Saturday Xtra: Pro-Jonathan Groups And Their Political JamboreesFeatured Contributors/Columnists Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
By Oyewale Oyelola
The 2015 general elections is just six months away. Expectedly, the political parties and gladiators contesting different elective positions are on the march again. Similarly, the build up that will give birth to frenzy and engaging political activities has started unfolding.
Many of the political office holders including President Goodluck Jonathan have embarked on a tasking and inclusive moves to actualize their aspired political ambition, albeit, still keep to themselves, yet the body language, utterances, desperation by some of the aspirants have clearly confirmed their yet to be unveiled political agenda.
This is the time governance appears to be on the rise as politicians put in place signposts for electioneering campaign. But in actual sense, productivity level now is always low, as attention is given more to gimmicks and politicking than governance.
Up till now, President Jonathan has not declared his intention to run, yet, not only few Nigerians are fully aware of his political calculation and direction, most especially that he has not denied non of the political moves geared towards gaining public support, despite the fact that the country’s electoral law is against any form of political campaign for now.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the presidential/National Assembly election for Saturday, February 14, 2015. Therefore, all political parties are expected to submit names of their candidates to it before end of November.
For now, different groups among them, Transformation Ambassador of Nigeria (TAN) are already in the mass and social media, promoting achievements of Jonathan-led Federal government. In fact, its latest series of rallies held today (Saturday) in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital. It had previously organized the same at the various and selected parts of the country, including Abuja and one of the Eastern states.
The existing and emerging political organs of Mr. President bring to memory similar bodies such as ‘Neighbour 2 Neighbour which bankrolled billion naira worth adverts on different mass media for Jonathan about four years ago. No doubt, there was no other expensive campaign like Jonathan’s, prelude to 2011 Presidential election.
It would be recalled Neighbour 2 Neighbour was headed by the ousted and controversial former Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah. The adverts by the body were very regulars on the front pages of all National dailies, with certain in-house editorial standard being compromised – traditional news pages were buried for adverts.
Many Nigerians doubted the financial strength of the advert sponsors, a situation that fueled rumour that public funds were being diverted to drive personal political goal. Although, it is posited that Oduah’s claimed personal huge expenses during last general election on Jonathan’s campaign earned her the ‘juicy’ Ministerial appointment.
Now, the groups are back with their instigated and expensive sponsors. The last count indicated that over 200 groups are already persuading President Jonathan to run, while some threaten Nigeria will not hold should he (Jonathan) decline their demand.
Besides the aforementioned, Community Awareness and Development Network (CADN), Protector of Nigeria Prosperity and others were used as advertising sponsoring platforms on different print and electronics media.
One particular sponsored documentary highlighted how the Bayelsa born President gave women 10 ministerial slots in his cabinet. The gimmick was really gender catching as the womenfolk easily fell to the trap of the calculated self attraction.
As mentioned earlier, INEC is yet to lift the ban on political activities, despite the ongoing campaign jamborees by President Jonathan. It must therefore be established that the contradictory signals from the Presidency puts to pay the desperation and unbriddled desired of the incumbent occupant that office to get the nod of his party, the stalwarts as well as attempt to brainwash and cajole the public to give their support when file out for the party primary and general election respectively to elect another number one citizen.
Finally, the point here is not to undermine a party or candidate, but that anyone irrespective of the present political office he or she occupies should follow the constitution and must be consistently accountable with the tasks and responsibilities entrusted. The country has had enough of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Enough of the Abracada Abra, Nigerians are wiser now! Politics in Nigeria today is beyond money and tricks alone. The recent Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial poll are an eye opener in this regard.
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