As the Saturday, March 28, 2015 presidential election approaches, many Nigerians admit and agree that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the incumbent President and one of the strongest contenders is a good and humble man. Their grouses, however, centre around five issues which they have summed up as HIS FIVE MAJOR SINS.
The first and the greatest one, according to them, is Jonathan’s inability to rescue the over 200 kidnapped Chibok girls after many months. This, they told YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine, is the height. The agony, the cries and the international attention it attracted dealt him a deadly blow – and till today, it still persists, because the kids are yet to be rescued. The second one is his not reconciling with Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State early enough. Thus, allowing their disagreement to fester, divide one of his major catchment areas, the South-South and also cost him some followers. That mistake, if care is not taken, will cost him more. “He should have quietly brokered peace between Amaechi and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, rather than allow their disagreement to get out of hand. Now, Amaechi has joined the opposition All Progressives Congress and is causing him so much discomfort”. The third one is his inability to tame corruption. “But even beside that is the fact that he had to grant his godfather and former boss, Chief D.S.P Alamieyesiegha state pardon. Remember, this was a man that was involved in a monumental malfeasance. It kind of rubbished Jonathan’s image and vow to ‘kill’ corruption”.
The fourth one, again, borders on his inability to make any appreciable impact on the power sector in spite of all the promises he made and all the billions pumped into that. “Yes, he has done well in agriculture, building Alamajiri Schools in the North, more roads and so on, but how visible are those ones? If he had been able to resolve the power log jam, some of the issues he’s having now wouldn’t have been there”.
And then lastly; that’s the fifth one – many Nigerian see him as a weak leader; someone who is not decisive. As a matter of fact, there’s this general belief that his wife most times is in control. “Yes, we all know that he’s a gentleman, but there are times and instances where being a gentleman doesn’t pay. This same allegation also dovetails into his not being able to contain the Boko Haram madness on time. Because had he not allowed them more grounds to become gods, by now, they would have become history or curtailed to an appreciable extent. Boko Haram assumed worrisome dimension because, at the initial stage, they were treated with kid gloves. Look at how many lives they’ve wasted so far. It shouldn’t have been so had decisive action been taken against them. And now, with the situation of things, all these are definitely going to affect Jonathan’s chances of getting another 4 years in office”.
Born on November 20, 1957, in Ogbia, Bayelsa State, Jonathan has been Nigeria’s President since 2010. Hitherto the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa, then Governor, Vice President and President, he is a member and leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A Christian, he was educated at the University of Port-Harcourt in Rivers State. Nigeria’s most educated leader ever, he is also one of the luckiest human beings that God created. As nearly all the major positions he has occupied, the Lord paved the way for him.
Married to Patience and blessed with two children, human rights activists and journalists like Festus Keyamo, Femi Adesina, Fred Agbaje, Monday Ubani and OPC founder, Dr. Frederick Fasheun, dissected him and his sins thus:
For Keyamo, a constitutional and human rights lawyer: “For me, I think it was the failure to go after those missing girls. And to think that he even lived in denial of it for days. It was a crime against humanity; Boko Haram kidnapping those angels and he not doing anything about it. For me, that was it. Because life is more important than even the economy. That was where he lost a lot of good will, if you ask me”.
Taking over from him, Adesina, MD of The Sun Newspapers and President, Nigerian Guild of Editors said: “Jonathan’s major mistake was taking the people for granted. The Biblical Samson told himself, I will do it again, not knowing that his locks had been shaved. Never operate in old grace, rather, renew your grace daily”, he also advised.
Another radical lawyer, Agbaje, began by commending the man first. “In fairness to him, he has been able to ensure that the rule of law, which is my own constituency, prevails. But his regime improved on corruption. It took it beyond where Obasanjo left it. But on the rule of law, I score him high. Look at all the states where his party lost elections, he never intefered”.
Lagos businessman, Chief Chukwumezie Alingo, said he shouldn’t have gone into any war at all with Amaechi. “For me, Amaechi, who should have been one of his hench men, has turned out to be one of his Archilles heels”.
Oodua Peoples Congress founder, Dr. Frederick Fasheun, said: “There is no nation without its own challenges. It’s just unfortunate that Nigeria is bedevilled with the issue of Boko Haram. We have other nations that are plagued with the activities of ISIS, Al-Queda and so on. But President Jonathan must redeem his pledge that the citizenry of this nation lives in peace and harmony”. Lastly, Ubani, former chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja, Lagos branch said: “His greatest mistake is surrounding himself with very corrupt people and his pretence not to be aware”.