Jan. 24, 2014
Obasanjo’s third term agenda was no secret. It cost the nation billions and stalled our affairs, corrupted our legislative offices and wasted our time for months on end. At last it was over, but not before Obasanjo ensured he paid us back for refusing his desperate desire. He ensured he imposed on us a dying president and a vice of uncertified character and credentials described in cables by Oronto Douglas as “part of the system of corruption that had impoverished the Niger Delta for decades.”
Then NSA, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, according to other cables, confided in foreign officials about Obasanjo’s choice—treacherously not telling us, the masses whose rights it was his sworn duty to protect—as follows, “Yar’Adua, Aliyu Mohammed Gusau said, suffers from a kidney disease and is on dialysis four times a week. In addition, he is subject to blackouts, probably related to epilepsy. He also suffers from other possibly unrelated mental conditions, is on constant medication for them, and has received psychiatric treatment in Germany. The dialysis machine was installed at the Katsina gubernatorial residence by the German construction firm Julius Berger (partially owned by former Chief of state Ibrahim Babangida). Because of these illnesses, Aliyu continued, Yar’adua has become a recluse, rarely leaving his Residence…”
The result of OBJ’s desperation to stay in Aso rock a third time is history. Yar’adua was unable to rule for a great part of his term, died in office and predictably, Jonathan, a candidate who would never have been selected or victorious in becoming president per normal course, became Nigeria’s president.
Jonathan’s first term is not hard to remember. His first term, albeit short was A term as president. It is important we are honest enough to recognize this. During that term, some of us quickly realized his authoritarian and reckless cravings when as we remember and a hallmark of that term, in June of 2010 he banned Nigeria’s Super Eagles from international competitions for their unfortunate performance in the 2010 World cup. Yes, that reckless ban and the resulting warning from FIFA was in his short first term as president. It was precisely his first month in office, after 3 full months as acting president.
One year as executive president completed his first four year term in Aso rock as the executive leadership of Nigeria. This write-up is not a legal challenge; on the contrary it is a question to conscience and reason. Are two tenures in the executive corridors of power, not enough? Do all our executives need three terms, 12 years to do good for the nation?
The office of the Vice President is by no means a meaningless one. We do not vote for a combined ticket of president and vice, simply because the vice stands in if the president dies. If that were the case, we will choose a better way of doing it. We vote for the vice president on the same ticket, because we know this office is as powerful as you wish to make it in pursuance of good for the nation. In fact, all legislative and executive offices are extremely powerful, not just that of the president, the vice president, senate leader and speaker.
The executive functions of the vice president include membership in the National Security and Defence Councils, which gives a full responsibility in events of and handling of terrorism; participation in all cabinet meetings, which gave him a full role in the running of the nation, along with his participation in the Federal Executive Council, and being the Chairman of National Economic Council.
With a sick president, Yar’adua, who was sick for perhaps more than half of his tenure, there is no reason why for the good of country, Jonathan did not step up and steer the ship of the nation. Did someone ‘say,’ late Yar’adua’s wife blocked him? Well, GEJ’s wife today is fulfilling the same executive role, so this should not be a complaint or justification.
The role of the Vice president and the opportunity it gives to serve cannot be underestimated. Imagine giving a Sowore or Soyinka that office, or even a role as a senator or rep. You can just predict how the corrupt and senseless practices of the government will be stalled and stopped by the representative and public press actions of these people, committed against all odds to the sensible restoration of hope, growth and true progress to our nation.
Many attributed the achievements, good, bad and ugly of George Bush’s administration to his deputy, Dick Cheney. Likewise, many attribute much of the strength of the Buhari administration to his deputy, late general Tunde Idiagbon. Vice president Atiku Abubakar was an executive to be contended with. That GEJ wishes us to believe he was not in Aso rock leading Nigeria during the 3 years rule of team sick-Yar’adua/Jonathan, is a poor hoax Nigerians are not interested in swallowing.
If Patience today, who is not even an elected official of the Nigerian government, and merely lives in Aso by marriage, can be at the head of our executive branch, then what excuse did Jonathan as an elected Vice have? Was he only largessing from the 1 billion naira/year Aso rock feeding budget those 3 years?
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has had enough time, two full 4 year terms in Aso rock, by mid next year, to achieve all the greatness he is capable of, for Nigeria. And that is without even holding him to his honor and document he allegedly signed with his ‘daddy,’ OBJ promising to not run for a third term.
We will like to get things done this 2014. Already as a consequence of the clear use of the nation’s police in what is reminiscent of our years under brutal military regimes, rallies are brutally broken up, people beaten and shot, civil right activists like Dino Melaye, detained and even mere visiting doctors like Fashakin arrested; and houses of those in opposition, busted by the SSS as recently as today.
With the APC deciding to be brave enough and block executive bills and tasks in return for the unchecked use of police and the security service to batter the nation in pseudo-military tyrannical rule; one can predict that Nigeria will achieve nothing, more billions will be stolen to utilize to bribe the soul-less and the economy will be depleted of all funds, to cripple the ‘opposition.’
Nigeria cannot afford this. We are dead already. We can yet use the rest of Jonathan’s second term to do wonderful things to be remembered by: Repositioning the economy, a true sovereign conference, banning all old politicians, youth empowerment and employment as against being only thugs for hire…
The best way forward, and out of this quagmire will be an altruistic, benevolent decision and statement by the president, not to run for a third term in Aso rock. This will instantly put an end to the theft of public funds, the waste and the lost concentration. IMF has warned that the politics of 2014 will ruin our growth. Shall we avoid this? God bless Goodluck Jonathan. God bless Nigeria.