Author Topic: NIGERIA - THE TROUBLED GIANT (Democracy day)  (Read 689 times)


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« on: May 29, 2012, 04:47 PM »
Nigeria, the giant of Africa celebrates 13th solid years of “uninterrupted” democratic rule, but I just wondered if there is any reason to celebrate. It is also an eyesore when young Nigerians who are supposed to be bothered about the state of the Nation update the status of their Facebook pages with.............Happy Democracy. The reason for the happiness remains questionable. Today, 29th May, is the so-called Democracy Day and I guess a public holiday must have been declared in the country. Today also marks President Goodluck Jonathan’s first anniversary in power, though technically, he has been in power for the past two years, having been sworn in as president in May 2010 following the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua on 5 May 2010. Thus, it is important to look at President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan's score card in other to evaluate if truly there is a reason to cheer, contrary to the rosy picture of performance Jonathan’s ministers have ascribed to this administration. The evaluation look no further than the security and welfare of the people, which the 1999 Constitution declares “shall be the primary purpose of government”. Is this truly the case now in the country? Your guess is as correct as mine. As Nigerians, we vehemently refuse to be deceived any longer. Ei enaa in Finnish.


Looking “Northwards”, what began as a series of isolated attacks on police posts by a fringe sect , has grown into a roaring blaze of terrorism. For many months now, virtually no day has passed without the boom of bomb or gun attacks by the Boko Haram group. This dangerous group has been described by some people as an army of the discontent, or even as some people grotesquely try to suggest, “revolutionaries,” or you describe them as, legitimately, this time, as marginalized or feeling marginalized but the truth is that they are just political agent that has nothing to do with religion. This is because they kill fellow religionist too. This politically brain-washed group has killed well over 10,000 Nigerians between 2009 and 2012 in their bombing and shooting campaigns. This has made Nigerians to lose hope in the ability of the Jonathan administration to protect them. It is an understatement to say the Boko Haram menace poses a serious threat to the continued existence of this nation. The citizens are waiting impatiently on this administration to do something about it, but I doubt it, because it is obvious that it has a clear and known political undertone from the political godfathers far above GEJ.


According to the National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, “President Goodluck Jonathan's administration is the most corrupt, most incompetent and most treacherous regime in the history of Nigeria”. I agree wholeheartedly with this assertion. Presently, the country is witnessing the massive pillaging of crude oil by criminals in the creeks of the Niger Delta. In just two years under Jonathan’s watch, Nigeria has lost $4.6 billion (over N1 trillion) to the activities of oil thieves in the creeks of the Niger Delta. 180,000 barrels of oil are lost to the thieves daily. Yet, the issue of subsidy removal has not been laid to rest. Corruption has progressively gone out of control. So wild has it become under Goodluck Jonathan that officials took N1.7 trillion for fuel subsidy that was not budgeted for and civil servants stole N450 billion in 2010 alone, according to a World Bank report. Presently, N155 billion naira Malabu Oil scam swelling around President Jonathan albeit it will be swept under the carpet in few years.


Blackout continues to engulf the country. Yet, government has concluded plans to increase electricity tariff in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, the president has promised celebration of uniterrupted supply by Dec 2012. Hence, he has less than 7months to make that a reality.


The president hired a launderer to be at the helms of affairs of that ministry. Several Federal Universities and Colleges of Education are on the verge of collapse as a result of inadequate funds. Lecturers through ASUU and ASUP are not motivated. Nigerian youth fails certificate and entrance exams. All the youths care for is “special or private centers” as it is been called and mercenaries. For the first time, the highest score in UME was less than 300.


The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. The poverty level is at a geometric progression. Virtually all aspects of national life are in a shambles. According to a World Bank report, In 1999, 65 per cent of the population were reported to be living below the $1 per day poverty threshold. Today, the agency says over 70 per cent have fallen below that threshold while our own National Bureau of Statistics places 60.9 per cent as living in “absolute poverty”. This means that over 40 million people moved below the poverty line in 13 years, at a time other countries were moving millions of their population away from abject misery and poverty.


The president is only good at submitting budget to the National Assembly but he is a novice when it comes to the implementation. The National Assembly quickly add its own crazy and outrageous budget and the entire budget of the nation is passed for ratification under few minutes without adequate scrutiny. The yoke Jonathan’s government is forcing Nigerians to bear is too heavy. In spite of all these, Nigerians as loving and happy citizens are poised to keep the economy running, while the government officials are more preoccupied with stealing from the treasury than serving the people.


It is an understatement to say that the government has failed in all aspect and Goodluck Jonathan has scored nothing but F9 parallel in his first year as the president of African's most populous nation, Nigeria. This first year anniversary has called for a sober reflection and a determination to end the culture of corruption and impunity. Rather than celebrate a Democracy Day, the Jonathan administration should re-commit itself to full and urgent privatization of all power, steel, downstream oil and gas and rail assets; repeal anti-competition laws and entrench pro-business fiscal policies. The government should also build institutions that will allow private enterprise to flourish and revive the comatose financial markets. But is there a sliver of optimism? Democracy is not a guarantee of good governance, people’s power is. Nothing will change until Nigerians drop their complacency and demand accountability from politicians and public officials, using all lawful means. Finally, as Nigerians we should be aware of the fact that God will not change our condition until we change it ourselves by changing what is in our hearts. As Nigerians, we say AMANLA AWETU.........we shall not be discouraged.


By Alabi Rasheed Omobolaji

The InfoStride Forum

« on: May 29, 2012, 04:47 PM »