My Fellow Nigerians,
It has been a long 54 years plus of existence and as we enter this new year it seems that the choice we make in the upcoming elections will determine not only the short but the medium and long term future of this country. It will determine the type of nation we want to live in and the nation we want our children and grandchildren to live in. We are holding our future in our hands. The Presidential elections are in a month and 6 days or so by my calculation and it is quite the choice. Personally, I am not overly impressed by either of the two main candidates or their parties but it seems when forced to pick between the devil and the deep blue sea one might pick the sea on the off chance that one can swim and perhaps get rescued. On the other hand, if one picks the devil what awaits is eternal damnation. it is the topic on everyone’s lips in Nigeria nowadays so I figured with my new years resolution of writing more let me give it a dig.
In the red corner, we have the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who refuses to take blame for insecurity, Azikwe returned in the flesh, the last hope of the south-south, Mr I dont give a damn, the man who wears a hat as though we were all in an American Western, the man who will restore our railways, start a gas revolution and kick poverty with YOUWIN, YEAP and SURE-P, the man who though he is from a region notorious for men who can hold their liquor does not seem to know how to hold his kain kain down, the first Nigerian President with a PhD, President Goodluck Ebele Azikwe (Only brought out at campaign times) Jonathan or GEJ for short.
WHY VOTE FOR GEJ
Let’s start with what GEJ has going for him. He is younger than his opponent and theoretically this should imbue him with the ability to bring out fresh ideas. He has the power of incumbency but that should not have any bearing on our choice for/against him. Off the top of my head, he has made some headway in reviving the railway in Nigeria. He somewhat successfully privatized PHCN/the Power sector, I believe the benefits if any will be reaped in years to come. Under his administration, the Nigerian economy has somewhat diversified. I wouldnt bet my life to say it was due to his policies but he can take that to his credit. He has done some work with Sure-P but I am not sure if that isn’t robbing peter to pay paul as the saying goes. Agriculture has seen an uptake in interest under his tenure which would be very good if it helps in diversifying our economy now that oil prices are in the shitter. YOUWIN has created some jobs. I dont know about the general unemployment rate under his tenure though. The President has also shown himself to take a hands off approach in the elections done under his tenure for the most part. We did not see the intense meddling we saw under Obasanjo, to his credit elections done under him have been perceived to be free and fair but then we await to see how 2015 pans out. Also we are now Africa’s biggest economy, dunno how that affects price of goat pepper soup but it’s a credit. The plans he has for the gas revolution, power sector, bridging the housing deficit, automotive policy, agriculture, refining, education, employment and so on look good on paper and if you are willing to gamble that he will continue or start work on some of these plans in his second term then GEJ is your man.
WHY YOU SHOULDNT VOTE FOR GEJ
The cons of GEJ and voting for him can only be summarized in one word: insecurity. This is the most tangible and measurable index that is going against GEJ and heck it is my one reason I doubt I will vote for him. Under his administration, a record number of people have died in the Northeast. I doubt there has been a period in Nigerian history since the civil war when this many people were killed and so many displaced. It is a national tragedy, a tragedy that many people from that region (me included) feel that he does not care enough about or has not done the needful to address. It took my bola hatted friend 2 weeks to respond to the kidnap of over 200 girls. I cannot force my opinion on the whole country but like I said on twitter, I would find it personally sad if a single son or daughter of the Northeast vote for this poor excuse for a commander in chief. Corruption is another big loser for the president. if I was the opposition I would hammer on security and even take out ads and show Nigerians the statistics of people that have died but what do I know. I would not go as far as saying his is the most corrupt administration as that would be unfair. I believe his administration has suffered from a large amount of accusations and uncovering of corruption without a necessary concrete resolution. In other words, the amount of corruption exposed during his tenure is monumental and the amounts seem large because people no longer steal/embezzle/launder millions, we are talking billions baby. To mention a few, pension scam, subsidy scam, NNPC account scam, aviation scam, all of which have gone mostly unresolved. If you can look past these two main cons of Jonathan or believe many of these are just conspiracies made up by the opposition or some northern illuminati then by all means vote Mr President.
This is a two part post, I will post the second part in 24 hours. So my fellow Nigerians, Why do you think we should vote or not vote for Goodluck Jonathan? What are his biggest achievements in your opinion and his biggest failures? Let us have a discussion folk