If I were President Goodluck Jonathan, this would be what I would tell fellow Nigerians ahead of the formal launch of my presidential election campaign. It is pointless to ask whether I would contest the 2015 election. Of course, I would. I love the job. This position is the most revered and influential office in Nigeria. The following statements serve as the manifesto that I plan to take to voters to convince them that I deserve to be re-elected.
Some people have accused me of lack of experience on the job. They have no idea about my antecedents. I have a solid track record and experience in serving my country at the state and national levels. I have served in the following senior capacities — Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Governor of Bayelsa State, Vice-President under the government of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Following the unfortunate illness and eventual death of Yar’adua, I received the unanimous nod to step in as Acting President. Since April 2011, I have been operating as the substantive President. I cannot think of any politician — dead or alive — with such an impressive record of service to his fatherland.
I am fully aware that my image and rating in the public, as well as my political authority have suffered since I became president. Without doubt, I am the most abused, ridiculed and scrutinised president since Olusegun Obasanjo. Although Obasanjo desecrated the high office of president, he never received in two terms of eight years the kind of insults that have been heaped on my government for the first three years since I became president. Despite the record of achievements of the government that I lead, the people and the press complain raucously about my performance. I am puzzled because my achievements are my armour against evil politicians.
Since my election more than three years ago, I have made many enemies. But that does not worry me because I was elected by the Nigerian people. My obligation is to provide the basic needs of ordinary people. Since I was sworn in as president, I have made numerous promises, gave assurances to Nigerians and even reshuffled my cabinet several times. I did all these to demonstrate to Nigerians that I am a listening president. When people complain, I listen. When people whine about a minister’s poor performance, I find a way to remove the minister or to move the minister out of their portfolio.
The greatest challenge the country faces is to reform the power sector so that hospitals can operate without generators, so that small and medium scale businesses can operate without spending their hard-earned income to buy electric generators, so that families do not have to take the risk of buying electric generators that emit fumes that choke family members when they have retired to sleep.
No economy can rely on electric generators and perform at its best. For this reason, I have undertaken the greatest ever reform that the power sector has ever witnessed in the history of Nigeria. I have privatised the power sector but nothing seems to work. It’s early days yet but I have tried my best and I am determined to continue to make a difference in the power sector. If privatisation cannot fix that troubled sector, nothing else probably would. Nigerians deserve steady and reliable supply of electricity. I am tempted to agree with my aides who inform me that sabotage is the reason the power sector has not responded positively and productively to all the financial and technical resources we have poured into it.
My political opponents say I lack courage. That’s not true. I have demonstrated strong leadership on several fronts. When I heard about how my former aviation minister Stella Oduah bought bulletproof cars for herself, I found a way to ease her out of office. The controversy is over, even though no concrete evidence was produced against the princess. Now, peace has returned to that difficult ministry. But she will be a key member of my 2015 campaign team.
My assistants have been telling me about rumbles in the Petroleum Resources Ministry. I understand that unsubstantiated and hare-brained allegations are being made against my wonderful and exemplary Minister of Petroleum Resources, MrsDiezani Alison-Madueke, by impetuous fly-by-night men and women who regard themselves as parliamentarians. Unfortunately, no one has brought substantial evidence of corruption, improper conduct or misbehaviour against the immaculate minister to warrant any presidential investigation.
Believe me, fellow Nigerians, the Senate and the House of Representatives will not find anything to implicate or incriminate my minister of retroleum Resources. They are merely itching for a fight with the Presidency. There is no reason for adults to engage in unnecessary witch-hunting. The honourable Minister deserves more respect from our lawmakers. She is a woman of high character. She is responsible, transparent, and accountable. She is also highly respected by her peers and subordinates.
I have also heard other people say that I