by Robert Obioha
Before I delve into the main theme of today’s article, which has to do with the 2015 elections, the most topical issue in the country now, let me congratulate all my readers, including those that subscribe to my views and those that oppose it reasonably and unreasonably, for making it into the brand new 2015 after having a well-celebrated Christmas season. And for those (an insignificant number anyway) that ascribe to my views, intentions that are outside my widest imagination and thinking, the self-conceited purveyors of knowledge and braggarts, I pity their culpable ignorance, poor grasp of issues and little learning. The 2015 is the year Nigerians will go to the polls to elect those that will pilot the affairs of the nation at the federal and state levels. It is not going to be a year of chaos, and Armageddon as being predicted by our foreign detractors and their local collaborators.
The elections will come and go and the heavens will not fall as some political actors are unpatriotically wishing their fatherland. It is only in Nigeria that losers of election will threaten fire and brimstone on those they want to rule and get away with such devilish threats. It does not happen in other lands. Despite the unconscionable evil wishes, Nigeria will overcome all its challenges, be they political, social and economic sooner than expected. I wish all my readers the best in the New Year in spite of our challenges as a nation. I believe that 2015 will be better than the past year in all ramifications.
Despite the willful and malicious downplaying of President Goodluck Jonathan’s laudable achievements so far by the opposition and their tiny band of chorus singers in the media, most Nigerians from all the geo-political zones and tribes are favourable to reelect Jonathan for another term of four years on February 14. No amount of media hype, pillorying of GEJ by APC supporters and sympathizers will intimidate millions of well-meaning Nigerians that have queued behind Jonathan and vowed to reelect him into office for another four years. Like I said last week, GEJ has done well in providing road infrastructure in all the six geo-political zones.
As I write this article, more road works are ongoing in different parts of the country. There may be other bad roads yet to be attended, there is no doubt that GEJ will get there. All the dilapidated Nigerian roads left unattended by past administrations since 1999 cannot all be rehabilitated in just four years. I can confirm that work is ongoing on the second Niger Bridge that some readers demanded pictures for them to see that the work has started. I believe that the relevant authorities will publish pictures of work on the bridge soon to allay the fears of some South-East readers and voters. The problem with GEJ and his advisers is not giving publicity to their achievements. Unlike GEJ, the opposition always highlights any little achievement they recorded. GEJ established 12 new Federal universities in four years, 9 in the North and three in the South, yet the media is not celebrating the feat that only GEJ, a former university don can accomplish. Under GEJ, the 104 Unity Schools that OBJ administration wanted to privatize under Oby Ezekwesili’s headship of the education ministry received tremendous impetus and revamping.
Now the unity schools, otherwise known as federal government colleges, are much-sought-after secondary school in Nigeria. Since secondary education is the preserve of state governments, how many states, including the APC states, have secondary schools equivalent to the unity schools? GEJ has done to Almajiri education what no president in Nigeria has done including, those working against his reelection. All strikes in our tertiary education, an annual ritual, was stopped by GEJ who pumped billions of naira through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the High Impact Intervention Fund to each level of the tertiary education sector—the colleges of education, the polytechnics and the universities.
Under GEJ, agriculture has been revamped and improved with high yielding crops and other numerous farm products. The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has done so well in this sector that the nation needs such young and enterprising Nigerians to continue to offer their best services to the fatherland which GEJ’s reelection will ensure. The rehabilitation of the nation’s railways is not a fluke. There are pictures in the newspapers showing new rail tracks, coaches and passengers using the rail system of transport. Not less than 90 percent of the old narrow guage has been rehabilitated in an operation that will be continuous.
The Lagos-Kano rail line comprising 1,124 km has been completed and flagged off since December 2012 for passenger and haulage services. Lagos-Kano express service runs two shuttles weekly. The Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line about 1,657 km is nearing completion with the stretch from Rivers State up to Gombe including a branch line from Kafanchan to Kaduna. The Ebute-Metta junction track in Lagos has been completed too. The Lagos Mass Trains move daily and offer passenger haulage of about 20,000 daily. The Kaduna intra city mass transit, which has been boosted with 10 trains, conveys about 10,000 passengers per day.
He is knowledgeable and eminently qualified to rule Nigeria in 21st Century era. He is not a religious bigot or a tribalist. GEJ is representative of the true Nigerian spirit. He comes from a lowly background and minority tribe and yet he wears attires of the other tribes. GEJ is a good mixer. He does not despise the old or the young. He put women and young people in positions of authority. GEJ wants the best for the country despite our numerous challenges. Already, his reelection bid is getting more support with each passing day from the North and the South. What evidence does one need again to know that GEJ is the man of the moment? Among all the presidential aspirants, GEJ remains the best.The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.