we hear the argument that hardly anyone could have done better than
this President under the atmosphere of genocidal and coercive
insurgency that the northern political elite has subjected the
country to. It is indeed, no secret that some northern leaders, in
the run-up to the last Presidential election in 2010, vowed to make
Nigeria ungovernable if Dr. Goodluck Jonathan insisted on becoming
President, while the northern tenure under the zoning arrangement
was cut short by the untimely death of the former President.
In fact, the
rapid pace at which events have happened within the tenure of this
presidency renders the chronicling of events almost impossible. Yet
a fairly alert mind should be able to reflect on some events that
unfurled within the past three and a half years of Dr. Jonathan's
on a very bad note when the President -- in reaction to the
deeply-rooted chaos in the Nigerian Football Federation (Nigeria's
governing soccer body) that saw the national team end up with a
shameful performance in South Africa 2010 -- disbanded the national
team, dissolved the Federation and suspended international outings
for two years. FIFA raised its voice a few days later and the
President chickened in immediately. He had not done his homework
properly and did not consult with the proper experts for advice
before hastily announcing actions beyond the reach of his powers
against FIFA. Boko Haram had not yet thrown a single stone, not even
from a catapult.
afterwards, signs began to emerge that Boko Haram was stepping up
its campaign of violence by striking at soft targets and taking
scores of innocent lives. If anything, these initial actions signaled
the need to address the issue head-on and as a matter of utmost
priority. The President reacted and took the matter very seriously.
He plunged himself into the politics of reaching out to those, who
he thought mattered most and distancing himself from those, who he
thought mattered less. The choice was his and his alone. He appeased
them with some power-sharing arrangements, when he thought the
people mattered most and offered them and their cronies, lofty
government appointments. In return, he was repeatedly assured that
the menace will be over not later than six months into the future.
He took it all with deep satisfaction and took to assuring Nigerians
with dates, by which the menace of Boko Haram would be confined to
the trash can of history.
confidence and complacency, he turned his attention to another
front. Without the requisite deep-thought, analysis of pros and cons
and the need to take the bull by the horn, he lied and had his
ministers lie repeatedly to Nigerians that he had no plans to remove
fuel subsidy. Then on January 01, 2012 he gave Nigerians the demonic
New Year's gift of subsidy removal against all wise warnings of
risking a revolution if he did. The President unwittingly responded
that he was ready for a revolution. He was not taken hostage by Boko
Haram at the time. Inspired by the widely reported Arab Spring,
traditionally fearful Nigerians took to the streets and the
President escaped a full-scale revolution by the whiskers at the
cost of a few innocent lives.
meantime, Boko Haram's insurgency was turning nasty and showing
early signs of insurgent sophistication. His predecessor and mentor
Olusegun Obasanjo offered himself for mediation
-- a task none of
those people he appeased took upon themselves. He ended up
ridiculing the former President and having his paid agents rain
abuses on the old man with jeers and scorns. The choice was his.
the subsidy protest: The nationwide uproar beamed the flashlight on
the filth in the oil sector and all its attendant evils. The
intelligent option of creating self-sufficiency in refining crude
oil and discontinuing the regime of importing refined fuel was the
final settlement that killed the nationwide semi-revolution.
Investments were to be made in fixing old refineries and building
new ones. A memorandum of understanding was even reached with
Chinese engineering companies at the initial stage. We had no report
that resources had to be withdrawn from the project to facilitate
the fight against Boko Haram. No. Yet, the whole project died a
quiet death while the regime of fuel importation continues unabated
to the benefit of corrupt importers, who no one dares to question.
Not because Boko Haram stops anyone at gunpoint! The President is
simply held hostage by the corrupt power of the capital.
The speed at
which the sins of people are exposed, who try to expose the scale of
thievery in the oil sector underscores the excellence of President
Jonathan's government when he chooses to expose thieves. Half of the
energy invested in nabbing the lawmaker Farouk Lawan's acceptance of
bribe to kill a part of his investigations on subsidy thieves was
never invested in catching any of the oil thieves indicted. Yet Boko
Haram did not incite this ineptitude. The mole planted in Ribadu's
committee was never planted in any NNPC body to track corrupt
Nigerian Governors' Forum with undemocratic means had nothing to do
with Boko Haram. Having the President's wife meddle in the politics
of Rivers State and attempting to have 5 lawmakers rule over 27
others in the Rivers State House of Assembly had nothing to do with Boko Haram.
President’s only flagship project of success -- the reactivation of
the railway line from Lagos to Kano -- was not disrupted by Boko
Haram even though Kano is at the heart of Boko Haram's operation.
Yet Boko Haram is blamed for making governance difficult for the
President? Boko Haram did not force the President to grant a
national pardon to former Governor Alamieyesigha, who has been
officially adjudged corrupt and declared an international fugitive.
Today this former Governor wields far more political influence in
Jonathan's Nigeria than the cleanest of all public figures.Boko
Haram did not incite the President to make lords of militant touts
in the Niger Delta nor has Boko Haram stopped the arrest and public
prosecution of powerful brains behind illegal oil refineries all
over the Niger Delta region. Even Co-President AsariDokubo declares
openly that President Jonathan will "not dare" (repeat:
to refuse running for re-election.
"Else he can't come back home na