SO much has been happening ever since Jonathan came back from the USA- a trip that has been widely praised as successful and improved the image of our dear country. A few of these include: Halliburton bribery saga waiting to be resolved, his party chairman Chief Ogbulafor is to be arraigned on corruption charges for his role in government sometime in 2006; there is a faction called the reform group of the PDP that has emerged and seems to be heading for the courts after the suspension of some key members by the National Working Committee; Jonathan's campaign posters for presidency have flooded Abuja, although I understand the presidency has distanced itself from these posters.
So why the volcanic eruption of these issues now? Who'd done it? I just hope that the ash will not ground us and lead to consequences that could be inimical to our political stability as 2011 approaches. As political pundits and analysts continue their usual round of predictions for the next dispensation, the headlines have been flush with forecasts about political threats eclipsing the key issues on the to-do lists of the government. It is evident that inappropriate management of media reports will be a major cause of confusion.
Most of the volcanic eruptions and confusions have been happening in the PDP family. As usual, it is a family affair. We however know that this family is the largest political family in the whole of Africa. We also know that this family controls the political fortunes of the country for now. And that what affects this family affects Nigerians any where they are whether they like it or not. This is why any body that cares for the growth of Nigeria should be worried about the recent happenings. I worry for our country. For instance, it has been reported that the Jonathan for president posters were signed by "Courtesy of Northern Movement for Positive Change, No. 161, Zone C, Apo Resettlement Area, Garki," with telephone numbers 08033985065, 08065266898 and 08098944471. Are we saying that we cannot find out who owns these numbers and who exactly is behind this since the presidency says they don't know about them? What are our intelligence agencies doing?
Whoever put up those posters has a motive. If the presidency is not involved then it is important for the presidency not only to give a press statement denying links but also to ensure no one does anything that distracts or brings the Jonathan acting presidency into disrepute. Can we not remember just how recently we all have been shouting that Yar'Adua should do the right thing and put country first? Were we not shouting that the cabal holding Yar'Adua should come to reality and not do anything that will jeopardise our unity? What do we think is the difference between Yar'Adua saga and all these infightings currently perpetuated by PDP party members and officials? Have we forgotten that it should be Nigeria first?
It is very evident and I agree all these are distractions to Jonathan. For we know that the main issues are electoral reforms, power and the Niger Delta. And Jonathan knows that he has just about 12 months to make an impact and a difference no matter how small if God is on his side and he has his normal goodluck. Jonathan needs all hands on deck to help him to pilot the ship of state now rather than later.
Nigeria is at a point where we need to understand that the only option for us now is to go forward. It is therefore imperative that our political elite should sit up and face the challenges of the nation rather than their personal interests. It is obvious that they have gained so much from the nation and rather than give a little back to the nation in these times, they are wanting to consolidate their gains either as party officials or members. This is not acceptable to Nigerians.
If there had been a proper reform of our electoral system where votes count and people vote for what political parties stand for and what these parties can offer, one would not be worrying for these political elite because they will face the electorate and explain themselves when they want any elective post. But we all know that is not the case and we don't know when that will be the case. The PDP should not be the problem of Nigeria's development and forward movement. Therefore as the National Executive Committee (NEC) meets on April 27, the leadership of the party should ensure the right thing is done to stop this distraction. Nigerians are watching.
It is true that Jonathan is currently in a political dilemna with regards to what he wants to do next. However, my belief is that he knows too well that even if he does not become the next elected president of the country, he has a place in this country if he can achieve in just three areas currently plaguing us that is electoral reforms, electricity and the Niger Delta. He should be aware that those putting pressures on him now with regards to his political future will be the same people who will quickly shift grounds once he fails. They will just shift to the next substrate. It has become obvious that many of our politicians claim to be democrats but only a few are able to speak on behalf of democracy because of self preservation and the desire to hold the entire nation to ransom. As a result they have kept exhibiting lack of probity and straightforwardness in their dealings with themselves and the people. As the adage says "the child that does not allow his/her mother to sleep will not also sleep". Nigeria is changing fast and with it must these politicians because the people have known their tactics.
Finally, may I use this opportunity to ask Jonathan to ban the use of armoured vehicles by any politician. I once heard that one General told his boss that security is in the hand of God. If politicians practise safety in their methods of politicking, there will be no need for armoured vehicles. Politics should never be a do or die affair!