Archive for November 2012


“Nigeria [is] a blessed country being destroyed by bad people in government. We have to unite to save Nigeria in 2015.” –Bello Mohammed

On November 20, President Goodluck Jonathan turned 55! For an individual who has spent the previous twelve years of his life in the top echelons of Nigerian political power and the last two as president, with very little or no effort on his part, if he, at 55, looked back at his personal life and the political successes therein, he would have been filled with awe especially regarding how he now occupies one of the most powerful offices in Africa without ever dreaming of it before.

Nonetheless, the supposed festive and recreational atmosphere at Jonathan’s 55th birthday was sadly mired by the gloom of his brother’s passing, on the same day. In a news report, The Premium Times’ Nnenna Ibeh put it succinctly: “It is mixed feelings at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as President Goodluck Jonathan’s half brother, Meni Jonathan, died same day the President turned 55.”

Nigeria, as a nation, has been there before. In 2010, on her 50th Independence Anniversary, deadly bomb blasts rocked the Eagle Square, Abuja, the scene of the federal government’s celebrations, resulting in the deaths of some of her children.

After that very painful 2010 experience, Nigeria would definitely hope for a much happier celebration, in the short-term, by mid-decade in 2015! Like Jonathan in 2012, Nigeria turns 55 in 2015! And, 2015 is not just the deadline for the actualisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); it is also Nigeria’s next general election year!

On Jonathan’s 55th Birthday, I tweeted this: “Happy Birthday, GEJ! May Nigeria be much better at 55 (in 2015) than it is now, as you turn 55!” By this tweet, I meant that the onus is on Jonathan to muster the courage and the will to do the right things that will make Nigeria a better country in 2015! Like him or loathe him, to be Nigeria’s president for two years at age 55 is a commendable achievement. My expectation, therefore, is that Jonathan will be committed to using the remainder of his term to contribute significantly to what Nigeria can proudly call her own commendable achievements by the time she turns 55 in 2015!

However, even in my hope that, by 2015, Jonathan could have improved on his very unconvincing record thus far, I am reminded about the truism that no person can give what he or she doesn’t have. Only his apologists will contend with the fact that Jonathan just doesn’t have the leadership capabilities needed to take Nigeria forward. It was this realisation that informed my next Jonathan-at-55 tweet: “GEJ, Alameiyeseigha et al gave way for you to have a story to tell at 55! May you give way soon so Nigeria can have a story to tell at 55!”

With the above tweet, I implied what I’ve always advocated for – namely that, for the reasons of his acute lack of leadership capacity, Nigeria can’t afford another presidential term for Goodluck Jonathan! I hope and am convicted that a new, very sensitive and courageous Nigerian president would be sworn in on May 29, 2015 and by the time Nigeria turns 55 on October 1, 2015, such a president should have given the first signals of a radical departure from Jonathan’s very poor performance by putting in place a truly competent and frugal cabinet, void of the too numerous aides and special advisers and assistants comprising the profligate characteristics of the Jonathan era, for example.

Indeed, Nigerians must unite to save Nigeria in 2015! Any effort to save Nigeria in 2015 must have at its core the electing of a replacement for Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Villa. Nigeria at 55 will deserve nothing less!

Raymond is on Twitter @Raymond_Eyo


Posted November 30, 2012 by Raymond Eyo in Aso Villa

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