The making of Goodluck Jonathan the Acting President is a true evidence of how Nigerians can exercise their powers. Power belongs to the people. This tempo (massive pressure on the Executive Council of The Federation and National Assembly) should be sustained and if possible, should be exceeded. Let me use this medium to appeal to all Nigerians, particularly the Save Nigeria Group, the elder statesmen, former Nigerian leaders, all protesters in London, New York, Lagos, Abuja, all pro Nigerian groups in Diaspora, etc to join hands together to increase pressure on our leaders to fix Nigeria. Now the actual struggle to fix Nigeria has just started. I did recommend a platform (Shadow Government) to coordinate massive opposition towards checking excesses of the government in power. We could also start shadow sovereign national conference to discuss Nigeria’s fundamental issues.
For our Acting President (Goodluck Jonathan), this is an opportunity for you to write your name in gold. The choice is yours now to either be on the good side of history or be among the garbage heap of forgotten leaders. I have the following agenda for you. First, you must decamp from your party PDP (Peoples Destruction Party). Nigerians have seen the best PDP government can offer. Your party (PDP) helped to derail Obasanjo (former President) in as much as he (Obasanjo) helped derail PDP. To a larger extent, your boss (Yar’Adua) has been derailed by PDP. The Holy Bible in Matthew chapter 7 verses 17-18 said, “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit”. PDP is a bad tree that cannot bear good fruit.
This advice is incase your boss never make it back. Assuming your boss (Yar’Adua) never make it back and you still remain in PDP, you will loose focus, because your party will not spare you. They will eventually misguide and misdirect you. But it all depends if you actually want to move Nigeria forward or backward. Remember you will not be the first top government official to decamp from Peoples Destruction Party (PDP). Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (while still in power) decamped from PDP to Action Congress (AC) when the frustration was too much from PDP.
Remember election is next year (2011) and soon campaign will start for various elective positions in the country including your present office. Your party (PDP) has already zoned the presidency to the North and that means you will not get a ticket/nomination under your party. The best alternative will be for you to move to a better focused and ideological party. Except you’re not interested in contesting election next year. I advise various political parties in Nigeria to make passes to you concerning what I have said above. I will not be surprised if your party (PDP) gives President Yar’Adua automatic ticket to contest election next year (that is if he comes back and still wishes to be president).
Your next agenda should be to dissolve the cabinet without further delays. This is non negotiable because most of your present ministers have outlived there usefulness. They are now liabilities to your government and the people of Nigeria. Some of them deserve to be redeployed to other ministries; an example is your present information minister (Dora Akunyili) should be sent back to NAFDAC or made health minister. Aondoakaa has no business being your Special Duties Minister. He (Aondoakaa) caused a lot of embarrassment to our nation. He will do same in the Special Duties Ministry; therefore he should be relieved of that position.
Rilwanu Lukman should also go because he openly disobeyed you last December when you asked the petroleum minister(s) not to travel for Christmas holiday because of the fuel scarcity. Rilwanu Lukman disobeyed your order and traveled out of the country. This is the time for government officials to take responsibilities, blames, punishments or praises for their actions and inactions. Education, Commerce, Foreign, Power Ministers etc deserves to go. They are no longer fit for purpose.
You (Goodluck Jonathan) promised to strengthen the capacity of anti corruption agencies and give them free hand to prosecute the anti corruption war. The first thing you need to do on this direction should be to pressure the National Assembly to pass the freedom of information bill. You cannot do this lobbying or pressure the National Assembly alone. On this note I will repeat my appeal to all Nigerians to exert more pressure on the National Assembly to pass this bill. We can repeat the same protest marches on the streets of Nigeria and overseas till this is done. No meaningful war can be waged against corruption without passing this bill into law. The freedom of information bill, if passed into law could help to prevent official corruption. Prevention is better that cure.
The Acting President should also make a statement about the corruption case that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had against his wife. Charity begins at home. The Holy Bible said in Luke chapter 6 verses 42 that, “How can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. (This quote was taken from New International Version of the Holy Bible).
Dearest Acting President, except you want to move Nigeria backwards, otherwise the only choice you have is complete electoral reforms before 2011 general election. My stand on this has been and will also remain the re-introduction of Option A4 System. I want to be proven wrong, Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Recommendations (if passed into law) will not be as good as Option A4 System. However, our law makers are not even keen on passing the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform bill. I will advice the Acting President to mobilize Nigerians towards pressurizing the National Assembly to pass this bill and other relevant laws.
The Acting President should try and brief the nation on the state of health of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Nigerians still deserve to know what is happening to him. I also hope the issue of post Niger Delta amnesty deal will be addressed adequately. My opinion for permanent solution of Niger Delta crisis will be to give them 50% share of oil proceeds, but their leaders must give account of every kobo spent. Mr. Acting President, we are watching how far you will go.
Please remember to plant a tree or sponsor one to plant on your behalf. Turn off your electrical appliances/lights when not in use. Government and companies should send less paper work and do more email, telephone, and sms. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta.
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK