NIGERIA – Being an incumbent comes with privileges that should ordinarily make the election scales tip in your favor, but for President Jonathan it would appear that it is a case of non-maximization of resources.
The president is currently thrashing about, and that’s putting it mildly, with political speculation saying that the elections were postponed initially because the president was sure to lose. It is a fairly common sayingin Nigeria, that ‘an incumbent has never lost,’ and it leads one to wonder if president Jonathan may not be coyly seeking to break a record.
The motley group of ministries that hold this unlikely republic together are currently under the administrative sway of the number one man, Jonathan, and we would like to believe that it would take but a little tugging of discreet strings to get the ministries singing a unified tune in favor of his return to the power seat.
Why, then, isn’t this happening? For academic purposes, we have compiled a list of five ministries that, by omission more than commission, may have jeopardized the career of Nigeria’s shoeless President:
1. INFORMATION: As far as president Jonathan’s achievements go, there has been an exaggerated doppler effect, what with the bad news going viral within seconds of their breaking as compared to his good works which are exuberantly shouted down.
(A school of thought might argue that this is because the president has achieved little since he assumed power, and that the miserable events that have plagued his administration has escalated, multiplying like lemmings.)
The ministry of information literally controls information, and they possess the superpower to deftly burnish the image of the president and portray him as a man who has impacted the lives of Nigerians cross-sector. However, it would appear that the ministry of Agriculture is doing a better job of that, with the ministry of information doing…what exactly?
In one flick of the wrist, the Ministry of Information can pass a crisp, clear and toasty pro-Jonathan sentiment that would resonate with the bourgeoisie and the grass-roots alike.
2. PETROLEUM:This ministry has single-handedly contributed to the tarnished image of the president as far as ‘petroleum’ is mentioned in any sentence nationwide. With the president sticking his neck out for the delectable Mrs. Alison-Madueke, one would expect that the least that could have been done would be the clarification of the dubious air that trails the ministry nowadays. We have heard the most outrageous sums declared missing (quite casually, we might add) – sums running into billions.
It wouldn’t have cost the minister much free time to respond to the accusations (Sanusi’s especially) on the international scene and restore confidence both in her administration and Jonathan’s. Instead, what has been done is the further enshrouding of the NNPC (oooh, so mysterious). So, Mrs. Alison-Madueke has gone on to become the OPEC President while Dr. Jonathan is singing a fretful kumbaya.
3. FINANCE: There is no minister I’ve listened to speak – both locally and internationally – as much as I have Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and for good reason. The ministry of finance has, for some time now, given off vibes of not being anthropocentric but working for higher powers that be.
The papers are regularly filled with the high-octane clashes between Mrs. Ngozi and legislators, and every time the clashes occurred, she came out the worse for wear, reputation-wise. Add to that the recent exchange of love letters between her and Professor Charles Soludo and one may be permitted to heave a heavy sigh at the general sordidness of things.
4. AVIATION: The #OduahGate debacle is still fresh on the minds of Nigerians. This was one of the first leaks that sprung that heralded the rain of corruption that has flooded the Jonathanian administration.
As far as Nigeria is concerned, Mrs. Stella Oduah was let off with a slap on the wrist, and in public glare. This is one of the numerous occasions that would be compiled and stored in the public’s manila envelop of accusations against the president: where he should have acted decisively, he leaned heavily on what someone described as his ‘body language encouraging corruption.’
5. DEFENSE: Half the time, they are contradicting themselves, half the other they are blaming everything but themselves for the ease with with the terrorists carry out their horrifying acts.
Under the watch of Nigeria’s khaki-wearers, Boko Haram has flourished like a palm by the rivers of water, causing hearts to quake, the ripple felt from the North-east to as far as the South.
Under this classification of ineptitude and gross mismanagement it would be unfair not to categorize the special advisers on defense and media. It’s been an absolute nightmare. There are Nigerians who are absolutely not going to vote for Jonathan on the singular premise of the defense ministry’s handling of terrorism.
And who can blame them, really?
– JUSTIN IRABOR