By Ignatius Iheanacho
On the October 23, 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan after much uncertainty and prevarication caused by his appreciation of his shortcomings and poor performance in office gathered courage to announce he would contest the 2015 presidential elections. To leave no one in doubt of his intention, he set up a Declaration Committee made up of his aides and party members.
However, in his usual pretentious way, President Jonathan put off his declaration till after a hastily conceived prayer visit to Israel! This does not in any way show that he is a religious or pious man in view of the horrible things that has happened under his leadership in the past six years- killings, kidnappings, massive corruption and disappearance of public funds, money laundering in South Africa and grinding poverty and unemployment! Jonathan deciding to visit Israel for prayer before his declaration is part of his deceptive part- time of playing the religious card to advance his political ambition and to hoodwink the ever- gullible Christian population in Nigeria.
One hopes and prays that this time, Jonathan’s religious card would fail him bearing in mind that all Nigerians, Christian or Muslim has suffered from his mis-rule and careless nature. President Jonathan ought to give Nigerians a break from violence, blood- letting and killings which his ill- timed and divisive ascent to power has caused the nation.
It is unfortunate that in President Jonathan, Nigeria has got one of the most uncaring leaders so far in its history. The President is a man who would do anything to stay in power even when he has had a whole six years. Even as he and his many aides lie that they are fighting corruption, the latter booms and President Jonathan is always ready to resort to corruption to get people to do his bidding and the National Assembly to look the other way while he assaults the nation’s Constitution.
If President Jonathan loves Nigeria the way he tells anyone who cares to listen, he would not participate in the 2015 presidential race having had six years in power during which Nigerians have nearly bled to death. Under Jona, as his followers and hangers on call him, insecurity has been the bane of the nation while daily, bereaved and assaulted Nigerians weep for their children, many of whom die at the hands of Boko Haram or hunger.
Take the case of the kidnapped Chibok girls. The Jonathan government is unable to rescue them, either through force or negotiation and lied openly to Nigerians that it had secured a ceasefire with the Boko Haram which would lead to the release of the unfortunate girls, seven months since their abduction. The only thing Jonathan and his hangers on care about is hanging on to power by any means rather than to give Nigerians peace, security and a good life!
Under Jonathan’s rule, there are now several thousand internally- displaced Nigerians while thousands more, are in neighbouring countries as refugees! President Jonathan’s poor governance brought the nations Armed Forces so low and inefficient that a religious movement, Boko Haram hitherto engaged in local civil disturbance was allowed to grow to a major terrorist organisation that now threatens regional security.
President Jonathan is sentencing more Nigerians to death by forcing the now- blundering People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to make him its sole presidential candidate, thus making it an offence by the new rules of his party for any other Nigerian in the party to show interest in the presidential race. One has also learnt that all arrangements have been made by his cronies at the Election Commission (INEC) to allocate him winning votes, no matter how Nigerians vote! We are watching.
The former Archbishop of Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Okogie, in a recent interview advised President Jonathan to forget any re- election bid and allow Nigerians to elect a new President. The retired clergyman recalled that Jonathan in 2011 told all Nigerians hat he would do only one term of four years. Now, unfortunately, Jonathan confidently feels he is not under any obligation, moral and otherwise to keep his promise, being an ardent believer of anything goes in Nigeria, and that you do not need to respect promises made to the people. The issue now arises that how can a man like the President who say things he does not mean and even swears falsely, claim he is transforming the country. The point is that transformation under President Jonathan is for ill, bearing in mind the sorry state of the nation’s education system and the poor performance of our young people in international examinations.
Like in Buhari’s case, President Jonathan’s re- election bid is a threat to national security. Going by the persistent threats of Armageddon and war on the nation by his supporters like the militant leader Asari Dokubo and his ilk, it is best for the country that he is prevailed upon to abandon the contest.It seems Nigeria is doomed to evil on account of Jonathan because the wobbling PDP which should have stopped him has been manipulated and blackmailed by enemies of democracy and the Nigerian people to select him as sole candidate.
One hopes that despite the stance of its so- called supporters, President Jonathan would enrich our Constitution by abandoning the contest and go down in the annals of our history as a true gentleman, statesman and patriot.
Ignatius Iheanacho is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Abuja.