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2013: Year of reckoning for Jonathan


He chose this year. We didn’t choose it for him. He sees this year as a defining moment; a year like no other, a year to prove critics wrong, a year to either remain relevant or lead without followership. He says 2013 is the year his government policies will begin to yield dividends.

For him, it is the year he expects to move from ‘zero’ to ‘hero’. He is not deluded by the fact that his performance has remained abysmal. It is also not lost on him that he has disappointed many. He acknowledges the fact of the mounting doubts about his ability to govern Nigeria.

It is instructive to recall that when President Jonathan chose the platform of the 52nd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) last August in Abuja to make those declarative statements, he surely wanted to be taken seriously and be judged by what he said. After all, the standard he sent for himself was high. He had at that august meeting of lawyers described himself as the “most criticized President in the world”. But, he gleefully said, by the time 2013 runs its full course, his critics would have cause to change their minds and see him as the “most praised President”.

What, one may ask, gave the President this optimism? Is it based on concrete evidence, or is  he deluded by wishful thinking? According to him, his administration is working “very hard to stabilize power, working very hard to resurface our roads, working very hard to bring reasonable control over the security challenges”. It is not easy, he told his audience at NBA conference on August 27,2012.

It has become customary and sounds as boring as hell listening to President Jonathan drop promises of hope. In his Christmas message to the nation last week, he regurgitated almost the same issues he would make a difference. He listed public infrastructure, roads,railways and airport transportation, healthcare,education, security as well as tackle the intractable power sector conundrum. And now, 2013 is here.How prepared is the President in delivering on his promise? Leadership involves preparation.

The presidency brings no special gift of prophecy or foresight. Politicians seek power to accomplish goals. Interestingly,power reveals.Some seek power to achieve larger ends,in the interest of society.Some just to dominate others.It is not exactly clear to me why Jonathan sought power. I am also not sure if the President has convinced himself what he wants to do with the power that he has.

He is at best ambivalent. Whether he admits it or not, Jonathan Presidency is yet to establish a great enough sense of urgency in addressing issues in its transformation agenda. Talk is always cheap.Walking the talk makes the difference.  Nothing derails a government like having a President who abandons the promise that ought to define his presidecy and his legacy.It is not unkind to say that Jonathan’s government has not worked hard enough toward meeting the desired goals that will make Nigerians shade their doubts about his style of governance. No full commitment to delivering on his promises.

Rather, it seems the President is overwhelmed by the burden of expectations. The power to achieve result has always been there for any president to use. In that regard, President Jonathan has no reason to continue to wobble. Leadership is all about responsibility and been responsive to  the  expectations of the people.  It must be said that as ambitious and desirable the president’s promises appear, there is no concrete evidence on ground that these promises stand a good chance of being actualised this year.

What for instance, is on ground that the power sector will improve anytime soon, or that the insecurity in the land will be under firm control? Or that the transportation system, especially our roads that have become more of death-traps will get the deserved attention beyond the perfunctory resurfacing? Standard of education has continued to fall. None of our higher institutions is ranked among the first 100 in Africa. Indeed, little on ground to justify the President’s optimism.    Two years in office is sufficient time to articulate a comprehensive programme of action. It is more like one step forward, several steps backward. Nigerians deserve more than they are currently getting.

As the New Year begins today,the clock is ticking on the areas the President has given his word. The power sector remains the engine room that can galvanize other sectors of the economy. Despite huge investment in the sector, government is far from generating its targeted mega watts for 2012. Maybe, there’s a magic-wand.  At the moment, small-scale businesses such as barbing salons are running on generating sets and their owners are not breaking. Big industries are operating 24 hours on gensets.

The toll on the economy is incalculable.  I believe Nigerians, even the President’s most incurable critics his promises actualized. Or perhaps President Jonathan has declared victory for himself too soon. Happy New, Mr. President. The moment beckons.

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  1. chinelo January 1, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I believe mr president it can be our year of turning point if he wants,it can be our year of good governance and result if he really wants by tackling the problems that needs urgent attention like getting our refineries working as it was,fixing our roads that are in bad shape,tackling poverty with all sincerity at least let Nigerians feel the positive impact of his administration. I really know that is not easy based on the circumstances surrounding you but I pray that God will give you the courage to do the right thing without fear or favour.

  2. sola akinwande January 1, 2013 at 9:29 am

    We spent the last few days of 2012 and entered 2013 using generator to get power to listen to Labara Maku making phantom claims about the achievement of this administration. We have read the submissions of Doyin Okupe (MB,BS) and Reuben Abati, PhD defending their paymaster frantically on his achievement so far. My inference is that these people must be living in a different Nigeria. They are so detached from the reality on ground. Let Abati come and spend a week on his stone house in Asero Abeokuta and find out the number of houses in the estate that are not running on generator. Let him also drive on Abeokuta /Ibadan road to see the snail speed repair work is taking to effect. Thank God for the Regional Integration development program of southwest governments that have embarked on massive urban renewal with new and modern roads. GEJ, at the end of today, 2013 would have reduced by a day. Good governance goes beyond ordinary wish. It must be backed by action and result-oriented. This govt is very wasteful and dwells too much on rhetoric. Let us begin to see the changes from tomorrow but not with removal of so-called fuel subsidy, an action that is sure to set ten nation ablaze. Mr. President it is time to wake up and disperse all those around you who only want a piece of the cake without thinking twice that the cake is for us all.

  3. stan emma January 1, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Mr. President Nigeria leaders are too corrupt, they dont care about the people who elected them into the office they are now. Subsidy money and the people involve in stealing the money. All of them went free, why? because the law are made for only the poor masses to punish them when they fail to remain silent to all the wicked act done by the leaders. This year is still long and pls sir help us and work out thing right. May God help u. Amen

  4. DAVID C.EKEOMA January 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm


  5. seyi oluwaseyin January 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    The fact of the case is that mr. President never prepared to be the president of this nation. Those who pushed him to the vice president and then his present position share in the predicament we’ve found ourselves. The did is already done. However, since the president has given himself 2013 target within which to prove his critics wrong, let’s wait patiently to see how far he’ll go. But the president should be told that there is suffering in Nigeria even in the midst of all the abundance resources God has endowed this nation. Our roads are really bad. But what happened to the money that was budgeted for roads in 2012? It’s high time ministers started giving account of their stewardship if we want progress as a nation.

  6. BODAJOS January 1, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    mr prsdnt we ar saying amen an amen may d almighty GOD wt his infinity mercy answer ur prayer an give u grace to fufil all u said an do not 4get d fear of lord is d bgn of wisdom we wish all ngr hpy new year IJN amen hallaluya

  7. Ayaka January 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    The president must be hoping on some kind of insurrection(revolution), holy intercession, or mass memory failure on the part of the Nigerian people for 2013 to be a successful year for him. I don’t know of anything that happened in 2012 that was supposed to change the mind set of the people who will help the president execute his 2013 miracle. When you want to build a house, you normally mark the area to be cleared, stake the area. I do not see any stake marks that the president has put on the ground to show that he really means business. I wish Mr Jonathan everything that he wishes himself, but please mark me skeptical.

  8. Yadudu January 2, 2013 at 12:42 am

    A Senator, Olubunmi Adetumbi (ACN Ekiti) on Tuesday condemned the use of a military training helicopter by civilians during the burial of the father of a presidential adviser, Oronto Douglas

    According to him, the crashed helicopter is called a military training helicopter, but it is obviously not being used for military training on that day.
    He said that pertinent questions, such as who authorised the use of the helicopter for civilian purposes must be asked and answers given.
    “Who gave the order for the chopper to be used? What is the purpose of private charter helicopter? Why was a private chopper not hired? Is it what the Navy appropriation is being used for?” Senator Adetumbi asked.
    My man we are all with you on this questions of yours.

  9. chijioke January 2, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Wot will wnt is good tins i pray dis year frm zero 2 hero

  10. Political January 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Failed government will often try to justify their failure through unnecessary promises and optimism to the poor citizens. Mr. President with due respect,it is uncalled for to make such assumption. We elected you for four years tenure and you have choiced one year tenure for performance. Please where is other three (3) year allocated in your administration? Please answer my question.

  11. umazi January 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    According to Italian Dramatist and Political Scientist Niccolo Machaivelli.”Those who depend on luck come to grieve whenever circumstances changes”. I hate luck because it gives something to those who are not prepared for it and deny it from those who prepared for it.Gej never prepared to rule this nation,luck forced him and that is why he is directionless.Well, may God force him this time to back his promises with actions. However,if u are interest in changes in this land contact us The Revolutionary Youths..through 07060788827

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