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The foundations holding International Diplomacy are like the fault lines beneath the earth's surface, they are usually in constant motion but appear calm on the surface until they gather enough momentum to bring about earthquakes, tsunamis, etc, etc.

These natural disasters can be equated to Changes in governments, the rise and fall of leaders and or leadership ideologies, etc, etc. Votes at the UN Assembly are neither influenced by date nor time nor morality - the west only employs morality when dealing along petty alliances - they are influenced first foremost by economic self interest, secondly by the balance of power and then by individual abilities of spokespersons. And these factors are considered by nations mostly in the present but mid and long term considerations play a part for nations who can afford to envision.

The vote in support of a Palestinian state by our President should not be adjudged an act of bravery or foresight; it is at best, neither here nor there as there are veto votes already lined up by the permanent member states, in the case of an eventuality. It appears to me that in the present circumstances, it is in the interest of the President, given the religious undertone of our current battle with Boko Haram, to vote in favour of a Palestinian state and hope that it would help dowse the embers of disintegration which their actions are fanning, especially, if it continues unabated. The United States have risen against it because it would tilt the balance of power in that region. Russia, China and the rest of the Permanent Members of the UN would vote for or against it for varied reasons, which I can assure you, would be far from morality or love.

The point made by my friend and ardent President Jonathan supporter that " a lot of folks out there have not yet come to terms... with the fact that a man from a minority tribe particularly an Ijaw man is now the president of this great country....", is rather unfortunate and in my view is one of the major centrifugal forces tearing this country apart; it has at various instances manifested as nepotism, ethnicity, tribalism or all of the above. The criticisms our President receive is neither based on his ethnicity, nor his religious inclination nor his complexion, it is based on his performance level, his service delivery, his lack of fidelity to his electoral contract with Nigeria and Nigerians. Going by our President's utterances, what are indications that he has a good grasp of the issues behind the problems bedevilling us as a nation? What are the indicators that he has both a tactical and strategic response mapped out for our redemption? Each and every community must have outlaws, Britain had Robin Hood, Ireland had Michael Collins, The world had Adolf Hitler. The common denominator is that Britain, Ireland, and the world found the courage and insight to develop a strategy to contain the rise of these individuals and asphyxiate institutions/ machinery they invented and deployed to commit their atrocities. Talk is cheap. It's easy and lame to abdicate responsibility. Our President should rise with the strength of all his constitutional powers and "crush" these growing menace to our corporate existence as a nation and stop snivelling, he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for crying out loud!!!

On another spectrum, taking excerpts from our President's recent Speech at the pre- Independent day celebrations "prayer session", and given that the man has his background in zoology, it's not surprising that he made allusions to animals while describing his leadership style, hence his relationship with Nigeria and Nigerians. However, what I'm surprised at is that a President, who constitutionally is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, would say he is not a General and denigrates his position by commenting to the effect that he should not be expected to act like a "Chief of Army Staff leading his troops in war". This raises serious questions; if President Jonathan says that he is not, who then is the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces?

Posted by John Oke

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