It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Former President Jonathan By Toyin Dawodu
Americans have a saying: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
That saying is absolutely true. Research teams at both Harvard University and MIT confirm humans automatically make snap judgments about others within three seconds of meeting them. We judge not only their level of danger and friendliness, we also try to determine their level of education, affluence, influence and value to us as connections – all in 2.8 seconds. These conclusions that we reach in under three seconds serve as the foundation on which we base our opinions of others. These are first impressions and try as you will, it’s hard to get someone to change his mind about a first impression.
So then, I will ask you this: Since assuming his post as president in 2010, what impression has Goodluck Jonathan made on you? I would say he seized his opportunity to rule, had his chance, and blew it. In four years, he has never been able to push his way past being ineffective, so he’s out. I hope Nigerians are smart enough to show him the door out of Aso Rock. And even if PDP were to nominate him, Nigerians should wholeheartedly reject Jonathan’s candidacy for one simple reason: He can’t do the job.
Now, before any of you Jonathan supporters and political handlers out there get bent out of shape and start attacking me, let me make it clear that I am not anti-Jonathan. Neither am I a supporter of the opposing party. I am a registered Nigerian voter who is concerned about the fate of Nigeria, its status as a nation and its future as a viable, economically strong country.
I believe in Nigerians. I believe in the power one Nigerian has to change our country for the better. I gladly support several candidates who I know have plans to run for different offices in 2015. One will run as PDP and another may run as APC. I support these candidates because I know first-hand of their character and I’m hoping each of them will be able to maintain their character and integrity throughout their terms in office. I have yet to make a decision on a presidential candidate. But after four years of Jonathan’s administration, one thing is very clear to me: Jonathan is not the leader Nigerian needs. I fear four more years of his presidency will delay progress another four years or more and we can’t afford to delay our own progress any longer.
Believe it or not, Jonathan never set out to become Nigeria’s Head of State. He didn’t have a plan in place for the country. He made us no promises! It’s a wonder Nigerians elected him to office. If you remember, he posted a quote on Facebook when he ran for office in 2010 that read: “I do not want to win your affections by giving you promises of things I would do in the future which others before me have given and which have largely been unfulfilled.” The sentiment is romantic, but it says nothing.
Nothing of his desire to strengthen the economy
Nothing of his strategy for finally powering Nigeria so that every business and household has working electricity.
Nothing of his plan to subdue and blot out rebel forces and make punishments for anti-Nigeria terrorism swift and severe.
Since we elected to the nation’s highest office a man without a plan, Nigerians should not be surprised that power generation has now dropped from 5,000 megawatts in 2010 to 2,500 megawatts today. These are figures told to the media by Jonathan’s very own Minister of Power, Professor Nebo. But, I’m sure Nigerians can bear witness to this fact without having to read it in the newspapers. Of course, the Honorable Minister is quick to give the usual excuses, “Sabotage, vandalism, lack of gas,” but I think we’ve had enough excuses.
We are not naïve enough to continue to accept vandalism as a legitimate reason for not being able to power Nigerian homes and businesses. So, no, Mr. President, we do not want four more years of your excuses and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants presidency.
We may like Jonathan as a public figure or a celebrity personality. Who doesn’t like Jonathan? But the question we need to ask ourselves is: Did Jonathan deliver? A better question is, can he ever deliver? If the answer is “No,” we need to send him back to his village for permanent retirement.
Jonathan’s so-called Road Map to Power Nigeria failed miserably, denying Nigerians a fundamental convenience of civilized life – uninterrupted electricity. I had the opportunity to sit down with Professor Nnaji, Jonathan’s former Chairman of this “road map” in September 2010. The President himself urged me to meet with the professor. Jonathan was quite excited about the plan I developed to build 4,000 megawatts of distributed power in Nigeria, but my plan could not come to fruition because the Chairman and I did not see eye to eye on Nigeria’s power plan.
I reviewed the Chairman’s power plan, but there was one important flaw – it wouldn’t deliver electricity to Nigerians for a decade or more. I didn’t have to convince the Chairman of the flaw in his plan. He already knew, but insisted his mandate did not allow him to tweak the road map and focus on what is feasible and achievable. So now, it’s four years later and we have access to half as much power as we did when Jonathan took office.
I will admit that I had high hopes for the President. He was a fresh face and he seemed like a good man. Fueled by my meeting with his handlers and Jonathan’s vague statements before he took office, I did my best to warn Nigerians about the trouble ahead, to no avail. I don’t doubt that Jonathan is a good man. He’s just not a good president.
Well, friends, another election is upon us. If we are not careful, we will forget the failures of the past four years and mortgage the futures of our children by electing a winning smile and great personality to an office that requires a grueling work ethic and smart strategies. What will the next four years hold for us if Jonathan is reelected? I don’t know. As long as Jonathan is in office, Nigeria will remain in darkness. If we are smart, we will reject Jonathan this time around and find a candidate who is equipped to strengthen Nigeria.
What will your decision be?
You can tweet me at 1amazingtoyin to continue the discussion.
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
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