An All Progressives Congress (APC) spokesman in Ondo State has claimed that the departed but not missed administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan ran Nigeria like a banana republic.
I don’t think this is accurate. Many Nigerians would have been better off if the country was run like banana republics. The term “banana republic” originated from American writer William Sydney Porter, reflecting his experience in Honduras. A typical banana republic would be a Latin American dictatorship with its economy dependent on plantation agriculture (usually bananas).
Countries like Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and so on were banana republics run by tin-pot tyrants some years ago, and have moved on to constitutional rule. In terms of life expectancy, infant mortality and other human development indices they were a lot better than Nigeria, even when they were banana republics. They had better infrastructure, electricity supply was better, they had better coverage in terms of running water in homes, etc.
In this light, Nigerians would have considered themselves “lucky” if Goodluck Jonathan ran the country like a banana republic. It was worse than a banana republic. A Nigerian once asked “is it because the president is a zoologist that he treats Nigerians like animals?” He ran Nigeria like a zoo or “Animal Farm” and treated some animals, like his cronies, as more equal than others.
He didn’t last in office for another four years because he was so much unlike presidents of banana republics. If there was one thing a banana republic ruler was capable of, it would be getting 99.9% of the vote in elections. While his administration went bananas with the looting of public funds, a banana republic would be an upgrade on how Jonathan left the country.