It is often incomprehensible how providence and destiny dictate and influence the life of man. There is no doubt that some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness bestowed upon them. In whatever way a person attains greatness, the indisputable fact is that such person have a date with history. Human greatness should therefore not be circumscribed to political power. It transcends political authority to all spheres and facets of human endeavor. Achievements generally convey human greatness. Little did one wonder that different human greatness epitomized by discoveries, inventions and contributions to body of knowledge that promotes human development is globally celebrated as a way of encouraging creativity and ingenuity. A token of appreciation in terms of awards; be it local or international is usually bestow on the ingenious wizards; the likes of Nobel Laurette Award, Religions recognition and Chieftain titles etc.
President Jonathan Ebere Good Luck is not at the moment great. However, he has every opportunity to write his names with gold. On the surface, he is a lucky man as his name suggest. It appeared that he was always in the right place at the right time and for the right reason. He is a circumstantial president. Just like any of his predecessors, none of whom willfully obliged to serve the nation in a presidential capacity but circumstantially or providentially found themselves as the President of Nigeria.. (I have once addressed this subject in one of my previous articles tittled : “Cry My Beloved Nigeria” which was widely published by different on-line media, sometime in February of 2009.
President Jonathan’s good luck has consistently kicked in since he changed his career from academic to politics. The Zoologist turned politician started as the Deputy Governor in the oil rich Bayelsa State and eventually became the Governor after the impeachment of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. In 2007, Jonathan’s good luck raised its head and impressed him on late President Umaru Yar’Adua as a running mate designate. The election was conducted and the duo were confirmed winners. Barely two years into office, the president became terminally ill (though undisclosed to the nation, no thanks to Turai & the cabals). Jonathan’s luck sprang up again and positioned him as the Acting President, a position he occupied until the formal declaration of the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua on May 05, 2010 at 9 : 55 pm when he constitutionally became the 14th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With these impressive resume, it is obvious that President Jonathan Good Luck – call him if you like: accidental president or providential president; he is not a novice with political power. His background has arguably prepared him for the task which fate has clustered into his destiny. What Mr. president might be reminded of is that by virtue of his ascendancy to the pinnacle of the nation’s political office, he is positioned and have the opportunity to make a difference (positive) in the life of his people. He need to use his political power to better the lots of Nigerians and improve the nations image in the international community. He should extend his luck to the masses of Nigeria nation. Fidel Castro- the unrepentant communist leader of Cuba once said : “every generation out of relative obscurity must discover her mission…either to fulfill it or betray it”. This is the choice before President Jonathan Good Luck. Mr. President has all it takes to address the problems facing the nation including there causes. He should confront and liquidate them once and for all or become complacent by joining the league of the never-do-well and good for nothing political profiteers and looters who are his predecessors.
The problems confronting Nigeria nation does not need magnifying glass for recognition neither does it require a microscope for identification. They are plainly written in the forehead of the nation and its inhabitants. Taking premise from the 7 points political agenda of his former boss, Mr president should take a critical review but pragmatic approach to addressing the identified solutions on the way to move the nation forward, after all he consented to the agenda, of which, if his boss were to be alive, it would remain the focus of their administration. Mr President should not pay attention to the likes of IBB who having presided over unimpressive and wasteful regime suddenly decided to stage a come back, labeling himself as a “born again” and a true advocate of reflective federalism. The gap-toothed retired general and his likes have had their chance, other people should be given the opportunity to serve their fatherland as well. After all Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians, and its leadership should not be construed as a birth right of few.
The magnitude of the prevailing problems does not call for one- size- fit- all solution model. Rather, a pragmatic scale approach would make sense. Therefore, President Jonathan’s desire to focus on power, anti-corruption and electoral reform appeared reasonable. If the president is sincere and he genuinely focus on these problems, it would be the very beginning at making a conscious efforts in laying a solid foundation for our democratic institutions. A phenomenon that will promote institutions and de-emphasize individuality.
Nigeria has literally been plundered into darkness by its political leaders most especially at the executive level of government. Monumental money has for years been voted for energy constructions, reconstructions and improvements; all of which have been embezzled by the clique of these selfish and conscienceless leaders in government business. Many hydro-electric dams that were supposed to power energy are working below optimum capacity as a result or poor maintenance culture and policy. Electricity has evidently become the grip of the haves and the hope of the masses. An average house or street or even community can not boast of receiving two hours of power (electricity) supply per day. This disintegration led to the introduction; and popularized alternate energy supply (Electric Generator) that is not environmental friendly. It breads air pollution as a result of its carbon monoxide. The effect of which dastardly affects the heath of the population, and often time led to untimely death of others. An improved power supply will go a long way to decrease untimely death, improves the quality of life of Nigerians as well as promoting industrialization and foreign investments.
Corruption is an internalized sub culture that has eaten deep into the psyche of Nigerians political elites. Political office is perceived as an avenue for wealth accumulations. This mentality has unfortunately been spread to other levels of government. The legislature have been labeled ” legis- looters”,and the judiciary has been accused of selling justice to the highest bidders. The concepts of ‘national cake’ still permeates the socio-political environment. Everybody want to grab as much as possible within the least available opportunity. From the presidency to the cleaner, the uppermost intention is not to contribute to the development of the country but to take advantage and deplete its resources.
If Nigeria’s credibility in the international community is to be taking seriously, President Good Luck should work within the frame work of the laws of the land, initiate policies and enact laws that will discourage corruption. The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) should be made autonomous and independent of the control of the executive. It should be giving the statutory power to investigate any corruption allegation and impartially prosecute the culprit in the court of law. All convicted corrupt politicians and government officials should pay heavy price and be ban from direct participation in Nigeria politics.
All government contracts should be reviewed, and there implementations monitored. Mr. President should cooperate with the international organization in bringing to justice any individual regardless of his or her status (no sacred cow) who engages in money laundering, since most of the corrupt individuals always find ways to illegally transfer there stolen money to foreign countries. No effort should be spare in holding all the government and elected officials both past and present accountable. Political sanity must begins with inculcation of moral decorum and accountability.
The sad history of Nigeria electoral problem in imbued on the callibres of the appointed electoral officers at all levels of government. From Michael Ani of the Federal Electoral Commission (Fedeco) in 1979 to Maurice Iwu of National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2010. They are bunch of individuals who are deficient in honesty and integrity. At the alter of monetary and financial benefits, they all compromised and mortgaged the will of the people. Mr. President’s decision to prioritize electoral reform in his administration is therefore justified. It is a right step in the right direction. However his sincerity is questionable. I remember, he was once reported to have stated that “…even if angels come to organize elections in Nigeria, PDP will win”. This careless and inflammatory statement, which I believe is a reflection of President Jonathan’s democratic value and state of mind makes it difficult to trust him. But, if the prevailing circumstances have changed his thinking, then, he should convince Nigerians by taking a giant stride and implement all the recommendations of the Justice Uwais Muhammed Commission on Electoral Reform. No but,if and em. Phil Steck – an Albanian County Legislator once said : “a nation that forget its past is doomed to repeat its failure”. In an effort to make a radical departure from our despicable and shameful electoral past, a surgical understanding of its history must be undergone. The reason why election outcome does not reveal the will of the people need to be identified. The role of the electoral umpires must be dissected and the influence of the government- in- power must be looked into and address as appropriate.
Patriotic individuals, seasoned and tested administrators with high sense of nationalism, who would not compromise the will of the people should be assigned to head the electoral commission. Such individuals must not be a nominee of the president or any political party . This is imperative to prevent undue allegiance to the appointing president or affiliated political party at the detriment of the people. Such credible individuals must be nominated by the Judiciary. Any individual or political party that attempt to rig election or alter the election result should be criminally prosecuted in the court of law. In the same token any electoral officer who collaborate or attempt to conspire to rig election should be criminally prosecuted.
Since President Jonathan has made it clear upfront that he is interested in 2011 because the current span of his term will not be sufficient to make a credible impact or complete his administration’s agenda. It is appreciated that he clarify his stand and his intention unlike IBB and OBJ who lied and diabolically engaged in schemes to perpetrate themselves in power. Never-the-less, Mr. President should seek the peoples mandate as opposed to relying on the power of incumbency to retain himself in power. Let it resonate that both IBB and OBJ schemed and failed; therefore any attempt by Jonathan to rig-retain himself in power will be met with the peoples resistance. Democracy is the will of the people; the majority have their way, yet the minority have their say. Both components are inevitably vital to the success of a virile democratic institution.
Nigeria of our dream should be made manifest. Patriotic individuals and progressive organizations within and outside Nigeria should think outside the box by educating the masses about their inalienable democratic rights and the consequence of selling their conscience through their vote. In this present dispensation, people should be organized into formidable fronts that can neither be bought nor push over. The task before all of us is to Educate, Organize and struggle. This is a sustaining strategy beyond 2011.
May the Lord bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.