THE MANY THINGS JONATHAN CANNOT DO?
I have struggled to avoid discussing the matter of Jonathan's presidency so far, not as an act of cowardice, but truly, who am I, to discuss, a PhD president of the federal republic of Nigeria. Especially when I am not on a praise-singing mission like many are want to do?
However with each passing day, I know that I am compelled to make my opinion known, and it’s not just my opinion but it’s that of many Nigerians. And I make these comments so that someday in the future when I am asked what did I say or do, these words would hold me liable. I will not sit on the fence and watch, I will talk, I will write and let my words stand for posterity.
Before I go far, let me state the following facts...as of today comparatively Jonathan is a decent man... (Note my words, comparatively). He is not as tainted as most players in our power block. However trust me, he is tainted. He helped himself on a couple of occasions as Governor of Bayelsa. (Anyway, that’s not it, they all help themselves).
He is the guy you can sit with in Uncle Joe's palm wine shed, do a bottle or two of palm wine with good Madam Ngozi pepper soup. You could chat him up on one or two issues. He has this smile about him. He is no Donald Duke, he is no Fashola either but then he does not have the guts of Ibori, or Dariye. He is just there, and trust me that’s part of the problem.
The year 2007 was labelled the "Year of Living Deceptively" for South Korea because of the country's numerous scandals involving fake academics and corrupt politicians. A survey of 340 professors selected the Chinese phrase 'ja-gi-gi-in' (deceiving yourself and others) to sum up the year.
I can tell you that since Jonathan came on board fully, it has been one hell of deceit, after another. From the law of necessity to the ‘moonslide’ presidential primaries, it’s all been a case of Ja-gi-gi-in.
A host of us know that the current administration and that which commences come May 2011 share a lot in common, and that is "living deceptively". Jonathan is a 'yes man' and is far from a departure of the business as usual set of leaders that have plagued this nation.
In the last week, while Nigerians go through its own depression, Soludo (former CBN governor) and Aganga (Current Minister of Finance) have been deceiving Nigerians with big english and micro-macro-economics 101 which cannot put food on the tables of Nigerians at 101 rate (Breakfast-Dinner ratio).
The Jonathan praise singers have simply caught the messiah bug. I am surprised some persons have not called him a god. The expectations are high, and for a nation that has for decades lived below its potentials we have a right to expect much but sadly we are again (saddled with our permission) a government that is largely a deceptive one.
Many will tell you that there has been fuel for some 8 months now. But the fact remains that there is a clear difference between availability and affordability, whichever way we argue, most people drive-in just to purchase some two-three and four litres. Not that they do not have that right.
However no one can debate the fact that we are paying an avoidable high cost for the importation of fuel. Millions lost on subsidies that otherwise would have helped other sectors of the nation. Besides what really is the obstacle in having functional refineries that in turn would provide thousands of jobs for a teeming unemployed population.
Jonathan not just by his will but by powers beyond him will be forced to still tow the known path. It is the only road we know for now...road contracts that will be abandoned, commissioning of hospitals without facilities. Schools that would be neglected, strikes within various sectors of the economy amongst many shortfalls and long falls will characterize the administration with a couple of its own fair share of ‘elephant and hippo’ projects.
Already part of the ja-gi-gi-in has resulted in the proposed building of more universities so that we can be like USA, universities that their children will not attend. When we have not maintained the present ones. When we have a National Assembly that cannot compel politicians' children to attend public schools because they have a right called "right to school abroad".
There is nothing Jonathan can do about the National Assembly and their outrageous million naira salaries for doing nothing, while as part of the deceit the government negotiates a few thousands infact just 18,000 for another set that does at least a 'small thing'.
Does anyone think that Jonathan's led PDP is the answer, than we really need a re-think? We have all been witnesses to the deceit called the textile industry. Or do we need a soothsayer to tell us that the best that we have now is a conglomeration of deceit...
Security is working well only on two fronts, budgetary and expenses, but in terms of actual provision of security it’s all deceit as the Borno, Plateau, Bauchi, Bayelsa, and Edo are cases all there for all to see.
By 2015, what will Jonathan's greatest achievements be, (actually for those of us thinking, he will lose April polls, we have very little in choice).
A cursory look at the policy thrust of this government is the very essence of my lamentation. For those who have asked for more time, I have argued that a change in government, if free, fair and credible does not mean that government should restart its engine. On the contrary, it calls for a refuelling and moving ahead. Our experience is that government has to start all over again and the same old music is remixed and few months after we notice same old thread in action. Has it occurred to us that the same issues that the last administration sought to solve or made comic of, is the same ones we are facing again.
Obasanjo-Yardy-Jonathan...it’s all been cosmetic dressing, in terms of the resources at our disposal. For those that ask for more time, I hope they are aware that we earned 2.8trillion, in 2010, an increase of almost 30% from 2009.
We have equally borrowed from everywhere, it remains to be seen if Benin Republic will give us money for some Private-Public-Partnership project.
In recent times, a number of African countries including Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, have been hit by wild protests fuelled by inflation, mass unemployment and poverty; all of which are present in Nigeria.
However Jonathan may be blessed as Nigerians are so divided on these issues by religion, ethnicity, nepotism, chopism and other selfish modules.
To curtail a breakout of similar revolts in the country, Jonathan and his team do not have the plan, the will; it simple pays lip service to change...just like a labourer changes his shirt day by day without choice to the same work wear he is used in 50 long years.
Jonathan and his PDP cohorts will not urgently and comprehensively address the job issue, nor improve on the business of government.
There are no plans that will translate to the provision of housing, water, and education for all Nigerian children to the Senior Secondary School grade.
With more billions spent, electricity will still not be available, reliable and affordable.
I beg to re-echo again that except there is a honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change. There would be no answers; rather we would continually be plagued by the same questions.
Jonathan is not going to solve our problems, like Yar'adua before him, he will not disappoint PDP. Already discarded was the slow motion 7point agenda. I and many like me would surprisingly with shame eat our words if there is a remarkable surge forward, if we can stop complaining about the same problems.
If Nigeria can join the speed train age and stop the government of celebrating bore-hole water in communities that deserve more.
Finally Mr. President, you are not under obligation to read, or listen to me. Besides you are not the root cause of why 50 years after we are still a nation of potentials and little in achievement. You cannot do anything about it...but certainly you can do something...You cannot surprise many of us that do not believe in you. But you can shut us up by performing. It’s your choice sir.