PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN AND THE NEW EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
I was still musing at the wonderful rendition of the mass choir that faithful night at the Redemption Camp (now City) when suddenly, lost in wondering, the camera beamed at the Alter area of the Congress Arena of Redeemed Christian Church of God. Who did l see? His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan! The time was exactly 10:53pm and the ovation that greeted him was to say the least thunderous. About 30minutes later, the General of Gods' own army, Pastor Enoch Adejere Adeboye was welcomed to the Alter, after the Sax rendition of Pastor Knule Ajayi. The president addressed the congregation before he knelt down to be blessed for the task of contesting in he presidential election of April 201 by the General Overseer. It was obvious in the air that really all will be well and in my heart I said this is the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That was December 2010.
All will be well in Nigeria because in Anambra and Oyo States, political gangsterrism is gone for good. Where are the Chief Chris Uba's?. In Ogun State, God threw Spanners in the works of both Gov. Gbenga Daniel and former President Olusegun Obasanjo so they could not agree to forge a front. The result is that Iyabo Obasanjo and Rtd General Olurin PDP became the vanquished and former governor Bola Tunibu's ACN became the victor. In Oyo state, the off spring of the garrison commander Chief Alao Akala vanished despite boasting few days earlier that he would bulldoze his opponents any day. In Abia State Chief Orji Uzor Kalu has been shoved away through Chief Uche Chukumerije's return to the senate. Still in Anambra state, Dr. Chris Ngige proved that he is the issue by winning the rerun Senatorial election against gluttonous Prof Dora Akunyli who thought that politics starts and end at Abuja even after jumping the ship of the PDP which brought her to prominence. Democracy is good because it is the voice of the people. How would a man finance the formation of a party, get the resounding support of his people and for selfish reason dump the party? Need l say that he has joined the ship of his likes to political irrelevance? All will be well because all the threat on the life of former Governor Bola Tiunbu have confirmed him to be the real political off spring of the late saga Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the South West a sign that God heard thee prayers of the geopolitical zone.
The euphoria of the landslide victory of His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will be talk of the nation and continent for a long while. But what we, as the electorate are expecting as soon as he is sworn in, is the submission of his ministerial list to the National Assembly for their immediate approval so that work to be done would begin in earnest. There is no pretention that a lot of fence mending is necessary for a complete reintegration in a country were contradictions have remained certain. Right now jostling by all interest groups has reached its peak each wanting the biggest and /or best portfolio for themselves or their stooges. Yes in the past and maybe part of the present, these had worked. But by all means this is one of the areas through which we would see the new Nigeria of our dream manifest. It must be acknowledged that those who lost at the polls were rejected by the people because of their past record of performance and so, should have no share in offices. At best they should be consigned to some of the sleeping parastatals if any of them are to be considered at all.
President Barrack Obama of the United Sates of America as a candidate of his democratic party, still as candidate had close to his chest his list of would be cabinet officers he would submit to the parliament upon winning. We also witnessed that just as he stepped into office, his first assignment was cabinet appointment which saw his arch rival Senator Hilary Clinton occupying the number three position.
Here in Nigeria, it has been a case of winner takes all and the PDP has been on the benefitting side all the way since 1999. And now that elections are gone, losers in the president's camp will line up for political appointments as a means of getting back to power through the back door. One of the major reasons we have the current crops of seeming representatives in government (especially those on their way out now) is due largely to the fact that, having invested so much in the Babangidas' series of electoral cancellations, the long and deceitful rule of Abacha, many true politicians did not believe Rtd General Abdusalami Abubakar when he blew the whistle for a new election. This was also due to the short notice which was not sufficient for more purposeful people to recover from their previous losses and brace up for the new challenges. All that is now history and new vista is here, we will have at least 70% of the desired people in the seat of power come May 29, 2011. And with this percentage, Nigeria just has to work. The thinking among groups now is that it would not be business as usual. But l think here that like Toyota would say “good product; good thinking”.
Heroshima and Nagaski in Japan will never dream of war again ditto France, Britain, Germany let alone United States of America. Russia under the republic called United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) knew better after the wars that now separated them into various republics. Today, they know that the best war is better fought on the negotiation tables.
Now, we the lead have elected our representatives down in our various communities and determined who our real leaders are. We demonstrated that by sending some of the current pack of dissidents parading themselves as our law makers out by simply saying no to electoral malpractices. Don't worry if we still have them in the house from May 29, it will show and one thing is certain to happen, they like the others, will be rejected in the next general election. That is the dynamics of leadership.
But we do not need a government that would be populated with appointments based on party patronage. If we desire to fix Nigeria fast, we must grow beyond the party line and toe the line of technocrats. For the few years that Obasanjo de-emphasized politics in the appointment of key technocrats in his second term, Nigeria worked and there was marked progress. EFCC worked banks worked attempts were made in the energy sector and so on. But for the input of the technocrats we would have still been in the black books of International Monetary Fund and World Bank today. We need to fix all the sectors of the economy and the nation is not in short supply of all calibers of people needed even as volunteers. Given the current spirit, Nigerians everywhere are willing to contribute their quota even for free provided there is transparency. We must not politicise the process of appointment. Let the best man do the job. President Goodluck should go to every nook and corner of the world and fish out and persuade our citizens to donate their technical wherewithal to us. Everything in the country needs urgent fixing. We need to fix the power sector, roads, hospitals, water, job creation, education and more. Oh we need to fix everything even if Goodluck is spending one week in office. That is how urgent all the sectors are in need of attention. For once let power sharing based on geopolitical zone, party line or ethnicity is down played.
The good news is that president Goodluck Jonathan has taken the first right step by choosing this interlude to May 29 to organize his retreat at the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross Rivers State. Nothing much is being lost as we are currently in transition. But I must remind the new leadership that much is expected from the retreat and the least of which is foot dragging. The new national assembly must respond with speed in every sphere on pressing national issues with commitment. Thank God that with the injection of new membership, the committees shall be reconstituted and the National Assembly is looking good to have robust committee leaders/members given the divergent party line most members would toe.
Finally, all will be well because sanity is gradually returning slowly but surely. The air is filled with the signs but there is work is just beginning. We still need to patiently look unto the magic of the good in the luck of President Goodluck Jonathan. We must not be dried of ideas which are some of our only ways of solidarity. We need not rest on our oars yet. The struggle is continue so that ALL WILL BE WELL.
Mike O. Akpati is based in Port Harcourt