The year 2012 is virtually at its final lap and politicians are already counting “3 years to 2015”. Even though President Goodluck Jonathan has warned serving government officials to “let 2015 be for now”, the warning has only inflamed the political arena especially for those who are hell bent on succeeding President Jonathan.
Northern politicians specially believe that President Goodluck Jonathan has no business whatsoever being President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is because Nigeria was founded on the principles of the WAZOBIAN philosophy. This selfish tripartite entente was contrived to scheme out Nigeria’s minorities out of the race for the governance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The 3 major tribes of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba ensured that Nigeria’s minorities where strategically wedged out of power’ inspite of assurances of the Wilkins commission which did not however support the creation of more states.
But by far the more vociferous of the Triple Alliance is the Arewa block. The Hausas with the connivance of our colonial masters were able to entrench themselves in power via hotly contested census figures which were always to the advantage of northern Nigeria.
Thus armed, the North virtually and completely took over the governance of Nigeria and only allowed President Olusegun Obasanjo of the Southwest to taste power between 1976-1979 as a Military President and 1999-2007 as a Civilian President. President Olusegun Obasanjo having tasted the sweetness of political power has vowed never to relinquish this power even when out of political office.
It is this massive political power that President Olusegun Obasanjo used in single handedly choosing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and his then Vice President for the 2007 Peoples’ Democratic Party ticket, and the rest became history as President Umaru Musa Yar Adua died on the throne and the then VP became substantive President on May 6, 2010.
The North did not take kindly to Goodluck Jonathan becoming President. The North even in their faintest and remotest imagination never ever expected a Goodluck Jonathan from the smallest state in the most deprived and marginalized geopolitical region to one day become Nigeria’s President.
So many Northern politicians have accused former President Obasanjo of betrayal. Some of them believe that Goodluck Jonathan becoming Nigeria’s first ever President from the minority South South is an act of President Olusegun Obasanjo rather than an act of God.
But someday President Olusegun Obasanjo in his usual unmitigated candour will reveal what really transpired when the dramatis personae quit the stage. It’s the same Olusegun Obasanjo who later confessed that he had a hand in the installation of President Alhaji Shehu Shagari in the controversial and painful 122/3 drama that finally nailed Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s political hopes. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo later confessed that he supported Alhaji Shehu Shagari to preserve the unity of Nigeria. I also firmly believe that former president Obasanjo brought in Goodluck Jonathan as Vice President and later President for the unity of this richly endowed and prosperous nation.
And so the North fumed and raged at a south-southerner becoming Nigeria’s first minority President. And they swore and threatened that they would make Nigeria ungovernable if President Goodluck Jonathan won the April 16, 2011 Presidential election. And since Goodluck Jonathan became President the falcon can no longer bear the falconer, things have fallen apart in so many places and ‘more” anarchy has been loosened on Nigeria.
For those who do not want to hear anything good about President Goodluck Jonathan, I have bad news for you. The news is that inspite of the Northern Agenda called boko haram, inspite of the acts of treasonable felony being committed by some people from a certain section of the country, President Goodluck Jonathan is doing well in the various sectors of the economy.
For instance the amnesty programme established by the President Umaru Yar Adua’s government is well on course and has given birth to an unrivalled peace in the Niger Delta, with an enormous impact on the Nigerian economy. There is now an improved oil production as stability in the region has skyrocketed production from its pre-amnesty level of N700,000 BPD to the present 2,700,000 BPD. The profile of our Excess Crude Account has made remarkable progress in building buffers against economic and financial shocks. Our ECA has improved tremendously within the last year by surging from $4.22 billion in August 2011 to $8.4 in October 2012. This is a 100% jump and it is good for the financial health of the Nation. In previous governments our ECA was spent without due process as documented by the frivolity and wastages of the $12.4 billion during the gulf war of the 1990s.
This also led to our regrading and rebranding by the Fitch Rating Agency which moved us up from a BB-(negative) to a BB – (stable) while Standard and Poor (S &P) also moved Nigeria up from B+ (Negative Outlook) to B- (Positive Outlook).
Our Eurobond price also increased from $103.49 at the beginning of 2012 to $111.93 in August 2012.
In the area of Education, 9 New Federal Universities have been established to cope with the anticipated surge in, university admissions. Also 9 New Private Universities have been licensed to increase access to tertiary education in Nigeria.
Still on education, the President Goodluck Jonathan government has established over 100 Almajiri Schools to address the challenges of child education in the North. Despite the fact that the North has governed Nigeria for 42 years from its attainment of self government in 1957 and 39 years from independence in 1960, the south has ruled Nigeria for only 13 years on both occasions. And no Northern President has thought of schools to educate the Almajiri’s and turn them out to be useful citizens of this great country.
The Jonathan administration also established the MMUTA BU’IKE education programme for South Eastern Children who have recently been lured into trade apprenticeship rather than acquiring formal education.
The Federal government has also established various scholarship schemes for NYSC graduants and 100 scholarship for 1st class graduates from all Nigerian universities for utilization in 25 foreign countries.
But excluded in these beautiful education programmes is the riverine child whose disadvantageous habitat has made it impossible for him to acquire education on tilts and floats in his adverse riparian environment. I hereby implore the Jonathan administration to include the coastal children’s programme in his next immediate budget. During a recent trip to Okoroba in Bayelsa State it became apparently imperative that only a presidential will can rescue the coastal child from academic genocide because educational deprivation is a potent weapon which the enemy can use to overcome or destroy his opponent as Socrates insists that a man deprived of education is man deprived of life.
But of all, President Goodluck Jonathan’s greatest stride is in the area of power generation and distribution. For instance Vice President Nnmadi Sambo was so excited about the power surge that he captures it on face book. With great enthusiasm the Vice President notes that “President Jonathan is the first president to summon the courage to unbundle electricity distribution after 52 years, power supply more than doubled after almost 100 years after amalgamation”. The VP confirmed that they met electricity wattage at 2200 and that today it has more than doubled to 4237 watts. The VP’s excitement about improvement in electricity could be traced to the fact that he was the Vice Chairman of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) during the tenure of President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. President Goodluck Jonathan was chairman of NIPP as Vice President.
Another facebook friend-Temitope Olatunji has this to say about PHCN. “PHCN I hope say una nor get hidden agenda. 24 hrs uninterrupted power supply???? Hey ok o!”
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has vowed to implement his Power Road Map which has led to a significant surge in power supply inspite of institutionalized sabotage by the cabals which profit enormously when power malfunctions.
The federal government has entered into several memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Siemens, General Electric Eletrobas, Daevoo etc in a bid to continue to increase electricity wattage to a functional and commensurate level.
But one of the Presidents’ greatest achievement so far is his insistence on credible elections. Nigeria under President Jonathan has passed through a period of do-or-die politics to his dream state of politics-without-bitterness. With a commitment to non interference in the electoral process, and complete freedom to INEC Officials and Security Agencies, elections in Nigeria have been globally accepted as credible. Recent examples are the Edo, Ondo and Kogi gubernatorial polls.
Even though some Nigerians from some parts of the country are self-confessed Jonathan-haters and so do not see any thing good in his governance, Nigeria is undergoing a measured and steady progress in all sectors of the economy like improved agricultural services and inputs in areas like Rail Revival, Road rehabilitation and dualisation projects, Port Reforms, Subsidy Sanitization, Abuja Mass Transit, etc. One of President Goodluck Jonathan’s greatest sins is his clamping down on various cabals which have almost acquired constitutional status during the almost 100 years of Nigeria’s amalgamation President Goodluck Jonathan is fighting a great subterranean war and we are seeing the result of these wars in the areas of fuel subsidy, anti-graft and the power sector. The cabals have been dealt a lethal blow hence the increased recent virulent and public attacks from the cabal chiefs on President Goodluck Jonathan.
Nigeria does not belong to a particular region of the country and therefore power must rotate through all the geopolitical zones of this country including the South East and North Central Zones starting with the South Eastern States which should produce the next President after President Goodluck Jonathan.
Even though the North is very desperate to return to power, it should for the sake of the unity of this country give the South East a chance to have a shot at the Presidency. This will be a tough choice for the North as it has always seen itself as the owner and giver of political power in Nigeria.
Nigerians must also give President Goodluck Jonathan their 100% support to execute his transformational programmes which are all well on course. Critics and opposition parties expect a miracle from the President but they should be reminded that every facet of Nigerian life is corruption-ridden and so can not be surgically removed in a flash. The Federal House of Representative which represents us all is the best example of corruption personified-ala Nigeriana. Every committee in the House emerges with soiled hands and the house covers and protects them all. The Herman Hembe and Faruq Lawal cases are shining examples.
Nigerians must decide now to join hands with President Goodluck Jonathan to move this nation forward to its destined glory.
•Ben Nanangan wrote from Lagos. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org