By Comrade AbdulRahman Agboola
The administration of General AbdulSalami Abubakar set out a transition programme that led to the current uninterrupted Democracy and Civil Rule in Nigeria since 1999. The Obasanjo Administration inherited a lot of liabilities from the Military Administration in terms of deplorable image at the International Community, high level of Corruption in Government Agencies, poor provisions for Health, Education and other Essential Services, violations of rights of the people by Security Agencies, Militancy in the Niger Delta Region, poor Salaries and Wages for Labour and poor State of Infrastructures among others.
The Obasanjo led administration committed serious damage to our Electoral Process in Nigeria leading to fraudulent announcement of results by INEC, relegation of Local Governments, apathy among political gladiators, poor Anti-Corruption crusade among other rots inherited by President Umar YarAdua led administration in 2007. On assumption of Office as the President in 2007, late President Umar YarAdua accepted flaws in our electoral system and assured the masses of his readiness to correct the anomalies in the nations system.
Most Nigerians were convinced of the charisma and sound leadership ability of President Umar Yar’Adua as proved by his record of achievements as former Governor of Katsina State. The blueprint for correcting the anomalies in our system was presented to the general public and the people of the nation were already rejoicing the dawn of a new era at the early stage based on the sincerity of purpose and progressive prospects showcased by the Yar’Adua Presidency.
The hope of the rebirth of efficient leadership suffered a setback with the death of President Yar’Adua in 2009 but a lot of Nigerians expected his successor to concentrate on the rebirth of efficient leadership in Nigeria commenced by Yar’Adua and build up on the prospects of the administration to deliver the dividends of democracy to the general masses.
The emergence of President GoodLuck Jonathan in 2009 was greeted with mixed feelings and reactions by top political players, but the common man thought the humble background of President GoodLuck Jonathan would serve as an impetus for efficient leadership. It was on these sentiments that many Nigerians gave their support to President GoodLuck Jonathan at the Poll in 2011 with the hope to witness a change in our polity.
The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan since 2011 has succeeded in complicating the poor welfare of the masses through retrogressive policies, widened the chasm between the Muslims and Christians as shown by the poor handling of insurgency in the Northern Nigeria and compounded both our economic and political woes by unabated fraudulent activities in virtually all the facets of governments in Nigeria.
The unprecedented rate of corrupt practices in the life time of this current administration is compared by Nigerians only with the dreaded administration of Late General Sani Abacha and the records of atrocities committed by the two administrations rated President GoodLuck Jonathan as the worst President in the history of this Nation.
A brief appraisal of the leadership of our dear nation clearly calls for the collective proactive actions of the masses irrespective of race or religion in order to salvage the interest of the masses.
The essence of Federalism is to create an enabling avenue for advancing the cause of a nation with the target to fast track the progress and development of both human and material resources.
The struggle for the enthronement of Civil Rule in 1999 by the Pro-Democracy groups was short of adequate ideological orientations to correct the mentality of the electorates on sycophancy vis-à-vis sentiments of tribes and education on the inherent qualities that must be possessed by any personality seeking our mandate to lead the Nation and at other level of governance. This hole in the process in 1999 has created a situation of dogmatic followership of demagogues leading to a situation of vagabonds in authority.
Almost 15years of uninterrupted civil rule in Nigeria, the abundant resources available to our nation is grossly mismanaged by the Federal Government causing the alarming rate of poverty and punishment among the masses.
It is very sad to note that the Nation is not at peace both at the Social and Political fronts. On the social front, an average of 200 Nigerians dies daily from Sectarian and Ethno-Religion crises in the North coupled with the alarming rate of brigandage, kidnapping and armed robbery in the South making most places volatile in Nigeria.
The Federal Government is to be blamed for sufferings of the masses as dictated by the Presidential System of Government in Nigeria. The basic responsibility of Government is to ensure an enhanced security of lives and properties of the citizens and also provide for the general wellbeing of the entire people of the Country.
There is no doubt that the State and Local Governments complement the efforts of the Federal Government and the major resources available for the running of the affairs of other tiers of governments is provided by the Federal Government and ought to ensure that these resources are distributed in terms of monthly allocations and other subventions are properly expended and accounted.
The Federal Government of Nigeria is in control of the all the Security Agencies, which implies that the President determines the progress or retrogression of the Country and to be held responsible for the woes of this nation. In the last few years, it is worrisome to note that the style of governance by the Presidency clearly shows that laws, rules and regulations could be violated without sanctions once you enjoy the good will of Mr. President as shown by the numerous atrocities and heinous crimes committed by some Cabinet Ministers and many other political office holders under the supervision of President GoodLuck Jonathan.
Nigerians have lost count of scandals recorded in this administration within the lifespan of three years. It is scary to enumerate these scandals but imperative to enunciate the recent among them.
Five thousand spaces is available for recruitment in the employment of the Nigeria Immigration Service and over 700,000 applicants applied after payment of charges fraudulently imposed on the helpless job seekers.
Many lives were lost at the venues of the interview exercise which was eventually cancelled without a means of refunding neither the expenses of the applicants nor payment of compensations for the families of the people that died or injured.
In January, 2012, the administration of President GoodLuck Jonathan increased the pump price of petrol from 65naira to 120naira without any justification. The defence of the administration on the increment was the purported removal of subsidy payment on petrol by the Federal Government. It is observed that previous government increased pump price of petrol based on change in the cost of petrol globally and the removal of subsidy does not translate to an increase in pump price locally if there is no increment in the cost of petrol globally. Even if it is the cost of transportation that is being subsidised, it can never result into 95% increment.
The Universities were shut down for more than four months due to industrial disharmony between Government and the Federal Government while the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have been shut down for more than seven months now and the government have shown lackadaisical attitudes to the welfare of the Students and Staffs of these Institutions. These and many more clearly confirm President GoodLuck Jonathan as not only clueless but Anti-Masses President of the greatest order.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not determined by his stands at times of comfort and conveniences, but his stands at times of challenges”.
It is very crucial to solve a puzzle on the issue of President Jonathan’s interest to lead the nation beyond 2015. He took over in 2009 for a first term to complete Late President YarAdua’s tenure in 2011 by the virtue of being the Vice President to the demised President and got re-elected for a second term in 2011.
It is very logical to analyse that the President and the Vice President operate on a joint ticket and the premise for taking over in 2009 was because he was Vice President statutorily empowered to take over by the Constitution with the death of the President without any denial. If there was provision by the Constitution to nominate another person from the ruling party to replace the late President then it would be argued that the first term of President GoodLuck Jonathan commenced in 2011 but in the absence of such, it is very logical to conclude that the first term of President GoodLuck Jonathan started when he took oath of office as President in 2009 and got a second term in 2011.
Beyond tenure of office, to save the citizens from abject poverty, insecurity and poor welfare, a change of Government at the Federal Level is inevitable or else, the nation is doomed forever. A confirmation of this was the decamping of important chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party with their followers to the All Progressives Congress which was premised on the insistence of President GoodLuck Jonathan to seek another term in office. This stance of Mr President is an aberration in the face of high level of the maladministration, corruption, scandals and poor governance confronting his administration.
It is wise to expect Nigerians to be tired of 15 the poor leadership of the Nation by the Peoples Democratic Party, but an in depth research showed that most politically active Nigerians subscribe to the Peoples Democratic Party as a result of parochial benefits from the loots of these profiteers in power. It is crucial for the members of PDP to consider the general good of the nation by presenting an alternative candidate to President GoodLuck Jonathan as the torch bearer of the Party at the 2015 Presidential Elections.
Even in the face of misbehaviours among bigwigs in PDP at least there are still reputable people like Governor Godswill Akpabio, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal and Governor Ibrahim Shema, among others that have proved their capabilities and posses the charisma and other requirements to lead the Country better than President GoodLuck Jonathan.
At the opposition level, it is scary to note that the All Progressives Congress has been tacitly projecting General Muhammad Buhari as a leading Presidential Candidate of the Party. The leadership of APC should look beyond the credentials of General Buhari and present a more acceptable Candidate or commence the process of convincing the masses on the credibility of General Buhari as the Presidential flag bearer of the Party for the 2015 general election.
The road to the 2015 general elections is certainly rough, but Nigerians must be completely prepared and determined to elect credible and trusted leaders into government in 2015 especially at the Presidential Election. If the leadership of PDP reasoned with the assertion of an alternative Candidate, it will be in the best interest of the Nation to compare and contrast the credential and record of achievement of the candidate with the candidate of the All Progressive Congress for a productive support and emergence of a new President for the Nation comes 2015.
The political power vested in us by democracy must be fully deployed to attain a System Change in Nigeria and my conscientious appeal to all Nigerians is that instead of dwelling on the past or weakened by the oppressive tendencies of President GoodLuck Jonathan and his cronies, we should strive to see what lessons we can usefully learn from the tragic events in our nation in the last four years. We should grow beyond religious and ethnic sentiments of the past to rebuild the nation by our united action.
Whether Christian or Muslim, Southerner or Northerner, what we need is a Nigeria President that can turn around the fortunes of this Nation and guarantee both the welfare and safety of all Nigerian globally.