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Run, Jonathan, run

I AM joining legions of party   faithfuls and all men of goodwill to urge President Goodluck Jonathan to run for the 2011 presidential election. Happily, the international community is also making overtures to him to run on account of the great success of his recent trip to the United States where he attended the nuclear summit.

Tongues may be wagging and some people may not be too comfortable with the whole idea but this is a divine arrangement that is unstoppable and unbeatable.

Having read the lips of President Jonathan and studied his body language in that CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour, the opposition is claiming that they perceived from that interview, that the  President showed more than a passing interest to run.

But if I may ask, is it a crime for a man with the requisite training and wealth of experience to run for office?

Constitutionally, as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there is nothing barring Goodluck Jonathan from contesting or from presenting himself as a candidate in the presidential race.

Zoning or no zoning, once a political arrangement has collapsed, it has collapsed. If you implement “Plan A” and it fails, instead of basking in old glories and dwelling on the past, you have to quickly fall back on “Plan B” in order to keep hope alive.

Nigeria today needs a President who has the capacity to fight the scourge of corruption, conduct credible polls, create jobs, make life meaningful for the people and is able to address the security challenges in the country. If the cap fits the current President, let him wear it.

Jonathan is a refined gentleman and an accomplished technocrat. He would, no doubt, bring his unassailable international profile to bear on the job. He would act like a real statesman. Not like ex-President Olusegun  Obasanjo, the Balogun of Owu and the Aremu of Otta who had such a golden opportunity to reform the system but in the course of trying to secure a third term, he blew the chance.

As long as a Jonathan administration will guarantee peace, equity and justice and come up with a robust agenda {not necessarily a Seven-Point Agenda}; I mean a kind of blueprint that would salvage this nation from wallowing in the cesspool of corruption and from administrative and political disaster, I will say “ride on” Mr. President.

What is required is for the  President to pull the chestnut out of the fire and bail the nation out from its present political quagmire and economic hardship.

If he does that, he would have etched his name in gold and left  indelible footprints on the sands on time.
Interestingly, in a multi-ethnic and socio-cultural entity like Nigeria where corruption has been elevated to statecraft and where instead of unity, there is so much division, distrust and disillusionment in our body polity, the man who should win the race to Aso Rock Villa, come 2011, must be somebody of sterner stuff and moral rectitude like our new President.

We are the undisputed giant of Africa but 50 years after independence our power sector is a national calamity; so also is the nation’s healthcare system which has broken down irretrievably.

With crisis brewing in the Niger-Delta and the unending massacres in Jos, we would need a level-headed and God-fearing President who is an embodiment of wisdom. My heart tells me that Goodluck Jonathan is that man.

Dr.  Ovbiaagele, a media consultant,  writes from Lagos.


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