Quarter Past Time For Nigeria By Okey Ndibe

Okey Ndibe
Columnist: 
Okey Ndibe

Last week, Tunji Fagbenle, one of Nigeria’s finest columnists, alerted his readers to the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan and the operators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had commenced campaigns for the 2015 presidential polls. Mr. Jonathan’s aides have disowned campaign posters that suddenly flooded the streets of Abuja, proclaiming him a second-term shoo-in. That’s the official script. And, as Mr. Fagbenle knows full well and argues eloquently, it’s a predictable line – and a capital lie.

In several levels, it’s bad news that Mr. Jonathan’s handlers have their sights set on 2015, deny it as they may. Give the devil his due: the PDP has no equal in the department of power grab. It’s a party that desires power for the sake of power.

When the PDP thinks about 2015 – even if it does so by vehemently denying that it’s ever thought about the next elections – it means the party is already fashioning a technology for winning the plumiest prizes in the next “rig-fest.” Sadly, Nigerians seem unable to shake off the bad habit of dozing off between elections. We appear to rouse ourselves only after the game is over, after it’s too late, and after Africa’s biggest, scruffiest political party has hijacked power, by every crooked means.

President Jonathan’s aides have said the right things. The president, they’ve argued, is focused on delivering on this, his first, term. Mr. Jonathan will decide about 2015 at the appropriate time – after he’s fulfilled his current contract with Nigerians.

In justice, the president shouldn’t be entertaining any fantasies about a second term. Not when he has appeared baffled by the demands of statecraft, unable or unwilling to remember the bazaar of promises he made as presidential candidate – or, if he remembers, to rise to the challenge of translating promise into reality. More than any other candidate, an incumbent has an obligation – or should – to have his first term define his case for a second.

Mr. Jonathan’s first term, so far, has been marked by ethical blunders (a failure to fire ministers dogged by charges of corrupt enrichment) and a wastefulness that’s unforgivable in a man who once made much political hay out of his shoeless days (think about acquiring new jets for his office and pushing for a new presidential banquet hall as well as a brand-new, multi-billion new pad for the vice president. This, at a time the important roads in his home state of Bayelsa are impassable. Even Asari Dokubo, one of the president’s most vocal supporters, has seen fit to remark on the irony that, under Mr. Jonathan’s watch, the Niger Delta may be facing its deepest developmental woes yet.

On the strength of his record, the president’s desire for a second term should be a non-starter. But here we are!

The only thing more remarkable about Mr. Jonathan’s apparent fascination with another term is that no serious opposition party is saying anything with much of any traction about the issues, shape and content of the next round of presidential campaigns. There’s the usual talk about an alliance of opposition parties, but such histrionics often end up bogged down in the personality clashes. In other words, the evolving alliance strikes me, once again, as bereft of ideas. It’s the contrivance of a few men and women who are too fixed on securing their perch and prestige in the new arrangement.

One’s nagging fear is that, if care isn’t taken, Nigerians will arrive in 2015 to discover that the notorious “steakholders” had already cornered the prize. Why do the so-called opposition parties operate as if time was on their side? Are their strategists too ignorant to realize, as the PDP seems to know, that the day to start preparing for the next election is the day after the last one?

As a Nigerian public policy professor told me recently, the PDP has operated as an ant-people party. And the recipe for uprooting the party, suggested the academic, is through a serious, sustained grassroots campaign.

The place to start, I suggest, is to put the question of who’s to be president where it belongs: last. There’s a far more pertinent discussion about the kind of country we want. At present, there’s little or no content to the idea of Nigeria. It’s not too radical to stipulate that there are no Nigerian citizens. Nor, for that matter, is there such a thing as a shared national sense of direction.

The political party that would give the PDP the scare must begin, it seems clear, by articulating a set of principles around which it would be possible to build a huge tent of diverse interests. Such a party must set out to force Nigerians to confront the fact that we have lived – and live – a lie. And it should lead the effort to unmask the nature and scope of this malaise.

As currently structured, Nigeria is rigged in favor of the most determined rigger. A country that permits elected officials to get away with pocketing huge sums (whether in the form of the scam called security vote or through contract inflation) is bound to pollute an angel if one became its president. A country where grand robbers in Government Houses are shielded by broad immunity protection can never have credible elections. In a Nigeria where people are at liberty to flaunt stupendous ill-gotten wealth, there’s no hope – no matter who becomes the president. In a country where too many judges accept bribes and declare that white is black and black white, there can be no foundation to build anything on. When law enforcement officials must seek presidential approval before inviting certain cadres of suspects and criminals for questioning – then there’s nothing there. In a space where dubious mushroom groups offer performance awards to governors and legislators whose specialty is money laundering, there’s only doom.

A Nigeria where the PDP is vanquished will be a sunnier address – at least marginally. I believe that there are, at minimum, thousands of Nigerians who will make much better than the mediocre run the PDP has offered us, including the present occupant of Aso Rock. But it’s up to those who feel passionate about the task to rise and announce themselves and voice their readiness.

Nigerians’ challenge of securing what gains they can from the 2015 set of elections is urgent. My hope is that progressive and enlightened elements within the various opposition parties will get cracking. They ought to present Nigerians with an ideas-politics for a change, spelling out a vision for the country and how they propose to get us there.

My hunch is that it’s already a quarter past late in the day. So those who would be president, governors, legislators and local government councilors ought to make haste.

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe
(okeyndibe@gmail.com)
 

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Deri the crunch finder.

Please could anybody who is closer to this DERI find us his financial status.He must be a hungry looking Idiot to always continue to rise in defence of a directionless govt that lacks clue on how to salvage the country.DERI is so dumbfounded that he can not differentiate a functioning govt from what we have today.

Deri the crunch finder.

Please could anybody who is closer to this DERI find us his financial status.He must be a hungry looking Idiot to always continue to rise in defence of a directionless govt that lacks clue on how to salvage the country.DERI is so dumbfounded that he can not differentiate a functioning govt from what we have today.

First merge lesser viable states or create new ones for equality

The first task to arrest the drift of Nigeria is by political restructuring; by first providing a constitutional means to either merge a few of the parasitic and lesser viable states up north; or create more states in the south. Land mass is never a criterion to derive states or regions/provinces in any country. Historical antecedents are. Once one north region becoming 19 states and Abuja, while once three south regions becoming a mere 17 states is at the root of Nigeria's drift toward breaking up. North's military leaders that created states were plain ridiculous and over ambitious to have allotted such undue number of 19 states to the north; thus making corenorth dictate the political pace to the rest of Nigeria through undue over representation in the polity.

My apology to Dr. Okey Ndibe

I would like to apologize to Dr. Okey Ndibe for the title of my reaction to his commentary, that is, if they are posted by SR. I meant to write "Like a Ph.D. dissertation with badly-researched conclusions." The essence is that I regard Okey's conclusions as simplistic and never would they address the challenges or ills this country has today.

It was not my intention to state the title as if Dr. Ndibe does not reason. However, after the first posting and having realized the mistake I could not have a different title with the subsequent postings/numbers and chose to later apologize.

Far from it, Dr. Ndibe and Dr. Pius Adesanmi are two of 8 Nigerians I hold in VERY HIGH ESTEEM AND REGARD. The remaining 6 are Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Pastor Tunde Bakare, General Buhari, General Ishola Williams and Omoyele Sowore. And the irony, I have never met any of the 8. Again, my apologies to Dr. Ndibe.

Like a Ph.D. dissertation with badly-reasoned conclusions! (4)

My conclusion which I have espoused repeatedly as a strategic research analyst on SR is that we should hold the Sovereign National Conference (SNC) and if we are truthful to ourselves, decide wisely to go our separate ways. Nigeria should devolve into 5 Republics of BIAFRA, O'DUA, NIGER DELTA, UNITED MIDDLE BELT and AREWA. Any decision short of this is merely postponing the inevitable. I rest my case for now. END.

Like a Ph.D. dissertation with badly-reasoned conclusions! (3)

Again, Nigeria is like a CONCRETE STONE wrongly set. There is nothing you can do to fashion the stone to the right shape or form. It was not appropriately fashioned ab initio. The only alternative is to forgo the stone and ensure you correct the mistake in course of erecting another.

What do you do to a 36-storey building with very poor foundation that has already revealed a crack running from the 36th floor to the ground floor? This is where I differ from Dr. Ndibe, Dr. Pee and Co. Nigeria as presently constituted cannot see change.

Apart from the ills pointed by Okey and Co, there are PECULIAR challenges posed by the six core northern states, those states Orkar Group excised from Nigeria. These challenges are what our university professors have not given time to ruminate upon in their commentaries and the possible solutions, if any.

Like a Ph.D. dissertation with badly-reasoned conclusions! (2)

Dr. Ndibe and Dr. Pee are wasting their time to think they can reverse the current rot in Nigeria's political, social and economic system by merely having another political party in power in place of the PDP. I have since known that our university professors often trump utopian views about solving political and governance challenges than postulating ideas that are realistic and realizable.

The Arab Spring cannot happen in Nigeria too. A friend told me the story how he sought consultancy work from the FGN and ALL his friends, among whom an Archbishop, Bishop and two Reverend Ministers advised him in this manner, "if they want part of your fees, give them since there is no way they would give you the contract...Even if they give me I will take." Jesu, Olodumare!

Like a Ph.D. dissertation with badly-reasoned conclusions! (1)

Dr. Ndibe wrote a treatise like a Ph.D. dissertation, analyzing the ills of Nigeria and emphasizing that positive values have been consigned to the bin while impunities thrive and reign in every sphere of Nigeria's existence. Yet, what were his conclusions? Like his friend, Dr. Pee, he believes Nigeria is redeemable. How? That is why if he had submitted this commentary as a doctoral dissertation, the Supervisor would have advised him to go and re-write his CONCLUSIONS as they go against the core of the script. In fact, it appears to me Okey was wisely running away from reaching the same conclusions as Dr. Pee in order not to attract similar opprobrium. He avoids mention of the 5 million signatures and refuses to name his choice for the Presidency!

Abdusalami is Saul, Obasonjo

Abdusalami is Saul, Obasonjo is Agag, Goodluck is Jonatan the son of Saul. So where is our David?

U ar insane!

Judging from ur comments, u most be one of these political jobbers that never see any thing wrong with any government in power. Who ever is sponsoring Ndibe is not our problem. Jonathan is an abysmal failure, and he most be told. He is making life more unbearable for Nigerians with his anti-pples policies that does not survive to see the days light, he has not deliver on his campaign promises to Nigerian period!

2015? Its Already Decided!

Thanks Mr. Ndibe but we all know that the 2015 Polls have been decided. The winning formula is quite simple really and it has been tested and found effective: bribery, intimidation and vote miscounting. That means vote rigging favoured the imcumbent locla party and we all know the incumbant party since 1999 whne the generals imposed one of their own on Nigerians.

Deri Is Such An Ignorant Fool

Instead of people like Deri puuting pressure on jonathan to provide good governance, he spends all his time here supporting a failed president. If jonathan was doing well would anybody be apprehensive about a 2nd term? What Deri does not realise is that jonathan is such a failure that he will leave the Niger-Delta worse off when he finishes his useless tenure

Jonathan is getting the work done

It is easy to seek a cheap? noisy crowd, of the ethnically and politically jaundiced to believe in this type of poorly researched street criticism , but it is more difficult to stand it up against actual evidence in the field, what is the position of elctricity today , compared to two years ago, whai is the position of agriculture, what is the position of electionsJonathan is gradually making things better, people like Okey Ndibe should never think that self branded 'opposition' conveys any iorta of responsibility or credibility, this is a man sponsored by Orji Kalu to this very day, so who is better ? Jonathan or Orji Kalu, please go away , we will never go with you and your deluded bunch of confusionists , when you start your riot, we will start our own too

@Deri: Leave Gani, Awo and MKO to rest in peace, give us an upda

@Deri
Stop crying more than the briefed; it's all fake.
Gani's family have moved on and were at the forefront of the oil subsidy protest.
MKO's family has moved on; Hafsat is a senior aide in Ogun state and promoting the women cause with her NGO.
Awo's family and Yorubas have moved on.

Don't you have any heroes you can sing of within the SS ? Are they all clueless like GEJ or thugs like Asari and Tompolo ? Do you realise what image people have in mind when you mention SS ? Tompolo (thug/murderer), Asari (thug/murderer) GEJ (thief/fool)?

Yorubas are too politically sophisticated to fall for your Gani, Awo, Abiola stories. Yorubas and Nigerians are focused on issues and injustice. Give us an update on Dumbo Jo's 2011 election promises. This is what will determine 2015; NOT AWO, NOT GANI AND NOT MKO.

http://saharareporters.com/column/non-governing-governance-3-4-mountain-...

Sometime Deri Makes Sense

Nigeria is overdue for the most radical of a solution. That Deri wants everybody to say it the way he feels it is a different matter. Not every realist would want to be out straight as does Deri.

PDP may well be a problem party. But there is no guarantees that a replacement party can do the magic of fixing Nigeria. Much like the current president makes the previous ones a Saint, any party that ousts PDP will end up making PDP the best party.

The Prof said it all: the question of who becomes the president should come last in the agenda of any body or party with iota of idea of what to do to help Nigeria. And what does this tell us?

@Deri: Leave Gani, Awo and MKO to rest in peace, give us an upda

@Deri

Deri fool, quote the line in this article where Okey has said GEJ should not contest in 2015.
GEJ should contest and he will contest and be disgraced ! Only a lunatic and a rogue will vote for this moron who cannot guarantee his own security, hence he's scared to visit Borno, not to talk of guaranteeing the security of other Nigerians.
2015 election will be based on issues, not sentiment of "i had no issues" not on religion and not on ethnicity. To give you the sort of issues, once again, below is the list of Dumbo Jo's 2011 election promises with dates and locations he made them, give us all an update .
http://saharareporters.com/column/non-governing-governance-3-4-mountain-...

@Deri: Jonathan will contest 2015 and will be caged and returned

@Deri

Deri fool, quote the line in this article where Okey has said GEJ should not contest in 2015.
GEJ should contest and he will contest and be disgraced ! Only a lunatic and a rogue will vote for this moron who cannot guarantee his own security, hence he's scared to visit Borno, not to talk of guaranteeing the security of other Nigerians.
2015 election will be based on issues, not sentiment of "i had no issues" not on religion and not on ethnicity. To give you the sort of issues, once again, below is the list of Dumbo Jo's 2011 election promises with dates and locations he made them, give us all an update .
http://saharareporters.com/column/non-governing-governance-3-4-mountain-...

@ Deripapa, okiripata

Mumu, what do you precisely want; to split Nigeria so that you can go and drink your oil or your gej to continue the ruination of what is left of the same contraption? You are one of the most stupid morons to remain on this site. I don't believe your gej was the best your region could give Nigeria, but because of the type of Niegria's democracy where one individual handpicks a president, we have landed with a goon at the helm of affairs and the results are all clear to see. Go back to the creeks.

what has changed in 9ja since Nzeogwu 66-nothing brother me!

Is there any law in 9ja which says Jonathan has no right to contest the 2015 elections? Okey is free to relocate to Syria if he does not want the nose of Gej to be shown on posters in Libya or d SS. 9ja belongs to all of us-Most especially the SS which have been using her resources to keep the country going. Show us the ideas and visions of Buhari and Tinubu-and I will clap 4 dem! Its Zero! Aware the entire rubbish concerning the move to get rid of Gej by the maharajas of old, is being run on bluff! No ethnic group, tribe, boko haramic sec in 9ja, has any divine right to exploit the weaknesses of other minority tribes in 9ja! So why should GEJ allow the regionalist bluff him with the rusty guns and bombs they supply BH with to scare 9jas away from GEJ? Only cowards afraid of a split will say no to gej-same animals who said NO to late Gani are back with their smelly vomit!

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