Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: As 2015 Approaches

President Goodluck Jonathan and his men are already waxing tongue on what 2015 will be like. While the nation languishes in desperation for leadership, the occupants of Aso Rock are already passing definite statements that the next election is their victory.

I am not worried when people express their views or try to force their rights on matters no matter how little they may be. I am worried that in this instance, the president is already on top of his voice talking about his right to re-contest for the presidency of this nation so that he continues with the 'good works' that he is doing.

In sensible societies, given the magnitude of instability and obvious failures in every dimension of government, the objective of those who find themselves in positions of authority would be to try to get things done right first then possibly leave off the stage. That is where reason and rationality matter, where things are done right not this dungeon of confusion called Nigeria.

What is certain, which every Nigerian, no matter the section he or she comes from, or whatever political persuasion we may belong to, is that the answers to the endemic national question is that this government is a colossal failure. It lacks purpose and direction and that's why the nation is in pains. That is why the economy is failing to work. That is why all other aspects of life are in difficulty.

I have not seen a government that is as bereft of ideas as this one under Goodluck Jonathan. The word cluelessness cannot define the level of incapacity that this president is. Events have shown beyond doubt the difficulty that Nigeria is in today.

I am of the view that the right thing to do now by this government is to begin immediately to rediscover the lost ground in ensuring the basic issues that people require to live a rancor-free life are made available so that relative calmness is restored to the nation.

In my view, struggle for 2015 shouldn't be the preoccupation of those in power today because the glamour in western liberal democracy lie in the opportunity that is available that would make government respond and rapidly too to the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

Through this, government is likely to endear itself to the electorate and thus creating the atmosphere of healthy political intercourse that would result in relatively free atmosphere of politicking.

Why people get hostile and even confrontational during elections may not be unrelated to such brazen moves by those who hold power and doing nothing to better the lives of the people insist that they have to stay put or determine which of their cronies takes over when their times are off. This has so far provided part of the explanations that gave rise to the series of elections and post elections crises that we saw in this country.

The inordinate ambition to hang on to power even when performance is evidently low and the use of brute and material forces to deal and suppress with the agitations of people will always result in serious conflicts. In my view this must be avoided.

What the president and his government should instead pay more time and attention to now should be more serious issues of delivering the dividends of democracy to the citizens.

People would like to see things change in their lives. They would like to have electricity at affordable rates, education, health, agriculture and other basic things of life at minimum cost. This will be a new reality that will go a long way in reducing the tension that we see by the minute in our country. It will lighten the spirit.

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