Jonathan’s Administration is a Disaster In Nigeria’s History, Says Ex-New PDP National Publicity Secretary

The six years administration of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as Nigeria’s President has been described as the most disastrous in the country’s history.

This verdict was given by one-time National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (New PDP) and APC Chieftain, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, in a statement issued Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

“We should have been celebrating in recognition of Nigeria’s 54 years of nationhood but what we are rather seeing is a pervasive atmosphere of gloom as Nigerians are groaning day and night under the wicked rule they are being subjected to through the government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, which has abdicated its responsibility to the people, and in every way possible shows the wickedness of its reign,” Eze said.

According to him, “To say that Nigeria is currently at the cross roads – confused and not knowing what tomorrow portends, occasioned by the visionless and misguided leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the centre – is to say that appropriate words to describe the state of our nation under an uncaring and corrupt government can’t be found. Today, we have a government that cannot protect or guarantee our security as contained in the Constitution.

“To worsen the nation’s situation, President Jonathan has proven himself as incapable of running this country as his six years of administration have been most disastrous to the country’s history. Our hospitals have become more of consulting and mortuary centres; our federal roads are now death traps, after billions of naira had been budgeted and wasted and looted. We have an elected Government that hates democracy, but prefers ‘lootcracy’! Under this administration, the civil war years can be described as haven, as Nigerians are killed in droves today, without any solution at sight! Under this administration, Nigerians are so divided in both tribal and religious matters! Salaries of civil servants are not paid! Graduates are produced in millions yearly without any plan of employment for them. Instead of allowing these unfortunate graduates to live in peace, they are being defrauded by government agencies, while a good number has lost their lives in their search for non-existent jobs! We now have a government of deceit, which major achievement is making our nation a laughing stock before the international community. A government that has succeeded in making us a mockery before the international community and African leaders; which major achievements are traumatising and transforming the nation into darkness as well as digitalising corruption to such a level where a whopping sum of $10 million can be said to have developed wings, and unaccounted for. For leading Nigeria to its present comatose state, one cannot be far from the truth if one says that President Goodluck Jonathan is a colossal failure, in terms of his leadership style.”

Chief Eze berated President Jonathan for nursing the ambition to contest for re-election next year, describing it as dishonourable since Jonathan signed an agreement not to seek re-election and publicly reaffirmed that decision in newspaper interviews while begging Nigerians to give him a chance in 2011.  “After spending six years in office by 2015, he is still offering himself to contest the 2015 presidential election, which if he wins, will make him to rule the country for ten years; against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that stipulates that nobody should rule the country exceeding eight years,” Eze said.

He reminded President Jonathan of his recent statement while reacting to calls from some quarters for him to seek re-election: “In deciding on an appropriate response to such calls, I will place the greater interests of national harmony, cohesion, unity, security, political stability, progress, equity, justice and fairness above any personal ambition or sectional agenda.” Jonathan, according to Chief Eze, “must know that his contesting will not be in the greatest interest of national harmony. He must, therefore, perish the thought if he really loves Nigeria and wishes to promote the greatest interest of national harmony.”

The former New PDP Spokesman also lambasted “the shameless PDP leadership that nominated President Jonathan, who has demonstrated incompetence as a hobby, to fly the PDP flag during the 2015 general election.” He lamented that “not minding the massive failure in all sectors of our economy, the immorality and the political implication on our nation of President Jonathan contesting the 2015 general elections; the various echelons of PDP leadership has adopted him as the party’s sole-candidate for the 2015 presidential election.”

On the way out, Chief Eze said: “Nigerians have no option than to rally together and ensure that this evil calculation is not allowed to see the light of the day as any extra day after May 29, 2015 with PDP leadership at the centre will be hellish for all of us.

“Are Nigerians actually tired of these evil cabals that have hijacked governance in the country? If yes is the answer; how to correct these anomalies associated with the poor leadership of our country by PDP lay in their hands. The fate of our country can only be ratified and put back on track if Nigerians rise and get PDP sacked by 2015. If not, the woes ahead on all of us may not be described. We have done too much talking!

“The fact remains that should APC lose out in the 2015 general election, but God forbid, the true colour of President Goodluck Jonathan will be revealed to Nigerians. And the heat may be unbearable. The ball is now in the court of all Nigerians to do that which is necessary to rescue our dear from the imminent doom that awaits her, should we fail in this mission.”

The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has come down hard on the State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for disgracing the State in the Federal Capital, Abuja. Rivers APC made the condemnation while reacting to the unruly behaviour of Rivers State PDP leaders who engaged in a show of shame at the PDP National Headquarters on 9th October, 2014, brazenly exchanging blows during a reconciliation committee sitting for the party’s chapters in the Niger Delta region of the country.

 

“Nigerians can now see what we have been experiencing in Rivers State and those who thought that we were wrongly accusing Rivers PDP and its leader, Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike, of being agents of violence, can now see that we have been vindicated,” Rivers APC said in a statement issued in Port Harcourt and signed by the State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya.

 

“Other Nigerians may have been shocked by the disgraceful behaviour of the characters that call themselves PDP leaders but to us in Rivers State we are not by any means surprised because we are used to their violent ways. In fact, the second name of the Rivers PDP is trouble and they have exhibited this severally in Rivers State. Their stock-in-trade of causing mayhem and unprovoked attacks against anybody who is not a member of the drowning party is not strange to us at all,” Ibiamu said in the statement.

 

He recalled how PDP leaders in Rivers State organised ex-militants from neighbouring Bayelsa State to march round Port Harcourt some months ago in order to cause a breakdown of law and order and mobilised some unruly youths to molest six Northern Governors led by Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who came to visit and sympathise with their Rivers State counterpart, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi who was under siege during the period of exhibition of impunity by the National Leadership of PDP under the then leader, Alh Tukur who supervised the illegal suspension of Governor Amaechi for defeating Governor Jona Jang of Plateau State in the Governors Forum election with 19 votes to 16 votes contrary to the calculation and thinking of the Presidency who believe that 16 is higher than 19 votes and that five lawmakers at that time can impeach Governor Amaechi in a State House of Assembly of 32 members.

 

“We are fully aware of their impunity, violent acts and antecedents and that is why Rivers State people have massively rejected the party. Let us reiterate that no amount of thuggery and intimidation as associated with PDP will allow such uncivilised and evil party to have a place in Rivers State anymore. We therefore urge the relatively good people still in PDP to leave en masse and join APC that will surely form the next government come 2015 before it is late,” the statement concluded.

Just when we were coming to terms with the precipitous foray to the political scene of some entertainers like Gongo Aso crooner, Abolore Akande popularly known as 9ice, gospel singer, Kenny Saint Best and actor, Desmond Elliot, all of whom have in recent time declared their political ambition and aligned themselves with political parties, Tony Tetuila (reals names, Anthony Olarenwaju) has quickly joined the burgeoning list of Nigerian artistes vying for elective positions in next year’s general election. Even if the joke sounds too expensive and only himself believes it, popular stand-up comedian, Julius Agwu, thinks he can become the next governor of Rivers state. The list of intending artiste-politicians keeps growing as the bandwagon syndrome catches up with more of them. Before the end of the year, more artistes will throw their hat in the ring.

Before now, some entertainers have already delved into the murky waters of Nigeria’s politics. Tony Muonagor (aka Tony One Week), in 2011, rode on the back of his popularity to win a seat at Anambra state House of Assembly, making history as the first Nigerian entertainer to win an elective position. Should 9ice fulfill his claim, he will follow in the footsteps of Rotimi Makinde, who was elected into the House of Representatives in 2011 to represent Ife Federal Constituency. And like every other Nigerian politician, Makinde is interested in seeking re-election. Bob-Manuel Udokwu, Senior Special Adviser on movies/entertainment industry to former governor of Anambra, Peter Obi, retained the post after Governor Willie Obiano came into office. Udokwu seem not to be content with a political appointment, he is now gunning for the Anambra state House of Assembly to represent Idemili north constituency. Sir Victor Uwaifo, famed highlife musician, was Commissioner of Tourism and Culture twice in Edo state. Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, appointed Nkiru Sylvanus as Special Assistant on Lagos Affairs. Kanayo O. Kanayo was recently announced as the Chairman of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Studies, a new body that oversees the Nigerian Toursim industry. Several Nollywood actresses like Onyeka Onwenu, Hilda Dokubo, Actors like; Dickson Iroegbu, Sam Dede and Richard Mofe Damijo, have all bagged various political appointments between 2011 and now.

This latest fad among entertainers has sharply divided Nigerians especially on social media with many claiming they have joined politics for pecuniary reasons. These artistes have argued that elsewhere entertainers have made a success of their political foray citing notable instances like Arnold Schwarzenegger, two term Governor of California and Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States, as examples of actors who ventured into politics. However, they failed to add that both men joined politics at the pick of their careers in a democracy where the President of the world’s most powerful country earns less than a Senator of the federal republic of Nigeria! The debate for a drastic reduction in salaries and allowances of Nigerian politicians to serve as a disincentive to pretenders masquerading as aspiring political leaders, has once again, gained traction.

Unlike the American actors highlighted above, most Nigerians think these entertainers could be drifting to politics in a bid to arrest their nose-diving careers, a last ditch attempt to bounce back to relevance. Or could it be that the wealth acquired from the entertainment industry is less fulfilling than what political offices have to offer? Is their ambition borne out of a genuine intention to serve the people or an attraction to the stupendous wealth and power political office holders wield? Unlike the Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti whose songs and lifestyle resonated the streets, this new crop of entertainers seldom compose music with such lyrical content or act movies that speaks truth to power and trumpet the change they seek to effect through the ballot. How many of them have been arrested for demanding accountability and transparency from the present government through their roles in the entertainment industry? What gives them the impression that they can effect change in ways ‘regular’ politicians can’t? In what way have they given back to the society that made them stars? What makes us think they will act differently as politicians? How have they demonstrated that they can bring the much needed changed by redefining leadership when a good number of them have not previously garnered or exhibited any sterling leadership qualities at any level, not even from the entertainment industry they’re hibernating from. These are people whose businesses and daily lives are even managed by Managers! A few could not even manage their marital lives; they’re still single after going through divorce(s). How can the welfare and lives of millions of Nigerians be entrusted to persons with credibility issues of scandals ranging from relationship to behavioural? Nigeria is in dire straits and in need of astute, shrewd and intellectual leadership. Technocrats, not entertainers thought of by many, as people not to be taken seriously, especially in matters political. Moreover, what is their political ideology? Can it move the country forward? I doubt if their ‘brand of politics’ is sellable because there are a lot of question marks over their competence. Without necessarily venturing into politics, they can make more impact and inspire change from within the entertainment industry they already find themselves, with the their music, like late Fela, and right from the movie scripts to the roles they act.

Political fans and entertainment fans are different. Their popularity in music arena should not be misinterpreted as acceptance by the general public. Showbiz and politics are two worlds apart. The hope of riding on the crest of that popularity to occupy elective political office might be fantasy, after all. They should not attempt to exaggerate their fame.

The present crop of politicians have failed us but entertainers, without a clear ideology of what political leadership entails, moving in droves in their direction is the last thing we want. Their political participation is not about themselves but about the rest of us because it determines the welfare of many Nigerians.

At a time we’re trying to arrest the tragedy of leadership failure and breaking the vicious circle of leadership bankruptcy, we cannot allow the system to throw up more of such ‘leaders’ who obviously lack a clear vision of what political leadership is all about. We’ve had enough drama in the political scene already; the least we want is for Nollywood to add to it. The country needs true leaders who have prepared themselves adequately to take up leadership positions.

Cynics doubt if these artistes can clinch their party’s ticket. Can they survive the intrigues and stormy internal politics of power and raw cash? Will these political parties shove aside loyal party members and chieftains for ebbing celebrities? Are they seemingly hoping to be game changers by ‘settlement’ with political appointments?

It is too early to say categorically, how far they can go, as it remains to be seen if they will get their party’s nod considering the ever-slippery and tricky game of Nigerian politics where political juggernauts and gladiators are sometimes beaten to their game.

 

You can follow the writer on twitter, @tilevbare, for more direct engagement.