President Jonathan and the APC LeadersArticles/Opinion Monday, September 2nd, 2013
By Godwin Akpovie,
Who is a leader? What is the definition of a leader? According to The New Webster’s Dictionary, a leader is “someone who acts as a guide….a conductor of a group”. A good leader is therefore someone who guides his people well, who is interested in the well-being of his people, who is focused, who is showing his people the way to self-reliance and prosperity through his actions and programmes. That is the kind of leadership, Goodluck Jonathan has displayed as the President of the country in the last two years. The APC and its leaders, says our discourse should now be issue-based. This is a challenge the President and PDP clearly accept.
In just two years, the President has established more than 10 federal universities creating employment and advancing educational development; the railway system, comatose for 35 years is now functional; over 20 airports have been remodeled and commissioned; the long queues prevalent at filling stations even during festive periods have long since disappeared; silent revolution is taking place in the agricultural sector with the fertilizer racketeering a thing of the past; genuine roadmap is being implemented in the power sector leading to increase in generation, distribution and transmission of electricity to majority of Nigerians. So much more had taken place in the last two years that any objective person will certainly give credit to the Transformation Agenda of President Jonathan’s administration.
Now, APC and its leaders say President Jonathan has not done anything and come 2015, they will take Nigeria to el-dorado. There is a proverb that says ‘morning shows how the night will be’. All the APC leaders have had the chance to govern us, either by force or through electoral process. So what did they do then that should inspire confidence in Nigerians that they are the messiahs we have been waiting for.
General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) sacked a legitimate and duly elected Government and ruled this country for almost two years without the checks and balances of a National Assembly; no presentation or defense of budget to anybody; no restraints to do whatever he wanted by any court injunctions and yet what did he do in that period? Buhari should tell us through his lieutenants like Tunde Bakare or Nasir El-Rufai, how many Universities he built, how many airports he remodeled, how many kilometers of dualized roads he constructed, how many Almajiri schools he built, how many Almajiri children he took off the street. It is a fact that President Jonathan has taken over 2million Almajiri children off the street in the last two years. As a military man rising up to become Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, what legacy did Buhari bequeath to the military? Today President Jonathan has returned their pride to them making our Armed Forces once again the toast of UN and AU peace keeping missions as well as well fortified internal hardware and adequate welfare. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu claims to be a progressive. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the original reference point of the progressives and we all know that one of his enduring legacies is free education. As a so-called progressive, Tinubu should direct Lai Mohammed to inform Nigerians how many free textbooks and notebooks he distributed during his 8 years as Governor of Lagos State. Even to repair the Bourdillon road that passes in front of his house in Lagos was a challenge to Tinubu for 8 years. It was Governor Fashola that corrected the eyesore. Yet President Jonathan who had dualized inter-city roads like Abuja-Lokoja road; repaired the 3rd Mainland bridge; flagged off the 2nd Niger bridge, has not done anything.
I will like to pose the same questions to Chief Bisi Akande, the grand old man, with monopoly of knowledge and wisdom, chief promoter of inter-party democracy, who, since 2003, has been chairman of AD, ACN and now APC, was also the Governor of Osun State between 1999 and 2003. They should tell Nigerians how many Universities and airports they built in their respective States during their tenures. It is no excuse that a governor cannot build University and airport because these are being done now by the Governors of Akwa Ibom and Delta among others.
Alhaji Shehu Shagari was in power for 4 years and in that period was able to establish the popular Shehu Shagari estates across the country. In two years, through Federal Mortgage Bank and the primary mortgage institutions, President Jonathan has built housing estates across the country that double those built by any previous administration.
They want to discuss issues, by God let’s discuss issues. The President challenged them to score him using their marking scheme; that’s three months ago. They have refused to do so, instead, they continue to rain insult and disrespect the office and person of Mr. President. Fortunately, Nigerians are getting wiser and the days of cheap blackmail and propaganda are over.
Akpovie is the Special Assistant, Political, in the office of the Political Adviser to the President.
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