Goodluck Jonathan: 100 days of transformation
One of the main themes of Jonathan inaugural speech on May 29 this year was his promise to transform the nation's economy and fight for the improvement of life of all Nigerians. For some of us who took Jonathan serious, we thought this was the
beginning of the long awaited campaign promises he made of changing the way things are done in Nigeria. His campaign promises were catching and Jonathan was talking as if he has done his needs assessment and has mapped out strategies of tackling Nigeria's myriad of problems. Here him 'I do not make empty promises in my campaign because whatever I promise to do, I had already carried out adequate study to make sure I can accomplish it in the next four years'. But hundred days into his Presidency little can be said to have been put in place to ensure Nigeria reached the promises he made in the next 4 years. Although nothing much has changed since he came in after the death of Umaru Musa Yar'adua, the impression he gave Nigerians, after he was sworn-in on May 29, despite the packs of promises, was a President with no clue as to how to address Nigeria's problems, never mind his 'adequate study of situation' before coming in. It took the President over one month to come up with a cabinet, which in itself, an enough indication to show us that, he found himself as a President by chance. Nigeria's problem remained the same, few Nigerians, if any, can say have lived or living in Nigeria where things worked or are working. Majority of us were born in the mid-70s and our childhood years fall within the late 70s political crisis and spilled to the economic crisis of the early 80s. We were lucky, because the UPE programme of the military regime was still on course, but the SAP crisis of mid and late 80s and the confusion that followed the 6-3-3-4 system of education virtually crippled the country's educational system, that few of us who were able to make it tertiary did so just by sheer providence, and to this day the country is yet to recover.
Our contemporaries were also victims of bad governance; born and bred in an era where stealing public money was a fashion. We attended primary school at a time when a former Minister was kidnapped in London to be brought back to Nigeria to face corruption charges in Nigeria. We attended secondary school at a time when religious crisis became rampant in virtually all secondary schools in the then Bauchi state. The consequences of which spilt over to the whole region with the Kafanchan, Tafawa Balewa and Zangon Kataf as deadliest. Then in the early 90s, came the June 12 crisis, which lasted for almost a decade. One crisis that almost divided the country, God intervention in 1998 changed everything.
Then the PDP came in 1999 with its 'garrison' politics. In its 12 years in power, the PDP led government has received unprecedented revenue from oil that the nation has never received since independence. Under the PDP all public infrastructures were sold to 'private' individuals. Never was budget implemented and the time witnessed the most horrible and total disregard to the rule of law with the country topping the list of the most corrupt nations on earth. The 12-year PDP regime plunged the country in a worst place to live as human beings, competing with Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is part of the 'adequate study of situation' that most of us expected Jonathan should have done. But from the inaugural speech to the media chat he gave on his 100 days in office, Jonathan out rightly displayed a total lack of understanding of Nigeria's past or current problems. This is not the kind of respond we expected from a leader whose country is in crisis. Recent reports in the media have suggested that the country is living in an emergency time with the military taking over responsibility for the peace and stability of almost ¾ of the whole country.
Apart from security challenges facing the nation, GEJ and his team have not shown any real commitment to address the intractable power situation. When he was asked during the recent Presidential media chat, on what they are doing to address the power situation, he again failed to show the nation his clear cut mission as to how to solve the problem.
In fact, few Nigeria can say what the policy direction of the government is as far as we can see now. The Jonathan government has not put in place any programme that can address the issues of poverty, unemployment and the deterioration in the human development sectors - education, health and the national economy, except of course the appointment 'Prime Minister' Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, with her IMF/World Bank ideologies that do more harm to third world countries than good.
Then we have seen quite clearly, a clear manifestation of total lack of clue as to how the President intends to address the security challenge currently facing the nation; Boko Haram issue, the never ending ethno-religious crisis in Jos and of recent the spate of bombings in the country with the recent bombing of the UN house in Abuja.
Jonathan needs to show some level of seriousness in the way he runs the country. He should come out with programmes that can really show that he is a President that wants to be different from the bad governance, corruption and mismanagement that his party drove Nigeria into in the past 13 years.
By Kabiru Danladi