Goodluck Jonathan

Clues or Less

I sat down there behest, tense, sweaty, unsure. This was the final straw. They asked how my Long Case went, it was great but I feigned sadness. I needed them to believe I had been subdued, to think I needed help, which I did. They felt my sadness and synchronised with me. Lucky me.

Then I picked my question from the pool: Discuss the differential diagnoses of stridor. I sighed.

Feigning sadness was a gamble. If I do well this time, they will pity me and boost my marks. If not so well, they will assume i wasn’t prepared for the exam, and throw pity to the wind, assuming that was the same way I flunked the Long Case. They are humans, and humans sympathise only so far as they deem you innocent and maltreated. Give them enough reasons to reconsider your guilt, and mercy gives way to messy.

Stridor… I had heard conflicting definitions of the term. Another gamble. As I sat before my examiners, clueless, I quickly considered my options: If I gave a definition they were not comfortable with, I’d nail my own coffin, rattle myself, lose steam, and fumble all the way. But if I did NOT…

So I took another gamble, spurted the differential diagnoses of stridor, and proceeded to discuss them.

Then the more familiar of my examiners interrupted me, “You do know the meaning of stridor, don’t you?” I paused, smiled, said “Yes, sir”, and continued with the discussion! I couldn’t have looked more clueless! Of course I couldn’t reverse myself when I had only begun to make sense, when I had begun to flow. I couldn’t risk losing it all on the altar of political correctness. I just couldn’t!


Truth is, one is not always clueless, even when he appears so, especially when he appears so! We all play dumb once in a while; it is wisdom to feign weakness to access and assess another’s strength. My people say, B’ó•wó• o•mo•dé ò bá te• èèkù idà, kìí bère ikú tó pa Bàbá è•; while a child lacks a firm grip on the hilt, he does (well to) not investigate his father’s demise. In such cases, cluelessness is a virtue!

My people also say, Is President Jonathan clueless?

I say No, he is not. He may be feigning cluelessness to get to the root of our nation’s problems unfettered and unsubverted, but that is all there is to it: drama. He is President at a crucial time in our history: a time that meets us on a precipice, tilting towards disintegration; a time of global insurgency; harsh times of economic disequilibrium; the end time.

Governments all over the world are in chaos. Terror reigns undeterred. Times are hard. Bread is scarce. Prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes. Doom looms. Alliances are breaking. Allies are quaking. A show of strength is what we clamour for, but in truth, a little cluelessness may just be what we need.

So that while we continue to complain and call him clueless, BH is fleeing, electricity is spreading, roads are saving, and we are still living. Even in these end times. Times may be hard, but it is so all over the world. He was underestimated, he was written off, but he is standing still, he is making the Cabals scream Change!, and he is leading us into the future as the world prepares for a unitary government.

Alas, what we always needed was less of brutes, less of clues, and more of stamina, empathy, freedom. He does not believe in force and forcefulness, he does not decree his people into muteness and selective mutism; he believes in freedom, he does not make it his life’s ambition to impose Sharia all over Nigeria.

Jonathan became President when we were tired, when we had had enough, when previous leaders had oppressed life out of us. And he gave us fresh air. He gave us freedom. Before Jonathan, Ecclesiastes held true: Man had dominated man to his injury. But here we are, alive, living, and free to chant Change! together with, and to the delight of, our oppressors.

Jonathan is not clueless; Jonathan is the Cue.

I finished my download, was interrupted a few times for clarifications, and heaved the sigh of relief. At last I could leave. And what did I get with my cluelessness? Thirty-three out of fifty. That’s two marks shy of distinction; two marks of definition. It was a gamble, but not a bad one.

That was last year. I wish I can get that much again. There are just too many clues. Alas, appearing cluelessness has its place, and perks.

Vote Jonathan. Vote Freedom.

Ayokunle Adeleye

Ayokunle is a doctor, a writer at heart, his opinions are strong and he wants a better society. Follow him on twitter @adelayok