“Corruption is now a common phenomenon in government”
Nigeria was regarded as the giant of Africa due to her huge natural and human resources, coupled with her overwhelming population, and also her efforts in successful intervention in the crises within the African continent which earned her some huge respect by the International Community; buttoday, reverse is the case.
During the Yar’Adua era, then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan earned an overwhelming sympathy from the public especially after he said during a CNN interview that he was prevented from seeing the then sick president. He later became an acting president through the doctrine of necessity and later he was sworn in as the president after the death of Yar’Adua.
Goodluck Jonathan later declared that he wanted to contest for the President and he made the following heart touching statements. “I was not born rich, and in my youth, I never imagined that I would be where I am today, but not once did I ever give up. Not once did I imagine that a child from Otuoke, a small village in the Niger Delta, will one day rise to the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I was raised by my mother and father with just enough money to meet our daily needs. In my early days in school, I had no shoes, no school bags. I carried my books in my hands but never despaired; no car to take me to school but I never despaired. There were days I had only one meal but I never despaired. I walked miles and crossed rivers to school every day but I never despaired. Didn’t have power, didn’t have generators, studied with lanterns but I never despaired. In spite of these, I finished secondary school, attended the University of Port Harcourt, and now hold a doctorate degree. Fellow Nigerians, if I could make it, you too can make it!”
These statements alone can be enough for any person to put his whole trust on the ability of the president to do well in office. But today, Nigeria has developed from the Giant of Africa to a caricature of itself. Many events occurring in the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is suicidal to the nation’s image.
Corruption is now a common phenomenon in government. Almost on the daily basis, we receive news of massive embezzlement of public funds without any encouraging reaction by the government. Even when panels are set up to probe some activities within a sector, such a panel will end up with a provoking drama. When the House of Representatives inaugurated a panel to probe the fuel subsidy scams, many Nigerians were impressed. But along the line, a drama between the panel chairman, Hon. Farouk Lawan, and Chief Femi Otedola turned the whole issue into a mockery. Also the Ribadu’s Committee also experienced some drama when it was about to submit the report to the President. No high profile case of corruption has been prosecuted to the end by the government of Goodluck Jonathan. The grant of presidential pardon to former convicted Governor Alamieyeseigha also put the sincerity of the government of Goodluck Jonathan to fight corruption into question.
Also, Most of the public infrastructure like federal roads are too shameful to be discussed about. Most of the public water supply are not functioning and
our educational institutions are too poor to be rated. It is important to note that no major federal road has been completely rehabilitated by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The government is mostly characterized by duplication of offices. For example, we have the special assistant to the president on media and publicity, special assistant to the president on public affairs, and the special assistant to the president on social media. All these offices perform the same function. Since there is a special assistant to the president on media and publicity, there is no need for public affairs and social media. The duplication of these offices made their occupants to be jobless and might be the reason why they spend their time performing personal attacks on constructive critics.
Insecurity is another phenomenon currently featured in the present government. Security of lives is the prime function of a government and any government that fails to secure her citizens is a total failure.
President Goodluck Jonathan earlier said that Boko Haram exists in his cabinet, but he failed to name them. He later said they are faceless, but the security agencies often tell us that they arrested some Boko Haram members and even their leaders. How then did they identify those people arrested since they are faceless. Also, we never witness a successful prosecution or conviction of those arrested inspite of the fact that billions if not trillions of naira has been spent on security.
Our Judiciary in recent times seem to have lost direction. Some cases like the Ibori case proved the fact that our Judiciary is sick. A case that was struck out by our judiciary was heard and Ibori was convicted of same case by a London court. This two years of the administration of Goodluck Jonathan seem to be 20 years in hell. No wonder many Nigerians are praying for 2015 to approach faster. All these made the once respected Giant of Africa to lose its respect in the committee of nations.
It is not yet late for President Goodluck Jonathan to sit up. If he decides now to sincerely and selflessly fight corruption, avoid reckless and unjustifiable spending of public funds, appoint people of vision and focus to surround him in government, scrap all the duplicated offices within his government, embark on sincere implementation of the budget which will guarantee provision of all basic infrastructure, and avoid complicating or confusing statements, his administration will definitely dive back and restore Nigeria to her former glory. Also all the political parties we have don’t have any ideology and this is why we don’t have an effective opposition. A law that will mandate political parties to state their ideology before they can be registered should be enacted. Such law will also empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to supervise and ensure that parties perform in-line with their ideology. Any party that acted outside its ideology should be deregistered. If the government of President Goodluck Jonathan carries out these suggestions, he will surely restore the position of Nigeria as the Giant of Africa.
Long Live The Federal Republic of Nigeria.