by Daniel Omale
It seems like yesterday, but President Umaru Yar’Adua died almost five years ago. Therefore, another four years in the life of a nation does not matter at all.
I have looked at the political dynamics of this country and the result is, whether anyone likes it or not, Jonathan will win again, even if 100 million Nigerians vote against his re-election. The practical issue here is that with the exception of All Progressives Congress (APC), the other opposition parties have dissolved into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Governor Mimiko of Labour Party and Peter Obi of APGA, the two leaders of their respective parties, have literally been in bed with the PDP for the past few years, until the formal marriage to the dominant party last week. On the other side, the self-created inside friction by members of the APC will not allow unity and growth that will form the required strength of a structure that could withstand PDP’s unrelenting momentum.
Already, even the most antagonistic members of the PDP – governors of Niger and Jigawa states – have fallen in line to boost President Jonathan’s re-election. The internal cohesion of the PDP is so strong that its viscosity remains undiluted every time there is apparent disagreement. The party’s focal point is readjusted, as necessary, to fulfil its mission. This is what is absolutely lacking in the main opposition party, the APC.
I have come to terms with President Obasanjo’s prediction that the Peoples Democratic Party will rule Nigeria for, at least, 60 years. The current chairman of the party, Ahmed Muazu, has also reiterated the slogan and, provoking as it is, PDP’s ideology of consistent/enhanced corruption remains. Who can oppose the absolute authority of the party in power? Who can change the direction Nigeria is taking? I can’t see anyone on the podium of power in Nigeria today that will change the course of our national route. The ultimate programme of how Nigeria will be and should be still lies with the man at the helm of affairs of this country, along with his lieutenants.
Although I am not a card-carrying member of any political party in this country, my sympathies lie with the APC. The party has a lot to prove to its sympathisers, as it must redefine its goals, imbibe in all its heavyweights that winning the forthcoming elections is more important than individual relevance, greed and selfishness. Unfortunately, the internal rivalry among the top echelon of the APC has made it difficult for sympathisers to understand the party’s intended path to victory.
Can anyone really challenge President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015? In my opinion, the answer is no. PDP has all the resources to change the outcome of the election, anytime, anywhere in this country. The only opposition to Jonathan is providence, or what some call divine intervention. But at this crossroads of our fragile national unity, it’s better for Jonathan to continue until 2019 than any God forbidden natural tragedy that would give Namadi Sambo the mantle of leadership of this country.
President Goodluck Jonathan last week assured Nigerians that his decision to run for a second term will be guided by national harmony, cohesion, unity, security, political stability, progress, equity, justice and fairness.
In an Eid-el-Kabir message to Nigerians, he personally reiterated these virtues above any personal ambition or sectional agenda.
He challenged other politicians to do the same as they prepare for the 2015 general elections.
The truth is that Goodluck Jonathan does not need to explain the manifesto of his campaign to Nigerians. In fact, he does not need to campaign for his re-election. It is common knowledge in this country that a sitting president in Nigeria, if he has not exceeded his constitutional two-term tenure, will never fail to be re-elected.
There are already powerful members of the president’s party and others in high government offices, including the INEC and the judiciary, who endorsed his automatic victory long ago.
We are conversant with rigging and the abnormal winning strategies of the PDP. Therefore, to save our national economy from collapse, let us all accept Jonathan as our only candidate for 2015; there is no need wasting N2trillion for the next presidential election. Let President Jonathan complete his constitutionally allowed two terms.
Those who are close to the president should encourage him to create jobs for the educated, restless youths on the streets. He should be told to reduce the momentum of corruption in the land, at least to foster some level of economic growth. Jonathan is also morally responsible for the lost lives of innocent Nigerians as a result of the persistent insecurity in this country. If Goodluck can lower the tempo of any of the above mentioned menaces, we will applaud him at the end of his second term and history will be benevolent towards him (if posterity even matters at all in this country).
The rift within the APC will equally reduce, if all of us can accept that it is virtually impossible for PDP to allow any opposition party win the presidency. It’s better for the opposition parties like APC to concentrate on winning more states than challenging Jonathan at the federal level.
Also, it will surprise no one if some members of APC have already sold out. Again, there is no need for huge expenses to get voted into an office that is already occupied.
If Goodluck believes in his heart that Nigeria’s unity will count towards his wellbeing and the wellbeing of his kinsmen, he has every tool at his disposal to ensure it. If he is comfortable with the level of insecurity in the country, he is also the only one that can decide how to absorb it or lump it.
Although the president does see that corruption has increased tenfold since he assumed office in 2010, he owes the nation, at least constitutionally, the mandate to challenge the visible rot in the system.
Finally, those who are fighting tooth and nail in the opposition to get a shot at the presidency should be told right now that they are simply stirring up the usual political drama as a necessary element in this abnormal democratic/political process. No one, not even the entire electorate in Nigeria can remove an ordained PDP president.
Let President Jonathan continue until 2019, Nigeria will not die from more corruption and insecurity. Four more years of misrule will not change the course of our history. We can only expect more catastrophes like escalated oil theft, more looting of the public treasury, with more people undermining the rule of law. And Nigeria will be more polarised, as more religious and regional affiliations will be the order of the day.
So what if Jonathan continues for another four more years? In the twinkle of an eye, it will come to pass.
This article was originally published at Leadership.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author