Let’s Be Fair on President Goodluck Jonathan.
by Adeolu Akinyemi
I know I’m usually not the first to praise our President. I believe he has staff paid to praise him, I’m a citizen of Nigeria and demand good governance. I think many Nigerians may think they don’t deserve better, but I think we deserve better. I have benefited from this country, even as poorly run as we have criticised that it has been – my education is purely a testimony of the success of the public sector, and I do not take that lightly.
Today, I want to take a more practical approach. Those who know me a little well, know that throwing punches and criticising any government for me is merely satire. I believe that power is not man made, men vote, but God decides. The only reason we can have a country ever run by the likes of our current president is clear signs that providence decides. Our country has shown this over and over again. We have had presidents straight from prison, and had a democratic president without any election. In this submission, I understand that President Goodluck Jonathan became and has stayed the president of Nigeria by the will of God. I do not however believe in “Vox Populi Vox Dei”, many times God speaks whether the people speak contrary or stay mute.
Now to the matter of fairness to President Goodluck Jonathan. How has Nigeria faired under him during his 6 year rule, reign or leadership. Are there things that he has achieved that are undeniable? Are there areas that need improvement? Has he been naughty or nice and does he deserve a gift from this Santa?
There are clear achievements that President Goodluck Jonathan popularly known as GEJ has achieved which cannot be taken from him. While there are lists of plenty of things the president has achieved, the parameter for me, is what affects our lives, and what we can truly measure. Here are my list of 5 things that President Goodluck Jonathan has done well.
1. Agriculture – The current government has achieved significant milestones in agriculture that cannot be pushed aside. There is the criticism of all talk and less action, but those are just critics who must criticise. 40% reduction in food imports, cassava production output records and agricultural transformation are clear records by this administration.
2. Youth Entrepreneurship – The initiation of the YouWin was a novel idea of channeling funds in a direction that has the capacity to jumpstart a portion of the market. The actual impact value of this is currently inconclusive, but the benefit to those who won is quite significant.
3. Aliko Dangote’s Networth Increase – Aliko Dangote experienced a 1,000% increase in Networth under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. This shows that the administrations policies were favourable. At least to a market demographic.
4. Infrastructure Development – 9 Universities were started, a few airports too. The rail way system is being revived
(25yrs project), a number of federal roads are being beautified and some constructed. The administration was characterised by projects. Only the blind would claim not to notice the volume of projects that sprang up around airports, roads, bridges e.t.c.
5. Others – This constitute of a mixture of varieties, ranging from Women in the ministries, good luck in winning African cup of nations and medals in the Commonwealth games. Part of the others is the growth in the Nollywood industry and so many others.
It would be grossly unfair to the President to gloss over this and go straight into complaining about the misadventures of the administration and the things that they didn’t do well. The president does not have a magic wand and he honestly cannot give what he doesn’t have. No government however is made up of one person, so it’s the collaboration with diverse people that makes a good government. President Goodluck Jonathan has given Nigeria and Nigerians his best shot.
It is true that the tenure had not been without it’s own fair share of challenges. There have been clear lapses and gaps, and times when one wonders if truly there is no deliberate sabotage going on from within to discredit the President. Haven led us for 6 years however, we have a golden opportunity, to try someone else or to continue with the foundation that has been laid.
What does Nigeria need? A new CEO or a new Chairman of the board. The problems we have are real, not imagined. Terror has taken abode on our soil, and desperate issues call out for desperate solutions. GEJ is a great man and he has not done badly. We however have issues of Boko Haram, Bomb blasts here and there, missing monies, corruption, stealing, and so much more. In these times, we don’t need someone who may, we need someone who can. We don’t need who can do the job well, we need who can do the job better. It’s not about individuals, it’s about the future of our country.
So while today I concede to you that Goodluck Jonathan is good, I restate my position that General Muhammadu Buhari is better! Not by analysing their mistakes, but looking at their antecedents and the things they have achieved, and to report based on that. Based on this submission, I state that we are not voting the best of two evils, but the best of two good men. One branded with integrity, and the other with inclusion.
My position is Sai Mai Gaskiya! Gaskiya Dokin Karfe. It has nothing with what GEJ hasn’t done well, it’s based on the hope that rises in my heart, when I realise that the greatest enemy of Nigeria is not anyone in particular, but primarily self interest. I am pleasantly amazed by Buhari’s abnegation and I desire that we have a leader who can indeed lead and inspire change!