28th May, 2012
Tomorrow, 29 May, is the so-called Democracy Day. It marks President Goodluck Jonathan’s first anniversary in power, though technically, he has been in power for the past two years, having been sworn in as president in May 2010 following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua on 5 May 2010.
Looking at Jonathan’s score card, there isn’t much to cheer, contrary to the rosy picture of performance Jonathan’s ministers have ascribed to this administration. Nigerians cannot be deceived by what they see around them.
The people have never had it so bad. There is injustice, violence and corruption everywhere. Everywhere Nigerians turn, a gloomy picture stares them in the face. There is failure of leadership everywhere while corruption has been taken to a new height by civil servants who steal billions of naira without batting an eyelid. The Boko Haram terrorists have turned the northern part of the country into a war zone. This group of extremists have killed over 1,000 Nigerians between 2009 and 2012 in their bombing and shooting campaigns. This has made Nigerians lose hope in the ability of the Jonathan administration to protect them. It is an understatement to say the Boko Haram menace poses a serious threat to the continued existence of this nation.
Also, never in the history of this country have Nigerians witnessed the massive pillaging of crude oil by criminals in the creeks of the Niger Delta as we are seeing today. In just two years under Jonathan’s watch, Nigeria has lost $4.6 billion (over N1 trillion) to the activities of oil thieves in the creeks of the Niger Delta. 180,000 barrels of oil are lost to the thieves daily.
Again, Nigerians have never had it so bad in terms of poor electricity supply, yet the government has concluded plans to increase electricity tariff in the next couple of days.
The yoke Jonathan’s government is forcing Nigerians to bear is too heavy and in spite of all the sacrifices the citizens are making to keep the economy running, government officials are more preoccupied with stealing from the treasury than serving the people.
As Jonathan begins his second year in office, he should realise that he has utterly disappointed Nigerians by not measuring up to their expectations. He should devote his remaining years in power to transforming the country and improving the lot of the people and stop the empty transformation agenda slogan members of his cabinet are mouthing.
Jonathan should not allow himself to be distracted by those who are already flying the 2015 kite that he should contest for another term. There is still a lot of work for him to do before 2015 and he will be judged by his performance in the remaining three years of this current tenure.
Nigerians are not interested in whether he will run or not in 2015. Let him prove himself with the mandate they gave him in 2011; the mandate many are regretting giving him in the light of the failure of leadership in all its ramifications we are witnessing today.