Goodluck Jonathan is the toast of the international media. Back home, corruption allegations overshadow his reign
He’s been shuttling the globe since he was voted out as Nigeria’s President last Spring—a speech here, an election observer there, a hero of democracy here and a reveler there.
This is Jonathan's world and he's loving it!
The Economist of London remembers Jonathan as “an ineffectual buffoon”, but right now, The Economist doesn’t matter. The man is balling and no one cares what The Economist thinks or says.
This week has been a very busy one for Jonathan.
He’s attended the 20th Anniversary Symposium of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) in Johannesburg, South Africa and he’s addressed young students at Oxford University.
With the young Oxford students lapping up his every word, Jonathan said: “While serving as President of Nigeria, I worked for the next generation and not for the next elections. I have no regrets for what I did.
“Somebody must sacrifice and work for the next generation otherwise your children's children will suffer the same predicaments as you have”.
Sign him up already, Goldman Sachs! Move over, Hillary Clinton!
But Jonathan wasn’t done. One sensitive topic often gets under his skin—corruption.
Here is the man who once famously said stealing is not the same thing as corruption:
“On the issue of corruption, you are aware that several matters are pending in court and I would not like to intefer with the legal processes.
“We reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the corruption problems in our country without publicity”.
He was taking a dig at President Muhammadu Buhari with that last sentence. Buhari makes a song and dance out of fighting corruption, the opposition says.
But Jonathan and fighting corruption in one sentence? Hold on a minute!
Jonathan introduced various mechanisms to stop corruption and yet under his nose, Diezani Alison-Madueke was so light fingered Jonathan defended her on national television with that famous “America will know” line?
Jonathan introduced various mechanisms to check corruption and yet Sambo Dasuki and the rest of the Army Chiefs were sharing money to everyone who proclaimed themselves members of the PDP? Building choice mansions for themselves across the world?
Like the party will never end?
Law enforcement several miles away from Oxford, have been trying to unknot how $15m ended up in the bank account of a certain Dame Patience Faka Jonathan.
But don’t whisper this in the international circuit where Jonathan is now a rock star.
But this is no time to rain on Jonathan’s parade. Don't begrudge him his time in the sun while it lasts.
Don't be a hater.