And Jonathan Hands Over A Prostrate Country | Independent Newspapers Limited
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And Jonathan Hands Over A Prostrate Country

Posted: May 30, 2015 at 12:51 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Justin Akpovi-Esade


IT will be hard for former President Goodluck Jonathan to convince anybody that he did not deliberately cause the country to lay prostrate before handing her over to President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday. It will be hard.

Goodluck Jonathan

Goodluck Jonathan

An Urhobo proverb, “When a masquerade is going home from the dance, he tears his costumes”, captures aptly the scenario that played out weeks before Jonathan handed over yesterday. The former president not only tore his ‘costumes’, he actually mutilated them because there was no audience to perform before again, so it seemed.

About two years ago, Jonathan issued a statement that Nigerians will praise him at the end of his tenure. This was against the backdrop of widespread disaffection over his rather bland and directionless style of governance. Some people believed him (his die hard believers always believed anything he said) but many of us knew that there was nothing this man that rode on the back of luck to the highest office in the land would do that will change the situation of things even if given another 10 years in office. It became clear majority of Nigerians, after examining his tenure, knew there was no need giving him another shot at Aso Rock, so they rejected him at the polls held on March 28.

I don’t think Jonathan would have had the effrontery to look at Nigerians and ask them to thank him yesterday for doing so well as a president. That would have been the last insult upon the injury he had meted out on Nigerians since he lost the presidential election.

From all indications, the election defeat left a very angry former president. If he made any attempt to hide his anger, disappointment and frustration on losing the presidency to Buhari, he did a poor job of it. His actions, despite claiming severally that he conceded defeat (I wonder what he would have done when it was clear he was beaten so badly) to avert bloodshed, were that of a very angry man out on a vendetta mission. This could be seen from the way he was sacking and appointing people to different offices. Constitutionally, he had the right to do that, but morally, he was wrong.

From the day Buhari was declared winner, Jonathan did everything possible to make things difficult not only for this new government but for Nigerians. He showed he was a bad loser and this lingering fuel crisis as well as the serious electricity challenge were manifestations of his anger against Nigerians. If he did anything at all about the current crisis, he did it half heartedly. He has been the butt of a joke online where he was pictured in his office telling an ‘aide’ who complained that Nigerians were suffering and trekking long distances to work and home that: “Sebi they have been trekking for Buhari when he won the election, let them trek na.” That is the general feeling of the people and it will be hard for them to be convinced otherwise.

The ruling party (former opposition), All Progressives Congress, APC shared in this feeling when its spokesman Alhaji Lai Mohammed said in a statement that Jonathan was deliberately handing over a nation “in deep crisis” even as he accused the government of Jonathan of contriving “more crises without making any effort to solve any of them.”

One could not help but agree with Mohammed. The APC had consistently accused the former president of deliberately laying bricks in the transition process that ushered in Buhari yesterday.

”In a few days’ time, President Jonathan will hand over to President-elect Muhammadu Buhari. Never in the history of our country has any government handed over to another a more distressed country: No electricity, no fuel, workers are on strike, billions are owed to state and federal workers, 60 billion dollars are owed in national debt and the economy is virtually grounded

”Today, Nigerians are roaming the streets, jerry cans in hand, searching for everything from kerosene to fuel to diesel to power their homes, keep their vehicles on the road and keep their businesses going. They are paying as much as 300 Naira per litre for fuel, if at all they can get it. Yet their government is not saying a word about the situation,” the statement read.

Some weeks ago, Jonathan had accused president Buhari and his APC of “running a parallel government”, yet his own presidency that terminated yesterday appeared to be on auto pilot mode just like Mohammed alleged: “They say they are in office till May 29th, but they do not care how workers in 18 states, who are owed a total of 300 billion Naira in salaries under their watch, or federal workers who are owed 400 billion Naira, will be paid. Yet they are running a budget of 1 trillion Naira deficit.

“They have deliberately stopped meeting their obligations to oil marketers, which is now around 200 billion Naira, hence no one is lifting petroleum products anymore. If the current energy crisis is not solved soonest, the telecommunications sector could even be grounded in a matter of days as service providers will have neither electricity nor fuel to power their base stations. Of course the aviation sector has already been left comatose by the fuel crisis. The whole scenario reeks of sabotage!” the party alleged.

Again, I cannot but agree with the APC. For two weeks now, the electric wires in my neigbourhood are mere decorations. Not even one of them has had the privilege of having electric current run through its veins. I cannot count how many days my house was lighted with the help of my ever reliable generator because it has been a Herculean task to get common petrol. I don’t think it was this difficult to get petrol during the Biafran civil war!

Jonathan is a good man according to many people, but it is now clear that Nigeria does not need a good man at this stage to be her president because we have seen what a good man has done to our country in the last six years. A country does not need a good man who because of his goodness will not do anything while his cronies grind this country to a halt. We don’t need a good man who does not see stealing as corruption. We don’t need a good man who was busy showing us his ‘transformations’ as if we are blind. Maybe Jonathan came a little too early, before his time, two become president. So maybe after a ‘bad’ man does all the cleaning up of this country and make Nigerians to realise that stealing is corruption, just maybe, we will decide to elect a GOOD man as president again.

Goodbye our good President.