President Jonathan’s Legacy: A Lesson For Posterity

by Ritchie Ejiofor

I am not one that criticizes the president because it seems fashionable to do so. I would have cause to pour accolades if he does present a vision worth such praise. I share many of the disappointments that several patriotic Nigerians have expressed, particularly when the President swayed from the side of posterity. By stroke of history, the president climbed through the ladders of leadership from the days of being the Deputy governor to being the Vice-President and finally president, one would expect, that the President would at least want to be remembered on the good side of history.

Instead of vigorously pursuing another re-election bid, having served out the term of late Yar’adua, and almost completing another full term, he is pitched on pursuing another term or at best manipulating the domicile legislature into amending the constitution to alter the tenure of office of a president. So far there has not been a clear policy plan by the president since assuming the position. The question i would like to ask, is who does he plans to do differently?

A clear indication of failed tenure is made more visible in the healthcare industry. Let us not be deceived by sycophant praise singing like the Urhobo delegation who swore to walk naked if the president does not seek another term. In a country when the first lady goes to Germany to seek medical care, the C.B.N governor flown overseas for treatment and so many countless public officers. President Jonathan is aware that his predecessor died in a foreign hospital, yet upon becoming president, he has not addressed the state of medical/healthcare in the country that even late Sanni Abacha described as “death clinic” is appalling . We are focused on granting oil blocks as a means of political patronage to stooges rather than investing in primary health care. It is not enough to build medical edifices , it is a question of providing qualitative healthcare programs that will include ambulatory care, hospice care, first res-ponders in the event of emergency.

In the area of corruption, this administration has become the most corrupt and inept leadership since the military era. Many professional political praise singers are quick to argue that the president alone cannot tackle corruption. They point to the good work of the E.F.C.C as a pointer to the fight against corruption. The truth however is that, the country does not need an administrative agency to curb corruption. The question most people have not answered is that,how is the money or properties recovered by this agencies accounted for?. The fact that the administration itself is not accountable, makes it impossible for its surrogates to become accountable. Transparency is what creates the corrupt free environment and not necessarily the work of a created pseudo-administrative agency. It is so disgusting that even the canker-worm has permeated into the judiciary. The average Nigerian would tell you that, the federal judges and those in the tribunals are among the wealthiest Nigerians, Public officials flaunt their ostentatious lifestyle with “Abacha’s alacrity” to the applause of the citizens, who have come to belief that corruption by public official is accepted “hustle”.

In the realm of providing a lasting legacy, late Nnamdi Azikiwe once echoed that “posterity will vindicate the just”. President Jonathan has been opposite of that, based on the analysis of his entire political tenure.

The imbroglio that is currently going on that pitched the president against the governor of Rivers State has once again, highlighted the clueless priority of a president who seems not to have a grasp of what is going on around the country. For one, the various Governors are not accountable to the president and no where does the constitution say that the president is the supervisor of the governor. The president handling and his numerous gaffe clearly points to a confirmation of a reluctant president. The handling of the fuel subsidy removal is another pointer of the president lack of understanding of the mechanism of the government. The fuel subsidy was intended to subsidize the price of fuel for the ordinary citizens who are over-burdened by the enormous cost of living in the country that has seen the eradication of the middle-class. Instead of the president seeking a means to ameliorate the conditions of the working class through the fuel subsidy that benefited those with oil blocks concession, the president removed the subsidy,we are not told how that gains of the subsidy was used for, and unmindful of what the removal might mean for the citizens who are been punished at the end of the day.

Another area where the president legacy will be evaluated is in the area of education. Any one reading this would attest to the moral decadence in our educational institution. We have reached the lowest ebbs in our educational development, we have seen the progressive regression in this sector, we have situation where our scientist are more inclined to politics, our professors are slowly drifting overseas and other sectors yet, we assume we are heading towards the right direction.

If history is to evaluate the president on only these three areas like, medical/healthcare, corruption and education, we will begin to understand that the President is on target to the consign of bad legacy. The president has an opportunity to ask himself, what do i want to be remembered for? what is my legacy?. He has failed in corruption because, he cannot be a mirror that his subordinates will look forward to as a role model. This is because, he has not personally fought corruption. As a scientist/educator, he has not shown an aptitude for improving educational sector, nor has he provided basic heath care in the country.

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