, Nigerians are not sure whether it is Okonjo Iweala [the World Bank/IMF representative] who is running this country, or it is Dezeani with her frightening lights behind her glasses, or the imperial Sanusi Lamido Sanusi [the hand of Esau] who sees the Central bank, nay the national treasury as an extension of the palace he is said to be eyeing. Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi behaves as if he is greater than the President of the Federal Republic . And nobody can blame him. If I happen to be working for a President that does not seem to understand my portfolio, I will assume his functions and make a dwarf of him. Or worse still,
if I work with a National Assembly that can be pocketed with tonnes of currency I will surely ride them roughshod.

It is very difficult to market President Jonathan. The reason as stated earlier is very simple. You simply don’t know what to market! Or put bluntly, you do not have something to market. No properly articulated policy. No properly executed project. No convincing performance. And the character of those who surround our President does not lend itself to any human relations.

We have a country where over 90 percent are groaning under the weight of crushing poverty, we have a country where most of the stories we read daily are of rape, kidnapping, murder, armed robbery and large scale looting of the treasury, and yet you see people who are supposed to be leaders swimming in odious opulence and lavish display of stolen wealth.

But the situation is not irredeemable. It is still possible for President Jonathan to recover some of his lost honeymoon with the Nigerian people. Dr Ebele Jonathan is a good person. He is humble. He is simple. He is a decent human being. There is also no denying the fact that the unprecedented billions of Naira lavished on propaganda and brain-wash did secure the admiration of certain segments of the Nigerian masses for likeable personality prior to the elections in 2011.

Then the mask fell off!

Performance, the lack of it, had taken propaganda to the court of public opinion and propaganda has been sent to life imprisonment.

What President Jonathan needs to get a good rating and improved reckoning is POLITICAL. There are deft political moves that he must immediately embark upon to restore confidence both in himself and in the polity.
Luckily, and this is not a joke, there are Nigerians imbued with political sagacity who can help if consulted.

I will, for example, suggest Prince Emeka Obasi, a socio-political tactician and strategist who never ceases to dazzle his listeners at public forum with his uncanny politico- economic analysis of the Nigerian situation. I know he is doing well as Publisher of Business Hallmark, so he is NOT looking for a job. I know as of a fact that if Emeka is listened to for just one hour, the fortune of Dr Jonathan will dramatically improve. Leaders all over the world invite bright minds for occasional chat.

For now, the President must present a product and a brand for his marketers and brand managers to market and promote