Run, Jonathan... Run for 2015! By Theophilus Ilevbare

By Theophilus Ilevbare

The pesky ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan to seek a second term in office was given the green light by an Abuja High Court ruling. Though he has remained coy – a loud silence to me – on his ambition to seek re-election, his body language, actions and inactions have suggested he is set to run for a second term. He seem to be fully persuaded for 2015 by the trappings of Aso Rock, the lure of power, fame, a horde of sycophants and hangers-on whose only interest is another four years of the continuous milking of the cash cow – Nigeria.

We all can recall, on the first of January 2013 residents in Abuja woke up to behold the posters of Jonathan in their neighbourhood, the strongest indication of the new year that he will contest in 2015 at a time Nigerians were trying to grapple with the stale air of his administration. It was no mistake that the same posters resurfaced in Abuja, less than 24 hours after the election of Tony Anenih as the BoT chairman of the PDP.

No one will believe the tale that Mr. Jonathan will not contest the forth coming election. The recent repositioning of the PDP field marshals and foot soldiers in the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the PDP Governors Forum, carved out of the NGF, are strong indications that the ground is being prepared in the forth coming elections. The unanimous election of Tony Anenih to double as the chairman of the money spinning NPA and BoT of the PDP on one hand and Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state, loyal servant of the PDP as the chairman of the newly formed PDP Governors Forum, on the other hand is a loud political statement in itself. The formation of the PDP-NGF was in a bid to whittle down the influence of the chairman of the NGF, and Governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi. The PDP wing of the NGF was apparently formed to promote the interest of Jonathan’s second term ambition within the ranks of the PDP governors. With the PDP machinery in motion, and more billions needed to keep it steamrolled, we should expect more frivolous white elephant projects in the coming months.

Unsurprisingly, a diffident President Jonathan in 2011 has shown lately, with his deft political alignment that he knows his way around his party and he is capable of playing politics dirty.

 Advertently, his rumoured ambition has been amplified in decibels from the ruling party. The chairman Bamanga Tukur has been effusive about it, declaring he is free to contest the election on the platform of the party. With the appointment of the PDP election machineries to key government agencies, fictitious multi-billion naira projects awarded and those on the cards, deliberate non-implementation of budgets, the party is sure to be armed with a war chest for 2015.

 For incumbent President Jonathan to renege on a gentleman’s arrangement, written or verbal, he entered with his PDP cohort from the north raises integrity and credibility questions. The fact that Mr. Jonathan has not denied the existence of an agreement, speaks volumes.

Needless to add, I am not a proponent of zoning. Overtime, zoning has become insidious and the aftermath disastrous for our fledging democracy. The likes of Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu should realise that zoning as a political philosophy is as of today, pernicious and inconsistent with the changing political landscape and must be jettisoned. For second term seekers, performance in office, character, proven track record and merit should be subject to competitive forces that will throw up a competent winner at the polls. The office of the president or any other elective public office is nobody’s birth right, everyone has the right to contest. The way to eliminate mediocrity from leadership positions is to create a level playing ground for all aspirants where the worst prepared and least capable candidate is weeded out by the most competent aspirant.

The jostling for 2015 is uncalled for. It has overheated the polity, breeding unnecessary tension. The NGF has been polarised along party and regional lines, the PDP is a house divided against itself, the National Assembly is crossed with the executive. In the months to come in Jonathan's administration, all hope is virtually lost on his ability to deliver on whatever remains of the dividend of democracy that was promised.

Nigerians, and particularly the opposition must be vigilant and not get carried away with the perpetual contrived internal crisis in the PDP. Make no mistake about it, they aren’t fighting just yet, ignore the nollywood movie playing out between the presidency and the NGF. Sooner rather than later, Jonathan will have dinner with the governors like he did with Obasanjo.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is practically impossible to stop a Nigerian political office holder from running for a second term. It is futile dissuading Jonathan from contesting. Cast your mind on Obasanjo’s second term debacle in 2003 for a better understanding of the scenario playing out this time around.  

For a president who was quoted as saying one term is enough to make meaningful impact on the lives of the people, it is not so difficult to see why even his kinsmen are opposed to his second coming. Convincing the rest Nigerians to vote him again will be an uphill task, even those who said they voted for Jonathan rather than PDP in 2011 will have a rethink. Opposition parties should rather start mapping out strategies on how to defeat him at the polls.

In the light of his poor performance, unfulfilled promises, the slow pace of his administration, his preposterous fight against corruption and the growing apathy of Nigerians against the PDP for their failure to bring the country out of the wood since 1999, it makes Mr. Jonathan an easy candidate to beat in a free, fair and credible elections. The opposition and those opposed to his candidature need not lose sleep, but close ranks to sensitise and strategise on how to oust him through the ballot. With the new drift towards a two party system like what is obtainable in advanced democracies, political analysts are predicting a keen contest, maybe the most keenly contested in recent time.

Jonathan should indeed be allowed to run for 2015 presidency, his scorecard should speak for him. The changing political terrain and the seeming uncertainty the emergence of APC has brought to the mix will deepen our democracy and strengthen the opposition parties when dynamic democratic forces throw up the best candidate; the people will ultimately be the better for it. There is nothing to fear about the incumbent’s candidature, as it will not be the PDP against the numerous minor opposition parties, as it was in time past, but an epic battle between two formidable political parties.

The die is cast, the race has begun in earnest with Jonathan as a presidential aspirant! The only option left for the opposition is to raise their game. Their alliance has already changed the political terrain, disturbing the “smooth sail” the PDP would have had.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters
 

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Which Way Nigeria - Social Justice and Democracy for the people.

who is in the opposition is the man who has the treasury of a state in his pocket, who reeks of corruption, who has cornered all the landed property in Lagos or who teamed up with the speaker of LSHA to continue stealing, who shared all political offices in the south west for his relatives. who is the sole supplier to LS govt, is it man that is asphyxiating all buses including the BRT scheme. The people who will increased school fees from N25,000.00 to N250,000.00 or that will put three toll gates in one local govt or the man that has never allowed internal democracy in his party. Or Babangida Aliyu that would hand over FCT to El - Rufai without a proper handover note or that has run Niger State under. Two party systems is great but what is the antecedents of the promoters - inordinate ambition, avarice, greed, social injustice. Nigerian wake up, that APC is not we need but social justice and democracy.

Jonathan again in 2015?

It is inconceivable and quite incredulous that anybody should be considering Jonathan for 2015! On what would that consideration be based? In fact Jonathan is lucky that the era of military coup in Nigeria is gone, otherwise he would have been booted out of office by the military at the end of 2011 when it became obvious that Jonathan had NOTHING to offer! Tune back to the various broadcasts by successful coup plotters in Nigeria and you'd see that Jonathan's performance was quintessential of the rubrics and paradigms of past military coups. In fact Jonathan has performed even more woefully than his predecessors removed in military coups! Nigeria is presently operating a ship with a useless captain at the helm. Anybody that wants Jonathan again in 2015 must have his head examined. Similarly these Islamists must NOT be allowed again in power because they have shown us their inordinate ambition for power! Such desperation is equally dangerous!

nigerians think dont remain a fool forever

looking at newly elected president of kenya and trying to compare him with my country's president, President Goodluck Johnathan a man with no action or charisma to govern such a big country of 170million population. Are we all saying this is the best nigeria can get? if so l feel sorry for that country.when will all nigerians start acting smart let's vote for people who will make nigerians proud both home and abroad,someone who will command respect among nations,a person that will treat everybody equally before the law and the only living person that has got this quality today is general Mohammodu Buhari l witness this when he was our head of state,l know honest nigerians will agree with me except those that are still suffering from ethnicity syndrome if we all will all continue to think that way nigeria will never move forward and the bad among us will continue to rule us.

Re: Agreement or no agreement, PDP MUST GO in 2015 !

I meant northern govs and not northern goats; apologies, it was a typo.

Agreement or no agreement, PDP MUST GO in 2015 !

Whether Jonathan has any written/verbal agreement with his PDP northern goats is irrelevant; they all must go in 2015. Enough of PDP's misery and sorrow.

Jonathan

Let the race begin... We know the winner already

"I HAD NO SHOES!"

Apart from Nigeria, I can't see any other place on earth where Dumbo Jonah can win an election, much less becoming President. He is extremely weak, inept, corrupt, not to mention lack of integrity. He uses deceit and division to further his political ambitions. Nigeria is too complicated for a moron like GEJ and he must be booted out of Aso Villa on or before 2015.

We must flush out the Jonathanians in 2015

I strongly agree with your submission that Nigerians need to "elect people with proven track records of excellence, hardwork and integrity" in 2015 to move the country forward. Dumbo is deficient in these rerequisites and must be Dumped, packaged and sent by DHL back to Utuoke enclave. The man lacks integrity alright, has no interest in fighting corruption (evidenced by his continued retention of Orubebe & Golden Goose, Diezani) and has achieved Nada in all his years at Gov. Houses ...meaning he's lazier than a frog! Uglier too. The Clown Prince is brain dead ...a moron!

To Dump Dumbo is a Task that Must be Done with the 2015 elections. He is a "Tragedy-in-progress".

GEJ is doing his best!

GEJ is doing his best!

We are ALL (political office holders only) enjoying the 'dividends of democracy' as I speak, so anyone complaining about you is unpatriotic!!!!

I often wonder what state Nigeria would be in today, if we did not have this Goodluck.

GEJ, come 2015 we shall ALL vote for you. Make sure Annenih in Cahoot with INEC muddle the political terrain by registering the 'real pdp APC', instead of the 'other APC'. Who needs APC when there is CCC (Cabal Corruption Cocaine) that we SNORT and enjoy daily in PDP.

You are trying bo!

Credibility(not CAN) my foot; all's fair in love and War and Nigerian Politics is 'DO or DIE' WAR. Anyone who does not like your 'best' should not vote for you in 2015. I personally will not 'give a damn'!