Finding Jonathan Goodluck
By Prince Charles Dickson
On your marks, get set, go...and off, the race has begun. At least for those 'Jonathanians' that have argued that all he needed was power. Let the work began, or we can safely say let the excuses continue. Jonathan has no reason again, and the task is no easy one, a redefinition of himself is a task one wonders if he can.
I briefly sneaked out to get some form of sanity recently, and I had time to reflect on the beginning of a four year journey that will tell a lot about where we are actually headed to, I recalled the movie, 'Finding Forrester', it is a year 2000 American drama film written by Mike Rich and directed by Gus Van Sant. A black American teenager, Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown), is invited into a prestigious private high school. By chance, Jamal befriends a reclusive writer, William Forrester (Sean Connery), through whom he refines his natural talent for writing and comes to terms with his identity.
In the last one year of the Jonathan drama we have simply seen chance and luck at play with destiny, for how long we can keep the charade remains to be seen. While, we may still be that docile group of people, Nigerians are becoming impatient by the day. We cannot wait too long for Jonathan to come into his identity if he has one.
I say it in all my writings and public fora where I speak these days that I am a cautious optimist, an impatient one at that. We cannot keep running this nation by chance. I would love for Jonathan to leave a mark and move the course of this nation one slow step forward. The real threat to that happening may sadly well be the inability of his government to define itself.
Quoting my friend Hillary Okonronkwo, it is almost certainly impossible because we start another journey from a different spot on the same circle.
The Jonathan agenda needs to start to take shape, and as it is today that is not happening, the best of inaugural speeches will make no differences, because the likes of Akala, Ohakim and late Yar'adua made speeches, wonderful speeches for that matter.
The most wonderful ball dances and all the official ministerial portraits as orchestrated by some corporate area boys will not address the current alarming state of insecurity, the increasing population of unemployed young persons and deteriorating infrastructures where they even exist.
I know that a sizeable though negligible number of Nigerians do not believe in Jonathan but the truth is that they have reasons and right ones too, not to believe in the man.
Nigerians are tired of roadmaps; they want to be on the road and not in the map. Jonathan as a president needs to start defining his course in history; he needs to start walking all the talk. He needs to kick start the process.
I am part of the school of thought that believes that he is not the reason why we are where we are today; I do not lay on his footpath the rot that Nigeria has become in terms of growth in some 50 years. I cannot with a clear conscience absolve past leaders like Buhari, IBB, Obasanjo, Shagari, Shonekan, Gowon, Abdulsalam and finally a docile populace that has sat by and watched as leadership fleece us of a future.
However in my admonishment to the Jonathanians, I say with a clear conscience and venom that they will be blamed for the failed opportunities of the present, not only will they be blamed, there are no assurances that they will go scot free. All the current blame game of power having left a section of the nation and thus, bla, bla, bla, will hold no water.
The argument and emoticons flying that one zone or religion has become overwhelming strong will not put food on the tables of Nigerians. If Jonathan so desires, as a Christian, he should make the entire cabinet Christians or Ijaw men and women as long as there is a visibly significant improvement in livelihood for the ordinary Nigerians.
Once upon a time, we had a section of the country hold sway, it did not bring succour, what remains to be seen today is how Jonathan will conjure up an efficient management team that will be accountable and ready to serve the people.
How he will bring about a sense of belonging to everyone in the Nigerian project is what matters, how he attains that no one cares but without a firm resolve to get it right, it may just be a four year jamboree.
The Yorubas say, b├ş o m├ía ra il├í ra il├í, b├ş o m├ía gba ├Ęn├Č gba ├Ęn├Č; m d├ę k├Č ├ş w├í so┬┤ja Agb├│-m├ę?k├╣n k├│ w├í m├║ eku. Literally meaning that, if you wish to buy okro, buy okro; if you wish to receive a gratuity do so; a child does not come to a tiger hunt and catch rats.
One's deeds should be appropriate to the location, all the talk of tenure duration, settling down and related cock and bull story is just distractions.
Jonathan needs to be told by his retinue of advisers peradventure he does not know already that he is still presiding over a nation that has low expectations, some BRT buses in Abuja, peace in Jos, Borno, a new parastatal, or commission, some reform here and there is all and prompt, youths can earnestly start seeking for another term for him.
In these few lines for the Jonathanians, they need to know, if someone is not doing his job as it should be done, of course four years is too short, so also is eight years. Tomorrow is the only language that appeals to the lazy man. While we watch, advice, and critic positively, although they may not listen, Jonathan needs to come of age, he needs to come into himself. They can help him, or as well destroy him.
There are issues everywhere that require attention; he cannot do all, infact I argue consistently that some matters in Nigeria will sort themselves out. It will wean out of the system. Jonathan will not do so many things not for want of support, but for lack of guts, he needs to show it, act it, and be it!
He has said he will do very little about the educational sector because he believes that federal government should not even be involved. The cost of cement, sugar and rice is something he is not willing to rock the boat for...
However, it remains to be seen if he can reduce the cost of our noise-making style of governance; all these gatherings and conglomeration of political non-entities and failed persons have to be slowly and steadily terminated.
Jonathan needs to realize that as a nation, there are several interests and no-interests. It is instructive to know that there is an erosion of confidence, we have got to a stage where rational has been thrown to the wind to deal with pressing issues.
Nigeria inherited by Jonathan is one where we will be spending $8 million Dollars (N12.8 billion Naira) to refurbish a war ship built in 1967 (44 years ago).
This is the kind of gift that we now gladly receive and celebrate, as a nation. I pray silently and hopefully that Jonathan and his crew know that there is a task at hand and hit the ground. Jonathan needs to find himself if he is to accomplish one thing.