By Sanusi Muhammad
At the demise of President Yar Adu’a in 2010, political actors and merchants including serving governors confronted the challenges posed by the vacuum created in leadership to void possibility of overheating the polity along ethno-religious and regional lines. Leading the team to confirm acting president on Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, then vice president was Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State with few of his colleagues in the Nigeria Governors Forum then led by Kwara State Governor, Bukola Saraki. Their bid failed until a sycophantic senator from one of the North-eastern States raised a motion on the floor of the senate that later cornered him a ministerial appointment that catapulted him to opulence through sharp corrupt practices.
Not sure of assuming leadership, Goodluck had no clear policy and focus to move the country forward. His first blunder was recruitment of like minds ostensibly to support ineffective leadership spiced with corrupt practices. Instead of liaising with the various state governors to form a formidable team of tested technocrats, Ebele settled for sycophants gifted with itchy fingers. In 2011, through a well coordinated rigging arrangement with INEC and security agencies, he was returned to the seat of power. The 2011 presidential election is still adjudged the most rigged ever in history that attracted violent reactions.
In the North east, those that risked their lives for Jonathan were dished while sycophants with high-rated deceitful mechanism carried the day for business as usual.
Since his ‘victory’, the sub-region just like others with the exception of south-south, are yet to have appreciable service but only bundles of unfulfilled promises. For instance, in Bauchi State apart from the over publicized Almajiri model schools and the federal housing scheme, nothing tangible on the ground to warrant support of return in 2015. Yuguda as the 2011 zonal coordinator of the presidential campaign that almost cost him his life is yet to be compensated with federal presence. In the formation of the federal executive council, his nominees were denied appointments to represent the State in the federal executive council till date which demoralized the morale of those that risked their lives to actualize the 2011 ambition. It is on record that since Yuguda assumed leadership in 2007, his nominees for federal appointment(s) are yet to be honored despite his loyalty and commitment to the success of the Jonathan administration.
While unemployment, corrupt practices and security challenges are on the increase, President Jonathan and his propagandists busy themselves dishing out unbelievable propaganda of deceit to confuse the people to believe falsehood. Part of the strategy is telling Nigerians that he is a humble gentleman who means well for Nigeria while his body language is corruption. Agreed, the President may be humble and gentle but that does not make him a good leader from his record of service and unguided utterances on national issues.
Those that shower praises on his transformation agenda are those feeding on his incapacitation to remain in the business of corruption. An ideal leader in conventional system keeps a distance from praise singers, pretenders and sycophants which are qualities President Jonathan lack. Every minister, political aide and security personnel trumpet the transformation agenda at the slightest opportunity. The trumpeting has not improved the welfare of Nigerians but mere sycophancy at work.
It is only in Jonathan’s style of administration that identified crooks and criminals are shielded while the system suffers. It is only in his style of administration that corruption is respected, shielded and encouraged to thrive without bound. It is only in the Jonathan administration that rogues are respected and given national honor. It is only in the Jonathan administration that patriots are discouraged in preference to miscreants. It is only in the Jonathan style that tribal warlords and religious bigots are sponsored against perceived opponents. It is only the Jonathan administration that exonerates self-confessed terrorists from justice. It is only in the Jonathan administration a particular segment of the country is systematically marginalized and frustrated while other segments are supported to prosper. It is only in the Jonathan style of administration that ethno-religious differences are political tools and it is only in the Jonathan style of administration that security to lives and property is a right of a privilege few. It is only in the Jonathan’s PDP style that drug barons occupy positions of authority and it is only in the Jonathan style of administration decency and honesty are crimes. The Jonathan administration scored first in Nigeria’s political history for allowing the defection of five (5) of its serving governors to opposition party. That is the worst that ever happened in the nation’s political history. But Jonathan is neither bothered nor making efforts to reverse the trend. He believes he has those that can impose him on Nigerians for a second term in 2015. He has forgotten the existence of the law of retribution.
To deceive Nigerians for cheap votes in 2011, Jonathan and his handlers made several unbelievable promises lacking substance. He has device a new system of weekly visit to Churches in Abuja with the presiding priests vandalizing the religious tradition of allowing him to preach on the pulpit. That is the latest campaign strategy. One thing the Christian community, tend to forget is that another Jonathan presidency is acceptance of under development of the whole perhaps excluding Otuoke. Some the observations below would suffice:
- Power: He promised Nigerians his administration would provide uninterrupted power supply within its life span, May 29, 2011 – May 29, 2015. He promised to explore coal deposits in Benue and Kogi States for power supply. To construct more dams with hydro-power stations. He said he would reduce importation of generators by at least 90 percent with an improve power generation to about 4,747 megawatts by December 2011 and restore full electricity supply to the nation by 2012. His administration expires May 29, 2015 and power supply remains what it was. In place of improved power, Jonathan sold the power sector to generating and distribution companies. Nigeria still operates on 3000 megawatts with heavy expenditure on generators including those powering the nation’s seat of power.
- Infrastructure: He promised to revive the rail transport system, revitalize the Nigeria Machine Tools, modernize the Nigerian ports, complete second Niger bridge and transform all major routes in Damaturu to federal roads and resuscitate moribund industries in Kano. Others include the renovation of the single road leading to Murtala international airport, renovation of Benin- Ore and Sokoto – Kontagora roads and possession of Federal Government landed properties in Lagos. In fulfillment of his promise, the Nigeria Machine Tools company Oshogbo was sold to Dangote group not revitalized. As usual, no single industry was resuscitated in Kano while Damaturu roads are left at the mercy of the meager resources of the State Government. In 2015, Jonathan may claim the credit for the wonderful job of the Ibrahim Geidam administration to deceive the gullible for re-election.
- After glaring failure to provide the expected, he maintains the most expensive government in history with a chain of parasites masquerading as aides aiding incapacitation and greed. The 2014 national budget for up-keep of the presidential villa is enough to provide tarred roads, portable water, electricity and health facilities to over 1000 communities nationwide but now vaulted for him and his appendages. The whooping amount is to comfort the shoeless village boy from Otuoke and his family while the families of those that labored to ‘elect’ him are left in the cold at the mercies of terrorists, kidnappers, armed bandits, rapists, FCT land swindlers and pen robbers.While President Jonathan occupies himself with how to deceive the people to believing him for another mandate, the opposition APC and the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi are busy educating Nigerians on how their commonwealth is looted with impunity with the NNPC and its subsidiaries serving as conduit pipes and presidential ATM. The level of corruption in the Jonathan administration is beyond imagination that reminds one of the cleansing carried by the Murtala Muhammed military administration in 1975 that consumed the likes of Edwin Clark now roaming the streets as ‘elder statesmen’. General Muhammadu Buhari when he held sway never pretended in punishing crooks and rogues who shortchanged other Nigerians. He had the courage to jail the maggots and disbanded the cabal that held Nigeria to ransom. Drug peddlers were publicly executed to redeem national image.Some greedy northern leaders and their co-travelers are already on the payroll with the task of destroying the political unity of the north in favor of inept leadership in 2015. Those greedy northerners need to be reminded of 2011 post-election violence that may be repeated if care is not taken.
- Muhammad is former Editor of Bauchi-based Trumpeter Newspaper and Commentator on national issues
- The crazy ones say, “It is because Jonathan is a Christian minority that northerners hate to support”. But if the truth must be told, does the Jonathan like himself? He has messed himself beyond re-packaging for any good buyer unless to the corrupt. To analysts, his religion is not a factor to his dislike but his attitude to governance. Whether he is a Christian, Muslim, Pagan or Animist, what Nigerians expect from him is service delivery at minimal cost not disguising under the canopy of ethnicity, region and religion to shortchange the people and expect praises and blind support. The Jonathan administration is a failure and that is what it is and shall remain so to the end from what is obtained. Nigerians should unite to bid him farewell in 2015 by voting credible people with unblemish records as replacement while his stewardship should be thoroughly probed with the intention of restoring confidence in government. A through probe will see most of his present and past aides making outbursts completing their remaining life spans in prison custody.
- Today, Nigerians are crying for survival as Jonathan and his aides are busy perfecting political scheming to deceive same people crying for survival to voting them to power for continuity of poor service.