Beyond Emotions, What Does Goodluck Jonathan Stand For?

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Last year, we were invited to attend a Nigerian Achievements Awards, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Then Vice President, Jonathan Goodluck was special guest at the event. Frankly, his speech was boring and uninspiring. In the piece that I wrote on my return home, I lamented Goodluck’s dourness and colorlessness. The South African co-chair was a lady whose erudition was impressive and arresting, while our man, Jonathan Goodluck, like chloroform, literally sent us to sleep. I had stated that the vice president was an expression of everything wrong with Nigeria’s leadership recruitment! But by incredible goodluck (no pun intended!), the dour, colourless and clueless man, is today sitting atop our country as president.


Combining personal and political faults, Jonathan Goodluck, has become a divisive factor of Nigerian political life. This divisiveness is rooted in Goodluck’s ambition to become our next president, by stealth, mischief or caprice. The emotion for and against Goodluck Jonathan’s candidacy is casting a dangerous pall on Nigerian politics. But giving ourselves the pause for a moment, what does Jonathan really stand for? What are his core values and conceptual frames of apprehension of the problems facing Nigeria today? Can this clueless gentleman provide the leadership which Nigeria deserves in the present circumstance? And if the records of power are what will be canvassed with the Nigerian electorate, what will speak for Jonathan the candidate?


This week, the media reported Oronto Douglas, Jonathan’s senior special assistant on strategy, research and documentation, saying that Jonathan would not preside over a divided nation. It is the most bizarre statement yet out of the Jonathan camp, given that the central strategy of the Goodluck presidential project is precisely to divide the country, especially Northern Nigeria, in the mistaken belief that it would serve to win him candidacy and then presidency. But what we still haven’t seen is an outline of thoughts and ideas for national development from Jonathan; unfortunately, that is not the area of the president’s competence! His record in power since the late President Umaru Yar’adua’s illness and death cannot be taken to the electorate. Goodluck is less that average in provision of leadership for power supply issues; under him we have a bankrupt NNPC in our hands; as a matter of fact, his oil policy is reduced to cutting deals with oil companies and there are reports of NNPC top officials being called to meetings to be told that Niger Delta thugs like Tom Polo are interested in lifting crude!


Jonathan Goodluck has no record to lean on in his desire to become our president in 2011. His entire public service record reveals an incurable mediocrity: a nondescript deputy director at NDDC; a cowardly deputy governor in Bayelsa; a governor whose wife ended up stealing millions of dollars (according to Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC); a scheming vice president and now a divisive and below-average president! Any student of Political Science 101 should conveniently predict that no candidate can go to the electorate with a record like Jonathan’s. That is why there are reports of secret meetings being held with foreign election bodies as part of a multi-track agenda. Nigeria is in a flux, almost like we were in 1998, and is therefore available for the taking by the most audacious political forces. Unfortunately, the opposition is incompetent and pathologically unable to rise to the heights of power. The danger we face as a country is that a clueless Jonathan Goodluck might then, by stealth, inherit power. It will be unending nightmare for the Nigeria people: 8 years of kleptocracy under Obasanjo; three years of sleepwalking under Yar’adua and years of driving in reverse gear, drunk and clueless, under Jonathan Goodluck. Nigeria’s fate is sealed!



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