By BENEDICT IJOMAH
JONATHAN will contest in 2015 because he is qualified to contest. Jonathan will win again in 2015 and will rule this country for another term. Therefore what he needs from Nigerians now is cooperation to enable him concentrate in giving Nigeria good governance. And I want to say that no president has ever been deliberately opposed as President Jonathan.
The 37 people who decamped from PDP will not make Jonathan lose. If they understand the politics in Nigeria, they will know. All the people who left PDP to go to the opposition may have to remain with the opposition until the next election; and when Jonathan wins again, they will start coming back into the PDP when the doors will open to them. They left PDP because they believed that they will succeed in gathering a majority to impeach the President. They will not succeed in impeaching the President. Many of them will come back to the PDP, and this country will become more stable than it has ever been before.
Those who joined Buhari to start opposing Jonathan from the word ‘go’ will realise that Buhari has nothing new to offer this country. He has been president before. I do not need to analyse his presidency which all of us lived to watch before he was overthrown by his own very good friend. He is not going to do any better than he did before.
The young politicians who are in the Assembly for the first time are living in a kind of political euphoria. They have not faced the rigours of serious politics. When the time comes, they will watch Jonathan being re-elected, and they will ask themselves “why did I do what I did?” But let me say that it is not yet too late to retrace their steps; the devil you know is better than the angel you do not know. You know Jonathan. I want to challenge those in the opposition now to put themselves in Jonathan’s position and see whether they will last one year in governance.
We need Peace
What we need is peace. We need peace to build Nigeria. We need peace to face all the crises that Jonathan is faced with. We need a united country to fight those who are stealing oil wealth. We need a united country to fight Boko Haram. We need a united country to build the roads and rebuild our educational system. The economy is bad, because those who should assist in repairing the economy are the ones creating problems for the President.
Two years ago, I spoke at a conference in Abuja. I gave solutions or what should be done to contain Boko Haram. If what I wrote had been done, the Boko Haram insurgency would have been a thing of the past. But it is not yet too late. The President must do what he has to do in order to contain Boko Haram. It is not enough to think of using conventional method to fight Boko Haram. It will not work.
Obasanjo and attacks
I was writing a commentary on President Obasanjo’s letter to President Jonathan, but haven read what the daughter wrote, I believe the daughter should be given national award for speaking the truth where others would have been carried away by nepotism. President Obasanjo’s daughter spoke the minds of many Nigerians, and I do not think I should comment after the daughter had spoken my mind.
It might be necessary for us to discuss the issues which she raised because they are important issues. The decamping of 37 members of the House of Representatives coming very fast at the heels of Obasanjo’s letter shows that they were all premeditated in order to lead to impeachment. But there will be no impeachment because Jonathan has not committed any impeachable offence. Even if you say that he is not ruling the country well because he is not doing what you want him to do, that is not an impeachable offence. He is doing the best he can inspite of the deliberate opposition to his government.
Now let me say this very clearly. Jonathan is the only sane President who will tolerate the deliberate opposition and falsehood woven against his government. Obasanjo would not have tolerated the kind of opposition that Jonathan is tolerating, General Buhari and General Babangida would not have tolerated the kind of opposition that Jonathan is tolerating.
Democracy requires tolerance and ability to listen to the opposition without locking them in prison. I have been in this country. I have watched heads of state come and go. Jonathan has given us a country where people can criticise him without being locked up in prison. Jonathan allows people to say what they like while he remains focused. It is a testimony of a great leader who people can say what they want to say and the leader remains focused.
I congratulate President Jonathan and advice that neither Obasanjo’s letter nor the opposition of APC should be allowed to distract him from standing strong and confronting the problems facing the country. No matter how much they encourage the stealing of oil in order to make his government unable to get enough money to run the government, even those who claim to be working for his government, the god of justice will shame all of them, as Jonathan will succeed inspite of all the deliberate contrivances against him. God has brought him to save this country, and whether they like it or not Jonathan will continue to save the country and hand over to another duly elected president when he finishes his tenure.
But let me caution those who move into the opposition with the sole aim of destroying Jonathan’s government. When a democratic government becomes totalitarian, it is because people want to deliberately topple the government under false pretences. But Jonathan has shown that he has the capability to tolerate falsehood. We have watched Obasanjo’s government for eight years, and we have watched what he did in order to get a third term.
We have seen Buhari’s government and all the things that happened at that time. We have watched General Babangida’s regime before he was compelled by circumstances to most reluctantly step aside. We have watched the annulment of the most peaceful and credible election. Let us ask those who are creating problems for Jonathan to have the tolerance and patience to wait until they win election after Jonathan’s tenure. Let us see what they can achieve. Until then, let us give Jonathan his entitlement to rule like Obasanjo did.
Prof. Ijomah, wrote from the Centre for Policy Studies and Research, Asaba, Delta State.