by Lanre Oguntoyinbo
Who is a leader? A leader is someone who leads people to accomplish a task; a leader is someone who people look unto as a role model. Someone once described a leader as someone who can make others turn his dream into their passion. I agree with that last one a lot.
Presidents are supposed to be leaders. They are supposed to be good examples to the citizens they lead, govern or rule. They are supposed to be people with the ability to transform and redirect a failing system. They are supposed to be the guardian of the people who voted them in (including those who didn’t even vote them or like what they look like.) Presidents owe their entire country service, whether they belong to the ruling party or not.
Nigeria’s case shouldn’t be an exception, especially as our democracy is getting deeper. Without a doubt, we should be better off today, but due to sentiments we used in choosing, judging and rating our leaders has cost us many years of growth.
Prior to the 2011 elections, in the spirit of federalism and continuity, President Goodluck Jonathan made a vow to Nigerians in the Diaspora, the members of his party, a group of Northern Elders and Nigerians in general, that he won’t stay in office beyond 2015. In fact, I know someone who fell in love with the President because of this promise (though she presently dislikes his ways, leadership style and his pro-corruption way of life).
The Promise from President Jonathan that he won’t be contesting 2015 election had made headlines then, but just penultimate Thursday evening, I read that President Jonathan had declared his intention to seek re-election. The little boy in me has been telling me; “This guy might still have that humility in him and might not contest”, but that little boy was sadly mistaken and disappointed. I saw him take delivery his nomination form, and I said, “So he was lying back then, right? Did he deceive us? Oh, no!” Here is evidence of his promise: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12339017
Yes, it may be President Jonathan’s constitutional right to want to seek a another term in office. I don’t know how legitimate it is for him to be sworn in thrice as the country’s constitution is against this, but if he gets re-elected in 2015, that means he would have been sworn in the 3rd term. That is unconstitutional and against the law of the land, but what do I know? The lawyers and the court will argue that out and translate to us.
However, as a Nigerian citizen, before voting last election, I had listened to the programs candidates presented before electorates, also the manifestos of their political parties, and I still have that of President Jonathan. The question is, which one has he fulfilled? Which one has he failed in? Is he re-electable? Can we trust him again? Ok, before you answer those questions, here are the promised President Jonathan made to electorates while campaigning round the country prior to 2011 elections.
If President Jonathan or some of his handlers won’t remember his promises during campaign, here are few of his promises with evidence. On the 12th of October 2010, he had told Nigerians in Kaduna that he’s a man of his words; evidence http://allafrica.com/stories/201010140313.html, can we still believe those words? Close to 5years after, there’s still not appreciable improvement in power supply in Nigeria.
Also, President Jonathan, to fool our traditional rulers to endorse him and compel their communities to vote for him, he promised constitutional roles for them. Do our Obas, Emirs and Obis have these roles now? Did he send any bill to National Assembly to effect these roles? Or GEJITES want to argue he didn’t say it? You said this on the 27th of December 2010 and here is one article someone posted about it…. http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/do-we-need-any-constitutional-role-for-traditional-rulers.html It is almost four years now sir, we still await his executive bill to National Assembly on this issue.
“If I win the election, within my four years in office, I will establish domestic airports in all the states without airports.” Those are the words of Mr. President on March 17th 2011 in Jigawa after seeing the airport being built by Sule Lamido of Jigawa. Besides this one, the Moshood Abilola Airport in the State of Osun is being built by the Rauf Aregbesola administration. Even the president’s home town of Bayelsa doesn’t have; Ebonyi does not, Ogun, Ekiti et el to mention few. All we see is Stella Odua’s cosmetic rehabilitation and corruption-driven aviation industry. President Jonathan has not built a single airport in the last 4 years.
Also, he promised Nigerians while campaigning in Nassarawa state that he would build one university in each of the state of the federation; I wonder if this promise has been fulfilled. All we know about is $20 billion missing money; no new government-owned university in Lagos where I stay. Do you have in your state? The first developmental plan of Yakubu Gowon that built universities of first choice and so many institutions today and airport is not up to N3billion(I’ll explain in my next article). Yet someone got $20billion in her purse? Indeed, deris God o!
On February 8th 2011, in Ibadan, I don’t know what really happened that day. That day, he called Yoruba elders and leaders “Rascals.” After that, he promised to create jobs and improve power sector, but as I’m typing this my battery is in 30percent (not #30percentornothing, mind you), and scores of my brothers and future leaders were killed early this year during the scam on Nigerian youths they called it Immigration Recruitment. They collected N1000 each from over 700,000 Nigerians for 5000 vacancies, out of which over 3500 have been shared to governors, senators and PDP chieftains. Still no job, no refund and lives were lost. In fact, the minister that carried out that exercise is still in office living large. Is that what Jonathan promised? If so, he’s delivered sorrows, tears and blood. Great apologies to the Great Fela.
On February 9th 2011, Mr. President was in Bauchi and he promised to intensify oil and gas exploration in the North-East as part of efforts to harness resources for economic development. Also, he pledged to boost agriculture, power and water supply for wealth creation and revenue generation. He further assured that projects such as the Mambilla hydro-electricity, Jada irrigation project and Kafin Zaki dam in Taraba, Adamawa and Bauchi would be pursued to boost agriculture and industrial development, here is an evidence of this particular vow. http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/jonathan-promises-intensify-oil-exploration-north. Then, he promised that his administration would establish two universities in the region. Sadly that’s the same North our President can’t even visit today. So painful we have lost the region to terrorists in a state that has sovereignty. We still have a President, don’t we?
Even if those universities were built and completed today, who would attend them? Is it the thousands of Youth who have been forced to either join Boko Haram or the alternative, the Civilian JTF? Or the over 200 Chibok Girls who were writing their Secondary School Leaving Certificate Examinations when they were crudely kidnapped by terrorists and criminally abandoned by the President? Or the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced by the war? Who would attend your new universities, Mr. President?
On this day in 2011, it was February 12th precisely in Port Harcourt, a lot of people lost their lives trying to listen to the promises which have not seen the light of day. President Jonathan announced plans that the NNPC, in partnership with the private sector, would establish a petrochemical plant in the Niger Delta. He also promised the plant will create job opportunities for the Niger Delta youths. Then he went ahead to promise the implementation of Local Content Law and Petroleum Industry Bill. You all can judge if that has been done today.
Also he has promised in Benue in 2011 that he will build the 2nd Niger Bridge within four years of his stay in office. This is the project that woos Ndi Igbo and immediately they call him ‘Azikiwe’. Today, nothing has been done; I believe the Ndi-Igbo are wiser now. Or are they still waiting for the 2nd Niger Bridge? They will only get 2nd fooling. WATCH IT.
President Jonathan trying to show his team has some good governance idea or policies that could liberate the people, he went to Jos on February 17th 2011 and promised them what looks like mere wishful thinking. Our ‘transforming’ President promised the people of Plateau that he will refocus on the solid mineral development of the state and make it one of the key revenue sources in Nigeria. He also promised to build more dams and complete ongoing ones, so as to boost agricultural growth. Inasmuch as I agree that Dr. Adeshina the minister of Agriculture is doing great, but I think he’s doing what he’s doing to save his own career, if he opposes one of Jonathan’s evil policy tomorrow he’ll be sacked just the way he sacked his best minister in 2013, Danladi Usman, and the light of his administration Bolaji Abdulai all because the people that nominated them pick up the membership of the opposition party, APC. This is a serious government, indeed. And that same day, Mr. Jonathan promised to complete the Vom-Manchok-Jos road to boost economic links between Plateau and Kaduna states; I have not been there. Please, someone should confirm if the road has been completed.
In Kogi State on the 21st of February, he promised that the dredging of the River Niger and Lokoja-Abuja road dualisation would be completed’ very soon.’ The last time I use that road, it was wahala; in fact I saw AIT bus inside a big mud and Mrs. Owoeye Wise can tell you her story. That road almost cost the Kogi State Governor his life on that road. Was that part of the promise?
The next day, our President went to Kwara and pledged that the irrigation project in Shonga would be completed “in a few months” to boost the commercial farming activities of the New Nigeria Farmers in the area. He also said the Jebba-Mokwa Road and Jebba Bridge would be given adequate attention to ease transportation in the area. Sadly the only thing I can recognize Shonga Farms for is their sweet banana which the government of Senator Bukola Saraki kick-start and dully been followed up by incumbent Governor Abdul Fathia Ahmed. What can our president point at?
On 24th of that same love month of February 2011, our President was in Aba where he promised his adopted Ndi Igbo brothers that he would make Aba “the economic city of the country” by rehabilitating their ailing industries and creating enabling environment for them for a proudly “made in Aba” products. The last Jeans I bought was made in China. Maybe after this election if our Igbo brothers fall for this gimmick again, he might keep his promise this time.
On the 25th of February in 2011 in Anambra state, I remember vividly how the APGA leaders and PDP leaders fought shamelessly to endorse President Jonathan. In fact, Igbo leaders said he’s their son and they were blunt to tell their wards, “This is Azikiwe. He will do what our late son Azikiwe did for us.” I was happy for him, because he was their hope; but how far has he given back to these people that love him dearly? He promised to fix ALL roads leading to Anambra state and South East in general. I saw on TVC how Anambra and Enugu people are complaining about bad federal roads. If Anambra people can complain like this imagine how federal roads in Abia and Ebonyi state will be. Also, President Jonathan promised to tackle erosion in South East. NTA can’t even cover this lie as any news from South East is erosion news.
In Niger state, he promised more power generation. Perhaps the most important aspect of his promises is that his government would map out a five-year strategic plan for road projects; but sadly he met 2962 megawatts from the Yar’dua government, today what we our country is generating is 2600 megawatts haven received over billions of dollars for power.
President Jonathan promised many Nigerians that things will change for better but the reverse has happened. President Jonathan promised young Northern people that he would give them life, give them education, better their lives and lead them to greatness. He can’t even protect them from terrorism. He just doesn’t give a damn.
President Jonathan promised to unite Nigerians, but his government has so divide Nigerians that a Yoruba wife is so opposed to his Igbo husband while a Hausa husband so dislike the families and sibling of his Ijaw wife.
President Jonathan promised the continuation of rule of law as being witnessed during the Government of Late President Umoru Musa Yar’dua but instead, lives of innocent Nigerians were being lost, big people looting the vulnerable and walking free. Impunity is the order of the day. Corruption is so legal those government officials steal at will and get no jail once they can say, “Goodluck Nigeria 2015”. I have never witnessed such a corrupt government driven by impunity and shenanigans since I was born.
It’s a fact that if this country should continue with someone like President Jonathan as President, Nigeria will be so divided and insecurity will spread. This government, as plainly demonstrated by its leader, has no idea how to curb terrorism. They have no clue how to better the lives of people they are governing or propose progressive government policies.
If President Jonathan could fulfill all those promises he made during the electioneering period of 2011 (some of which I have highlighted with the help of Oluwaseun Egghead Odewale’s letter ), I’ll not only support and endorse his candidature; I’ll bring in all my machinery of about 7500 volunteers in my group to support this man.
But as it stands, I’m a no Jonathanian; I’m anti-GEJITE and I hate this type of transformation my people are witnessing. Transformation that brings about Touts Across Nigeria to loot us dry. God forbid!
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.