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Obviously nemesis is an antithesis to good luck. And for a man whose name is Goodluck, this direct opposite is something hypothetically irreconcilable. As the head of Nigerian affairs, I think President Goodluck Jonathan has lots of nemesis hanging around his presidential neck. When the election finally concluded and he became the elected president of the Nigerian nation, there was this sense of excitement that flamed up inside me. The rationale behind my excitement was far from ethnic or South-East zonal chauvinism. Yet the justification for my euphoria was something of a vague explanation. The reason being that I was not absolutely confident if the newly elected president actually has that unwavering boldness to influence the sort of 21century changes the Nigerian people has been waiting for.
The presidentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s election left me with lots of questions to muse upon. Does he has any vision beyond PDP party affiliation? Does he has enough experience to make Nigeria a viable power country in Africa? What will he do with the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s state of infrastructural disasters? What about the crises of unemployment and heinous crimes? Does he understand the complexities of the Nigerian ethnic sentiments and ever rising anxieties? Would he be able to bridge the divided ethnic nationalities into a stronger nation? What is his knowledge and understanding on development and the economics of our time? Does he has a pragmatic policy on how to introduce the Nigeria school to advance in science and technology like India and China in order to compete in this new global era? Has he any health plan for the millions of medically disenfranchised countrymen and women? Will he be a likable and attractive face for a new Nigeria around the globe? What plans does he has to restore foreign investment and boost local economic growth and create employment opportunities for million of Nigerians wasting away. How could he tackle corruption, crime, lack of energy and poor infrastructures? Would he be able to navigate the twists and turns of the negative phenomena of Ã¢â‚¬ËœNigerianismÃ¢â‚¬â„¢–partisan politics, the corruption of the statues quo, decadent in the most high places, the retrogressive effect of godfatherism, the thuggish political mentality, the mass-bribe-giving-and-taking that has killed the Nigerian national honesty, the foreign corporate non-ultraistic influence on government policies and programs, human right abuses, and so on and so forth?
Truth be told I never really understood what sort of socio-political and economic philosophy Mr. Jonathan has articulated for Nigeria. And this is where the line is drawn between the developed countries and the so called third world countries. Before someone is elected to high political positions, there is every reason to scrutinize, probe and understand his/her socio-political and economic opinions at least to a given theoretical level including religious beliefs and worldviews on humanity. Anything less than that would leave people quite confused.
The excitement I had for President JonathanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s election, therefore was based on the reason that al last certain level of electoral credibility (as imperfect as it was though) via the will of the majority was observed to have preponderated the concluded election. This trend was witnessed and reported by credible international media outlets. Thus setting Nigerians home and in the diaspora feeling good about their beloved country. Al last we too like Ghana could boast of conducting fair election.
But then I began to cogitate on the humongous challenges facing the president. The aftermath of his election almost sunk the nation in an immense state of chaos as factional element from the north who felt very unsatisfied about the outcome of the election began unleashing an unprovoked violent onslaught on the innocent Nigerian people. Barely did Nigerians know or understand that the post presidential election was going to introduced a gory era of bloody-bombers on the already fragile security concerns of the nation. Now suicide bombing has entered the stage. As a Nigerian, I am very concerned for us and our progenies. In this age of global internet connection, fanatical extremists could easily recruit similar minds on the web and share their hateful suicide tactics among themselves. There is however no credible evidence that it was JonathanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s election that led some unsatisfied agitators to succumb to this path of wiring themselves with bombs in search of crowds to destroy. What is evident is that suicide bombing is post JonathanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presidential victory in its phenomena. Thus this is one of the great nemesis that Mr. President has to perhaps spend his carrier fighting. If he fails, he would surely appear incompetent, weak and ineffective.
Violent eruptions are not new in Nigeria. It has always raised its ugly head in the forms of religious crises, ethnic mayhems and political crises which often leave thousands of people killed or displaced. There is no gainsaying the fact that President Jonathan inherited so many issues inherently existing in the core of Nigerian history. The Delta militants have already been a great security threat to his government. These guerilla militants are die-hard. They have proven that they cannot just be confined in the creeks and mucky lagoons. They could also plot bomb attacks in the State Capital and send shock waves on the political elites living in the safety of their cocoons in Abuja. Perhaps the first time the political elites were awoken to the fact that it is either they truly handle security as a matter of national agency or face the possibility of living in constant fear of death.
The activities of the Niger Delta militant, no doubt, inspired and set the stage for kidnapping for ransom, a horrifying phenomenon that spread like wildfire throughout the South-East and beyond. The terrorism unleashed by kidnapping for ransom poses a great embarrassment to the government of Jonathan Goodluck. As Nigerians wait for the federal government to safe them from kidnapers, it appears the Nigerian security agencies lack the appropriate apparatus and sophisticated intelligence to counter the growing menace. The result has become clear: public panic, national uncertainties, lack of investment interest from foreigner in Nigeria and social decline. The country has severally been equated with lawless Somalia or at least a potential lawless Somalia. For every informed Nigerian, this is terrifying. The question that secretly lingers in so many minds is: has the government lacked the power to protect its citizens from domestic onslaughts and terrorisms? And if the answer is positive, what would happen to Nigerians in case of any foreign aggression on her soil?
One would only wonder if Nigeria has apparently been divided by its characteristics of violence. On the South-East side, we see en-mass violent armed robbery, gorilla-like terrorism, kidnaps, gradual social and moral decline as a result of unmitigated greed especially as relating to pecuniary values and its arrogant acquisitions and display. If the federal government of Goodluck Jonathan does not control these lawless crimes in the South-East, we might be facing a situation similar to the lawlessness seen in places like Columbia by its most feared guerilla kidnapers and massive killing activities by hardened criminals and heartless drug barons.
On the other side of the country, the North, with its rising Islamic fanatics willing to volunteer for suicide mission has no doubt become a very deep seated problem that JonathanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s administration must seriously make a priority. Suicide bombers have entered Nigeria. This is very scary. The problem with this sort of attacks is this: it does not stop where it started. It would spread to other places. If Mr. President fails to take on this new trend, we are sure going to witness these die-hard fanatic jihadists taking their doom to other famous states like Lagos, Port H. Enugu etc. They would target places like crowded churches, markets squares, schools, public buses, hospital and every conservable public places that has crowd of people. Nigeria is not yet highly advanced with complex security systems and intelligence to deal with such phenomenon.
We are all aware that corruption has deprived so many northerners of sound education and access to right information which in turn produces high quality of human life and worth. Thus so many naÃƒÂ¯ve and economically disenfranchised elements who are religio-politically sheepish in the most fundamentalist approach will find a Ã¢â‚¬ËœcauseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in fiery imams in their genocide of the Ã¢â‚¬ËœinfidelsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ by volunteer suicide attacks. Today Boko Haram is an added rising nightmare to president Jonathan. How would he fight them?
Social crime and violence, according to Criminal Psychologists is very universal in its phenomenon. It is not confined to any one particular nation or race of people. I believe one of the ways Nigeria could solve some of these numerous crises of religious fanaticism, kidnapping and armed brigandry is to begin a serious economic and educational development that makes human especially the younger generations itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s priority. We have to create a proper environment that respects and values individual persons in their basic human rights and privileges, diversity and talent. Look at some of our school infrastructures, in an advanced societies animals are not even allowed to be raised in such crumbling infrastructures. In one way or the other we are products of our environment.
Jobs has to be created by encouraging personal enterprise, creativity and industriousness by providing access to opportunities. The government has to make sure that emphasis is not just placed on paper qualification but real practical experience. To a great extent, a gainfully informed and employed citizen would have little or no time to invest in violent destruction of life and properties. People have to be given access to health and quality life. Poverty and illiteracy is a brooding haven for the recruitment of violent extremists in all its facets.
Again laws has to be enacted to make hate preaching a federal crime. Or if such law are already in existence it has to be reviewed and enforced to the full extent of the law. Religious, political or tribal leaders who preach hate and destruction of human life and property have to be brought in the limelight of the law. Education has to be made accessible to Nigerians. There should be access to loans from the government to enable people go to schools, acquire skills and pursue entrepreneurial dreams. Nigerian is chaotic and this is not an easy task.
Again every single Nigerian would be required to register their phones for national security purposes. And some form of recognized state or national identity card has to be issued to every Nigerian by appropriate and uncorrupt agency. Cities, towns and villages have to be well planed with clear street names and house numbers. This will create standard for national development and will help a lot in the security of lives and properties. And the government has to do this by bringing in experts to review the federal and state laws regarding land us. I do now want to sound so utopia. But I know that true national development in Nigeria the spirit of the 21century is a matter of long-term planning.
At least we are glad that Mr. president has signed the freedom of information law. As Nigerians gets more confident and less afraid, people would be able to use the court of law to file/demand for information from their public representatives, priests and pastors, businessmen and women including corporate organization in order to explain shady civilities of corrupt nature. Kudos to Mr. Jonathan but this is just one step in a million. There are still so many nemesis hanging around his neck: insecurity, unemployment, poverty, energy, international perception of Nigeria as corrupt, human right abuse among so many others.