The Jonathan Presidency will go down in Nigeria’s history as the most corrupt this nation has seen in a long, long time and perhaps the most scheming and brutal. I think those who suffered under the late Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha and fought him back then must be seeing so many similarities between Abacha and Mr President. In fact, I dare say if President Jonathan had been a military ruler, he would have surpassed General Abacha’s many atrocities. Is it about repression? There have been several failed attempts at silencing the press, arrest and brutalisation of reporters, breaking into media houses and so many botched attempts at placing embargo on free speech, not to talk of revelations of snipers.
What makes the Jonathan Presidency a failed one is that it rode in on the heels of massive support from every quarter and yet despite the huge support, the ‘thank-you’ note Mr President gave to Nigerians was to remove ‘subsidy’ on PMS, thereby making life harder for ordinary Nigerians. From that point on, he made himself a sworn enemy of the masses. While his actions endeared him to the ‘powers that be’ from the west, it turned his back on the people on whose backs he rode to ‘stardom’.
In an attempt to save face and at least have people who still support him, he started paying ex-militants huge amounts of money and quietly turned his face when grand thefts were discovered in his government.
His many mistakes made him an easy prey for the lurking opposition vultures. The opposition that was disorganised in 2011 and had to strike a deal with him to deliver the South-west to him suddenly saw through this disorganised president who had greatness thrust upon him when he wasn’t ready for it and started a rebuilding process.
Today, the Jonathan Presidency is seen as a failed one, not because it did nothing, built no roads or had no achievements; it is because the bad far outweighs the good. The opposition has been unrelenting in its attacks on the Jonathan Presidency; sometimes taunting the Presidency into a public exchange of banters which end up digging up more ‘ghosts’.
The untruthful nature of the Jonathan Presidency contributed to the endearment process of the masses to the opposition. There was a time when two Presidential Spokespersons, Dr Reuben Abati and Mr Doyin Okupe gave different statements on same issue; it was the very height of deceit. There was a time when Dr Abati claimed that the first lady, Dame Patience was hale and hearty only for her to come back with ‘lazarus’ stories of her sickness being so serious that she had to be operated on. Deceit helps no government and the Jonathan Presidency is learning that in the most brutal of ways.
The many flaws of the Jonathan Presidency saw the crumbling of Africa’s biggest political party. Ex-militants and beneficiaries of the President’s magnanimity were allowed to run their mouth anyhow and fling insults at highly placed people in the society as their own way of saying ‘thank you’. A party that had boasted that it would rule for 60 more years has crumbled so much that it doesn’t even have an assurance of winning a councillorship seat.
The Opposition self-tagged ‘Progressives’ will perhaps be Nigeria’s biggest problem. The Jonathan Presidency will not only be held accountable for the atrocities it committed (and is still committing), it will be held responsible for forcing Nigerians into a party that has no interest of ordinary Nigerians at heart and is only interested in its own share of the national cake.
The opposition in Nigeria practice a theatrical form of politics; they play to the gallery. They lay claim to the garb of progressivism when in action, they are anything but progressives. The same party that promise Nigerians change are the same people who are strengthening their numerical stand by accepting the people who are core problems of Nigeria. How on earth do you relate the ‘PDP-lising’ of APC? If APC had anything to offer Nigerians before, the influx of large number of PDP heavy weights into it has made it clear that APC is just bent on getting its hand on the national cake while continuing the tradition of PDP.
APC has continued to use Rivers state as a stronghold of its propagandas. In Rivers state, they taunt the Presidency, commit crimes and expect to get pats on the back for doing so, and when they are challenged, they run to the media in the theatrical approach they have now come to be known with. The Presidency too, ignorant of historical occurrences plays perfectly well into the opposition’s hands. The use of CP Joseph Mbu to repress every opposition action in Rivers state has endeared many people to the opposition.
It has become saddening that politics is no longer played on ideologies and disagreements no longer hinge on policies; politics have become theatrical while disagreements now border on who loots the most. This is bad for Nigeria and Nigerians.
It only goes to prove right the assertion that a recycling of political parties won’t save this nation; there is the need for a total overhaul of this current system. Neither APC nor PDP will rescue Nigerians, our rescue lies in our hands. We are our own salvation.
Nigerians must neglect platforms and parties that have no interest of the masses at heart. We must perish the thought that we have to choose between two evils; we in fact, don’t need to choose. Our mission must not be to empower some greedy politicians for another 14 years, our primary concern must be to begin to make plans to overturn this system or 14 years from now, we’ll be wishing we did.
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
Ogun State, Nigeria.
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