How Jonathan can fix Nigeria in 2013
In his meeting with news editors recently, the Special Assistant to the President on Media, Dr Doyin Okupe unveiled the determination and what he termed the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to fix Nigeria and deliver on his electoral promises to the teeming population of the country. While handing down, in a seemingly verbatim manner, the words of the president, Okupe did not forget to display the profile pages containing the president’s achievements in the just elapsed year. He scored the president high in his fight against terrorism, efforts at repositioning the power sector which, in his words, account for the current supply of 4, 502 megawatts to the nation, provision of infrastructure with purported on-going road projects across the nation as evidences, commitment towards ensuring food security, among many other areas of national interest.
Expectedly, Okupe’s wits and oratory prowess were potent enough to convince even the worst cynics that the president is truly fixing the country since he assumed office in the last two years or thereabouts. One particularly finds his juxtaposition of the sordid state of the aforementioned sectors and sub-sectors before the advent of Jonathan administration and their avowedly improved condition a logical epistle. However, without sounding political or applying sentiments, I think Jonathan’s book of achievements so far should be read and scored by the direct beneficiaries of the goodies he claimed to have made available. Nigerians, in other words, who have firsthand experience of the situation of things before and after he assumed office as president should be in better position to adjudge the president with cogent evidences.
Taking the sectors enumerated by Okupe one after the other, I will say with no intent of adumbration that President Jonathan has fared relatively well in the power sector. With the unprecedented rate at which electricity supply is stable compared with its damning state prior to his administration despite whopping billions of naira sunk into it, one is not left in doubt that the president has indeed triumphantly battled the demon holding the power sector hostage for years. Nigerians can now enjoy some hours of uninterrupted supply of electricity. However, the feat, when weighed in the light of stability of supply in even the small countries of Africa like Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic, does not in any way call for smugly gloat considering the enormity of damage long years of blackout has done the country and the fact that the rest of the world has reached a milestone in ensuring power generation does not constitute any infinitesimal obstacle to its economy. If one would not toe the blindly ranting and heartlessly vilifying path of his detractors, the opposition, Jonathan, I think, deserves a word of commendation in this area.
As touching security, Jonathan’s somewhat lethargic, but snail-like succeeding efforts at battling the insurgencies of Boko Haram are still miles away from receiving lauds. Although the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians are being orchestrated by some pernicious forces in the country to wreak his government, his less than impressive and decisive approach towards uprooting the activities of the sect has, despite Okupe’s embellished picture of a won battle, failed to convince Nigerians especially those who daily live in awful fear of the sect’s genocidal attacks that an end is imminent to insecurity in Nigeria. His full and renewed weight of efforts coupled with employment of modern anti-terrorist strategies should be seen this year wiping the sect’s activities. He should be audacious enough to fish out their sponsors and the saboteurs of his government and make them to face the full wrath of the law for the world to be clear of doubts as to his administration’s readiness to fight terrorism to a standstill.
The president’s expression of satisfaction on the supposed improvement in road constructions and rehabilitation across the nation in the outgone year is a self adulation and sadly portrays a president who hardly knows the true situation of the roads in his country. Words, truth be told, cannot depict the terrible state of the federal roads in Nigeria which hitherto send Nigerians in their thousands to their early graves. The reported on-going projects on the major roads like Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja; Benin-Ore-Sagamu; Onitsha-Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway, among others are rather slow while there are still many roads linking the states of the federation that are in deadly state of disrepair which have not received any attention by his administration. This year must herald a radical transformation of the roads to save the poor Nigerians from the jaws of untimely deaths on our roads.
Needless to emphasise that the aviation sector needs a total overhaul as the rate of air mishaps in the country is becoming not only embarrassing, but also worrisome to travellers. The Dana plane crash at Iju Ishaga, Lagos and the recent helicopter crash in which former governor of Kaduna, Patrick Yakowa, former National Security Adviser, Andrew Owoye and their aides are indicative of his government’s failure in this sector last year. He should declare a state of emergency in the sector to save the country a further loss of lives in the air.
These and other notable areas should occupy the minds of Mr President in the year 2013 in order to be seen as truly fixing Nigeria and making it a glorious nation to be proud of by all and sundry.
Ajayi is on the staff of the Nigeria Tribune (08107754190) Source Nigeria Tribune