BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN
No one can say tomorrow, Simon Peter, one of the top associates of Jesus warned, when he wrote that “a day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.”
It is a saying that has also found relevance in the country’s contemporary political landscape given the rejuvenation in the goodwill of the administration.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who many had simply written off, some having consigned him to the footnote of history, has suddenly bounced back. The feeling of elation has indeed been all over since last Tuesday’s proclamation of a state of emergency in the three northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. A people who had for some time believed they were forsaken to rudderless leadership can now look up and see some zest in the management of the insecurity situation of the country.
Many critics of the administration were won over, and where not, silenced by the president’s action in moving against those who had for some time held Nigeria captive, and put her in the category of the lawless.
It was nice of the president to cut short his visit to South Africa and abort yet another trip in the wake of the security challenges that aggravated penultimate week.
When a year or so ago, the president embarked on a scheduled trip to Brazil hours after the bandits struck in Kaduna, some sympathisers of the administration said the president acted as a statesman in continuing with his visit and that the president of Nigeria must not be seen to be cowed by some rogues.
That was a theory that could not have been sustained. Indeed, as he proceeded on the trip to South Africa for what was announced to be another drive towards fostering economic ties with that country, your correspondent could only mutter.
Indeed, the question asked by many was who would want to come and invest in Nigeria, especially northern Nigeria given the daily chilly news of blood flow from that section of the country.
Off course, the president’s oratorical delivery may not have been faultless, but his words penultimate Tuesday, were succinctly assuasive.
By refusing to kowtow to the temptation of removing the democratic structures in the affected states, the president showed himself to be a true product of democracy in so much as he also gave the military the blank cheque to bring those terrorists to book.
Remarkably, the president’s action won praise across all sides of the political divide. For once, the coherent articulation of Lai Mohammed, the spokesman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN turned into a disharmonious tone as he gave the party’s opposition to the proclamation. Even ACN legislators revolted when they approved the action yesterday.
About seven days after the proclamation, there is no doubt that the president has won immense goodwill from the populace, many affirming that it is better late than never.
But much still needs to be done.
The president must direct the same energy he has used in fighting the Boko Haram terrorists into fighting the economic terrorists who in the true sense, actually helped in breeding local terrorism.
The injustice arising from the continuing oil subsidy scam, the manipulation of electoral mandates, the poor power situation in the country and many more aches are issues that are still waiting for Mr. President.