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Jonathan, please be firm

NIGERIANS, once again, thanked God when the news broke that their ailing leader, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua came back home after spending about 93 days in the royal kingdom of Saudi Arabia for medical treatment for acute Pericaditis.

The way and manner our President departed the country has raised many dust. It elicited political, administrative and constitutional controversies which has further plunged the nation’s image into a deeper abyss.

The scenario was badly managed due to the complexity of power play, political bickering and knack for lies by those who matter in public affairs. The President’s ailment was politicized and hijacked by a clique of apologists.

People kept wondering, why on earth a nation would be left for three months without any purposeful leadership. They wonder why it is only a man that would hold the entire country to ransom.

Nigerians are known to be very resilient and persevering. I wonder at times, whether what we saw in the last three months can ever happen in other parts of the world. I don’t think so. Our country was like a ship without a sailor.

Our leaders have perpetually turned into professional liars. They lie about everything. The nature of Mr. President’s ailment was shrouded in secret, no information on medical attention, response to treatment and recovery.

Our people refuse to accept that the moment someone becomes a public officer, there is nothing hidden about the person any longer. In fact, the office of the President is so important that the citizenry should be given the benefit of doubt on happenings about their leader.

Just a few days ago US President Barack Obama’s health status was made public. Every bit of information on his state was let out and certified okay.

On the issue of the President not communicating with the National Assembly, it was a case double talk when we heard the correspondence was actually prepared by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and handed over to the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters but was not delivered to the National Assembly for necessary action.

As the people get more confused, ministers were busy dropping bombshell of lies in Abuja. The former Minister of Justice even turned the law upside down by saying that Mr. President can rule by proxy from any part of the world! Other members of the kitchen cabinet claimed they saw the President who was actually under intense care of King Faisal Hospital. Madam First Lady was said to be the ring leader in churning out the other side of the truth.

Our federal law makers also joined the bandwagon by looking the other way when it mattered. They decided to go against the collective wish of the common man and act appropriately. They kept quiet and later embarked on a jamboree to Saudi Arabia on a mission they knew the outcome before the futile adventure at the expense of the tax payers.

The same cabal thwarted the moves to hand over power to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan. Eventually, a political solution led to the emergence of Dr. Jonathan as Acting President.

The Acting President, a man of luck has the golden opportunity to either make or mar history. If I were Dr. Jonathan, I will take the first option and make a remarkable impact on my fatherland.

Issues of electoral reform, education, power and energy, corruption, Niger Delta post-amnesty programme should be given urgent attention.

He should not mind the guts of the kitchen cabinet, his political party and kingpins who determine the shape and tempo of things happening in the Presidency. He should be firm, courageous and focused to make a big, impact. He can only achieve this by showing the disloyal members of the Executive Council of the Federation the way out of the cabinet.

We pray for Mr. President’s quick recovery. The Acting President should not fret but work harder to put smiles on the faces of the people within the shortest time. The inauguration of the Presidential Advisory Council is laudable.

Although, members of the Council are distinguished Nigerians and so they should not see their appointment as political.

If I were Dr. Jonathan, I will never contemplate  enthroning myself as the substantive President. I will have it at the back of my mind that the power equation is titled to the North, and so the Northerners should have the slot to the full.

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor has re-affirmed this. The Acting President should remember that he is just filling a gap for the time being and therefore, should not toe the line of sit-tight African leaders.

As for our dear President Yar’Adua, please tread softly, softly. He must realise that power is transient. He should recuperate and tarry a little. He should keep political jobbers and sycophants at bay for now.

While our fellow Nigerians wait to see and hear from their President, the Acting President should, as a matter of urgency, set the necessary machinery in motion to make the people happy by providing them with basic needs of life that they so much desired.

This, the leadership should offer, afterall, if governance is for the exclusive right of the few, the common man deserves his daily bread and should not lose at both ends, at least.


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