Monday, 30 September 2013

What Jonathan needs to win in 2015

President Jonathan is contesting come 2015. That does not seem to be news anymore, it is so obvious no body needs a college degree to figure that out.That is the perceived factor causing the imbroglio within the PDP.  Actually, it is not that the average Nigerian is  against this in itself  only that how His Excellency is going about it is what is drawing resentment and that is what his opponents are capitalising on.

If you ask me, i'll opine that Mr President does not need this mud he's dragging himself into. Unlike, most of his adversary I believe he won the last election however, what I may not vouch for was that voters weren't induced. Like a friend pointed out, the rumour that his campaign spent up to a 100 million every day on the build up to the election proper was justified with the 1.3 trillion subsidy fraud declaration. As we all knew most of the campaign financier were either oil moguls or their proteges. Caveat, all these are assumptions.

Mr Jonathan's campaign will go down in history as one of the most sophisticated electioneering campaign in Nigeria. But then, with so much money and power play there is just little you cannot  do. That is where my headache starts, did the President sack all the think -tank that delivered the 2011 mandate  hurriedly ? Because, the President's popularity seems to be drowning with every event unfolding. However, that may not be the cause.

Mega campaign, meagre results
Well, this is what I can say, President Jonathan promised alot during his campaign, so much that made his achievements meagre and very unnoticeable, so much that the people are not actually feeling the positivity in his government. Four out of every Five graduates are still without jobs; the roads are still not motorable, food is still very expensive and the value of the Nigerian Naira is still dwarfing to foreign currencies, among others. Before GEJ's fans accuse me of being cynical about his government may I mention that I see the renovations in our Airports, I've had to ,during an air travel, obtain my boarding pass under a canopy to make that achievement stick in my head.  I've not been to the Enugu International airport but my friend who flew to Enugu last week had great experience of the place. And this gladdens my heart.

And our own Minister for Agriculture seems to be putting in place projects that will undoubtedly favour the country long term green revolution. The Cassava branding, the bank lending promotions, among others are well thought out, as well.

2015 Navigation Deciders

I'll keep emphasizing the fact that Mr President will determine who becomes President in 2015. A subtle way of saying the race is his to lose. Going by Nigeria's distribution, Mr President is next to God in the power he has to himself and only him(the holder of the office) can either desecrate the position or exploit it exhaustively.

Quality not Ethnic- based Campaign
That is why I laughed when Governor Akpabio and Elder Edwin Clark based their logic for the Goodluck 2nd term on thoughts like "We respected President Y'ardua and so President Jonathan deserves same" and " OBJ did two terms therefore this Ijaw man too must go for his second term" , respectively.

With due respect, let me mention that according to the dictates of politics every man must work out his own 'salvation' and it must be centred on the political necessity of the moment. Times are changing and so are the people, too. You don't appeal to former gestures or good deeds of the past; rather, you should think of the better way of appealing to people's interest. This new Nigeria is moving away from having rights to some benefits or privileges because you are from a particular region. Nigeria is wearing a "central culture" identity and more than your tribal affiliations, the Class you belong to is becoming the bane of bond and identity. That informs why a boy of Igbo origin will bond very well with the Yoruba boy that was his roomie in college at Harvard than his kinsman that lives at their village in Nnewi.

So the first people Mr President need to curb are his foot soldiers making offensive tribal statements. The President needs to distance himself from playing the ethnic card, it won't work!Not this time. All Barack Obama's campaign was never based on the "Black race agitation". He appealed, instead, to the young minds with a message of hope, of change and of a better America.

True and Cohesive Transformation
Although GEJ's campaign in 2011 also navigated around this paradigm , the fear of Mr President, it seems, is that he has not delivered up to the expectation of the people.  But for me, that shouldn't deter him from still running an inspiring campaign come 2015. Mr President only needs to focus more on sectors like Agriculture, Power and Petroleum resources(esp Gas)
Jobs !Jobs!! Jobs!!!
Job creation and Power will be a deciding factor in how much acceptance Mr President gets ahead of 2015 general elections. The Chancelor of Germany proved this assertion right with her re-election for a Third Term as the Country's Leader. Germany,it is widely attested, have created more jobs as its economy continues to grow more nourished.

Put Family in Order
Mr President needs to broker peace with his party members. Already, rusty leadership has caused the division within the PDP. And if that crisis is not well managed it may lead to something disastrous for his presidential ambition. GEJ's enemy within started with the 2011 elections where he downplayed the activities of the Party. His campaign wasn't fully orchestrated by the Party machinery and it seemed to work though, because most of the electorate I spoke with made statements like "I voted for Goodluck Jonathan not PDP" to justify their decision.

Rapport the West
Even after the election, Mr President's relationship with former President Obasanjo turned sour. It took time and pressure to appoint cronies into federal parastatal Boards. Also, GEJ's indifference to the South West has not helped the party's growth in the region.Since he became President, the Yorubas were left out of the first ten positions in power. Also, the sack of former Governor Oyinlola as National Secretary of the party and the  reality of a divided House of PDP in South West is no small issue. It could turn around to haunt him and his dreams.

My advise; Dr Jonathan must try as much as possible to put his house in order if he truly wants to taste the fruit again in 2015. Eagle Square is waiting.

*Showunmi Rex; LAGOS trained Socio-political Philosopher. (@remirex on Twitter)