What if Jonathan Won?
Dear Nigerians, let’s consider this issue for a bit. Going past political affiliations, ethnic bigotry and other biased opinions. What if Goodluck Jonathan won the 2015 elections, would the country be better off?
The state of the nation today under President Buhari is grim to say the least: the Naira is at an all-time low, unemployment skyrocketing, corruption persists, militancy and insecurity, dwindling revenue, businesses are shutting down like a woman in menopause, strikes and rumors of strikes,… and the beat goes on.
So let’s consider this: would Jona have fared better?
Dwindling Revenues and Value of the Naira– We have seen oil fortunes plummet into the abyss of doom, this being a fallout of a global oil glut. Naturally, Nigeria has taken a big hit. Why? Because crude oil is the nation’s only real foreign exchange earner. For decades the country has prodigally lived on oil without preparing for the drought and ignoring other potential sources of revenue. For the most part, other economically viable sectors are comatose and the value of the Naira is getting closer to the worth of tissue paper.
How would Jonathan have fared? Not much better since his tenure did not see any tangible gains in bolstering the other viable sectors. Crude oil remained the poison of choice. Yes, a lot of work was done in agriculture, but did it become a foreign exchange earner for the country? I guess not. What about the excess earnings from when crude oil was still the ‘hemp’ the world was high on during Jonathan’s reign? As his Finance minister put it, he didn’t have the political will to save some of the goodies for the future.
Corruption- Some argue that this is the country’s achilles heel. Today the story is President Buhari is on a witch-hunt and only his detractors and political foes are the target of his anti-corruption drive, while his cabinet and party members are sitting pretty. Really it does seem that way.
Consider Jonathan’s tenure. Corruption was in full swing. Anybody and everybody plus their cousins, uncles, aunties, house keepers, cooks and so on, were in on it. And the president’s position on the matter was “Corruption is not stealing” or something to that effect. I will leave that to sink in.
Militancy and Insecurity- The Buhari administration has had limited success- the Chibok girls have not been recovered despite campaign promises made by President Buhari. Militancy in the creeks of the Niger delta is reaching new levels as splinter groups emerge every other Monday and the country is on its knees as oil installations and pipelines are blown at will.
Let’s consider the flip side. During Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure the military brass where crazy enough to divert money set aside for weapons to their pockets, sending the soldiers into battle with pitch forks. It does not appear that Jonathan had anything to do with it but this was happening under his very own presidential nose. At best it makes him an incompetent commander-in-chief. And let’s not talk about the weapons-purchase-gone-horribly-wrong issue with South Africa. Yes, the Niger delta was a much quieter place then, but we know now that the fragile peace was bought with juicy security contracts to ‘reformed ex-militants’ and turning a blind eye to their not-too-clean dealings. And there is the matter of Jonathan being a ‘son of the delta soil’.
I could throw in more issues into the mix, but I want this to be a discussion. What say you Nigeria? Understanding a problem brings us steps closer to getting a solution. Drop a line. Let’s get Nigerian’s thinking. Na so I see am.