2015: Taking Goodluck Jonathan To The Peoples Court
Never in the history of Nigeria has a non-governmental organization under the aegis of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), moved with passion for the unrivaled good leadership precepts and love for the masses already evidenced by the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, taken up the initiative to guide the citizens ahead the coming 2015 general elections.
Apparently feeling what many Nigerians have noticed-that the numerous life-enhancing/transforming achievements of the president have remained unnoticed, unreported or intentionally disregarded, the international Nigeria-based NGO few months ago decided to take up the challenge.
So far, two out of its scheduled seven national rallies planned to hold at each of the nation's geopolitical zones, with a grand finale scheduled for Abuja, have proved that the dogged determination of the group to showcase Jonathan and the gains of his transformation project is working.
The sleepy cities of Awka and Ibadan stood still on August 16 and yesterday respectively when they played host to visitors from other South-eastern and South Western states namely Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo for Awka, and Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti and Ondo for The Ibadan rally. The august visitors had one vision, mission and purpose: to beckon on Dr Goodluck Jonathan to seek a renewal of his mandate, having been adjudged excellent in his performance so far.
Just like in Awka, the people started trooping into the Liberty stadium, Ibadan as early 7.00 in the morning which to certain extent demonstrated the importance of the business at hand. And by 10am the venue of the rally was already filled to capacity. An observer said that if a pin falls off an individual that day, it would not get to the ground because of the thickness of mammoth crowd that gathered for the historic rally.
Even the threat of the dreaded Ebola virus was not strong enough to deter the Ndigbo and their Yoruba compatriots from going to add their voices to the clarion call on the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to seek a renewal of his mandate.
Understandably, because of the eminent personalities that graced the occasions, it was easily misunderstood in some quarters, especially the opponents of Jonathan as political campaign rally. But the question that readily comes to mind is how such gatherings could be tagged campaign outing when even the principal actor was conspicuously never in attendance.
Because TAN has repeatedly stressed it is not a political group, which is not in any way limited by any party, group or individual, and that the rallies were not planned as political outings took that message further. As a result, it could be seen that the gatherings were usually of mixed political, gender and ages coloration. Leaders of virtually all political parties in the country either attended or sent powerful representatives.
Little wonder members of the different political parties-the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), All Peoples Congress(APC), Labour Party(LP) the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and others were seen trying to outdo one another to make a speech at both rallies.
Millions who watched the event live on television admitted that even avid opponents do President Jonathan attested to the fact that the nation's democratic development has really come of age, now that politicians campaign for their perceived opponents; that by putting up appearance at all, the rallies were symbolic and pointer to the fact that the transformation agenda of the Jonathan administration has positively impacted on all and sundry of all political divide.
In Awka, the rally was used to correct certain long-held fallacies particularly concerning the 1967 civil war in which the Igbo were erroneously perceived as losers or defeated. Speaking on behalf of the good people of Imo state, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu in his speech said pointedly that Ndigbo neither lost in the war nor surrendered. That the warlord and the natural leader of Ndigbo did not write any letter of surrender and that the acclaimed letter of surrender was written by gentleman, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe for political expediency. Be that as it may, that revelation was welcomed with an overwhelming standing ovation and it was indeed a big encouragement that the Igbos are equal stakeholders in the Nigeria project and as such have the inalienable right to decide and determine a person who will better protect their interest anytime.
Chief Iwuanyawu recalled that at the end of the no victor, no vanquished civil war, the government then decided to embark on the 3Rs approach to developing the nation. This according to him remained in the pipeline all through successive administrations until the administration of Dr Jonathan came on board with his transformation agenda which has indeed given hope to the so much neglected Igbo people not minding their industrial and business acumen which has indeed put the nation on the world map for good. That was a speech from an elder statesman on behalf of the Imo state people.
The Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo who spoke on behalf of the people of Enugu state noted that apart from the fact that Dr Jonathan has generally done so well for the country and that Ndigbo have never had it so good under any dispensation in terms of appointments and infrastructural development, cited the second Niger Bridge that was hitherto over-politicized and had repeatedly became issue for political campaigns for any elective office-seeker in the country but was quietly and promptly settled by the president who believe that the second Niger Bridge would not only be useful and helpful to the Igbos but the entire nation.
Prof Nebo also recalled that the nation's railway system was non-existent when Dr Jonathan took over the rein of leadership of the country but today all eyes could see, all hands can touch the beauty that has emanated from the old ruins. Citizens now have alternative to road and air transportation. The railway breakthrough according to Nebo was in addition to the milestone revolution recorded by the president in the nation's airports which has moved them away from notorious death traps to those with International safety standard. The minister also observed that there is aggressive road reconstruction and rehabilitation in the administration of the day.
The power sector has also been touched by the president's transformation agenda which has led to a serious improvement in the power made available to the people. I fact, he went on and on, reeling out landmark achievements of Jonathan in parts of the country, seemingly ad infinitum.
The former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josphine Anenih who spoke on behalf of Igbo women actually handed over an ultimatum to the president to as a matter of urgency declare his interest to run for second tenure. She said the reward of hard work and excellent performance is more work and more responsibilities.
Iyom Anenih reminded the president that in 2011 general elections, the Igbo women gave him a block vote which was second to none in the country. She said the South-East women famous for their political awareness are ready to re-enact the feat once Dr Jonathan heeds their clarion call to seek renewal of his mandate.
The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha in a motion he moved during the rally galvanized the mammoth crowd into rising in unison to call on Jonathan to run again which according to him was not only fair but just.
Ihedioha said the overwhelming support and commitment of Ndigbo to the second tenure of Dr Jonathan is born out of the fact that the zone has benefitted immensely from the administration of the day that has literally given human face to governance and human empowerment which were hitherto heard only during electioneering campaigns but has interestingly become a reality under the leadership of a man of destiny who turns whatever he touches into gold.
The Deputy Speaker emphasized that the Igbos have counted the cost, made up their mind that no one will better govern them outside the incumbent president and that the Igbo will not allow themselves be used to pursue any form of personal vendetta or selfish interests. He said every other person pretending to be nursing the ambition to rule the country now has by that act displayed antecedents of antagonism to Ndigbo and their collective cause.
The business class was also not left out of action at the rally, Prince Arthur Eze who was full of praises for the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) for blazing the trail in fair political advocacy expressed the preparedness of the business class to partner with the group based on what he described as objectivity and forthrightness of the advocacy group.
As if to ensure that the gods of the land are adequately represented at the occasion, the Royal Fathers from across the length and breadth of Igboland were led to the rally by host paramount ruler, HRM, Obi Gibson Nwosu, Eze-uzu of Awka.
The Church under the aegis of the Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN)was equally not left out as they prayed fervently for Jonathan, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah and TAN. Musicians, actors and actresses across the country took time to be the in the Awka rally with one song in their mouth- all we are saying is give us Goodluck which is inherent in Dr Goodluck Jonathan, a man whom God lifted to give the country a sense of direction and a purpose driven leadership which they all observed is unprecedented in the political history of the nation that has suffered untold hardship due to poor leadership qualities of some of Dr Jonathan's predecessors who could not achieve much for the nation in their first and second tenures while some allegedly carried on while in office as lords of the nation and in the process became tin-gods without any sympathy for masses who were suffering untold hardship not minding the fact that their fatherland is abundantly blessed with natural, human and all manner of resources.
The Awka gathering got to a crescendo when a register containing over one million, six hundred thousand (1.6m) verifiable signatures of committed Nigerian people from all walks of life who willingly signed up to passionately plead with the president to seek a renewal of his mandate was handed over to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim for onward delivery to the man of the moment, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
The register, raw and unedited speaks volume of what the people want and since democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people, it is obvious that the Ndigbo have taken their destiny in their hands and are not ready to be distracted by the lies of the opposition of the performing government to continue and consolidate his transformation program for the nation.
The Igbos through TAN have therefore said loud and clear that there is no VACANCY in Aso Rock villa until 2019 when Dr Jonathan must have laid a sustainable foundation for the transformation of the nation which of course would be beneficial to whoever that succeeds him. It is obvious, by the statement made in Awka by Ndigbo and the similar one at Ibadan, by the Yorubas that no one has stake in the nation's number one position now until 2019 was clear enough to all political hawks and professional aspirants in Nigeria. The people have spoken and their voice is not only loud but very strong.
If all attempt by a clannish political party to scare the people away from the Awka rally did not yield any positive dividends, it then means that the people who are resolute about their demand of 'give us Goodluck', cannot be stopped. And the Igbos by this singular action have proved again that they are the pacesetters.
The opponents of the administration of the day who are yet to recover from the shock inflicted on them by success recorded by TAN in Awka have resorted to their old trade again, call a dog a bad name just to hang it but the more they do this the more they endear the president to the good people of Nigeria after all there is nothing anybody can do about the truth. The opponents may pretend, they may deliberately turn their blind eyes to the wonderful achievements posted by Dr Jonathan in his first tenure.
One will not fail to commend the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) for giving voice to the people in a very unique and systematic approach. It is unbelievable that in a very short history of existence, the advocacy group has been positioned to be agent of positive change and radical departure from such conventional groups which has gone a long way to demonstrate the integrity of those that are behind the group that has suddenly become a mass movement.
Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria TAN is formed to promote and market president Goodluck Jonathan's accomplishment and future plans for Nigeria