By Ochereome Nnanna
HERE’S my opinion: President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan cannot, should not and WILL NOT resign. My reason is simple.
The call for his resignation is part of an old script written by sectional hegemonists, announced to Nigerians in the upswing of the 2010 and 2011 political season, and orchestrated since their plots failed.
Those calling for his resignation want to obtain through the backdoor what they failed to achieve through the democratic process. Jonathan must complete his term which ends in 2015.
If he wants a second term he should approach his party. If they grant him the ticket he should submit himself again to the Nigerian electorate to decide. And if they give him another mandate he will complete his second term in 2019 and go home.
Before I expatiate this, let me make it clear that I preferred the Jonathan candidacy to those of Muhammadu Buhari and Nuhu Ribadu during the presidential poll of last year. One year later, I am one of those dissatisfied with many things that have happened. If any of the opposition parties comes up with a better candidate in 2015, I will settle for that alternative if Jonathan continues with his uninspiring approach to leadership.
I am not convinced that Jonathan wants to confront corruption in the system. Otherwise, there is no earthly reason for Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke to remain in office after it came out that departments under her Ministry of Petroleum Resources allowed unscrupulous oil marketers and politicians to fleece this nation of billions of dollars through the subsidy scam. Perhaps, apart from Kingsley Kuku, who supervises the post-amnesty programme, most Ijaw officials in this government have not done more than give the impression it is their time to enjoy the spoils of power. Oil-related criminality in the creeks is on an upsurge, and few of the vocal Ijaw activists are talking. It is officials from other parts of the country that are helping the President to succeed.
Back to the issue of resignation: to be or not to be. I ask the question again: why should GEJ resign? Because of the security situation? Or because of poor performance?
If the call is based on the security situation, then there are two segments of the society making the call. The first are those feeling the pain of daily loss of lives and property; those outraged that innocent Nigerian lives are being wasted by agents of darkness. Most of these victims are innocent Nigerians worshipping God in church and causing no harm to anybody. Some of them, especially people on the Plateau, are being sneaked upon at night by Nigeria’s version of Omar Al Bashir’s Janjaweed militias with a view to driving them off their land.
Some of the victims are also innocent Nigerians whose only crime is that they live in Maiduguri, Damaturu, Potiskum, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Suleija, Sokoto, Kano and even Abuja.
Since Jonathan is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the expectation for him to annihilate the terrorists right now is both legitimate and well placed. Calling on him to resign out of anger and frustration is also understandable. But if he resigns because of terrorist attacks he will be setting a precedent in the history of mankind. He would be doing the unthinkable. None of those calling on him to resign would do the same in his shoes. People are free to sound off, but that is not the solution. The solution remains in our closing ranks as a people, cooperating with the security forces, exposing the enemies in our society and forsaking the laughable notion that terrorists are soldiers of our religious or political cause.
Then there are those who are making the call motivated by bitter politics. These were the people who boasted that their part of the country was born to rule; that they are the majority. They concoct funny population and voter registration figures and base their prognostication of victory on bogus factors. When it came to practical application in last year’s elections their calculus registered catatonic failures. They had boasted that if GEJ did not “give power back” to them, they would make the system ungovernable. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his political buccal bazookas, Alhaji Lawal Keita and Professor Ango Abdullahi, were several times on record saying this.
The violence and terrorism in the north are big headaches for and Jonathan, but the truth is that the north is wearing the pinching shoe primarily. It is the economy and development of the north that are primarily being devastated. Northerners have turned their region into a theatre of war, waged by misguided northern youth with the financing supplied by some ill-motivated northern leaders. Jonathan is still governing and will continue to govern. Those behind the wicked acts of sabotage will wear themselves out with time, and the north will come out weaker and less able to act together. The longer this terrorism goes on the less likely the north will be able to produce the president of this country.
And if the call for resignation is based on allegations of poor performance, it will still not stick. This is 15th of 48 months GEJ has to work. It is natural for a regime to enter the stage of lower rating within the first year after election. Let us wait and see what will happen by the 30th month. Then we can judge. Thank God, we can judge with our votes by the 46th month.
I am of the firm belief that the Jonathan administration is moving Nigeria in the right direction economically. He has put world-class competent hands on the job. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Finance and the Economy, Dr. Olusegun Aganga in Investments, Prof. Barth Nnaji in Power and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina in Agriculture are very promising.
An editor of a British comic magazine was fond of saying: “every artist draws his salary”. Same applies to GEJ. Noisemakers take note.