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POLLS SHIFT: Who'll Save Jonathan From Jonathan?
By: Erasmus Ikhide
Published February 10th, 2015

The stoppage of the February 14th elections in Africa's most populous nation, and now the fastest-growing economy by President Goodluck Jonathan smacks off megalomaniac dictatorship at its submit. Inadvertently, it is the beginning of a road that would soon lead to his exit from Aso Rock, either peacefully or violently. The nation's demoralised, damaged and badly compromised army whose leadership drips in endemic corruption, and lacks basic nuances of counter-insurgency technicality to fight Boko Haram has been used to carry out the civilian putsch.

Mr Jonathan, in his mind, had conquered Nigerians with the greatest of ease. He sees himself and the PDP as the salt of the nation, the incredible guarantors of the fulfilment of the Nigerian's destiny. He is being burnished by the Army and the Niger Delta militants, which he has been nourishing, albeit secretly, to furnish physical violence, the terror by which he could bludgeon his way back to political power, should he lose the election. But the predictions are not in his favour. The star of the nation is about to rise and his will sink. The death knell of his "Providential Presidency" has been sounded by this manipulation which had put the nation in the shade.

The President, the PDP, the Army, the Niger Delta militants, Edwin Clarks and others who have staked themselves to the shift of February elections have one thing in mind before committing the political hara-kiri. The bottom must be knocked off, they reasoned, since Nigerians have become so enchanted by the Gen. Buhari's movement and the "February Ululation". The February 14th election was meant to provide hope for a long tormented and battered people and country. But the Presidency has kept sharp eyes for weakness in the APC and its Presidential candidate's collective armour. All their accusations against Gen. Buhari refused to stick.

 

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The postponement in itself is a shocking throwback to the IBB primitive interminable Transition regime time, which kept adjusting the goal posts until the dictator was himself adjusted out of power. In all account, Mr Jonathan knows that he is no longer needed. He has been president at the wrong time with his girlish, timid and his morally moribund government. The failures of his government had been his inability to stamped out the Boko Haram insurgents, mega-corruption which has bedevilled his administration, oil theft, lack of electricity, unemployment and a host of others.

Therefore, the postponement came with breathless speed and with crudeness, trickery and brutality, even to the nation's Constitution he swore to protect under oath. Elections to the national offices were usually, as defined by the Nigerian Constitution, must hold three months to the handing over date to the successor. That period had been fixed for February of every election year. President Jonathan the Commander-In-Chief is very much aware of this Constitutional provision and he, in fact had been canvassing for votes in readiness for February 14th.

The question now is what went wrong? Should Nigerians accept docilely Mr Jonathan's dictatorship and its barbarism and reward him with our votes on March 28th? When will the unlimited madness ends? Should Mr Jonathan not be left high and dry? Open manly discussion would have being of more service to the Nigerians electorate and the president himself than utter political shrewdness clamped in the caucuses of military bargains. Mr Jonathan is not educated enough to know that great leaders are not created by propaganda or political gimmickry. Now, that has brought a lot of ruins to the already broken political system.

The once thoroughbred academic and firebrand ASSU chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega caved in under the intense pressure from the nation's security personnels who take direct instructions from Mr Jonathan, their employer, to shift the elections for untenable reasons. Jega has been caught applying his manifest talents wrongly at a time Nigerians expect stoicism and bravery from him. It's clear from the outset Mr Jonathan and the PDP had already made up their minds to shift the polls, unknown to the former Heads of State, Governors and others who attended the Council of State's meeting and advised that elections be held as scheduled. Prof Jega was quoted in the meeting to have told the council that the commission was ready for the conduct of the polls.

The brains behind elections postponement are chiefly Mr Jonathan; the Peoples Democratic Party, the dimmed witted National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki; the Chief of Defence, Army, Naval and Air Staff, just to mention a few. Colonel Dasuki was the first to hatch the postponement gambit in Chatham House, United Kingdom on the 25th of January. What Nigerians thought was a joke all along has turned out to the ultimate coup against the people in modern civilisation.

One of the INEC National Commissioner gives an insight into how Jega, who earlier expressed INEC readiness to conduct the February 14th elections was ambushed by Mr Jonathan and the Nigerian Army and caught him flatfooted: "You need to be at the meeting and see the mood of Jega. He was not happy because his integrity was at stake and because these same service chiefs had earlier given their words that they were ready.

"Now, if he didn't listen to their advice, these same security agencies could create problems for the elections. They could sabotage the distribution of the sensitive materials. Apart from that, they could also refused to provide security for those involved in the elections and could also sabotage the movement of sensitive materials. Everyone knows that the PDP is not ready for the elections. If the Federal Government that is funding the security agencies and appointed their heads is not ready for the elections, how do you compel their heads who are all appointees of the same government to say they are ready?", the INEC National Commissioner asked rhetorically.

With this outcome, the nation's electorate whose one half of its population voted for Mr Jonathan nearly six years ago have totally backed down on him. They have come to the realisation that the gutter has come to government! Those who were not so convinced; who were denuded with some of the president's degrading Transformation Agenda Policy, TAP, including the painting of locomotive trains which junket between Lagos and Kano for 33 hours in a distance of 1,126 kilometre are coming to term with Mr Jonathan's deceptive government.

Conversely, Mr Jonathan is too divisive, too torpid, too blooded, too blind to grasp the nature or the direction of what was building up against his Presidency. His government rankled in the history of Nigeria as a black period of drastic deterioration, feast of common criminals, instead of altruistic salvation. The families of the Job seekers who were stampeded and cold-bloodedly murdered by Mr Jonathan government across the 36 States of the Federation, including Abuja, are still waiting for respite. That was after N6 billion was criminally collected from 6 million applicants youths who paid N1000 each for the non-existent jobs that cost many their lives.

Nigerians are calling for an end to the bloodshed, for a termination of PDP terror, for the restoration of economic and political decencies and the return of some measure of brightness, especially generation of electricity. The nation has been kept everlastingly on the strings, and Mr Jonathan's propaganda alone could not maintain confidence in his government, however excellent. His incitement of threats against the hapless Nigerians, religion, ethnicity and the shift in the elections timetable are not paying off. Mr Jonathan should have been educated enough to know that talking things over with the people that confidence and devotion can be maintained. Who will rescue President Goodluck Jonathan from himself?

Erasmus Ikhide, a Public Affairs analyst write from Lagos Nigeria

ikhideerasmus@yahoo.com

Follow me on twitter @erasmus_ikhide


 
 
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