Wobbly President Jonathan Wobbles Again And Again

Source: AUSTYN OGANNAH, THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, July 05, (THEWILL) – President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has lately carved a niche for himself as a wobbly leader presiding over a wobbly Presidency, a stagnant economy and an anxious population eagerly waiting for the fulfillment of a long list of campaign promises.

More than five weeks after his inauguration as President, Dr Jonathan has still not made up his mind on who he wants to appoint into his so-called ‘dream team’ cabinet that is expected to help shape the nation’s journey out of the woods of infrastructural decay, waste of government funds and a deepened level of corruption both in government and the private sector.

Sadly, Dr. Jonathan has failed to act, has reversed himself and cracked under very minimal pressure from politicians on not just the Ministerial list but on other issues which has portrayed him as weak, wobbly and indecisive.

His initial ministerial list which Presidential aides deliberately leaked to the press had 40 nominees but when the list did the short travel from the Presidential villa to the Senate, it had shrunk to 34 with a couple of names missing.

And then on Tuesday he sends a letter to the Senate to withdraw one of his nominees, Mr. Tonye Cole, a fine young and distinguished entrepreneur from Rivers State, who co-founded one of Nigeria’s successful indigenous oil trading companies, Sahara Energy, because of pressures from politicians including Rivers State Governor Rotimi Chibuike and corruption-plagued Petroleum Minister Diezani Allison-Madueke.

But who will advise Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to stand firm and be his own man? The President has obviously not surrounded himself with smart and brilliant advisers.

Those who are very close to him have risen to his defence. Some told THEWILL that he thinks things too hard before arriving at a decision, hence the delay in naming his core staffers including his Chief of Staff and others. One of them said the President is afraid to fail hence the delay most times in arriving at a decision.

Though we know he has replaced his Adviser on Media, Mr. Ima Niboro, he is yet to formally announce the respected Dr Reuben Abati as his replacement. Will the President reverse himself on this too? Only time shall tell.

The fact remains that President Jonathan’s wobbly start has extinguished whatever spark most of his supporters saw in his Presidency during his Acting President days and through his swearing in as President after the demise of his former boss, late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

President Jonathan must be reminded that Nigeria and Nigerians are in dire need of a responsive and proactive leadership and if he intends to provide that leadership he must act now and fast.

The problems the current administration must deal with are challenging and enormous but solutions may become problematic with a Jonathan that takes 4-6 weeks to proffer a solution to a crucial issue.

Dr Jonathan may however take the advice of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida in a statement a few days ago where he said, “President Goodluck Jonathan must sit back, collect himself and carry out a critical self-appraisal before he takes his decisions.”

THEWILL however adds that such decisions must be swift, bold, definite and firm when they are taken for a President that is neither here nor there spells doom for a very hopeful populace and nation.

As a reminder to President Jonathan the country is presently faced with several developmental challenges coupled with a heated up polity, disagreements over the implementation of the minimum wage, security and terrorism challenges, petroleum subsidy debates, jobs and a stock market that has remained in the red since the global financial meltdown. Small business which are often the bone of a thriving economy are struggling to stay afloat due to ridiculous interest rates from local banks and the cost of proving energy to power the businesses.

Year 2011 is already gone; Dr. Jonathan has two more years or so to deliver on electoral promises before the 2015 Presidential elections campaign jingles from the likes of Chief Tony Anenih begin with the now familiar phrase “No vacancy in Aso Rock.”

President Jonathan must conclude the business of appointments of advisers, aides and ministers now and face the real and difficult challenges ahead.