A new cool seems to be emerging among the Nigerian populace as regards the fast approaching general elections – people tend to support PARTY A at the LG level, then PARTY B at the SG level, and finally PARTY C at the FG level; one individual supporting three different political parties simply because of the personality of the politicians that litter the different parties. Just as virtually all Nigerian politician lack political discipline, they decamp from one party to the other, at every and any slight provocation, so also the populace have become chameleons who change with the personality of their choice from one party to the other. We, as a people, are as nonchalant to party institutions, ethics and ethos, just as the politicians are, the politicians are worse!
Which is why I like specific leaders from different parties who I feel merit my approval of having governed well. I’m an apostle of good governance. For starters, I hate partisan politics. I keep asking myself, how is the APC any different from the PDP? How?
When you’re not relevant in the PDP anymore, port to the APC. As long as you join them to clamour for change first.
Look at Atiku. Founding member of the PDP. Couldn’t get the Presidential ticket of the PDP, he decamped to the ACN for acceptance. Didn’t get it at the ACN, he decamped back to the PDP. Lost out in the PDP presidential primaries, he decamped once again to the APC!
Sometimes last week, the national tabloids were filled with the “APC now the Majority Party in the House of Representative” headline, due to the defection of some H.O.R members from the PDP to the APC. PDP has always been the Majority party in the H.O.R but apparently APC now has that honour (as some may choose to call it). In a Northern state recently, a deputy governor and about 200 of his PDP underlings switched allegiance from the PDP to the APC. The wave of defection from the PDP to the APC over the last 12months remains unprecedented in human history. It only reaffirms the argument from some quarters that the APC is just a dumping party of the PDP or is it truly the wind of CHANGE blowing the PDP stalwarts to the APC?
In my opinion, all politicians and political parties are the same. They are all like a bottle of beer, virtually same taste but different brand name. No difference.
Comparing and contrasting #GEJ and #GMB for a young chap like me is quite difficult. It is similar to comparing the present (GEJ) with the past (GMB). I call GEJ the present because I’ve witnessed and I’m witnessing his tenure as the President of Nigeria. I’ve called GMB the past because I wasn’t fortunate enough to witness his reign as the Head of State. I’ll do my best to compare and contrast what I’ve witnessed personally (GEJ) with what I’ve read from the history books and listened to and heard from the older generations (GMB).
As the President of Nigeria for the past six years, GEJ has obviously had his high points and definitely his low points too. Nobody is perfect. I’ll do my best to rate him on my personal scale as follows:
In my opinion, the greatest gift GEJ gave to Nigeria is the creation of 12 tertiary institutions across the country. This will enable more Nigerians to have access to tertiary education. The surest and most potent way to move the masses out of the doldrums of poverty and penury is to give them access to quality education at affordable cost without compromising the standard of education. I’m aware a lot of people will argue that the existing tertiary institutions are not well funded but my fellow country people, we can’t deny the fact that the total number of tertiary institutions in this country are not enough to cater for the education requirement to drive this nation to the promised land. I score him HIGH on this.
The establishment of about 150 Almajiri schools in the North is also a welcome development. The “education gap ” between Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria is a major issue in national polity. These Almajiri schools can only better the lots of the North in particular, and Nigeria in general. I score him HIGH on this.
During GEJ’s tenure, the perennial ever occurring and re-occurring ASUU/ASUP strike roared its ugly fangs, the administration didn’t respond well in real time to their demands, I score him low on that but let me state emphatically, GEJ isn’t the root cause of ASUU/ASUP strike, his government inherited the issue from past regimes. ASUU/ASUP have always been embarking on strike since time immemorial! I score him LOW on this.
VERDICT: Generally on EDUCATION, I’ll score GEJ HIGH in this sector. He has contributed immensely to the education sector.
I’m not an economist, but I see the recent upward ratings of Nigeria in virtually all international economic rating being released by reputable organisations recently as a welcome development. But what beats my imagination is that these “upward ratings” hasn’t really transformed the lives of the average Nigerian. I can still see a lot of my country people living in hardship. Theoretically, the country seems to be booming. Practically, the masses are suffering. The level of unemployment is stark high. The youths are jobless! Under GEJ’s watch, Abba Moro is still on seat after killing innocent and job-seeking Nigerians in the biggest employment scam in world history!
Innocent lives were needlessly lost. The FG failed to guarantee them security at the job screening exercise due to inadequate planning for the exercise. The FG failed to guarantee them jobs. Yet, the were made to pay N1,000 for the exercise, only to lose their lives. Is it a matter of “macro economics” of GDP looking pretty good and sound but the day-to-day “micro economics” not looking all rosy? Economists in the house, please enlighten us, thank you.
I studied Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and as a semi-expert in that field, I’m aware of the giants stride the government has taken to improve power supply. The deregulation of the power sector, the construction of new power plants, the upgrading of old power plants etc, are all positive steps in the right direction. Just like the economics of the economy of the country, the power sector reforms of President GEJ all sound great theoretically, but in reality, Mr. President has failed to bring power supply closer to the masses. I wouldn’t go hard on GEJ for the power supply challenges of the nation, this is also a perennial problem which the president inherited from past regimes. But until the power supply is fixed to an appreciable level, the small scale industries will continue to remain stagnant, thus the “positive macro economics” won’t transform the “micro economics” of the masses.
VERDICT: In my opinion, GEJ has performed AVERAGELY economically.
Chapter II, Section 14(b) of the Nigerian Constitution states as follows:
“(b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government:”
The security or the lack of security of the people of this county is the PRIMARY purpose of the Nigerian Government. A thesis, for or against the security challenges facing this country, could be written by the best security experts and political analysts the world has ever seen, the bottom line is that President GEJ has, either by error of omission or commission, failed in his PRIMARY duty of securing the lives of the people. Till date, Nigerians are still divided on the kidnapped Chibok girls! Do I even need to talk about the Chibok girls? The FG kept mute at first, then later denied that the girls were kidnapped. To complete the odd cycle, the FG hosted the parents/guardians of the kidnapped Chibok girls. All these pro and anti moves by the FG had the ripple effect of making the government look incompetent in handling the Chibok kidnapping. And till date, it remains a very strong weapon bybthe opposition against the ruling government.
Credit must be given to GEJ for his fight against kidnapping in other parts of the country. In my opinion, GEJ has performed poorly in tackling terrorism and insurgency. Please pro-GEJ folks, spare me the talk about being in a democratic setting thus GEJ can’t go really hard on terrorists and insurgents. We all witnessed what happened in France recently, the French government went in hard on terrorists and extremists. The USA is a widely renowned democratic country, but we’ve all been witnesses to the manner and way the USA tackles terrorism. You go hard on extremists/terrorists!
VERDICT: I’ll score GEJ LOW on security.
Any Nigerian that criticises GEJ on Agriculture is definitely anti-masses. I doff my hat for the man from Otueke, Bayelsa State, who had no shoes but rose to become the president on his agricultural reforms. The FG has done well in curbing the corrupt and sharp practices of the past which prevents hardworking farmers from getting fertilizers, seedlings and other materials required for a successful farming season. In my opinion, GEJ has performed excellently in the Agricultural sector.
VERDICT: I’ll score GEJ EXCELLENT in Agriculture.
The body languages, sentences and actions of President GEJ has painted him as a corruption-friendly leader. I’m not saying categorically that GEJ, as an individual, is corrupt or not, isn’t corruption embedded in our psyche as a nation? My point is that the president has given room for massive corrupt practices to take place under his watch while he turns the other side. In my opinion, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has condoned corruption like we’ve never seen before! He has gone to World TV to say stealing isn’t corruption. To say that if $20bn was missing America would know is amateurish. He has swept so many scandals under the carpet. The NNPC $20b scam. The Stella Oduah BMW bullet proof cars scandal. The Femi Otedola and Faruk Lawan bribery fiasco. The $9.3m Oristejafor arms deal drama. The N24b or N50b Police Pension Fund scam. One single individual corners N24b or N50b meant for thousands of hardworking cops who have served their country for years and who deserve a happy retirement. GEJ has done nothing. His regime has granted pardon to more “corruption-indicted” individuals than any other regime I know of. At least under OBJ, a lot of corrupt individuals spent time in prison. Alams, Ibori, Bode George, Tafa Balogun etc. Bola Ahmed Tinubu faced corruption trials. GEJ came forth and “pardoned” his uncles and leaders. He grants pardon once you are of immense importance in his political scheming. He has used state institutions to attack individuals who have blown the whistle on corruption cases against his close allies (e.g Sanusi saga). Funds gets missing at will and have become untraceable in this administration. Under GEJ’s watch, the various anti-corruption agencies have become comatose and ineffective. I’m a Nigerian and I prefer the anti-corruption agency that was accused of witch hunting the opposition of the presidency back then to a comatose anti-corruption agency that is incapable of attacking both the opposition and the ruling class presently! Please spare me the bluff that GEJ isn’t the judiciary that will tackle corruption cases!
VERDICT: In my opinion, GEJ has performed POORLY on my anti-corruption watch.
President GEJ has done well in improving the transport sector of this country. Major highways are being reconstructed (e.g Lagos-Ibadan, Abuja-Lokoja, Benin-Ore express road, Second Niger Bridge etc). But other major highways are still death traps e.g the Lokoja-Okene express road, the Ajaokuta-Okene express road is an eyesore, amongst others. Yes GEJ inherited these roads, but in governance, virtually all facets are inherited. That shouldn’t be an excuse. The various airports are being upgraded to a world class state. The railway lines are being revived. I commend GEJ on the reforms his administration has carried out in the transportation sector but I’m of the opinion that his administration should have intensified efforts to ensure that major highways across the country were rehabilitated.
VERDICT: In my opinion, GEJ has performed SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE in the transportation sector.
In my opinion, President GEJ’s undoing has to be his inability to tackle CORRUPTION and INSECURITY head on as the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. With all the forces and resources at his disposal – human, financial, physical, spiritual, metaphysical, seen and unseen, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan shot himself in the foot by not addressing these two pertinent and cogent national issues – CORRUPTION and INSECURITY, with utmost importance and professionalism.
As an individual, I, Salami Ismail Oyewale, a citizen of Nigeria will score President GEJ slightly above average (51%) in his performance as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the past 6 years.
Well, like I said earlier, I wasn’t fortunate enough to witness the reign of General Muhammadu Buhari as the Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In that context, I have to base my judgement strictly on what I’ve read, what I’ve listened to and what I was told by the older generations who witnessed his rule. And I must confess, GMB is a worthy discussion anyday, any time, either by pro-GMB or anti-GMB folks.
The major talking point about his candidacy by the opposition (APC) is his credibility and impeccable anti-corruption stance. At the moment, GMB seems to be the only Nigerian that is fit enough to tackle corruption head on. It remains to be seen how he intends to achieve that if he wins the race without stepping on the toes of some powerful but allegedly corrupt individuals who are bigwigs of the APC.
The ruling party, PDP, continually raises questions about the alarming level of corruption happening in the APC in Lagos state. The supposed nerve centre of the party. The party leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu alone is alleged, by the ruling party and other opposition parties, to have access to siphon billions of state funds from all APC governed states. He is accused of corruptly owning choice properties (landed and otherwise) everywhere in the APC governed states.
Kicking corruption out is the mission statement of the APC. Will GMB prosecute the allegedly corrupt bigwigs in the APC and PDP, who in the past and present have been found to be corrupt?
Will GMB turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and not prosecute the hands that fed him on the basis of loyalty and Godfatherism?
Isn’t that in itself being corrupt? Has a pact of loyalty and allegiance be signed?
Isn’t this all just a mess? A lot of questions remain to be asked.
VERDICT: In my opinion, GMB must have entered some “untouchable pact” with certain bigwigs of the APC, thus crippling the credibility, effectiveness and efficiency of the anti-corruption crusade of his regime, if he wins the presidential race. Nigerians might witness the return of the “witch-hunting” anti-corruption war.
I expect him to perform better than GEJ in the fight against corruption, if he eventually gets to win the presidential race.
One of the major talking point by the ruling party (PDP) against GMB, is his educational background. A lot of issues and counter-issues have been raised by both the PDP and the APC as regards GMB’s education. But I expect the “People’s General” to scale the education hurdle without much scar. Obviously, the controversy over GMB’s educational background must have swayed some “undecided voters” to the PDP camp over the past couple of days.
VERDICT: Personally, I’m for education. It is the bedrock for the development of any nation. If you are not educated, I don’t see you offering intellectual leadership for any country. You can’t give what you don’t have. I hope GMB sorts out the education controversy in time before paying costly for it. On the other hand, I do not expect GMB to have held all those key positions in the past and performed with such impressive track records without being educated! I think a storm is being made in the tea cup with his education issue.
GMB isn’t in power, so I can’t judge him on the security or insecurity issues of the country. But these cogent questions and more should be asked from the “People’s General”:
(i) Does GMB have any relationship with the insurgent BOKO HARAM group?
(ii) Why did BOKO HARAM nominate General Muhammadu Buhari as their sole negotiator when the FG extended the arm of negotiation to the group?
(iii) What role did GMB play in the post 2011 election violence?
(iv) If the 2015 General Election doesn’t go GMB’s way, will we witness another round of blood shedding?
VERDICT: He is a general, isn’t he? I expect him to bring all his expertise, experience and professionalism as a retired soldier to the table and fight this insecurity scourge eating deep into the fabrics of our nationhood to an end.
Another major talking point by the ruling party (PDP) against GMB is the exhibition of total disregard forbthe rule of law shown by retired soldiers. While in office, GMB was accused of exhibiting fascist traits by handing out retroactive punishment and the indiscriminate jailing and killing of leaders from other regions of the country.
VERDICT: There’s this popular saying: “once a general, always a general”. To say GMB won’t exhibit some level of strong leadership is only wishful thinking. I expect GMB to show traits of autocratic leadership, if he gets to power. But again, I think our situation in this country actually needs iron fists to pull us out of the wilderness and position us in the right pedestal among the league of nations.
The APC’s message is that of HOPE and their resolve to CHANGE the fortunes of Nigeria and Nigerians.
The PDP’s message is that of performance over the last 16 years and their commitment to the TRANSFORMATION of the fortune of Nigeria and the lives of Nigerians over the next 4 years.
GMB and the APC have presented a well documented manifesto to all Nigerians to showcase their plans, dreams and aspirations for Nigeria if elected come February 14, 2015. On the other hand, GEJ and the PDP have also tabled their performance and track record over the past 16 years to Nigerians.
I’m glad both parties are aware of the need to either CHANGE or TRANSFORM the fortunes of Nigeria and Nigerians.
GEJ has ruled for six years, on the basis of the above and many others, does he deserve another four years or not?
But…is APC’s Buhari the answer?
At 72, is he fuelled by the personal ambition of correcting his errors as a Head of State by becoming a President, or is he really about CHANGE?
For how long will this festering, decaying mess that is Nigeria continue?
From whence cometh the messiah and the hour?
Messiah – SAI GEJ? SAI BUHARI?
TIME WILL TELL.
Which way Nigeria?
Do our “keyboard activists” on social media even have a PVC? If they do, do they have what it takes to deliver a polling unit? Would they exercise this fundamental right to vote good leaders into power and create a future for their kids? Or would they just sit back and say “my vote won’t count”?
We must build a better Nigeria, by becoming more active, physically and intellectually, in the construction of today’s Nigeria. It starts with the forthcoming general election.
We, the masses, are now the treasured maid being courted from all quarters. Our vote is our voice to a better Nigeria. Please vote wisely. #BeWise
COM. SALAMI ISMAIL OYEWALE
FB: Salami Ismail El’Sama
ADDITIONAL WRITE UP BY:
LAWAL SOLARIN JOJOLORE F.
FB: Jojoloreoluwa ‘jayj’ Lawal-Solarin