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Published On: Sun, Sep 14th, 2014

2015: Can President Jonathan win?

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Jonathan-2015By Ochiaka Ugwu

The 2015 election is around the corner. Again, Nigerians will be given the opportunity to decide how their affairs will be piloted for another four years. They will elect a leader that will try to reposition the economy which is presently heading to a rock. It wouldn’t be out of place to take a look and analyse the permutation and intrigues that will characterize the election. Notwithstanding that Americans have predicted that Nigeria will be no more after 2015. The first Nigerian Governor-General, Lord Fredrick Lugard who amalgamated the country, Northern and Southern Protectorates to form what is today Nigeria, gave us a period of not more than 100 years. Most Nigerians are convinced that Nigeria will not only survive but that a new Nigeria is emerging with a new and vibrant leadership that will usher in the more needed change. It has been shown that Nigerians criteria for voting a president were based on ethnic or religious affiliation of the candidate in question. President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian and Southerner who eventually won the election had his victory from most Southern states except Osun and in the Middle Belt region, also known as North Central. His biggest rival during the election, General Mohammed Buhari, a former military head of state, Muslim and a Northerner, enjoyed mass victory from 12 Northern states. This clearly showed that others who clearly looked at it from my own point of view that Nigerians voted with sentiments and not on merit because no discerning mind will prefer Jonathan to Buhari when sentiment is shunned. Nigerian leaders have failed to show they want to leave in peace and unity. This I believe as many people derailing the country are all citizens.

These people surely do not have regard for the sufferings of our nationalist leaders and independence fighters. These are people who laboured and some even died in the process to see our country become a great nation where every citizen would live in peace and harmony and be proud of wherever they find themselves. Before the 2011 elections, President Jonathan had promised to run for only one term, with 2015 election drawing nearer, we see that the president may want to eat his words in the most (unpresidential) manner and run for second term in office even when he is not performing. Although the president has not declared his intention to run but his body language is titling towards that.

Opposition All Progressives Congress has accused President Jonathan of being at the centre of one of the biggest corruption scandals in democratic Nigeria, after reports that millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money were spent on a hiring jet for pleasure by Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Jonathan’s government has been littered with scandals. Many corruptions, fraud, money-laundering and racketeering charges against his appointees have been made. But the missing NNPC fund saga blown open by the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the present Emir of Kano,  Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has particular resonance in a nation whose elite are often accused of betraying the principles of the liberation and showing disregard for the poor. It could also define his presidency just six months before a national election.

Most political observers have said that it’s going to be the main motif of the election. Every single politician in the opposition will grab the microphone to say ‘Crude Oil Fraud’ and that will say it all. It’s going to be a big liability for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and it will run and run.

He has been accused of not being proficient and playing the Ostrich game in the face of tribulation. Not many will forgive him for jetting out to Kano when the country was in mourning mood following the Nyanya bombing which took many innocent lives. Nyanya bomb blast killed at least 85 persons and injured over 200. Up till now, the President is yet to explain to Nigerians the mystery behind the abduction of over 200 school girls writing the SSCE in Chibok, Borno state by Boko Haram in a state under emergency rule.

Where did we get it wrong that a country once known for a peaceful existence has suddenly become a land where bloodshed of human beings is synonymous with the killing of animals during festive period? There is no denying the fact that Nigeria has experienced its worst form of brutal killing since independence and international attention and condemnation in the era of President Goodluck Jonathan. Not even the dictatorial days of Late General Sani Abacha has Nigeria gotten the world attention like this civilian era. Agreed that Boko Haram is not the creation of President Jonathan, but there is no denying the fact that the current blood being shed all over the Northern part of Nigeria is the result of not handling the issue as supposed on the part of the President to decisively deal with the terrorist group when it first reared its ugly head in a deadly manner. How can a president be so reluctant that in a country he claims to preside over; he shares the power with some group of militants who call themselves Boko Haram?

His leadership style has not only been described as being pedestrian in nature but also delusional and leaves much to be desired. Unlike Emperor Nero, he does not only fiddle while Rome burn, he is in a permanent state of forgetfulness. No wonder he is known for policy tumble!

But I assume he knew that Nigerians are dissatisfied with his administration. Close and distant analysis from the masses which my job as a journalist gives me the ample opportunity to interact with have shown that they are not satisfied with the performance of President Jonathan, even those who are not political observers and village women alike.  The former National Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressives’ Change (CPC), Engineer Buba Galadima while speaking at the plenary of the just concluded National Conference said that even the unborn child knew that all is not well with the nation. Even the worst critics of Galadima will admit this. He came as the saviour and the people’s choice, but is not living up to their expectation and this has thus raised much criticism on his government. Those who voted him into power are now regretting why they ever did so. The formation of a new and stronger opposition party, APC has also reduced the tendencies of President Jonathan getting re-elected. As the masses are tired of the reign of the PDP and want a change in government. PDP’s more than 15 years in the saddle has been a waste and regarded as a failure as they have failed woefully to solve power problems, fuel scarcity, and internal security. The people are now getting wiser and would not be falling for small bribes given to them by selfish politicians to vote them during elections.

Pundits have dismissed the transactional government of Jonathan as a tragedy of history while most Nigerians are waiting to vote him out in 2015 to usher in a new done that will provide the much needed direction they have been yearning for.

The APC would want to field a credible candidate for the presidency and they and Nigerians will do everything humanly possible to make him win. Would Jonathan be lucky enough to obtain that same victory if he decides to run again in 2015? It would only be possible through exceptional performance by his government within the next eight months which many are convinced will not happen as he is not a magician.

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