30 Days Of Jonathan's Interregnum

30 days of Jonathan's interregnum

Exactly what should we celebrate of last week's events?

The assumption of Nigeria's top political office by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan is worthy of celebration only because, given the turbulent waters into which our ship of state had sailed, we simply needed to get out. Regrettably, Nigeria's political establishment chose the convenient, not correct, way to do it.

If we celebrate, therefore, we must be clear that it is only in the sense of survival that we do so. The triumph of the law that many Nigerians sought was not accomplished. President Umaru Yar'Adua did not transmit the letter to the National Assembly and he should therefore have been correctly impeached.

He should continue to be regarded as an irresponsible employee who abandoned his duty post, not as a leader who is away on medical leave. The National Assembly, lacking the same leadership and character as Yar'Adua, has chosen the easy way out.

That brings us to Dr. Jonathan, who is the beneficiary of the fruit that ripened by the roadside. I congratulate him on his good fortune, but we must bear in mind that he is still the beneficiary of our political equivalent of original sin: the rigged 2007 election that awarded him the vice-presidency in the first place. Nothing that has happened has that wiped away.

Indeed, last month at the Annual Trust Dialogue in Abuja, Olusegun Obasanjo confirmed the rigging that brought Yar'Adua and Jonathan to power. He told listeners that he singlehandedly determined his successor, and chose him. All the voter had to do was pretend to be relevant.

Still, in Jonathan's hands now is the destiny of Nigeria. For nearly three years, he has been the closest thing to the Invisible Man. In the government, he fulfilled the constitutional allotment of a vice-president, but in practice, he did little more than work the diplomatic cocktail circuit.

While all of those events may have been blamed on others, he now wields executive power. He is his own man, and neither the illegitimacy of his election nor the invisible strings by which he has been controlled in the past matter anymore. We will now find out exactly whom he is.

Addressing the nation last Tuesday in his "sacred trust" speech, his first as Acting President, he outlined areas of "priority," the usual catch-all basket of concerns that our leaders use to garner legitimacy before they stab us in the back.

I was not impressed. No speech by a Nigerian leader impresses me anymore. It is Jonathan's actions that will define Jonathan.

In that sense, he will also be defined by the clock on the wall. Jonathan does not have four years in office. He does not have one year. What he has is Yar'Adua, the substantive office-holder. If Yar'Adua shows up tonight claiming to be healthy and ready, Jonathan's moment in the sun is over.

My recommendation to Jonathan, therefore, is to work as though he only has only one month in office, after which every hour and every day would be a bonus. One month in that seat is not so bad, but to proceed as though he has six months, or until May 2011 would be presumptuous, indeed foolhardy.

If Jonathan is genuine, one month is enough to set the table for the transformation of Nigeria. One month in which to make landmark decisions that Nigerians cannot resist or reject. One month in which to initiate, or implement key policies capable of transforming Nigeria. One month in which to demonstrate to Nigerians and the world that the heart that beats within Jonathan is as big as Nigeria, and not as limited as Jonathan.

There are five keys that will tell us whether Jonathan is opening the door to the future, or locking it against us.

The first is electoral reform, for which he can ensure the adoption of the Justice Uwais Panel Report fully, immediately, and without reservations.

The second is curbing executive and administrative license. Having observed things at close-up in both the states and the federal government for several years now, he knows the executive branch is often no more than an ATM, or Access To Millions. Executive authority is seen as a money-minting opportunity, with policies manipulated and funds misappropriated. In 30 days, Jonathan can close most of the valves through which these are done, in order to discourage people from running for office for that purpose.

Third, electricity: In November 2009, Jonathan promised this problem would be resolved this year, ahead of his profuse apologies at the end of that year that his government had failed to generate the meager 6000 kilowatts it promised. With executive authority in his hands, there is nowhere for him to hide. In his 30 days, he can accelerate matters so that even if he leaves office halfway through March, there can be no way to turn them back, or off.

Finally, corruption. Every Nigerian leader knows that Nigeria is going nowhere unless this menace is tackled head-on, and they often offer hollow promises to the Nigerian people. Jonathan may be no different. Promising to prosecute the war more "robustly," Jonathan said on Tuesday he would "strengthen the capacity of the anti-corruption agencies and give them a free hand to prosecute the anti corruption war." It should take him no more than a couple of his 30 days to accomplish this; if they are sufficiently serious adjustments, nobody can turn them off without serious consequences.

My position is that Jonathan should understand he is on borrowed time, a little sliver of our national history within which to make a critical but overdue contribution. Thirty days is time enough for hard work, but also for rhetoric and games, with which Nigerians are familiar. In Lagos State, however, Governor Babatunde Fashola has proved that if your agenda is of service, you do not need forever. And Nigerians have proved that they can see through baloney.

How would we measure Jonathan's success? Paradoxically, it would be in how much he is personally ‘hurt,' which is why he must understand that nothing will ever be as they were. Thus, if he does well, he will be resented by Yar'Adua and his supporters - if Yar'Adua does return - because if he is successful he would have pointed out how negligent or unsuccessful Yar'Adua had been.

One final point: If he does well, his own wife may also be in jail by the time he is through. Patience Jonathan's money-laundering cases have only been hidden from the law, not discharged. And there is no way Goodluck Jonathan can claim to fight corruption while he sleeps in the same bed with its most remarkable national symbol.



1
Re: 30 Days Of Jonathan’s Interregnum
Dapxin posted on 02-14-2010, 15:04:42 PM

30 days of Jonathan's interregnum


Exactly what should we celebrate of last week's events?


The assumption of Nigeria's top political office by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan is worthy of celebration only because, given the turbulent waters into which our ship of state had sailed, we simply needed to get out. Regrettably, Nigeria's political establishment chose the convenient, not correct, way to do it.


If we celebrate, therefore, we must be clear that it is only in the sense of survival that we do so. The triumph of the law that many Nigerians sought was not accomplished. President Umaru Yar'Adua did not transmit the letter to the National Assembly and he should therefore have been correctly impeached.


He should continue to be regarded as an irresponsible employee who abandoned his duty post, not as a leader who is away on medical leave. The National Assembly, lacking the same leadership and character as Yar'Adua, has chosen the easy way out.


That brings us to Dr. Jonathan, who is the beneficiary of the fruit that ripened by the roadside. I congratulate him on his good fortune, but we must bear in mind that he is still the beneficiary of our political equivalent of original sin: the rigged 2007 election that awarded him the vice-presidency in the first place. Nothing that has happened has that wiped away.


Indeed, last month at the Annual Trust Dialogue in Abuja, Olusegun Obasanjo confirmed the rigging that brought Yar'Adua and Jonathan to power. He told listeners that he singlehandedly determined his successor, and chose him. All the voter had to do was pretend to be relevant.


Still, in Jonathan's hands now is the destiny of Nigeria. For nearly three years, he has been the closest thing to the Invisible Man. In the government, he fulfilled the constitutional allotment of a vice-president, but in practice, he did little more than work the diplomatic cocktail circuit.


While all of those events may have been blamed on others, he now wields executive power. He is his own man, and neither the illegitimacy of his election nor the invisible strings by which he has been controlled in the past matter anymore. We will now find out exactly whom he is.


Addressing the nation last Tuesday in his "sacred trust" speech, his first as Acting President, he outlined areas of "priority," the usual catch-all basket of concerns that our leaders use to garner legitimacy before they stab us in the back.


I was not impressed. No speech by a Nigerian leader impresses me anymore. It is Jonathan's actions that will define Jonathan.


In that sense, he will also be defined by the clock on the wall. Jonathan does not have four years in office. He does not have one year. What he has is Yar'Adua, the substantive office-holder. If Yar'Adua shows up tonight claiming to be healthy and ready, Jonathan's moment in the sun is over.


My recommendation to Jonathan, therefore, is to work as though he only has only one month in office, after which every hour and every day would be a bonus. One month in that seat is not so bad, but to proceed as though he has six months, or until May 2011 would be presumptuous, indeed foolhardy.


If Jonathan is genuine, one month is enough to set the table for the transformation of Nigeria. One month in which to make landmark decisions that Nigerians cannot resist or reject. One month in which to initiate, or implement key policies capable of transforming Nigeria. One month in which to demonstrate to Nigerians and the world that the heart that beats within Jonathan is as big as Nigeria, and not as limited as Jonathan.


There are five keys that will tell us whether Jonathan is opening the door to the future, or locking it against us.


The first is electoral reform, for which he can ensure the adoption of the Justice Uwais Panel Report fully, immediately, and without reservations.


The second is curbing executive and administrative license. Having observed things at close-up in both the states and the federal government for several years now, he knows the executive branch is often no more than an ATM, or Access To Millions. Executive authority is seen as a money-minting opportunity, with policies manipulated and funds misappropriated. In 30 days, Jonathan can close most of the valves through which these are done, in order to discourage people from running for office for that purpose.


Third, electricity: In November 2009, Jonathan promised this problem would be resolved this year, ahead of his profuse apologies at the end of that year that his government had failed to generate the meager 6000 kilowatts it promised. With executive authority in his hands, there is nowhere for him to hide. In his 30 days, he can accelerate matters so that even if he leaves office halfway through March, there can be no way to turn them back, or off.


Finally, corruption. Every Nigerian leader knows that Nigeria is going nowhere unless this menace is tackled head-on, and they often offer hollow promises to the Nigerian people. Jonathan may be no different. Promising to prosecute the war more "robustly," Jonathan said on Tuesday he would "strengthen the capacity of the anti-corruption agencies and give them a free hand to prosecute the anti corruption war." It should take him no more than a couple of his 30 days to accomplish this; if they are sufficiently serious adjustments, nobody can turn them off without serious consequences.


My position is that Jonathan should understand he is on borrowed time, a little sliver of our national history within which to make a critical but overdue contribution. Thirty days is time enough for hard work, but also for rhetoric and games, with which Nigerians are familiar. In Lagos State, however, Governor Babatunde Fashola has proved that if your agenda is of service, you do not need forever. And Nigerians have proved that they can see through baloney.


How would we measure Jonathan's success? Paradoxically, it would be in how much he is personally ‘hurt,' which is why he must understand that nothing will ever be as they were. Thus, if he does well, he will be resented by Yar'Adua and his supporters - if Yar'Adua does return - because if he is successful he would have pointed out how negligent or unsuccessful Yar'Adua had been.


One final point: If he does well, his own wife may also be in jail by the time he is through. Patience Jonathan's money-laundering cases have only been hidden from the law, not discharged. And there is no way Goodluck Jonathan can claim to fight corruption while he sleeps in the same bed with its most remarkable national symbol.



..Read the full article
Re: 30 Days Of Jonathan's Interregnum
Ariteni posted on 02-14-2010, 15:04:42 PM

30 days of Jonathan's interregnum


Exactly what should we celebrate of last week's events?


The assumption of Nigeria's top political office by Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan is worthy of celebration only because, given the turbulent waters into which our ship of state had sailed, we simply needed to get out. Regrettably, Nigeria's political establishment chose the convenient, not correct, way to do it.


If we celebrate, therefore, we must be clear that it is only in the sense of survival that we do so. The triumph of the law that many Nigerians sought was not accomplished. President Umaru Yar'Adua did not transmit the letter to the National Assembly and he should therefore have been correctly impeached.


He should continue to be regarded as an irresponsible employee who abandoned his duty post, not as a leader who is away on medical leave. The National Assembly, lacking the same leadership and character as Yar'Adua, has chosen the easy way out.


That brings us to Dr. Jonathan, who is the beneficiary of the fruit that ripened by the roadside. I congratulate him on his good fortune, but we must bear in mind that he is still the beneficiary of our political equivalent of original sin: the rigged 2007 election that awarded him the vice-presidency in the first place. Nothing that has happened has that wiped away.


Indeed, last month at the Annual Trust Dialogue in Abuja, Olusegun Obasanjo confirmed the rigging that brought Yar'Adua and Jonathan to power. He told listeners that he singlehandedly determined his successor, and chose him. All the voter had to do was pretend to be relevant.


Still, in Jonathan's hands now is the destiny of Nigeria. For nearly three years, he has been the closest thing to the Invisible Man. In the government, he fulfilled the constitutional allotment of a vice-president, but in practice, he did little more than work the diplomatic cocktail circuit.


While all of those events may have been blamed on others, he now wields executive power. He is his own man, and neither the illegitimacy of his election nor the invisible strings by which he has been controlled in the past matter anymore. We will now find out exactly whom he is.


Addressing the nation last Tuesday in his "sacred trust" speech, his first as Acting President, he outlined areas of "priority," the usual catch-all basket of concerns that our leaders use to garner legitimacy before they stab us in the back.


I was not impressed. No speech by a Nigerian leader impresses me anymore. It is Jonathan's actions that will define Jonathan.


In that sense, he will also be defined by the clock on the wall. Jonathan does not have four years in office. He does not have one year. What he has is Yar'Adua, the substantive office-holder. If Yar'Adua shows up tonight claiming to be healthy and ready, Jonathan's moment in the sun is over.


My recommendation to Jonathan, therefore, is to work as though he only has only one month in office, after which every hour and every day would be a bonus. One month in that seat is not so bad, but to proceed as though he has six months, or until May 2011 would be presumptuous, indeed foolhardy.


If Jonathan is genuine, one month is enough to set the table for the transformation of Nigeria. One month in which to make landmark decisions that Nigerians cannot resist or reject. One month in which to initiate, or implement key policies capable of transforming Nigeria. One month in which to demonstrate to Nigerians and the world that the heart that beats within Jonathan is as big as Nigeria, and not as limited as Jonathan.


There are five keys that will tell us whether Jonathan is opening the door to the future, or locking it against us.


The first is electoral reform, for which he can ensure the adoption of the Justice Uwais Panel Report fully, immediately, and without reservations.


The second is curbing executive and administrative license. Having observed things at close-up in both the states and the federal government for several years now, he knows the executive branch is often no more than an ATM, or Access To Millions. Executive authority is seen as a money-minting opportunity, with policies manipulated and funds misappropriated. In 30 days, Jonathan can close most of the valves through which these are done, in order to discourage people from running for office for that purpose.


Third, electricity: In November 2009, Jonathan promised this problem would be resolved this year, ahead of his profuse apologies at the end of that year that his government had failed to generate the meager 6000 kilowatts it promised. With executive authority in his hands, there is nowhere for him to hide. In his 30 days, he can accelerate matters so that even if he leaves office halfway through March, there can be no way to turn them back, or off.


Finally, corruption. Every Nigerian leader knows that Nigeria is going nowhere unless this menace is tackled head-on, and they often offer hollow promises to the Nigerian people. Jonathan may be no different. Promising to prosecute the war more "robustly," Jonathan said on Tuesday he would "strengthen the capacity of the anti-corruption agencies and give them a free hand to prosecute the anti corruption war." It should take him no more than a couple of his 30 days to accomplish this; if they are sufficiently serious adjustments, nobody can turn them off without serious consequences.


My position is that Jonathan should understand he is on borrowed time, a little sliver of our national history within which to make a critical but overdue contribution. Thirty days is time enough for hard work, but also for rhetoric and games, with which Nigerians are familiar. In Lagos State, however, Governor Babatunde Fashola has proved that if your agenda is of service, you do not need forever. And Nigerians have proved that they can see through baloney.


How would we measure Jonathan's success? Paradoxically, it would be in how much he is personally ‘hurt,' which is why he must understand that nothing will ever be as they were. Thus, if he does well, he will be resented by Yar'Adua and his supporters - if Yar'Adua does return - because if he is successful he would have pointed out how negligent or unsuccessful Yar'Adua had been.


One final point: If he does well, his own wife may also be in jail by the time he is through. Patience Jonathan's money-laundering cases have only been hidden from the law, not discharged. And there is no way Goodluck Jonathan can claim to fight corruption while he sleeps in the same bed with its most remarkable national symbol.



..Read the full article
Re: 30 Days Of Jonathan's Interregnum
Eire posted on 02-15-2010, 11:20:32 AM
You have got to laugh at Nigerians and their way of thinking, little wonder they never get anything done!

Still, in Jonathan's hands now is the destiny of Nigeria
The same person you described as being rigged into office and part of a corrupt cabal now has the destiny of Nigeria in his hands?
Re: 30 Days Of Jonathan’s Interregnum
Dapxin posted on 02-15-2010, 11:35:53 AM
QUOTE:
You have got to laugh at Nigerians and their way of thinking, little wonder they never get anything done!

Still, in Jonathan’s hands now is the destiny of Nigeria
The same person you described as being rigged into office and part of a corrupt cabal now has the destiny of Nigeria in his hands?


perhaps the same way george bush had the destiny of Amercia(nay! western civilisation) in his hands, despite florida ?
despite his own daddy's boy'nisms ?
his own immediately apparent flaws ?

Nothing in there, has anything to do with the Nigerians and their failures. Try again.
Re: 30 Days Of Jonathan’s Interregnum
Dapxin posted on 02-15-2010, 20:13:46 PM
A name as a double-edged sword

user posted image


AZUBUIKE ISHIEKWENE, azu@punchontheweb.com
QUOTE:




What’s in a name? If the name is Goodluck Jonathan, a puzzled and superstitious public thinks there is more to it than the bearer may have cared to notice in his nearly 53 years of answering it. Only in 2005, Goodluck Jonathan was a deputy governor distinguished just for his obscurity. Then in December of that year, Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was removed for money laundering and Goodluck Jonathan was wheeled in as governor. Life has never been the same again.

His obscurity also turned out to be his strongest credential for the post of vice-president in 2007. And now, again, Goodluck Jonathan is in the Number One spot by default, turning out a Google search result of 4.8 million records ––nearly four times that of his ailing boss, Umaru Yar’Adua.

Goodluck Jonathan’s name is also spinning both tamed and wild tales. The National Assembly had barely passed the resolution declaring him acting president when I received this SMS on my phone: “This is in your own interest. No matter the position you are offered in any organisation, if your deputy is named ‘Goodluck,’ please decline… Even if it is UN Secretary General or head of the African Union. In your own interest, decline o!

“In case you think I’m joking, Goodluck was assistant head boy in primary school, the head boy got expelled, and he took over. Goodluck was assistant senior prefect in secondary school, the senior prefect died, Goodluck took over. Goodluck was deputy local government chairman, the chairman got implicated in corruption and got removed from office and Goodluck took over. Goodluck was deputy governor to Alamieyeseigha, we all know the story. Goodluck was vice (sic) to Yar’Adua: Pericarditis! You may say it is a coincidence, na you know! A friend of mine just called off his church wedding. Why? His best man was named Goodluck. He is insisting that all that would occur would be the traditional wedding!”

My immediate response on receiving the SMS was to dismiss it as another piece of textspeak ingenuity by any of the nearly 70 million mobile phone subscribers desperate for attention. But I reminded myself that in a country where people still believe that you can eliminate your enemy by packing enough demons into one single phone call, the matter deserved a closer look. After all, a federal attorney general once told a group of four senior lawyers, including the Nigerian Bar Association President, Rotimi Akeredolu, in Justice Dan Abutu’s court in January that he couldn’t, for the life of him, understand how or why Jonathan became Yar’Adua’s deputy.

According to my source, the AGF remarked inside the closed court: “How could they have picked a man who is always plaguing his bosses with bad luck as vice-president? Didn’t they see his antecedents?” This is the sort of mindset that produced the Goodluck SMS; a mindset that will exploit the emotions of a largely superstitious public to divert attention from the issues.

Not that names are not important. Of course they are, even though good people still bear names from List Universe’s Top ten most evil men/women. The point is, you only need to take a second look at the SMS to find that the sender had carefully mixed falsehood with fact.

Punch correspondent, Olamilekan Lartey, who checked out the SMS in Bayelsa State for me over the weekend, informed me that Goodluck Jonathan was neither assistant head boy in his St. Stephen Primary School (and later St. Michael Primary School), nor assistant senior prefect at Mater Dei High School. He was never deputy local government chairman either. His first full involvement in politics was in 1998 when he resigned from the Oil Minerals Producing Development Commission to run as deputy governor. Some people had to stretch the tale as far back as possible to fit his last two promotions by default and complete the joke that he is a bringer of bad omen.

We must look beyond his habit of being in the right place at the right time and focus on the task at hand. He has promised to fight corruption, but some of the biggest cases involve former and serving state governors and party stalwarts who helped to install this administration in 2007 and who are still hanging around him. How, for example, does Jonathan propose to deal with the James Ibori case, the nemesis of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; the Orji Kalu case, or the case involving Societe General Bank owned by the influential Saraki dynasty? How will he handle the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandal in which former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a number of legislators – especially ranking senators – and former ministers, have been fingered? Will the public take him seriously if the allegation by the EFCC that his wife, Patience, tried to launder $13.5m is swept under the carpet?

The acting president will also have to take an interest in the constitution review panel and take a stand on the report of the Uwais committee on electoral reforms. We have had enough promises about power supply; it’s time to deliver. The presidential power reform committee set up by Yar’Adua in September 2007 and headed by Rilwan Lukman, offered more of the same failed centralised strategy as a solution. This old wine, compounded by the politics of contract awards which a number of Northerners think favoured the south under Obasanjo, has only resulted in rolling blackouts. It’s time to decentralise, scrap old laws on price caps, and let smaller, independent players in. The peace may be holding in the Niger Delta, but it’s only a fragile peace. Jonathan needs to take another look at the contentious parts of the Petroleum Industry Bill to ensure that godfathers, warlords, and strong men do not continue to profit from having a direct stake under the new system at the expense of the communities.

How much time does he have left? It’s not the number of days to the next election but the number of days already spent that the public would be counting. It’s nearly three years since the Yar’Adua/Jonathan Presidency began, and nearly 11 years since the ruling party came to power. There has been mostly empty promises to show for it. Jonathan has only one chance. He is damned if he uses it well, and damned if he doesn’t. For his own sake, he should take every day as a bonus and hit the ground running. In the end, he will be remembered, not so much for his name as for his legacy.
Re: 30 Days Of Jonathan's Interregnum
Dapxin posted on 02-15-2010, 20:16:03 PM
1
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