The Needle Eye-Like Road to 2015 by David Adeniyi
“For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”. (Luke 18:25)
Truly, we are in difficult times in Nigeria. The responses one gets from direct discussions with people whenever one asks questions about the happenings in our country are sighs and hisses. One does not need the service of a soothsayer to know that things are bad and people are not satisfied with the ruling party, PDP government and all its appurtenances.
As difficult as it seems for the Nigerian masses to enjoy good governance under the 14 years of the PDP-led government, more difficult will the case be for the PDP at the federal level and other politicians to win the hearts and votes of the electorates in the next general elections in 2015.
This time around, Nigerians are smarter. Nigerians are wiser now than in 2011 when they fell for Dr. Jonathan’s bait of “I don’t have shoes”. Now, it is a different ball game. Any party that presents deadwoods and people of questionable character as its candidates will meet their waterloo at the polling boots.
It would be foolhardy for politicians to have a notion that 2015 election is still going to be business as usual. In 2015, I suspect it will be like the biblical verse that says “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:25).
No sooner had the New Year 2013 was birthed than the posters of President Goodluck Jonathan/Namadi Sambo flooded all the major streets of Abuja for an election that is two years away from now. Though, the presidency in its usual manner, quickly denied knowing anything about the posters, some political analysts were of the opinion that the presidency actually knew about it-it just wanted to test the water to see what would be the reaction of the people.
A few months later, came the merger of the opposition parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to form a new party called All Progressives Congress (APC). This new development sent jittery to the camp of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) at the federal level. The self-acclaimed largest political party in Africa which had earlier boasted that it will rule Nigeria for 60 years knew for the first time that there will be a serious threat to its dominance in 2015. As it is the case now, it is not even a matter of the PDP ruling for 60 years any more, but how to survive the looming onslaught of the APC come 2015.
Ahead of the 2015 election, there have been series allegations of death threats, intimidation and political witch-hunting especially in the PDP fold.
While Jonathan should keep himself busy with the “fresh air” he promised the Nigeria before the 2011 presidential election, he has been busy engaging in frivolities and political pettiness with his party members.
In a bid to clip the wing of the Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) currently headed by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State who was rumoured to be an antagonist to his Second Term ambition, there has been ‘roforofo’ fight between the two of them. A situation that has shown further how scoundrel and meddlesome President Jonathan could be in political matters and his desperation to remain in office by force till 2019.
Rather than Mr. President rolling up his sleeves and get his hands busy with the infrastructural rejuvenation strides and redress his government from Nigerian public and International Community’s perception as a corruption encourager, he continues to dent his already battered image with a salvo with his PDP governors.
Yes! Jonathan did not bring corruption to Nigeria, but he romanced, institutionalised and indulged in it. Earlier in the year, the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili challenged Late President Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan’s administrations to a debate over squandering of $67 billion in External Reserves bequeathed by Obasanjo’s government which she served. Rather than the Jonathan’s government coming out to set the records straight in the public domain, his aides fell swoop on her, cast aspersions on her and called her names.
In a country where many are living in chronic poverty due to corruption; tertiary institutions are churning out graduates yearly with no hope in sight to give them jobs and the available jobs continue to remain elusive; with all these hydra-headed problems, president Jonathan’s administration still put forward a proposal to build a First Lady Mission that would gulp whooping N4 billion. The hope and aspiration people have in government continue to nosedive per second.
The 2015 general election (if well conducted by INEC) is one election that seems to be the deciding factor of the political future of Nigeria as a country. It is an election year where many politicians’ credibility will be put to test. It is a year that Nigerians should deal “deadly blows” to the faces of the common enemies and thieves of our commonwealth.
Only a few weeks ago, a House of Representative member under the platform of CPC was lynched by his constituent members because he reneged on his promises to better the lots of his people. Many politicians will not get to the polling booths before they received their judgments as was the case with the CPC member.
Why does a sitting president have to resort to all sorts of ‘braggadacio’ before he can seek a re-election if he has genuinely served his people and they are thoroughly satisfied with his performance?
As 2015 draws nearer, within the PDP fold, president Jonathan may not need to lose his sleep for him to get his party’s ticket as long as he has enough ‘kudi’ to spend for the delegates during the primaries. Yes! Money, the only language that every Nigerian politician understands! However, as easy as it may seem for Jonathan to clinch the PDP ticket if he wants to contest, he will have a tough battle to do with the opposition party, APC especially when his party, having ruled for 14 years has failed woefully. To show further how jittery the president has become, some days ago, his special aide on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak said the president is ready to forgo his re-election bid if the National Assembly can pass his recommendation of a 6 year single tenure into law. This has been countered by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in the North and Afenifere, a socio-political group in the South West. The rejections came on the ground that it will encourage corruption and bad leadership style. Only those who supported the 6 year single tenure are his (Jonathan’s) die-hard supporters in the South East, South South and Ijaw extraction. This stands to be another obstacle before Jonathan if the proposal is perhaps thrown into the dustbin of history by the NASS.
I won’t be surprised if the long suffering Nigerian masses who are already moaning and groaning vote against the PDP in 2015 to favour the APC. I will only be shocked if they still allow PDP government to spend an extra day in Aso Rock Villa. If one has been using one medicine and it is not working as expected, will it be a crime if one changes and tries another potent medicine to cure the ailment?
The presence of formidable opposition parties deepens democracy and brings about rapid socio-economic developments. The masses will have a lot to benefit from such democracies. When two locusts fight, it is always the crow who feasts.
For the opposition APC to have a stronger appealing influence on the Nigerian electorates, it must begin show that it has better things in the offing. The current governors and lawmakers under the platform of APC must begin to demonstrate good leadership and deliver good governance in their various states and constituents. They must prove to the masses that they are different from the PDP that they have criticised of being enmeshed in brazen corruption and bad leadership. Nigerians cannot afford to move from frying pan to fire.
The opposition APC leaders must not allow their primordial ambitions and sentiments to becloud their sense of reasoning and patriotism.
President Jonathan can still surprise his critics including me if he spends the remaining less than two years in office before his first term tenure expires to deliver on his transformation agenda promises. He should remain focus and shun political pettiness that is currently bedeviling his government and party. The remaining sun in the sky is still enough to dry clothes. What should engage his attention is how to provide regular power supply, genuine employment generation for the teeming able-bodied but jobless youths. He should whittle down costs on governance and show more courage to tackle corruption especially among his party members to serve as a deterrent to others. Even if he does not contest or win another election, at least his name will be written in gold.
President Jonathan should stop playing God and know that God owns powers and gives it to whoever He chooses.
No matter how good or bad market sales has been for the day, a trader must close the shop when the night beckons.
I am @realmyunicy on Twitter.
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