He needs no introduction as he is known to every Nigerian, whether young or old. He is considered the luckiest Nigerian at the moment, in fact, some say since the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates in 1914. He is from a humble background, but providence catapulted him to prominence in just a little over a decade.
From being a teacher in the early to mid-90s, to being an obscured deputy director in the Niger Delta Development Agency (NDDC), he was nominated as the running mate of DSP Alamieyeseigha in the gubernatorial election in 1999. After winning the election, he remained a relatively unknown deputy of the governor till the latter lost favour with the then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who masterminded his impeachment through allegations of corruption; he then became the governor.
In 2007, after a lot of politicking was carried out, the duo of Yar’adua and Jonathan then contested for the 2007 presidential elections and somehow were declared as the winners in that sham organized by the disgraced (INEC boss) Professor Maurice Iwu.
That (s)election was widely condemned by both local and international observers, thus occupying the worst position in the history of elections in Nigeria. Its result was contested by the opposition candidates like Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, and so they filed different suits in the court.
For close to three years, our learned judges deliberated upon the result and in the end three justices of the Supreme Court upheld it. This put paid to the desire of re-run election as hoped for, thus paving way for the duo of Yar’adua and Jonathan to continue in office. Somewhere along the tenure, Yar’adua took ill, though that was not the first time, but this time it proved to be a different ball game as so many complications set in and in the end, the great man could not survive it; he died.
Before the death of the president, however, more politicking took place and in the end our legislators used what they termed as “Doctrine of Necessity” to make the then vice president wield presidential powers, though on acting capacity; thus his becoming acting president. Not long afterwards, the president said goodbye to this world and joined his ancestors. With this, the acting president metamorphosed into a substantive president where he delivered a concise but heart touching speech.
Personally, I feel there is nothing wrong with Jonathan contesting and even winning the election in 2011 and even beyond, because as a Nigerian, the constitution has given him the right to aspire to any elective post in the land.
However, my clamour for him not to contest stems not from the fact that I share in the sentiment of zoning or better put “it is the turn of the North to produce the next president come 2011” as many of our compatriots believe, rather, it is born out of my respect for the person of Mr. President and my sincere hope of seeing him write his name in gold as far as the history of new Nigeria is concerned.
Age, I believe, is still on the side of the president as he is younger than most of the power brokers in Nigeria today. So if he does what Nigerians expect from him, definitely they would be the ones to invite him at a later time to contest and win the election.
He has already started going in the right direction: that is by appointing Professor Attahiru Jega to head INEC. So if I were him, I would continue along this line by giving the new INEC whatever support they need to conduct a free and fair election in the country. The realization of this noble objective, I believe, would only be possible in an atmosphere where the incumbent is not a contestant; thus the need for him not to contest.
As security situation in the country is becoming precarious by the day, I would also ensure that we do everything within our limit to improve it. This means finding the remote and immediate causes of the insecurity and addressing them headlong. As experts have always posited, poverty plays a critical role in making the young vulnerable in our country today, we would ensure that our poverty eradication strategies are foolproof. We would ensure that the intended beneficiaries are the ones that get whatever palliative we design in form of support to our teeming unemployed youths and not just party faithful and thugs as is the case today.
The above however cannot be achieved without fighting corruption in the country. This means that we would have to strengthen our agencies – the EFCC, ICPC etc – to be in a position where they would discharge their duties as it ought to be and not according to the whims and caprices of the president.
If I were the president, I would close my ears from listening to all these sycophants and concentrate my energy on those things I have mentioned above; I would conduct the freest and fairest election in the history of Nigeria and in the end hand over to whosoever emerges as the winner – be that person is from my party or not.
As I said earlier, age is on his side. If he were able to achieve these things, come 2015, Nigerians from all walks of life would definitely have no living hero, or should I call him legend, but Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and as such none would deserve our votes but him.