Permit me to use this medium to extend my sympathy to the victims of last weekend fiercely attack by the violent sect- Boko Haram, on Baga- a town in Borno State, North East Nigeria, where about 16 villages were reportedly to have been burnt to the ground. I have no idea why the report was kept away from the public for days or probably the media didn’t get the report is something worrisome. But to say that the presidency does not know that such a terrible attack happened in a part of its country and yet didn’t condemn it even at the flag off rally of the 2015 campaign in Lagos is weird and grossly inhumane. Well, that’s an issue to be discussed another day.
It`s my birthday and have decided to write this passionate piece as an advice and a cautionary note as my gift to the President. I sincerely hope that he takes every word seriously and thinks about it.
The 2015 general election is just few weeks away, the polity is heating up and every major contender for different positions is doing all they could to secure victories at the polls. On Thursday, 8th January, 2015, President Jonathan was in Lagos where he flagged off the 2015 campaign for his party- The People Democratic Party. In his speech which lasted for approximately 30 minutes, we saw a different President, totally different from the gentleman and easy going Jonathan that we know who spoke in an unusual way full of actions, attitudes and force.
President Jonathan has been generally perceived as a gentleman who has achieved most of his political ambitions so calmly backed up by luck and not by force. But in his speech at the flag off rally in Lagos, the President spoke with much anger, pains and not as a gentleman but like someone who is ready to do all within his power to secure victory in the next month election.
During his speech, while criticizing the opposition and past Nigerian leaders for his woes and failures, he failed to articulate his widely acclaimed achievements in a very straightforward way for the people to understand. Rather, he was aggressively criticizing his opponents. Even the little achievements that he well brags of in the Agricultural Sector are yet to be felt in the prices of foods and condiments in the country and also in the overall well being of the people. Every night, a lot of Nigerians still go to bed hungry and wake up with no hope of what to eat.
The truth is, the force that he brought to the campaign ground should have been used to restore over a million Nigerians that have been internally displayed by war. That force could have also been used to rescue the Chibok Girls from the hands of Boko Haram their abductor. In addition, the same force could have been used to crush Boko Haram completely. Furthermore, that same force and aggression could have been used to move millions of Nigerians out of the poverty line and do more great things for national interest.
His personal technique for fighting corruption is not in any way working and effective and has not in any way sanitized the system or even makes it to be less corrupt than the way he meant when he became President 6 years ago.
Although, it is a bold statement to combat corruption by building institutions that will make corrupt practices difficult to execute, but it is sluggish to still be talking about building institutions after 6 years as President while the ultimate bravery is to arrest and prosecute corrupt persons according to the law. There is no saner part of the world where corrupt practices are not considered to be criminal offences and where corrupt persons are not appropriately dealt with according to the law. So building institutions is not just enough, punishment must also be accorded legitimately.
Mr. President had enough time to hit hard at the opposition while giving his speech at the rally last week but he forgot that under his watch over 200 school girls from Chibok community in Borno state were abducted by the deadly terrorist group since last year and are yet to be rescued.
President Jonathan had enough time to shout at his critics at the rally but ignored that just last weekend under his watch, Boko Haram ‘Burnt to the ground’ about 16 villages, in Baga, Borno State and killed about 2,000 people and as I write this piece he`s yet to say a word or lift a hand.
In spite of all his shortcomings, President Jonathan wants a second term and instead for his campaign to be based on vital issues revolving around national developments and taking responsibilities for his many failures, he forcefully went on attacking and blaming everyone for his failures. He may decide to plead to compassionate Nigerians for more years to fix his wrongs, but he must remember that this election is “issues based” and cannot be won by force.
Gone are those eras when elections are declared “do or die” and out of fear people voted for mediocrity. Time has passed and season has changed every vote he needs would be justified convincingly.
Unlike 2011, when he got the mandates of the people by luck and achieved this position on a platter of gold, this time around President Jonathan is not going to get it easily. He`s going to justify why he needs a 2nd term and why compassionate Nigerians must let him remain in office beyond May 29, 2015.
There is no level of force that the president decides to bring or introduce into the system that will add a vote to his votes. The best he could do now is to remain the gentleman we used to know him to be and campaign like a gentleman he is. Because heating up the polity that is already overheated will do him no good.
In conclusion, Dear Mr. President, I have this impression that you have exhausted your luck and want to turn to force, but you cannot win this election by force. As it stands now, neither luck nor force can add a single vote to your votes. Before now, elections might have been won by force or by violence, but those are no more. Nigerians have woken up from their slumbers and do not care about the qualifications or the age of your opponent; the best you could do is to appeal to the leniency of the people but this election cannot be won by force.
God Bless Nigeria
Ogundana Michael Rotimi
I tweet @MickeySunny
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