Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Goodluck Jonathan,Setting an Agenda.

I have seen in the media, both traditional and new, people setting an agenda for President Goodluck Jonathan. While it is proper to do that, we must not be ignorant of how government works, and the present day realities.

Some have said he should fix the roads, give us electricity, create jobs, and all the wonderful whimsical  'wish-lists' which wishful thinking sometimes engenders.

The truth is that the man is not God. If Obasanjo in eight years did not achieve those things, the now departed Yar'Adua in three years only thought about the seven things he wished to do; what can Goodluck do in one year?

One year! Or maybe less!That is all he has. I can hear some people saying I am defending him because I am from the South South; far from the point. I live my life as a logical pragmatic optimist. I hope for miracles, but if all I can get right now, is to see men as trees, I will not complain, I will tread softly, while I wait a while for the Messiah to fully open my eyes.

The only thing we can ask Goodluck to do for us is to reform the electoral system skewed in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, conduct free and fair elections! No more, no less!

Let me explain. It takes about eighteen months to award a power station contract. 

It is not like buying a generator at Ojuelegba road in Lagos. The process involves tendering, working on designs and engineering drawings; vetting, approval ,and finally placing order for the turbines, and mobilizing to the site for the construction of the power station's infrastructure. 

Some of the power station contract Obasanjo awarded have not been built as we speak.

Roads! They are about the same. It is not when you see a grader clearing a path through the bush,or people patching potholes, that the contract was awarded. 

Extensive survey has to be done first on the scope of work necessary, then the contract is awarded. The Abuja-Lokoja road has been ongoing now for about four years.About three contractors are working on the project, it is not likely to be completed this year.

The realistic expectation, which is feasible, and realizable,  and within reason, is electoral reforms. 

All it requires is political will. Goodluck seems to have it. There has been moves to appoint an unbiased Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chair. This is a good omen.

I believe that because the president sees himself as a political orphan, he has no choice now than to be fair.T

here is the odd chance that he could actually benefit from free elections. 

All we need now is to encourage him to be his own man. The demons who farm chickens ,who are currently whispering ugly things into his ears, should be exorcized once he has consolidated his hold on power.

We must begin to vociferously, and vehemently speak out against the zoning arrangement that is threatening to destroy our politics. 

It is amazing that two Nigerians won seats in the recently conducted British general elections; they were able to because of the reforms carried out by the British, it was not always so.

I can state, without fear of being controverted, that the same fellows, here and now, would not even be elected as councillors in their various wards back home in Nigeria. That is the kind of system we should demand from Goodluck. A system that brings out the best, and gives everyone running for office a level playing field.

Until we have it, keep talking, keep pushing, until we see our salvation at the ballot box.
This os my one point agenda for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.


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