Saturday, April 23, 2011

Goodluck Jonathan's Burden

I am thrilled yet sad about the Presidential elections last week. Thrilled, because many Nigerians seem increasingly aware of the value of protecting their democratic rights and their votes, in spite of the callous schemes of overfed vultures who call themselves politicians; Sad because the scabrous entity called Peoples Democratic Party is returning to power for another four years. The logic of the PDP victory seems to be, well, the vote was not really for PDP but for Jonathan. And when you ask, but why? the general refrain is that it marks an important shift in the power status quo. That power has finally come to the South! But I wonder whether Obasanjo's 8-year regime did not count for the southern power. The bottom line is this. It is the same party that controlled the Nigerian state during Obasanjo's rule that is still in charge of affairs with the new Presidency of Jonathan. So what is going to change?
To me I do not care whether a President comes from Borno or Ekiti; what should matter to Nigerians is what government can and will confront the greatest problem facing that country: CORRUPTION. It is because of corruption that the country cannot produce more than 4000 Megawatts of electricity; why the hospitals lack drugs, the schools criminally underfunded; why you have to bribe your way to get anything from your university certificate, to your pension, and so on. Is Jonathan equipped to lead this charge against this great affliction? Or is he already too compromised--remember that his wife was once in the sights of the anti-corruption agency for money laundering, and he is in cozy alliance with some of the most corrupt governors in the country? In fact that is the burden of Jonathan.
Nigerians have voted him in to run the country despite that they know he is the leader of a criminally corrupt entity called PDP. He will have to live with the knowledge that perhaps what Nigerians did last week was entrust him with the task of not just cleaning up his party, but also of establishing the grounds for a systematic war against corruption in Nigeria. Without this, he would have betrayed the hopes and trust of those Nigerians who voted for him, instead of Buhari who has proven once before to be naturally disposed to fight corruption, or for Ribadu who, in spite of the strictures of working for an Obasanjo administration, showed the courage to confront corruption in the high places. Jonathan must now prove that Nigeria has anything to gain by having a "southern" President in Abuja.

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