By Olaitan Ajiboye
There is an adage, ‘we should not judge a book by its cover but by its contents’. Another one says’ we should not judge an article by its headline but by its contents’. If you visit Nasir El-Rufai’s facebook or his twitter handle @elrufai, you will understand the extent of words between members of All Progressives Congress (APC) and People Democratic Party (PDP). Let me tell you, my fellow Nigerians, that it is all politics. They are birds of the same feather that flock together.
The opposition party i.e. All Progressive Congress is not all that better than the ruling People Democratic Party as only few Nigerians can be deceived by what they present. I want to ask ‘should President Jonathan contest 2015 election’? My answer is yes, because as a Nigerian citizen and according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he has the right to run for the second term. The fact that he became the President after the death of late President Yar’ Adua does not preclude him from contesting for the second term. The constitution empowers him to step into the shoes of President Yar’Adua after his death. The Nigerian electorate are the ones to decide at the election whether to vote for him or not.
There is no provision of rotation of presidency in the Nigerian constitution but the political parties only had it on agreement to that effect. But should in case the current National Conference recommends the rotation of Presidency, then it has to be followed to the latter.
If I were to judge by the government performances in some areas, I will say he does not deserve a second term. There are no key areas that you can point to where he has performed creditably well. I will not talk of the Boko Haram Insurgency because up till now #BringBackOurGirls saga is yet unresolved. He does not need to wait for Malala Yousafzai to advise him before he takes decision on this issue.
One may ask ‘why should he using cheap American Public Relations Firm (Levick) to set Nigerians against Nigerians?’. This is unacceptable since there are Nigerian firms that can do the job better. They are using this PR because of money that will change hands.
In a civilised country, for any President to deserve a second term, he must have recorded some great achievements in the following areas: improvement in the standard of living of the citizenry; security of life and properties; jobs for unemployed graduates; good road network and potable water; and stable electricity supply.
If the President wants second term without rigging, he should change his tactics and convince Nigerians that he is the best candidate to move the nation forward. He should be direct that the elections be transparent. The President and his aides should stop using the machinery of government to fight the opposition at all levels. He should stop initiating impeachment of opposition governors.
What is happening is that the President is taking his pound of flesh from the governors that decamped to the opposition party, APC. It is a known that the President is struggling to get a strong grip on PDP and the Nigerian citizenry at large. This is why he is initiating impeachment of governors of opposition parties. All we know is that time will tell if this strategy will work or not. If it works in one or two states, I doubt if it will work in other opposition states.
While PDP is strategizing on how to bring down the opposition, the opposition too is also strategizing to ensure that they do not succeed.
President Jonathan is aware that he is an unpopular candidate for 2015 election, his aides too are also not helping him since they are after what gets into their pockets at the end of the day. The best thing for him to do is to get better hands that will help him to act fast in the right direction.
President Jonathan has the right to run for the second term come 2015. What we need to ask ourselves is ‘that does he deserve a second term in office? The answer to this question will help us to take a decisive position.
Olaitan Ajiboye is on twitter handle: @Mayjorh