Nigeria Decides 2015: The Dangers Of Re-Electing Jonathan
Between 2011 and 2015, Nigeria has experienced strange happenings in various spheres of the nation; while some of the happenings are existing problems coming in escalating dimensions, others can be considered as a new development in the Nigerian contest. Insecurity caused by terrorists attacks, killing thousands of Nigerians and displacing over a million, unremorseful insincerity to Nigerians, severe corruption with particular reference to extravagant mismanagement of public funds amongst others are fruits bared by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The existence of these problems is not as challenging as the unwillingness or incapability of the President to overcome them. This fact has made corruption a norm because the penalties attached to corrupt practices are not implemented. This has not just escalated corruption in the nation; it has also encouraged more people to be corrupt. The average Nigeria weighs the Goodluck administration as insincere, irresponsible and immoral having failed in its promises and heightened the problems of the country among others.
Since 2011, Jonathan has always acted against his public declarations. On February 1, 2011, a news headline in the Vanguard states- “I'll Not Contest 2015 Election- Jonathan”, today Jonathan is contesting the elections. On 27th August 2012, in a news headline in the Channels TV news, Jonathan said He will be Nigeria's most praised leader. In whatever terrain he spoke from, today, Jonathan has become very unpopular amongst Nigerians.
As a nation, Nigeria's security challenges took a new dimension during Goodluck Jonathan. Nigeria has never experienced terrorists' attacks until 2011. These attacks have claimed the lives of Nigerians in thousands while millions are been displaced. Frankly speaking, this is the first time in the history of Nigeria where its citizens will live as refugees in neighbouring countries like Niger. It took President Jonathan the general elections to combat Boko Haram in a serious manner after incessant attacks on Nigerians for over three years; the president said it underestimated the terrorist group. No serious government underestimate an armed robber, not to say terrorist group.
Currently, Nigeria's economy is crashing and the nation is fast becoming broke. We are approaching serious austerity if recovery measures are not taken. Since the US announced that it will stop importing Nigeria's oil, the oil price fell in the international market and today Nigeria's struggling to regain its economic stand having lost its major oil importer since 1973. The nation's foreign reserve is fast draining, capital projects are been removed from the 2015 budget because Nigeria is short of funds. The rise of dollar against the Naira is alarming, as the time of compiling the facts in this article, a dollar is at N226, the highest ever recorded since independence. This has affected businesses and increased unemployment as many companies are retrenching while others close down.
Jonathan has divided Nigeria along political and ethnic lines;the tension among Nigerians requires a matured leadership to ease. The on-going quest for change in the country isn't a battle against a candidate or party, it's a battle for the restoration of Nigeria's lost glory in economy, social wellbeing and governance. Re-electing Jonathan implies that the huge problems created by Jonathan will come in multiple dimensions. For example, petrol price will rise to N150 per litre, electricity will become very unstable, the economy will be poorer and corruption will be well accommodated. Four years is sufficient to reset Nigeria and place it on the right track. Another four years of bad leadership will ground Nigeria's progress, Nigerians must ensure they galvanize support for a change of government through their votes in the general elections.
Media Assistant to Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Razak Atunwa)