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Yomi Kazeem: Mr President, one good term deserves another

Aso Rock

Yomi Kazeem: Mr President, one good term deserves another

by Yomi Kazeem

In 2011, I listened to an Abuja pastor as he asked his congregation to point towards Aso Rock and pray that nothing stops Goodluck Jonathan who had been ‘anointed by God’ from assuming office. Such was the euphoria that was whipped up.

Nigeria is a rather funny nation. More than our inexhaustible array of comedians, we have our politicians who are hell-bent on winning an imaginary contest to make us the laughing stock of the world. When they said ‘Impossible is nothing,’ they were talking about Nigerian politics. Here, the unusual, the improbable and the unbelievable replace the rational, the logical and the normal.

When those Goodluck Jonathan second-term posters flooded Abuja in the early days of this year, a wheel was set in motion. The race for 2015 had begun albeit a little too early.

To avoid ambiguity and for posterity’s sake, it is fair to state that the Presidency has disassociated itself from the posters. But then again, they certainly didn’t fall over themselves trying to yank the posters off the walls of Abuja, did they?

The party of the President has reacted even slower to the prospects of a 2nd term for President Goodluck Jonathan and one would be forgiven to think that their stance may suggest that there is some truth in the posters after all.

In our political system, elected leaders are constitutionally permitted to serve two 4 year terms but in our special handbook of partisan politics, a first term victory almost automatically guarantees a second term win – first term performance regardless. Hence, the chances of a Goodluck Jonathan 2nd term campaign under the PDP is, if not a certainty, a very likely possibility.

Counting eggs before they hatch…

The way I understand it, the electorate decide the rulers based on simple logical rules. Vision, political knowhow, experience and performances where applicable guide informed decisions of the electorate and it should stay that way. The President is 2 full years away from being eligible or up for re-election provided he wins the PDP Presidential primaries and even though his party ticket is all but secured, surely the brains behind the posters realize that kick-starting or setting the foundation of a campaign is, asides leaving a bad taste in the mouth, annoyingly premature.

A majority of politically literate and even ordinary Nigerians consider the current administration hugely underwhelming and are yet to fully warm up to Mr President. Yet some genius, probably donning a fedora, thinks it is a smart move to preach the gospel of a 2nd term- that’s like trying to sell rotten apple.  What did I tell you about Nigerian politics and comedy?

Seeing is believing…

The works of a man speak for him don’t they? Come 2015, Mr President’s works will speak for him, if they are not doing so already. In 2011, while riding on widespread (and misplaced) euphoria, Mr President got a bit carried away and promised a little too much. 2 years later, he has delivered too little and if those indices truly mattered in elections- they don’t here- at this time, Mr President’s chances of a 2nd term will be as slim as the chances of Diezani getting thrown into jail.

Under Mr President, insecurity has ballooned out of control and have seemingly undermined the Presidency and government with repeatedly brazen attacks, corruption has continued largely unimpeded and unemployment ratios and number are more worrying than ever.

There are still 2 more years on the cards for Mr President and to be fair, while there have been more negatives than positives, such positives need to be highlighted. The remarkable improvement in the energy sector, as has been witnessed by millions of Nigerians, deserves commendation.

The God Propanganda…

In 2011, I listened to an Abuja pastor as he asked his congregation to point towards Aso Rock and pray that nothing stops Goodluck Jonathan who had been ‘anointed by God’ from assuming office. Such was the euphoria that was whipped up.

Exploiting and promoting Mr President’s rapid rise in politics as a divine sign of greatness, Nigerians swallowed the ‘Jonathan is our Moses’ propaganda hook, line and sinker. Religious gatherings saw clergyman unabashedly campaign for Mr President as well as cajole, plead with and, in many cases, order their congregation to vote for Mr Jonathan.

One of the major factors that allowed such baseless sentiments hold ground was that even before an official announcement of his candidacy, his ‘people’ had strategically positioned him as God’s answer to our prayers. Like in 2013, posters were the preferred tactic and the instigators of the Abuja posters may be playing this according to the script but sadly for them, times have changed. Nigerians are as far away from Canaan as they were in 2011, if not further and the general sentiment is that Nigeria needs saving from he who was meant to save it.

Gladly, Nigerians are wiser and all the pointless and baseless sentiments and euphoria will require a lot more effort to generate, thankfully so. God will and should be left out of this, He anoints Kings of Israel not rogue leaders.

2015 promises to be a defining year for Nigeria just like 2011 and 2007 promised but the difference this time is that political awareness is at an all-time high. People are watching, people are reading, people are listening and people are talking. Hence we say to the instigators of the 2nd term posters; desist. If the President does his job, he won’t need silly posters after all one good term deserves another.

Yomi's favourite words are 'Up Nepa'- blame PHCN. He is afraid of heights but once climbed to the summit of a mountain 12, 000 feet above sea level. Away from writing, he's a soccer pundit on radio. He's also an entrepreneur with empire building dreams. The results in that regard have been mixed so far. He blames Arsenal FC for everything wrong with the world and hopes their trophy drought lasts forever.

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