President Jonathan's Mandate and the Fierce Urgency of Now
President Goodluck Jonathan has formally been declared as the winner of the April 16 presidential election. While credible allegations of inflated numbers persist, there is reason to believe that this is one of the best elections we have had in decades.
Under normal circumstances, Nigerians should be patting each other on the back for a smooth election. However, a closer look at the pattern of voting gives us reason for concern. Votes were cast along Nigeria's familiar primordial fissures. For instance, General Muhammadu Buhari won decisively in the 12 states that practice Sharia.
On the other hand, for the first time in Nigeria's history, the South-west, South-east, South-south and the Middle Belt voted for the same candidate. President Jonathan's decisive victory is traceable to this unprecedented coalition.
Not surprisingly, riots have broken out in many parts of the North where Buhari enjoys overwhelming support. The houses of prominent supporters of PDP have been burnt to smithereens. PDP party offices have also been torched and, more worryingly, scores of non-indigenes have either been murdered or hurt.
Given these divisions, how President Jonathan handles his new tenure will be extremely significant. The truth should now dawn on us all that winning is one thing, but fixing the Jig-saw puzzle called Nigeria is another. President Jonathan therefore has little time to celebrate. He now has a momentous job on his hand and needs to go back to the basics and heal the wounds that his victory has engendered. If this is not urgently done, we could easily descend into an irreversible state of anarchy.
There's no better time than now to:
- Reach out to influential northern opinion moulders, including religious leaders, Northern traditional rulers, his opponents--Gen Buhari, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and Shekarau--and encourage them to issue unequivocal statements to bring down the temperature in the polity. While this may come across as appeasement, it is the sensible thing to do to avoid further loss of lives and property.
- Strengthen the security apparatus of the country and ensure that the violence being witnessed in the north stops forthwith.
- Convene a full sovereign national conference for an honest national conversation about the structures and processes that should govern our co-existence. We have to finally sit down and decide if and how we can co-exist. The attitude of sweeping uncomfortable facts under the rug has got to stop.
You said, "On the other hand, for the first time in Nigeria's history, the South-west, South-east, South-south and the Middle Belt voted for the same candidate. President Jonathan's decisive victory is traceable to this unprecedented coalition."
Yes, because majority of Nigerians gave President GEJ the mandate. This is perhaps, the most transparent presidential election Nigeria has had. It is fair and credible. Buhari, on the other hand, won the 12 Northern States with strong Shariah laws. His followers are the ones perpetrating the heinous violence and killings in Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto, Borno, etc. It's going to take decisive leadership to deal with these irresponsible political desperados and their senseless followers- otherwise Nigerians must have a serious conversation about their cohabitation ┬ľ whether is still expedient or not.
May God bless President Good luck Jonathan and Nigeria!
Areas or states that voted Buhari are right to agress that Buhari only should rule them. Why not???
I am glad to see more people are starting to see the need for dividing Nigeria along the lines of mutual interests. I think the elections actually drew the lines of how the nation should be divided and it makes sense for the middle belt to join the south as they are actually under constant jihad attacks from al-queda controlled islamic Northern Nigeria!
Some people here who wanted Buhari to come back are now probably regretting their choice of candidate. As we speak a man like Buhari who cried crocodile tears the other day has not once called his jihadists to order, what tears has he got for the people who have been murdered in his name! Thanks he will never contest any elections in Nigeria again but i am sure another mujahideen leader will take his place, enter pedophile Sani Yerima...AKA mohammed wannabe!
What will be great is to divide the country in 2 and hand Buhari the presidency of the islamic republic of Northern Nigeria and he can work his miraculous "leadership wonders" on that lot and have them live in peace with neighbouring countries like Southern Nigeria! That should be something!
I echo your sentiments as pertains the convocation of a sovereign national conference on the way forward for Nigeria's good. This is the time to the President to lead since he has been given a clear and decisive mandate to lead the nation out of our sorry mess by the people. By implication we are already have two nations with two constitutions in Nigeria. I have always said that the Sharia states already the decision to seceded when they voted to adopt the sharia code as their governing constitution in a supposedly circular nation like Nigeria. The result of that referendum is very apparent when look at the map of the this election.
And on Jonathan, Nigeria will experience another 4 wasted years of leadership because he lacks the requisite values, confidence and skills to make any meaningful changes.
Jonathan win only achieved one goal, that the northern born to rule clique has finally ended their monopoly of leadership in this country!
But a Jonathan presidency is a wasted opportunity because he is corrupt and weak! For Nigeria to progress it wants to stop corruption, recover stolen wealth and destroy nepotism. Jonathan, his family, associates and clique is actually part of the problem so he cannot act on it and risk implicating himself.
Jonathan cannot implement major changes to the economy because he himself is in need of reform and rehabilitation, he does not know what it means and where to start! He will make announcements about building new infrastructure but most of the money will go toward graft, theft and mis management.
Jonathan cannot bring about change in violence in the Niger Delta because he is closely linked to it and his support base comes from the perpetrators of the violence.
Jonathan cannot stop the cold blooded murder of christians in Northern Nigeria because he is powerless over the cabal at the heart of it, he cannot confront them or use his military to do it because he is a soft hearted fool with no strength to enforce anything.
Jonathan will be recorded in history as the weakest Nigerian head of state since Aguyi Ironsi and Ernest Shonekan!
What is happening in the far north after an election described by observers as the best Nigeria has ever had is revealing more of the faulty foundations of Nigeria.
We may first have to go for a conference for true federalism. If indolent ones refuse true federalism and still continue to confuse it with resource control, then we go for a full blown sovereign national conference.
In this conference, representatives of discernible ethnic groups that make up Nigeria are made to come together and express their choices vis a vis Nigeria.
The people have never had the opportunity to express this choice, and it is an infringement on their rights.
Jonathan and the gang of PDP just rigged a peaceful election and we are still here blogging rubbish instead of being in streets protesting peacefully like people of Egypt or violently like people of Ivory coast. Please leave Buhari out of this. He should keep mum just like Jonathan kept mum when the election is being rigged on his behalf by the people of the southern states. by the way am from the south.
Buhari's silence in this kind of times is a betrayal of the thousands of southerners who believed in him and supported his ambition.
The few irregularities notwithstanding, I am firmly convinced that Buhari lost to Jona' fair and square.
He should call his supporters to order immediately lest he confirms what many have been saying and end up etching his name in Nigeria's history as a tribal warlord.
It is difficult to fault NVS editorials. But I think there is a problem here with our expectations, desires and our appreciation of exactly how much time we have to usher in this new dawn.
1. We have voted for a President not an aid facilitator or a peace envoy. What we need is a Nigeria that works - water, light, education, health, social security, transportation, communication, shelter and housing - all those things that enable individuals and the progressive society function. That's what GEJ's primary task is - not to convene a sovereign national conference or to pacify certain people over others.
2. Those who burn the north should be free to do so. It is their home and their people. Let others be intelligent enough to leave the burning fires. Enough is enough and that means enough of burying our heads in the sand. If a move to a place is not condusive to peaceful living what are you still doing there?
3. The only thing that can get Nigeria out of the pit it is ever ready to sink back into, is to move this society out of the retrogressive, too much talk-talk, greedy, unproductive quagmire we slide into with the least resistance. Get the factories working, create jobs, provide an enabliing environment, make Nigeria a functional society. If GEJ and the new dispensation can bring a system that rewards productivity, that makes it impossible for people to remain indolent while they preoccupy themselves with 'talking without working' and 'praying without bearing fruit' aka politics and religion (as we understand them), we're on our way to somewhere.
4. The current leadership must engineer the rule of law, practice true federalism, and reinstate secularism at government level. It's in the Constituition already.
5. We waste too much time with trying to 'pacify' and 'reach out'. There's a country to be run. Let GEJ have the guts to run it- that's what we need.
so Buhari should keep mum when his name is being screamed out loud by terrorists murdering people on the streets of the country he aspired to rule?
You people make me sick, what a poor example of Nigerian citizenship! shame on you and shoot yourself immediately, moron!