By Bayo Oluwasanmi
Are we there yet?
Seems we’re all having snap relapse from collective amnesia about President Jonathan contesting for second term in 2015.
The debate whether Mr. Jonathan should run in 2015 had caused a tsunami of internal fractions and factions within the PDP.
The northern elements still mourning and groaning on the loss of the presidency after the departure of Yar’Adua, believed it’s time to reclaim Aso Rock.
For some people in the party particularly the northern elements to rally behind Jonathan for 2015 is as difficult as it is for a fish to look at water.
Nothing would be spared, the northern elements seemed bent to truncate the reelection of Mr. Jonathan. The issue was handled with chivalrous sensibility.
So, many reasons were concocted. A supposedly signed pact by Mr. Jonathan that he’ll not run in 2015 was being brandished by Babangida Aliyu.
The candidacy of Mr. Jonathan for 2015 was unofficially announced sometimes in 2012. Abuja residents woke up to bill boards of campaign posters with friendlier and gentler smiling portraits of President Jonathan.
Aso Rock which has been devilishly silent of the president’s running for second term hastily put out a disclaimer about the posters.
Kema Chikwe, PDP’s women leader at a gathering in Abuja to honor the First Lady declared that Mr. Jonathan will run for 2015.
“We need to start moving fast to prepare women for future elections,” said Chikwe.
“Until we elect 35 percent or more of women in the legislature, the impact of our progress will not be complete,” she argued.
“President Goodluck Jonathan returns in 2015, women would be taking about fifty percent, no longer 35 percent.”
“As we give him unequivocal, undiluted, unreserved and unlimited support and as we march with him in 2015, PDP women will reach the promised land,” said Chikwe.
Responding, Mrs. Jonathan said: “Nigerian women, especially women of the PDP, this is the biggest party, no party can beat us. Let them try, when we talk, we do it. PDP isn’t shaken.
“We aren’t afraid, let one hundred parties come together, they cannot defeat us … we are more in number than them. Let us speak with one voice,” Mrs. Jonathan urged party loyalists.
If the pronouncements of the two influential PDP women were not enough to leap us into conclusions of Mr. Jonathan being a candidate in 2015, the ruling of an Abuja high court finally settled the matter.
Last week, Saharareporters carried a story credited to BBC that Abuja high court ruled that President Jonathan is eligible to stand for reelection in 2015.
Why should we debar Mr. Jonathan to run for second term? What’s all these brouhaha over sounds that signifying nothing?
Mr. Jonathan like any Nigerian has the right to contest for 2015. More importantly, he’s been president for three years with solid record to run on.
He has acquired the experience and other necessary pedigrees needed for the office. Like Americans will say, “If ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”
Why do we want to stop him from continuing and completing his “transformation agenda?” After all, he’s the best the PDP could boast of.
More than that, I believe we can endure Jonathan hostage fatigue on Nigeria for 2015 and even beyond. I’ll urge him to run in 2015. He has nothing to fear but fear itself.
Here is why:
Mr. Jonathan has demonstrated the necessary ingredients of leadership.
First, guiding vision: He has a clear idea of what he wants to do. He has shown strength of character in the face of setbacks, even in failures.
For example, against his party’s culture and conviction, Mr. Jonathan has gotten rid of all the convicted looters of our treasury. He’s still fighting corruption with all the arsenals at his disposal.
The following people are still with us today enjoying their loots: Bankole, Maina, Akingbola, Femi Fani-Kayode, Doyin Okupe, Babalakin, Anenih, Alison-Madueke, Gbenga Daniel, Okey Nwosu.
And so many other notable untouchable elephants that passed through the needle’s eyes. Next time around, the president will reward them with national awards!
Second, passion: Passion is to love what you do. President Jonathan never shies away from this. With six or seven (I lost count!) of presidential jets at his command, the Commander-in-Chief is all over the globe promoting cassava bread, mission house for the First Lady, campaign for boreholes and bottled water, telling stories of his shoeless background, and much more. No president can beat that!
Third, integrity: There are three essential parts of integrity: self-knowledge, candor, and maturity.
Self-knowledge means to truly know yourself – strengths and weaknesses, know what you want to do and why you want to do it. No doubt, Mr. Jonathan is a stellar example of this.
He never lied about himself. His administration is an open one, hides nothing and tells it all. He’s frank about where he’s taking us. He should be nicknamed Honest Joe.
When the press reported that his wife was sick and was flown to German infirmary, he didn’t waste time to calm a restless nation.
Against the advice of his propagandists, he told a curious nation that his wife was away on overdue respite. He was candid, frank, and humble.
He told CNN that Nigeria’s electricity has gotten better beyond his wildest dreams. His words of inspiration led the Eagles to victory. Well done Mr. President!
Candor is based on honesty of thought and action. Mr. Jonathan’s steadfast devotion to principle reflects on his fundamental soundness and wholeness in judgment calls, actions, and foresight.
The quality of his cabinet members is a testament to his honesty of thought and action. The cabinet team gets things done. The country is proud of them.
When he made unscheduled visit to Ikeja Police College to see the rot, he honestly and promptly condemned the intrusion of the Channels TV into the college. Now, take a tour of the college. It’s a different story.
Talking of sound judgment, he said there was no need to declare his assets having done it once as vice-president. “I don’t give a damn,” he said. What audacity?
He’s gifted with a rare hindsight. To secure and solidified his nomination for 2015, he neutralized the Board of Trustees of PDP and split into two the Governor’s Forum. The two bodies are never the same again. They all went their separate ways.
Maturity is important to a leader. President Jonathan has come a long way. He has grown wiser on the job. He’s doing things differently. Can’t you all see the changes in our country? It’s a new day!
Fourth, trust: This is different from other ingredients of leadership – it cannot be acquired, it must be earned. Without trust, it is impossible for a leader to function.
Nigerians have been fed with a steady diet of nothing but the truth. We’re constantly briefed on the state of our union. We now know where we’re headed. President Jonathan is the most trusted politician today in Nigeria.
Curiosity and daring: This quality motivates a leader to wonder about everything. Make him wants to learn as much as he can. He is willing to take risks, experiment, and try new things.
Mr. Jonathan has displayed uncanny ability in this area. Look at the way he dealt with Boko Haram. He took the risk to pacify the terrorists. Now, they’re safely tucked away in their caves.
Boko Haram is history. Killings, abductions, kidnappings are over. We’re a safer country today. Let’s celebrate and honor the president!
He took unpopular steps to bring about radical changes in the economy. More jobs have been created in one year than 10 years. Unemployment has taken a beat back. Foreign investors are begging to invest in Nigeria.
All the manufacturing companies that relocated to neighboring countries of Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, etc., have returned to Nigeria.
The industries are humming, the banks are lending, the schools are teaching, the hospitals are healing, water is flowing from the pipes, police are policing. What more can we ask from the president?
He’s turned Nigeria into number one world tourist’s destination. Tourists are dying to come to Nigeria – great nation, great people!
One of the paradoxes of leadership is that good leaders rise to the top regardless of their weaknesses. But bad leaders rise because of their weaknesses.
Abraham Lincoln who suffered tremendously from indescribable depression was perhaps America’s greatest president. He guided America through her worst crisis.
Germany’s Hitler imposed his psychosis on his people. He led them from delusions of grandeur into the “vilest madness and most horrific slaughter the world has ever known.”
President Jonathan may well be Nigeria’s greatest president.
Jonathan for 2015… GEJ run! run GEJ!
*** We cannot drive a car forward by looking at the rear view mirror. We cannot use shoes for hammers, newspaper for umbrellas, and a finger nail to tight a screw!