NEWS PUNCH – The truth is that, not being an omnipresent, President Goodluck Jonathan cannot be everywhere at the same time. But the bitter truth is that, his appointees understood his weaknesses (inability to differentiate between stealing and corruption), they therefore exploited him for their personal gains. They report glooming situation in a cheery manner. They paint bearish economy as bullish; they turned stories around and gladdens his heart, they organise parties to celebrate everything including commissioning of boreholes and motorcycles. They have successfully built an army of enemy around him; they turned him to public enemy. The reality wasn’t clear until the oppositions wax stronger, Nigerians were present with credible alternative, making the President vulnerable in the coming election.
President Jonathan kinsmen has benefited immensely from his government but I won’t dwell on that as such as that is probably the practice for most politicians across our continent. The president has spoon-fed some people like Alhaji Asari Dokubo who now has the grimace to spit fire at anyone, even our security has to take their eyes off this menace and his utterances.
One of the issues that no one is telling President Jonathan is about the behavioural attitude of his kinsmen who has arrogated the power to kill or make alive in the country in their own hand. I know the President would not like this but since these over bloated kinsmen have been spoiled and become overnight billionaires, who is he to stop them? The body languages and behavioural attitudes of some Ministers, Governors and other assistants is demeaning.
Recently, Governor Godwill Akpabio openly stated that failure to re-elect his boss is a call for anarchy, let it be sound very clear, if President Jonathan’s party fail in the coming election, Nigeria will still be peaceful. Chief MKO Abiola died and nothing happened.
On our economy, I am not querying the competency of the Coordinating and Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the fact is that the economy is weak, many wonders why President Jonathan has continued going about telling the people that all is well when it is apparent that doom days are near. The truth is that most country like Nigeria which depends solely on Oil has come out boldly to accept the fact that their economy is running into shambles.
In Russia, the downturn of oil prices has turned their economy into fiasco. They have spent and dig their hands into their reserves; Russia reserves depleted from $515,590b in Nov. 2013 to $418,880b in the same period in 2014. Today the economy has lost half its value in a year. Russia’s $2.1 trillion economy has shrunk to $1.1 trillion. If an economy that worth such can be depleted so rapidly, is Nigeria’s immune? The Deutsche Bank and other world lenders has doom predictions for most oil dependent countries as they were already forecasting an oil glut in 2015 as the US flooded the market with shale Oil with Britain making huge investment in the same. I think President Jonathan is not in cognisance with these news to avail him an opportunity of making quality comparison and decisions, he would have known that his musketeers were only patronising him for their personal gains.
The above scenario is not a replica of Russia only, other countries with same economy base have suffered greatly. I can now ask; Mr President, What is the position of our economy? The very few influential youths ‘employed’ by the government’s SURE-P cannot avert the impending explosion owing to massive youth unemployment. The deception called debased GDP will not save us from the economic doom. In fact, the charming figures rolled out daily without substance will not help the government too. The clear thing is that, there is hunger in the land; unemployment has turned able youths to beggars. The best way to boost the economy is to redistribute wealth downward, as poorer people tend to spend a higher proportion of their income; unfortunately, President Jonathan’s government has chosen otherwise, what a tragedy?
I am sure, President Jonathan is not aware of several things as they happened in Nigeria. Painfully, the overzealous advisers would encouraged you to overlook them, but let me say here that they can’t be overlooked, these buddies are feeding fat on the economy but behold, the voters are suffering and not feeling the impact of this government. The transformation agenda is only alive to the bank account of the few. Right now, the economy is a whole lot like a fairly good-looking brain-dead chick in a persistent vegetative coma. I doubt you can really wake her up, the voters will vent their angers soon, and it will all become a thing of history.
And lastly, consider these words of George Papandreou, I thought he has Nigeria’s of today in mind, hear him “unfortunately, corruption is widespread in government agencies and public enterprises. Our political system promotes nepotism and wasting money. This has undermined our legal system and confidence in the functioning of the state”. We can do something and bring these crying babies under control. Mr President, you are the referee; you blow the whistle, we play along as you wish.
Jacob Ogunseye – JEDD Centre for Leadership and Direction