President Goodluck Jonathan is luckier than his name. The man who is a coincidence with the name he bears but who is always at the right place at the right time is indeed a lucky person.
That he has been super lucky three times politically in Nigeria is beyond him. It is a luck that surpasses his name and which he must have been finding difficult to explain to himself. He must have also tried to thank his stars and likewise his progenitors for a premeditated name but he is still not sure whether that was the magic. Those who gave him the name cannot also lay claim to the glory of his present fortune. If they envisaged that he will be what he is today, his family and people would have been worshipping him right from the day he was born. Taking into consideration all the circumstances, I think the only thing he can understand is the reality of finding himself in those high offices where his words are laws. For this, he has been thanking the Almighty God who has been surprising him and he will do so forever.
The result of the April 2011 presidential election in Nigeria shows that President Goodluck Jonathan benefitted immensely from his humility. No matter how anybody may want to look at it, his simplicity and candor in office so far gave it to him. The people of south west who voted out all the PDP governors and almost all PDP Senators, Reps and members of the Houses of Assembly in their States voted en-masse for Goodluck Jonathan even against the presidential candidate of ACN, the party that is controlling the south west now. By those elections, some personalities who have held the good people of the south west hostage since 2003 were cut to size and the unenviable empire they trickily created in that part of the country for about eight years crumbled.
Nigerians have shown that they like President Goodluck Jonathan and he has every opportunity now to reciprocate the good gesture. Nigerians, particularly the south west chose between him and PDP by the manner they voted in all the elections. He can only thank his fellow Nigerians by good governance, by choosing between them and those godfathers in PDP, by saying enough is enough to the hawks and selfish politicians who have been monopolizing our commonwealth since 1999, by appointing credible people as ministers instead of recycling his party members who have always been useful to themselves and not to Nigerians in general. He will be thankful if he does those things that will make ordinary Nigerians to appreciate him between now and 2015 to the extent that they may be asking him to continue in office the way the people of Lagos State have been thanking and urging Governor Babatunde Fasola to carry on since 2007. Nigeria is not immune to changes and no one would complain of a place of birth of a political leader if his policies positively touch the lives of all Nigerians particularly the poor.
Goodluck Jonathan is not a radical or an aggressive leader which Nigeria urgently needs at the moment but he can turn out to be a good leader if those surrounding him who recycle themselves around the corridors of power and who have held the rest of us hostage since independence would leave him alone. If he can cut himself loose to stop thinking of their in-satiety in competition for personal wealth, affluence and aggrandizement. He appears to have sympathy for the cause of the poor people of Nigeria but the godfathers who always think that Nigeria cannot be without them have another agenda. They are on his neck and for what all of us know, will pilot him towards failure as they always do unless he can stand up to them. A man who as a boy went to early school without shoe does not need to be taught what it is to be poor. He should therefore be prepared to offend those selfish godfathers and political jobbers to be a friend of the poor masses of Nigeria who have shown their love for him by lining up in the sun and in other places in the rain to vote for him.
The president must do everything to assure Nigerians that it was not a gimmick that there was relative electricity stability immediately before and during the last general elections. Nigerians want him to know that electricity supply has dropped immediately after the elections. In spite of the two days on and one day off programme put in place in some parts of the country, people don’t have electricity for more than one or two hours on the day they are supposed to have it for twenty four hours in those places now. If it continues like that, it will only show that the president made Nigerians to vote for him under false pretences when he was using improvement in electricity stability to campaign before the elections. On the issue of security, he must look beyond Nigeria for a solution and if he is serious about fighting corruption, he must double his speed in that exercise. He must realize that Nigerians are going to ask him questions from now on.
One can drive continuously for 36 hours in the United States without experiencing a single pothole on the roads. Nigerian political leaders travel from time to time to those places and they see the good roads, their education and medical facilities. It takes a great courage and discipline for the leaders, men and women in America to plan, construct, maintain and manage those roads, schools and hospitals. It is true that government cannot provide everything but Nigerian political leaders have a moral duty to lead by example. If there is public morality on their part, every Nigerian would be happy and willing to play his or her role in the project to move this country forward. We should start by reducing the number of our public holidays. We observe too many holidays and it is not helping Nigerian economy. There are enough human and material resources in this country to make Nigeria a beautiful place if the Nigerian leaders can stop being selfish and greedy and if the rest are prepared to work hard.
President Goodluck Jonathan must not forget that he was written off at the beginning and that some people did not even give him any chance. That is why he must know that it cannot continue to be business as usual. He must know that people voted for him and not for PDP and that Nigerians will ask him to account for whatever happens in governance in the next four years. He should therefore look for ways to check the National Assembly members in their thirst for bogus salaries and allowances. He should ask them the essence of an aggrieved candidate going to an electoral tribunal if the tribunal cannot declare a winner. Although the National Assembly must have realized the futility of that reasoning going by the result of some of the April general elections where the incumbent ruling party candidates were defeated but he should still ensure that a clause that was smuggled into the Electoral Act that says that the tribunal can only order a rerun election in an electoral dispute is taken out of it.