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Published On: Mon, Nov 24th, 2014

2015: Can we trust this President?

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President JonathanBy Aminu Mohammad

Nigeria is a funny country where whatever you think is not possible becomes possible. It is one wonderful country where political leaders lie to their subjects with impunity. It is a country where politics is no longer for the decent minds because our leaders can no longer be trusted. Shortly before the 2011 presidential election, President Goodluck Ebola, sorry Ebele Jonathan declared in Adisa Ababa, Ethiopia at an African Union Summit that he would only run for one term and begged Nigerians to give him a chance to serve them. Again, he repeated same promise of wanting to serve for only a term in New York, USA to further assure Nigerians and the international community that he meant what he said. Moreover, at a meeting with PDP northern governors, he reiterated that one-term commitment and the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum who is the governor of Niger State, Alhaji Muazu Aliyu Babangida confirmed this to Nigerians that the president has assured them of that one-term commitment.

However, midway into his four-year tenure, he made a u-turn and hired political prostitutes to sample opinions for him on whether he would be accepted for a second term. Trust our political prostitutes, they began the drum beat by hiring someone to go to court and challenge the eligibility of President Jonathan for a second term and it took the judiciary long time to kick-start hearing on the suit and till today a pronouncement has not been made on whether the president is eligible or not. This is Nigeria where anything goes. Just last week, the climax of the hide and seek game manifested on the Eagle Square in Abuja after the PDP, its governors and all those who call the shots in the party have endorsed Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate throwing the principle of internal democracy to the dogs. The president declared his ambition by offering himself to the electorate seeking for four year tenure. The president might have succeeded in buying the PDP executives, governors and all other stake holders in the party but now that Nigerians have the opportunity to retain him at Aso Rock or sack him, the big question is, can we trust this president who has on many occasions said one thing and turned his back on us to do another?

Between May 2011 and present time there is no Nigerian who can claim that this country has good security network, constant electricity, good road network, affordable housing, good transportation system and most importantly buoyant economy. The issue of security alone is enough reason to score the Jonathan administration very low because there area lot of instances to be cited withregard to government failure to tackle the problem of insurgency particularly in the north eastern part of the country where thousands have so far died. While declaring for a second term, the president assured that he would do anything humanly possible to tackle the problem of Boko Haram but how long can we wait when people are dying on daily basis from the atrocities of these insurgents?

Presidential assurance has now become our national anthem because when the Nyanya bombing took place midway this year, the president assured that the perpetrators would be brought to face the wrath of the law and between April and now what happened to those arrested in connection with that bombing? Again, the story of the famous Chibok girls’ saga is still on the front burner and concerned Nigerians who tried to remind the federal government of her responsibilities were branded as opposition political party members.

Last week, over 50 students of a secondary school in Potiskum Yobe State were murdered in cold blood and that national tragedy did not appeal to the emotions of the president to shift his declaration 24 hours after the incident, what manner of leaders do we have? When the APC reminded the PDP of the necessity to post pone the declaration, it was seen as politics at work. The truth of the matter is that our political leaders are insensitive to our feelings and needs and do not deserve our votes. Our political leaders are so blinded by power that they now no longer believe conscience is an open wound and that as the leader of the Sokoto Jihad, Usman Danfodiyo said only truth can heal it”. Today we are in a country where truth has become a scare commodity because if our own president would assure us that he needed only four years to serve his country and midway into that tenure, he hired lobbyists to sensitize the public about his ambition to break his earlier promise, then it is our duty as citizens to remind him that leadership is about service and part of that service is sacrifice. Leaders should sacrifice their personal ambition and interest for national interest and in this case the president forced himself on the PDP and wants to force himself on Nigerians.

In the last three and half years of Jonathan administration, the ship has been sinking and sinking and the administration appears to be helpless. Imagine a country like Nigeria where the entire Black race look up to us as a role model with a small group of insurgents holding us to ransom by declaring a greater part of Adamawa state as Islamic Republic while government keep on assuring people of crushing the insurgents. Some parts of Borno state are already under the full control of Boko Haram and now Adamawa state while Yobe has the highest record of school bombings and yet we have a military that can put Ekiti and Osun under siege for PDP to rig election but cannot confront Boko Haram, how do we trust this government?

The PDP government under Jonathan has no respect for the rule of law and any government that refuses to abide by the rule of law should be shown the way out especially in a democracy where our votes count. But then, under the PDP administration does your vote count? The after math of the 2011 election is still fresh in our memories and we do not pray for a repeat but what assurance can this government give to us that our votes would count when it clearly bragged that it would use the military for the 2015 general election? Is the government planning to use soldiers who are already running away from the might of Boko Haram or? Well, Boko Haram has exposed the weakness of the Nigerian military and I believe the electorate will defy the military because it has been demystified.

For Nigerians to vote for PDP or Jonathan security of lives and property must be guaranteed but can this government do that? Again, the president should come out and apologize to Nigerians for not keeping the pact he signed in 2011 when he declared that he needed only one term to serve his country. He should also explain to us why the federal government lied to us that a cease fire deal with Boko Haram has been brokered only for us to discover that the government lied. The president should also explain why Boko Haram has declared part of Nigeria as Islamic Republic in a country where he is president and has failed to act. Again, we need to know why the Chibok girls are not yet back after the federal government publicly said they would be released some weeks back.

Mr. President, shall we tell you that Nigerians do not have faith in your party, the PDP and by extension your second coming because good leaders should be men of their words, men of honour, men of integrity and men who do not jubilate and celebrate when the nation is mourning. Nigeria is a nation in grieve and sorrow and a nation at war which does not require presidential declaration for a second term but a declaration to free the citizens from bondage. Can someone tell the president that he did not put Nigeria first as he claimed because we are at war and he still went ahead and celebrated at the Eagle Square when parents were mourning their dead.

Aminu Mohammed wrote in from Abuja

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