Debo Adejugbe: Jonathan and the misplaced second term debate (Y! Politico)
by Debo Adejugbe
The Jonathan presidency is notorious for one thing: The aides pushes out “Oga’s” mind. They do it majestically, oscillating between the outrageously stupid and the awkwardly insane when dishing it out. “Oga” only makes an appearance when a retraction is necessary…
The recent upheaval raised by the presidential reply/submission to its adversaries on whether it’s going to be one term for the president or not, is another scale on which our democracy can be measured. Our democracy is seriously lacking in substance. While other countries are taking stock of democratic gains, we are busy discussing a pact made by our thieving elite and traditionalist looters.
Make no mistake on where I stand on President Goodluck Jonathan’s ambition of a second term, I don’t subscribe to it. I don’t see it as necessary judging by how well (or not) he has performed since his ascension to power. On merit, he lacks everything required of a second term leader (that is if you believe he has performed at all). That’s however my candid opinion and it has nothing to do with what is obtainable or reasonable by law.
On face value, meshing the intrigues and canoodling that went into the 2011 presidential elections with how evolved/mature our democratic process is, you will be tempted to line up behind the anti-Jonathan’s second term crusaders. But then, the way they are going about it is wrong and childish. They make it sound as if any agreement made with Jonathan supercedes the Nigerian constitution that has a two-term maximum limit written into it or our Electoral laws. They are bereft of tangible ideas on how to push off the lame duck of a president they foisted shoelessly on us, so they grasp at anything that comes their way.
We know about this one-term pact. It wasn’t that much of a secret as they now imply – forget the Presidency’s denials – but it is an indication of how low our polity has sunk. This, without an iota of doubt, is a moral issue and has nothing to do with Nigerians -it only confirms what we know, that the president is an unrepentant liar and opportunist.
While speaking to Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on January 31st, 2011; The President said: “Nigerians in the Diaspora will not vote, but I will work towards it by 2015, even though I will not be running for election.”
That is as unambiguous as it gets and going by Jonathan’s standard of standing ‘reasonability’ on its head, these denials shouldn’t be something to make a debate out of. These are hard times at the presidency, they seriously need something to distract us from the blatant inefficiency oozing out of there, hence the present debate on whether he agreed a one-term presidency or not. They’ve been presented with a lifeline on a platter and true to how their machinery works, an iota of excuse is enough to spark a nationwide debate just as we have now.
If you are seriously expecting the president to come out in person and address these issues, you’ve obviously been away from Nigeria in the last few years. The Jonathan presidency is notorious for one thing: The aides pushes out ‘Oga’s’ mind. They do it majestically, oscillating between the outrageously stupid and the awkwardly insane when dishing it out. ‘Oga’ only makes an appearance when a retraction is necessary; they have to get nasty or rub off him in a negative way – like jeopardizing 2015 election.
It is now a fact that our president flouts every known law to man when he decides to court mischief. His evil yanking off of fuel subsidy after holding lectures around the country and declaring that: “it was going to be a gradual process” comes to mind. The announcement that Dame -his wife went to rest in Germany, while infact, she was serially ressurecting was another one. He gladly debated himself during the 2011 presidential elections without an iota of shame. This same man harbours a serially indicted Diezani Alison-Madueke in his cabinet where she lords and control our oil resources.
Something is amiss in the claims and counter-claims being bandied about. It has been our hallmark and we’ve shown once again that we lack the capacity to learn from the ills befalling us. Shouldn’t the issue of second term be based on how well one has performed in the first term? Shouldn’t it be dependent on how a president or public official have been able to deliver on promises made? Shouldn’t it be about how well suited a person is for the office he occupies? Performance index anyone? These are just basic questions that define governance.
Personally, I see this debate as ill-timed and ill-advised. President Goodluck Jonathan has given the opposition within his party and those outside a big tool to help dig his political grave, but like we are wont to do in this part of the world, no one is taking the honourable route to heap the mud on him.
For a president who has a gang of the most esteemed of pen and psychological robbers in Nigeria, Jonathan is having it easy. And with an opposition mainly concerned about taking over power or throwing punches at the presidency whenever they guffaw, eat or talk, rather than articulating what they have for Nigerians and grabbing with both hands, the opportunity presented to them by an ailing regime, we need to really look hard and straight for the messiah promised.
While the presidency is kept afloat by the trillions they sit on and keep mismanaging; they are running on the thinnest of public goodwill that can be given any regime. This should be the time that those who intend to wrest power from a notoriously corrupt party and their equally corrupt -and obviously clueless government- would present and outline what they have in stock for us. Enough of barking just to be seen as a dog. Now is the time to be the dog!
So, instead of holding Jonathan to an agreement that clearly violates the Nigerian constitution and reasonable democratic norms, they should work and give us a plan on what they intend to do differently, how they will do it and what the repercussions should be if they fail us.
I’m tired of the anti-Jonathan posturing from the opposition. Give us a plan and do it fast. Time is running out and Jonathan seems to be the winner as we move along without addressing the proper questions of governance and how we intend to have them answered.
Debo Adejugbe is a trained Telecommunications/Electronics Engineer and a certified IT professional living in Lagos. Dad to amazing Hailey and an advocate against Sexual and Domestic Abuses. Debo has political sympathy for the Labour Party. He tweets from @deboadejugbe
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.