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Gaffes By The President - Politics - Nairaland

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Gaffes By The President by Wallie(m): 4:07pm On Jan 09, 2014
I honestly believe that the President is surrounded by incompetent and/or amateur non-strategic advisors. Contrary to what most people think, even the US president has an army of advisors because a country is too complex and nuanced for a single person to master. Obama and most US presidents are naturally smart but they always say the right thing in public because countless of people have prepared their speech and/or brief them on a particular situation.

I feel that the significance of great advisors and strategic thinkers is lost on GEJ and his team; otherwise, how would one explain the many unforced gaffes of the President?

For example, GEJ should have never personally asked Sanusi for his resignation if there’s the possibility that he might say no and there’s little GEJ could do about it. Further, why get your hands personally dirty if you could use proxies? There’s a reason why lawyers would retain other lawyers to defend them when in court! If you represent yourself, you are inherently reducing the number of options you have available to you! You can’t say “that’s not what I meant”, “I was misquoted”, “he acted on his own” and most of all you’re letting your true feelings/intentions known!

What the hell is the function of the Chief of Staff (or whatever the equivalent position is in Nigeria)? Now that GEJ personally communicated with Sanusi and he disobeyed a direct order to the President’s face, the President looks weak regardless of the outcome! He lost already. The embarrassment could have been avoided if GEJ sent his chief of staff.

Even in the US senate, bills meant for passage are first brought to the ground for a test vote just to make sure the votes are there so as not to embarrass the leader of the House.

I think GEJ and his team need to watch House of Cards and other shows like it to learn how to be two steps ahead of EVERYBODY!
Re: Gaffes By The President by AjanleKoko: 4:48pm On Jan 09, 2014
^^
Personally, I think administrative lapses and official gaffes are a key feature of any government in Nigeria. Not exclusive to Jona by any means.
The main issue with Jonathan's team seem to be the issue of communication.
He really needs to fire his media advisers.

The press, both formal and informal, are running rings round them, making them look grossly incompetent. Leaks after leaks, PR faux-pas, and perpetual misinformation seem to be the order of the day with these guys. And they are awful where new media is concerned. In this new era of social media, a gaffe can be magnified a thousand times over its actual size, and one wrong word said or written in the wrong place can go viral with lightning-speed. Essentially, whatever good works are being accomplished by the government is hardly mentioned, even under-reported, while the goofs are amplified. In fact, some of the achievements are reported in a way that stokes public suspicion and ends up making the government look bad. Like power, rail, even the airports.

During his tenure (though the circumstances were very different), IBB was made to look like a benign, sartorial leader. Until of course the June 12 fiasco, which tainted him for life. He always ensured that he 'engaged' the press proactively, kept people entertained, and had a colorful array of star characters in his administration. In Jonathan's government, it appears like the opposite is happening. The opposition is looking much stronger (or at least doing a better job where public perception is concerned), while the incumbents are looking like the 'confirmed' bad guys.

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Re: Gaffes By The President by since1914(m): 3:33pm On Jan 10, 2014
Though I am neither a fan nor supporter of the President (and will probably never be), I do sympathize with him. Even though he personally brought all these upon himself. He has surrendered the reins of power to his aides who are all having a ball at his expense. The norm all over the world is for Presidential aides to take punches on behalf of their Principal, but here in Nigeria, Jonathan is taking all the punches on behalf of his aides. Very few people have direct quarrels with Jonathan, but have quarrels with the fact that he is tenaciously holding on to and defending some of these corrupt aides who have no economic or political value to him. If I were in his shoes, I will simply sacrifice them to further my political cause.

On a personal note, the grudge I have against his government and all the governments before his (Yar Adua & Obasanjo), is their resolute refusal to honestly prosecute all the established cases of corruption in the country.
Re: Gaffes By The President by Wallie(m): 4:53pm On Jan 10, 2014
Agreed. The president is like a quarterback in American football or like a queen in chess - he should be protected at all times by his teammates! Everybody else in his cabinet are pawns, knights, bishops, and rooks, and they all should be ready to sacrifice themselves for his protection. His attack dogs are more like defensive dogs that bark after the perpetrators are long gone!

AJ, I think you’re also right that this new age of social media is amplifying every little bit of echo that might have existed in past administrations but unheard due to the lack of an amplifying-platform. Back then every social commentator will be found at your typical news stand reading papers and commenting only to those that cared to listen.

I remember back when authorities were quick to physically shut the doors to any newspaper or magazine that they deemed threatening. In today’s world, a story written thousands of miles away from Abuja would already be viral on the internet even before the authorities get wind of it.
Re: Gaffes By The President by AjanleKoko: 4:56pm On Jan 10, 2014
since_1914: Though I am neither a fan nor supporter of the President (and will probably never be), I do sympathize with him. Even though he personally brought all these upon himself. He has surrendered the reins of power to his aides who are all having a ball at his expense. The norm all over the world is for Presidential aides to take punches on behalf of their Principal, but here in Nigeria, Jonathan is taking all the punches on behalf of his aides. Very few people have direct quarrels with Jonathan, but have quarrels with the fact that he is tenaciously holding on to and defending some of these corrupt aides who have no economic or political value to him. If I were in his shoes, I will simply sacrifice them to further my political cause.

On a personal note, the grudge I have against his government and all the governments before his (Yar Adua & Obasanjo), is their resolute refusal to honestly prosecute all the established cases of corruption in the country.

Co-sign on bolded.
You begin to wonder at times if Jonathan is really that politically naive, to the point where co-travellers are working assiduously to bring down his government, and he's not even paying attention!

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