By Kola Aminasaun
I have adverted my mind to how much Goodluck Jonathan can achieve in the next 11 months. I do not think he will do much and he has tons of intentions. But intention orÂ goodluck will have to be matched with action.
Goodluck may have plenty of good luck but I doubt it if will carry.
In the last month, there have been things to straighten out, and there are other things that could be left for some other time or to others.
As I write this, there is the question of the chairmanship of PDP to sort out. And it has not been as easy as it sounds. It has been zoned to the South East and it has been a ding-dong between them.
There has been the chairmanship of Independent National Election Commission (INEC). You hear of Bukhari Bello, then you hear of Professor Jega. Only God knows who else. As I write this, somebody who ought to have been installed has not been named.
Of course, the electoral reforms are snaking their way. The big problem has to do with Goodluck Jonathan himself. He is now the President and some are urging him to go in for 2011. For him, it could be to run or not.
And if he wins PDP nomination as his handlers hope, the race will begin in earnest. Where is the time to plan and execute government programmes?
And Jonathan does not have the time in the whole world for the 7-point agenda. But he can at least make an impression on energy and roads. Otherwise, he would not have done anything.
Professor Attahiru Jega will, in-sha Allah, become Chairman of INEC.Â The Council of States has endorsed him on the recommendation of Goodluck Jonathan.
It looks that it is going to be a touch-go by the Senate.Â Jega has a good record.
Jega is the least of my bother.Â We do not have anything on the Headquarters commissioners, not to talk of the resident commissioners.Â The resident commissioners have been our bane.Â They have been political partisans.Â How are we going to break the vicious cycle?
leadership â€“ Sultan
Alhaji Muhammad Saâ€™ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has always taken keen interest in our affairs. Be it religious, educational and political.
He has always made pronouncements and taken active part. Now on the front burner is the coming election. Of course many Nigerians are very apprehensive of its outcome.
The Sultan also has his fears and has cautioned Nigerians. He expressed this sentiment at a recent meeting of the NSCIA.
In an address, he said the challenge before the country is how to get people elected without â€œan overriding need to accumulate wealth and how personality, characters and record of performance can become tangible assets which can translate into real electoral victory for those who process them.â€
He continues, â€œwe must break away from this vicious cycle and confer on Nigerians the power and indeed the ability to decide freely and willingly who leads them at all levels of governance.
â€œSecondly, there is also the urgent need for us to re-evaluate our conception of leadership as a nation.Â When a person is appointed to a position of authority, his family and friends, including long lost ones, come together to celebrate the great fortune which has smiled on their brother and the numerous opportunities at his disposal and at the disposal of his family and friends to acquire riches.
â€œWhen we focus almost entirely on the opportunities which leadership offers, we tend to lose sight of the enormous responsibilities it confers. We must, at our sober moments, take courage to remind our leaders about these responsibilities; their onerous nature, how Allah has conferred on you the responsibility of serving as a shepherd over the people, and indeed how, on the day of judgment the Almighty will ask you to render a full account of how you discharged this responsibility.
â€œWe must also at our sober moment take courage to remind our leaders about the severity of Allahâ€™s torment on those who violate this trust and the reward which awaits those who fulfil it. We must all work hard to limit the influence of wealth in our society and to support those values that promote social responsibility, excellence and hard work.
â€œPresently, the challenge before us all is real and serious; how can one genuinely get elected in the current democratic dispensation without an overriding need to accumulate wealth? How can personality, character and record of performance become tangible assets in the public arena to translate into real electoral victory for those who possess them?
â€œHow could we extol the virtues of those who promote the public interest and ensure that they receive the honour they deserve both during their life time and after their demise? How can our religious and traditional institutions reprioritise these societal values and ensure their institutionalization?
â€œWe must endeavour to insulate traditional rulers from partisans. As community leaders, our people who belong to different political persuasions look up to us to safeguard the strategic interest of our society and to serve as guardians of its culture and value system.
We must not be distracted from performing these vital societal roles. We advise politicians who aspire to national leadership to conduct their campaigns with honour and decorum. We must not trample on the cherished values upon which a socio-cultural and religious edifice of our society has been builtâ€.
The sultan might have been addressing an Islamic configuration but the appeal is for all Nigerians regardless of class or creed.â€