By Tunde Ali
If OBJ had a conscience, now would be the time for him to bury his face in shame. This is due to his role and schemes in navigating President Jonathan to the corridor of power. Jonathan, who appears to be the good luck that has eluded Nigeria for a long time, began to show his true color of economic naivety and administrative incompetence.
Providence brought him to power in a circumstance that yielded his former boss – Late Yar’Adua to supreme call. Against all odds, he was given the benefit of doubt and voted into the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the course, he promised to transform Nigeria and move it to its rightful place in history. He promised to alleviate the suffering of the masses, to improve electricity and other infrastructures that can open a new chapter for Nigeria’s economic development, and to promote institutions that will sustain viable social and political order as opposed to socio-political and economic enslavement.
Unfortunately, President Jonathan has willingly abandoned those promises which he made under oath. He has willfully betrayed the trust of all Nigerians as done by all his predecessors. By taking this path, President Jonathan has murdered sleep; and insomnia will not depart from him any time soon.
His first five months in the presidency is not only a show of shame, it represents a heartless misadventure of a trusted fool and an exposition of a leader with a deficit sense of history. His administration is a channel of hell.
John Locke, in his Theory of Social Contract, argued that “ trust” is imperative for starting and maintaining political society and government”, and the lack of it is instrumental to dissolving the latter. Trust, while it may be given, may also be revoked by the multitude, should government fall short of its duty. He concluded, whenever that end is manifestly neglected, or opposed, “The trust must necessarily be forfeited”. Because government is instituted for the purpose of the common good, and its authority derived from the people’s reliance upon it to meet that end, it can no longer be legitimate or necessary if it betrays the public trust “in not preserving the form of government agreed on, and in not intending the end of government itself.”
This breach of trust gives the people the right to resist their governors in defense of their natural right, the line dividing a standing government and a dissolved one is often drawn by the notion of trust that is derived from the society. Thus the concept of trust in Locke’s context signifies the most potent evidence that sovereignty resides in the people. The legislative, though it may be the supreme power whilst government subsists, is ultimately “only a fiduciary power”. By the exercise of trust, it is the society who decides whether or not the social contract between people and government remains valid.
As at now, it is evident that the administration of President Jonathan Good Luck has betrayed the trust vested in it by the people of Nigeria. The people therefore have the right to review its credibility and determine whether to withdraw their mandate or continue to tolerate his political and economic short sightedness. Nigerians have been severally and severely beaten by all the regimes – past and present that have ruled the nation; and we have come to the point where repudiation of government’s insensitivity and enslavement is no longer a matter of consideration but a civil obligation.
We have had enough of the people that are entrusted with good governance responsibilities turning their back on us and stabbing us. We are tired of the arbitrariness of the selected few; we are fed-up of the people whom we loved and respected mocking us to our face. We can no longer tolerate or accommodate the selfishness of the people that are entrusted with our rights to provide credible leadership, destroying the hope of the present generation and bleaking the future of the unborn generation. We will no longer maintain docility, or tolerate painful silence pretending that all is well when in fact the glory of the nation is being eroded and the status of its statehood is being attacked.
Nigerians are enjoined to take their destiny in their hand. This government can no longer be trusted. We need to confront its inadequacies consistently via systematic organization of virile, strategic and methodic mass protests, strikes and demonstrations to sabotage their inhuman agenda. After all, a government that thrives in stealing, looting, killing, and that is insensitive to the welfare of the governed, neither deserves the support nor cooperation of the latter. The people should fight it to extinction.
Let me be clear, this confrontation is a conscious, concerted struggle aimed at liberating ourselves and our nation from the shackles and debacles of the cabals and neo-colonial enslavement. Therefore, it must be planned well. There must be proper organization. It must not be dominated or misrepresented by hoodlums or political thugs. The theme of the struggle must be unambiguously defined and maintained. It must enjoy massive support from the people. There should be a parallel or shadow government made up of trusted and tested pro-masses comrades and empathetic individuals as opposed to opportunity seeking wolves in comrade’s skin/camp. It must be non-violent, and non-disruptive of public properties and infrastructures; because demonstration that focuses on killing or destroying public infrastructures is a contradiction of its goal. Consequently it is the masses who are further impoverished.
This government has fooled some people some of the time, but its schemes to fool all of us continually must be consciously repudiated. Nigerians have been deceived and kicked around long enough. We have been beaten and battered consistently. But from our collective travails, we have learned significant lessons, and we have come to the conclusion that, Nigeria should wrestle from the cronies of cabals and restore the universal principles of freedom, equality and social justice for all.
President Jonathan Good Luck heads an inconsistent administration that is wrapped in contradictions. He promised to fight corruption, but wined and dined with the sacred cows. He vowed to be prudent but all we see is defalcation. He took the oath of office to defend the nation and protect its citizens from internal and external aggression; but he accommodates and minimizes the perfidy of the Boko Haram and its like. He promise one thing in the day time and does differently at day break. This is an ethically unstable government that can no longer be trusted.
President Jonathan, acting in consonance to the council of his advisers, decided to remove the oil subsidy which has been calculated to be around N1.3 trillion under the 2012 budget. This implies that the price of gasoline will increase from the current N65/liter to about N145/liter. The simple implication of this is that prices of all commodities will increase. The common man will bear the burden and life will continue to be unbearable. The society will be further stratified along “the haves” and “the have nots”, which make it vulnerable to disintegration to the state of nature.
The government did not consider increasing the minimum wage of the working citizens. Records confirmed that among the oil producing countries of the world, Nigeria has the lowest per-capital income yet it has the most expensive oil cost per liter as indicated in this information: (source: Occupy Nigeria Organization).
Ironically, the government that says the economy will collapse if it subsidizes fuel at N1.3 trillion, proposed about 3 billion Naira to refurbish part of the Presidential Villa in its 2012 budget:
Isn’t it shameful on our so called president and his top officials, especially the Finance Minister who entered office bragging about putting an end to government wasteful spending? Isn’t it required that President Jonathan explain to the nation why annual petroleum subsidies increased from N800 billion (as done during the OBJ regime) to N1.3 Trillion? Isn’t it shameful that President Jonathan sees nothing wrong in the colossal salaries and benefits of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate whose annual income is a little less than the cost which the government threatened to withdraw from the petroleum subsidy? Isn’t it ridiculous that President Jonathan has increased the nation’s debt stock by about $20bn, ran down excess crude from $6bn to zero, and depleted Foreign Exchange reserves from $45bn to $ 30bn? Isn’t it ludicrous that under GEJ, the Dollar exchange rate moved from N140 to N160 today? Debt stock has doubled to higher than 2005 levels and interest rates to over 20%! Isn’t it a mockery of common sense, that while the pills of austerity are being forced through the throat of the masses, President Jonathan’s administration has spent nearly 10 trillion Naira on government officials, trips abroad, and on subsidies to politicians?
It is obviously ridiculous and shamefully ludicrous that Nigerians have been fooled by this administration; therefore, the people need to consider whether to withdraw its trust from President Jonathan and show him a way out of the Aso Rock. Nigerians deserve the service of a visionary leader and not a mischievous game plan of a gambler.
Tunde Ali is the President of Citizens for Good Government & Accountability – (CIGGAC).