FROM the beginning of President Jonathan’s administration, the argument has raged on whether he will recontest or not when his first term expires in 2015.
While the call on him not to present himself for another election was most vociferous coming from a section of the country, majority of the people stood their ground that since he is constitutionally empowered to run for the second term it would amount to a grave injustice to deny him the opportunity.
Then there is the assertion from some quarters that having served out the late President Umaru Musa Yaradua’s term, it was unjustifiable for him to contemplate taking another shot at the exalted office after his first term spanning from 2011 to 2015.
But all these have been in the realm of individual or sectional opinions and conjectures. What is paramount and indeed should concern all right thinking people is whether the law permits Mr. President to run for a second term in 2015, and so far all the pronouncements emanating for our law courts indicate that President Jonathan qualifies to recontest in 2015. Therefore, it is his discretion to exercise the right which the constitution grants him, and not that a section of the country will wait to put a stop to his aspiration.
In advocating for his emergence in 2015, perhaps Nigerians ought to focus on his performance within the period under review. Going by all indicators, it is easy to conclude`that President Jonathan has tremendously achieved a lot through his transformation agenda. From power to road infrastructure , railways, agriculture, aviation, education among others, Nigerians are witnessing appreciable improvement in service delivery compared to all the previous administrations put together, outstanding the various acts of sabotage from certain quarters to derail the administration.
In fact, available statistics show that under this administration, Nigeria’s economic growth has risen to about 6.8 percent and as the first week of April, 2014 Nigeria under Jonathan’s leadership has overtaken South Africa and emerged as Africa’s biggest economy.
Obviously, this significant development added with the high interest of foreign direct investors in Nigeria portends a good omen, and this implies that our economic managers are focused and taking us to the Promised Land.
It is agreed by all well meaning citizens that but for the distractions caused by the senseless terrorist acts in the Northern part of the country; the country would have witnessed an unprecedented leap in social, economic and infrastructural development. Yet, it is an undeniable fact that the Jonathan Administration has remained tenacious in implementing the Transformation Agenda.
The impact of the giant strides achieved in different sectors of our economy can be felt in all the six geo-political zones. Furthermore, the midterm report his administration presented during the 2013 May 29 Democracy Day is a synopsis of the determined effort on his part to transform our lives.
Since then, the country has continued to witness development in other areas, and this is in line with his avowed commitment to raise the bar in governance, and demonstrate government’s commitment towards ameliorating the problems of the country.
From the inception of his administration, Mr. President ensured that he brought on board men and women with consummate knowledge and ability in their various fields of endeavour. Though one can refer to them as technocrats, but the good news is that they were able to key into Mr. President vision, and together developed suitable blueprints that today are being translated into tangible projects for the benefit of all Nigerians.
In this wise, we can mention people like Professor Barth Nnaji, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Princess Stella Oduah, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and many others. This transformation team has committed themselves towards helping Mr. President to realise his vision of leaving the exalted office of President better for Nigerians than he met it.
In other words, what has been in the realm of theories under previous administrations, he has in a diligent and patriotic manner translated them into concrete actions for the progress and prosperity of Nigeria.
Now, to counter some ethnic champions who are opposing a second term for Mr. President. First, they need to be reminded that under his watch, more water dams have been built in the North compared to all past administrations put together. He has equally built over 120 almajiri schools in the North as a way of reducing illiteracy among the people. Similarly, the Federal Government has built federal universities in all the Northern states that hitherto to had none.
These are landmark achievements unprecedented in the history of the country, more so when he has remained the most antagonized president. In the face of all the antagonism and opposition, he has remained fair and committed to the sacred oath of his exalted office. As a devout Christian, he has never failed to turn the other cheek to his traducers, yet his olive branch in most cases is repudiated.
One now begins to wonder what is it that those opposing him want. As president, he has developed a lot of infrastructure in the country but mainly in the North that sometimes it appears as if he is of Northern extraction.
But this is the true nature of genuine patriots, and not those who camouflage under the pretence of nationalists to execute their hideous and narrow ethnic agenda that has today left a zone like the South East with only five states, and dilapidated infrastructure.
If the Niger Delta from where the country earns her livelihood is not allowed to hold power for two consecutive terms, what is the hurry by the North to regain power meant to achieve, considering that they held federal power unhindered for almost forty years? The question to ask is – are Northerners better leaders than the rest of the country?
Assuming there was an agreement by a few people with Jonathan, now majority of Nigerians who are directly affected by such agreement denounce it and ask Jonathan to go on and govern them as such agreement was not entered into with their consent and approval. As Late Chief MKO Abiola said, “you cannot shave somebody’s hair in his absence”. In other words, any agreement that seeks or sought to shut out Nigerians from the back door is evil, and must never be acceded to.
Under Jonathan, a quantum development has taken place in three years compared to all past administrations put together, so after eight years under him, Nigeria will be changed for good. All hands must therefore be on deck to support him and ensure that “we, the people of Nigeria” do not mortgage our collective destiny for a pot of porridge.
Chukwudi Enekwechi National Publicity Secretary Goodluck Jonathan Support Group