President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan can now see clearly his triumphs and errors as the 2015 general election firmly stirs him in the face. Now, he is striving militantly with a burning sense of mission anew - for himself and for Nigeria - from which all doubts are not excluded. His new campaign strategies seems to have exerted a strong appeal on the sentimentally-induced nation.
In his exalted spirit, he is pointing the way toward a glorious Nigerian destiny where there would be power stability, elimination of Boko Haram, job creation, zero tolerance for corruption and the like. Will Mr. Jonathan be able to achieve these, even if he tarries on to 2019? To think of it, is it actually useless to speak guilt of a man who in the bottom of his heart is devoted to his nation with studious love, and who only missed or failed to understand the common road to her destination?
There is no doubt that the President has done some good, his best. Is his best enough for Nigerians? He has fixed Ore-Benin Express Way, and has continued to fix the Lagos-Ibadan axis of the same road. He has minimally upgraded some major airports, even though they are not amongst the best 10 airports in Africa and are still leaking each time it rains.
He is rehabilitating the locomotive rail system, and he is at the verge of releasing N9.2 billion to Nigerians to buy cooking stoves as his re-election approaches. He had also built a number of destitute (almajiri) schools in parts of the North, and had promised to build the Second Niger Bridge in the South East, even though it was his 2011 electoral promise.
But Nigerians are asking questions. They will continue to ask questions as their feeble nation totters down to the making and breaking day of February 14th. They will be asking President Goodluck how well he tackled barefaced corruption in the last six years of his government. They would want to know what happened to the $3 million Farouk Lawal bribery scandal, the $6.8 billion petroleum subsidy scam, the N60 billion police pension scam, the Oduah N225 million car scandal, the N10 billion Allison Madueke's jet scandal, N10 billion laundered by Lamido, Jigawa State Goveror, and the missing $20 billion from the federation account.
They will certainly ask questions about the abducted Chibok girls who remain missing to date, the NNPC scam, the $9 million and $5 million arms deals, the petroleum pump price hike, the devaluation of Naira, the oil theft, the power outages, the skyrocketed PHCN bills, the National Assembly tragedy, the cold-blooded killings by Boko Haram insurgents in the North, the N75 billion Abuja CCTV that was stollen, the suppression of personal freedom, the depravities of civil rights, and the massacre and slaughtering of schoolchildren in the North.
The questions would continue about the Haliru Mohammed £1 million bribe, the $1.1 billion Malabu bribe scandal, the $180 million Halliburton scandal, the $32 billion ill-equipped defence, the $713 billion Nigerian Port Authority fraud, the Bart Nnaji PHCN scandal, Dame Patience Jonathan dollar laundry scandal, the former President Olusegun Obasanjo latest allegation of $55 billion mismanaged, the youth employment fiasco, and more.
Unfortunately, for the president, his discipline, zoology, offers a definite judgment on morality. To situate corruption properly, it must be replaced by two concepts borrowed from zoology: the taming of a beast and the breeding of a specific species. But he didn't apply his studies to tame corruption!
Though inherited, Mr. Jonathan has been mushrooming on the country's misfortunes, after inspiring the hope of brightening a nation under tension, turmoil, and depression in 2011. Things had grown worse from what they were as at the time he picked up the threads of the withering country's life from the edge of the precipice. He couldn't tackle the misfortunes of the immediate past, the eclipse of the present crises, and then strengthen the future he ambitiously promised to secure.
One of the most annoying episodes is the job scam where 19 Nigerian youths, including pregnant women, were trampled to death at the nation's stadia across the 36 states of the federation, Federal Capital Territory inclusive. The President deadened his feelings and acted like a monster - filled with joy - after returning from a fearful season of murder; arson, rape, and torture with the same joy in his heart, the same contentment in his soul as if he has won a trophy! No one heard anything about the Commission of Enquiries the president set up on the matter.
I raised some pertinent questions at that time in March 2014 when the horrific incident occurred thus: "Shall we expect President Goodluck Jonathan to 'get to the root of the present stage-managed killing' by the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS and its allies? If he does, shall we ever know the purpose the killing serves in his government?"
Could the government findings assuage the feelings of many Nigerians who linked the deaths of the job-seeking youth to serving ritualistic purposes? Would the enquiries truly reveal the administration’s intention that was attended with showmanship? How many more Nigerians will pay the ultimate price if the aim of the brutal stampedes is to enable a certain person hold onto power beyond 2015?
Isn't it shameful that over 6 million youths paid N1,000 to chase less than 5,000 jobs in a single department across the country? The same blood-soaked racket raked over N6 billion for the Nigeria Immigration Service, which they claimed was meant for the consulting firm. Ironically, the Interrior Minister, Abba Moro, who supervised the tragic trampling underfoot of the Nigerian youths, is still holding on tenaciously to his ministerial position.
It's hoped that Nigerians will be approaching the polling units across the country with the mindset of righting the wrongs visited on their beloved country by a gang of politically ill-equipped leaders who are providentially thrusted on the nation by a dint of luck.
In the last 16 years, the PDP has laid waste Nigerians' heritage in the guise of political patronage. It's time to change all that with our votes on February 14th.
Erasmus Ikhide writes in from Lagos, Nigeria. Contact him at [email protected] Follow me on Twitter @ErasmusIkhide.