Goodluck Jonathan`s Handlers Must Help

Published:7 Jan, 2013

 President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan seems to be a man in a hurry. When he took office, he was viewed as a man of uncommon loyalty, impeccable integrity with an immense commitment to Nigeria, which earned him a lot of public goodwill as the man of the moment; a God-sent messiah to save the Nigerian nation from collapse. However, recent developments have made nonsense of Jonathan’s messianic posturing as he has failed to rise up to the challenge of personal example which Chinua Achebe says, is the hallmark of true leadership.

His uncommon loyalty to his friends, many of whom are in his cabinet, seem to outweigh his commitment to Nigeria and Nigerians. Development of infrastructures in Nigeria, has taken a back seat in Nigeria, particularly in sectors manned by his friends. To them it is business as usual, lining of their pockets have become primary objectives. In their estimation, Jonathan first term in office, (2011 – 2015) is for personal advancement or aggrandizement. While his second term – (2015-2019); if he is allowed to run, will used to develop Nigeria and Nigerians.

Consequently, dividends of democracy such as the right to life are out of the reach of the citizens. Places of worship have become avenues of mass murder; government response or lack of has emboldened the perpetrators, notably the Boko Haram menace which remains the greatest security challenge facing the Jonathan administration. Bombings, kidnappings have become the order of the day, while the security apparatchiks cash in on the people`s misfortunes.

Kidnapping has clearly become a national malaise, with an epicenter in the South generally, and the South-South and South-East axis, in particular. No President worth his salt should allow the kind of permissiveness now associated with kidnapping which has made it intractable across the country. The fear of kidnapping has made many people uncomfortable and unwilling to visit their homes. There is no doubt that the extant level of policing in the country is ineffective. Jonathan is at a loss to understand that law and order is non-negotiable as a stimulus for peace and development in the country.

One factor that has helped to promote kidnapping is the ostentatious life style of government officials and politicians. It is common to see politicians, even local government chairmen, rise from nothing to affluence, parading chains of exotic vehicles in a system that is stricken with poverty, and to the chagrin of the suffering masses.

There is no doubt that people are bitter with Jonathan.  Millions of young people have no jobs. Good governance that will ensure gainful employment to the teeming youth, and bridge the wide gulf between the rich and the poor is an urgent imperative to eradicating kidnapping and other criminal activities in the land.

As a result, the President is now a lame-duck president. He has lost the trust and respect of the millions of Nigerians, who only twelve months ago turned out in their numbers to elect him. Neither does he wield much influence among his cabinet or within his own party, the PDP. His attempt to install a speaker of his choosing in the House of Representatives was an unmitigated disaster and failure. Bamanga Tukur, his anointed candidate for the PDP chairmanship was trounced in the party primaries in home state of Adamawa. It took the intervention of the state governors, many of whom have fallen out of favor with his uninspiring leadership coupled with strong arm twisting for Jonathan to have his way with the PDP chairmanship.

It is entirely in line with the character of Jonathan’s leadership to moan about problems, which ordinarily, are his responsibility to solve. Poverty in the land is acute and widespread, corruption is endemic, critical infrastructure decrepit and insecurity of lives and property prevail in a huge magnitude. The President has also not found solution to the problem of epileptic power supply. Jonathan prefers to play the ostrich, wringing his hands in the air and claiming that most of the problems pre-date his presidency. Needless reminding him that he was the one who asked to be given the job of President of Nigeria. It probably does not occur to him that the failure of his government to roll out a cohesive and comprehensive policy on security, has expectedly, raised anxiety among Nigerians, even as the problem spirals out of control.

There has been so much bloodletting, and the long-term effect on economic development is best imagined. It is common knowledge that foreign direct investment is sensitive to environments of insecurity. The terror in the land calls for soul-searching by Jonathan. What is he not doing right? Beyond physical security measures to protect lives and property, Jonathan must begin to interrogate the economic and political bases of the prevailing plague.

That, under Jonathan’s watch, the security agencies have lost control over the activities of armed bandits ravaging the country is worrisome. The time has come for Jonathan to live up to his primary duty of ensuring the security of lives and property in the country, as no one is immune from the widespread terror in the land. Not even public office holders. In fairness, Jonathan might not be unaware of the myriad of problems facing Nigeria; rather, he seems to be at a loss for solutions.

Thus political handlers who are campaigning for a second term for Jonathan in 2015 are doing the President a great disservice. They should help him deliver on his campaign promises! Editorial

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