It is no longer news that I have decided to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid. This decision has been on the front burner of most of my social media conversations. It has seen me daily receive the maximum dosage of every form of e-violence that is humanly tolerable from most of those that are not in agreement with my stance. It is however not surprising as I am of the school of thought that even though I have the right to express my opinion, I do not have the right to demand total respect or acceptance by everyone.
The pertinent question that any rationale thinker should want answers to should be why I believe that Goodluck Jonathan deserves another four years. This post is aimed at answering this question to the best of my ability. If you are seeking to find reasons why Nigerians should not support Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign, this post will not focus on that. We will start from the basics and attempt to x-ray the man Jonathan and work further to explore his achievements while reflecting on his failures and the way forward.
Who is Goodluck Jonathan?
Several online reports are in abundance portraying his biography. I will not waste time to comment on this. A quick Google search should outline this for you. I will however attempt a summary of what I perceive him to be.
Goodluck Jonathan is a simple minded and unassuming individual who had the luck to see fate smile at him in an unexpected manner. As his name is, so has destiny answered to him by the series of luck that has plummeted his rise in politics and the corridors of power. He is someone that should have no reluctance to give back after having received so much even when he did not give much in reciprocity. In all, he has seen what it means to lack and can comfortably compare and contrast. The ‘I had no shoes’ narrative that made headlines and shaped the allegiance of voters in 2011 cannot be forgotten in a hurry.
The question at this point is; has the hand of destiny that ensured Goodluck Jonathan’s change of stars also blanked out the suffering from his memory?
What about the achievement in agriculture, transportation and road construction?
Recently, so much media campaign is around us clearly showing that there has been tremendous improvement in agriculture, transportation and road construction. A friend of mine who happens to be a son to one of APC presidential primaries candidates made a succinct observation a few weeks ago.
“Under Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, our roads have improved, railways are being constructed, agriculture has improved and some airports have been upgraded.” ~ Mustapha Abu-Bakr Atiku.
The above statement is nothing but the truth but is it enough for any Nigerian to boldly come out to campaign for President Jonathan’s re-election? The response I will honestly proffer is no.
What about security of lives and property?
The #BringBackOurGirls campaign was a wake up call that insecurity of lives and property has become the new normal due to insurgency. How did we get to this point and what led us to this complacency? At the early stages of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, I lent my voice to it as I considered it neither to be about the struggle of supremacy between APC and PDP nor is it about political affiliations. It was about the very essence of our humanity and collective sense of fear and grief. Sadly, our girls have not yet been found. Even more disheartening was when certain elements decided to extort as much political capital out of the situation as was permissible. At this point, it will be good to recall that the Northern Elders Forum in August 2014 gave an ultimatum that if President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan fails to produce the Chibok girls before the end of October, 2014 he has as well forfeited his right to re-contest come 2015. The same group in September 2014 declared that it was wrong for anyone to claim that the Boko Haram insurgents currently waging war against Nigeria are from the Northern Region of the country. These narratives do not speak well of the readiness and willingness to combine local intelligence with the expertise of our Military in making any form of headway in bringing an end to insurgency. Also, it has fed in to the various conspiracy theories that abound as to the real cause of the insurgency.
The hydra headed beast called corruption?
On May 5, Goodluck Jonathan made what I consider to be the mother of all gaffes on National Television.
“Over 70% of what are called corruption (cases), even by EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) and other anti-corruption agencies, is not corruption, but common stealing.” ~ President Goodluck Jonathan
As if this was not enough, the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta, reiterated this statement a fortnight later when he said, “Stealing is erroneously reported as corruption, even by educated Nigerians. ”
Majority of the voices of dissent about Goodluck Jonathan’s viability has been about his fight against corruption or the very lack of it. The statement above cannot be justified in any manner and I believe the only plausible excuse may be to say that he said it without thinking through the very implication of his words.
Putting it all together:
I started this conversation with a clear understanding of the fact that even though I have the right to express my opinion, I do not have the right to demand total respect or acceptance by everyone. I will now come up with the reasons why I believe he deserves a second chance.
- If a man has no reason to wake up, then sleep becomes even more interesting. President Goodluck Jonathan has more than a reason to wake up. I believe that if Nigerians give him their mandate come February 2015, he will have no choice than to re-strategize and make more meaningful impact.
- Communication is largely decentralized in the presidency as such simple feedback of success stories is totally lacking. There are achievements that we can see and feel in various parts of Nigeria. The failure of Goodluck Jonathan’s media team to effectively communicate this is unforgivable. This however will not reduce the tangible impact that such achievements have made in our livelihoods.
- Not one that is given to sound the false alarm but we should not be quick to dismiss the call to anarchy by certain elements from the Niger Delta. I believe our security operatives should be working non-stop to ensure such threats are rendered ineffective.
February 2015 will come and go. There will be winners and losers. Nigeria will remain. My desire is to see that the best candidate gets our mandate. It is all about Nigeria and anyone who wishes Nigeria well will have the same wishes. To those that would rather have Nigeria disintegrate so that they will say, “we said so,” that day will never come.
- Goodluck Jonathan: Random Google Search (Unattributable)
- Quote Of the Day: Subomi Plumptre