Reno Omokri: Nigeria in 2014, Fact Versus Fiction
By Reno Omokri
I was about to write this piece detailing the positive effects of the Transformation Agenda when I was confronted with a hypocrisy which could possibly pass for the mother of all hypocrisies.
On the 18th of December 2013 several newspapers carried the statement from the All Progressive Congress, APC. While the different papers gave their own slant to the story, I particularly liked the headline from a major newspaper which said “Jonathan Must Respond to Obasanjo – APC”.
Now, imagine my surprise when after President Goodluck Jonathan did exactly what the APC recommended, they changed their tune and on the 26th of December 2013 the headline changed to “APC berates Jonathan’s response to Obasanjo’s letter”. The story in fact was more telling with the Vanguard Newspapers writing that “The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the presidency has been greatly diminished by its decision to throw decorum to the wind and engage former President Olusegun Obasanjo”.
With the above, it should now be obvious to objective citizens that the APC stands for nothing and is only against anything President Goodluck Jonathan does.
For instance, Senator Bola Tinubu had been one of the most vociferous champions for the convocation of a National Conference. He had championed this cause for years and many had come to see the idea as his pet project.
At the first Anthony Enahoro Memorial Lecture in Benin City, Edo State which held on the 24th of November 2011, Bola Tinubu had said “I submit to you today that because of the multiple issues surrounding our skewed federalism and constitutional flaws, the Nigerian nation is weak…The 21-member Presidential Committee on the Review of Outstanding Constitutional Issues (PCROCI) recently set up by President Goodluck Jonathan falls short. It is a backdoor approach to the issue of national conference. In memory of Chief Enahoro we must convoke a national conference.”
And when on October 1st 2013, President Jonathan listened to the cries of Nigerians and decided to convoke the very National Conference that Bola Tinubu advocated, the Asiwaju made a characteristic 360 degree turn and went on attack mode saying on October 6th 2013 “The national conference is by whom, for whom, and at what stage? How many levels of deception? I see a contradiction. I see diversion. I see deception, lack of honesty and integrity.”
Obviously, Senator Tinubu is willing to cut his nose to spite his face. And if you think this is a case of multiple personality syndrome, you may have a point.
On the 25th of March 2013 after a birthday party that was reported in the media to have cost 1 billion Naira, Bola Tinubu gave an interview to The Sun Newspaper and said “There are so many news items that are seriously more newsworthy than to be looking for Obasanjo’s congratulatory messages in the newspaper. A man who had great opportunity to put Nigeria on the right path and failed to do so; failed to do even the Otta road, not Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. What am I celebrating about him? That’s the truth. He deceptively dealt with the country and he handed over to a man who knew he was ill. Obasanjo is a leader that could not find another successor capable of driving through his vision for the country”.
Imagine my surprise when nine months later on December the 22nd of 2013 the same Bola Tinubu was at former President Obasanjo’s residence at Ota and told the same man whom he had hitherto said “had great opportunity to put Nigeria on the right path and failed to do so” that “We’re resolved and determined to rescue Nigeria. We want you as navigator”.
How can these two statements be reconciled?
It is glaring to objective minds that the APC is a party without ideology, and a vision for Nigeria cobbled together by people without scruples who would be willing to work with anybody no matter how odious as long as that person has a grudge against President Goodluck Jonathan.
This is why they cannot argue with facts and figures against President Jonathan and must therefore conjure up lies, innuendo and propaganda.
The APC’s attention is focused on the short term goal of securing political power by whatever means necessary. They have no long term focus of transforming the lives of Nigerians. Who has been to an APC rally, or heard an APC chief or chieftain being interviewed and heard them talk about their plans for the transformation of Nigeria?
Over the past year, as if choreographed, APC leaders have talked about 2015 in terms of doom, soaking people in blood, civil war, destruction and such militant language. Politicians ought to think in terms of welfare for the people not warfare for them. Talks of blood/war in 2015 are a result of poverty of vision. They have no vision so they feel must use scare tactics.
What makes these yesterday’s men bitter enough to call for blood and gore? I posit that it is the misuse of the opportunities God gave them and the refusal to accept that it has shifted to others.
While the President stays on point talking about his vision for the future, their focus is on insulting and disparaging him. A persuasive leader is not weak and a coercive leader is not strong. Anyone can compel obedience by force but only the strong get it by non violent persuasion.
I often encounter people on Social Media telling me that the President and his team do not fight fire with fire and insults with insults. Insults are available to everyone but they are overlooked by those who want to rise but embraced by those who want to pull the risers down.
The Jonathan presidency is run on ideas because at the helm is a PhD leader who has voiced out severally that he believes in transforming lives rather than conforming to the status quo. Ideas are the building blocks of the Transformation Agenda. Ideas lead to cooperation thus expanding our sense of what is possible. Insults leads to isolation thus limiting our sense of what’s possible. This is the basic difference between President Jonathan and the current opposition.
They have called the President a “clueless” leader who is running a “kindergarten presidency”, but do the facts support what they claim.
The major leaders of the coalition of the desperate otherwise known as the APC have at one time or the other governed the whole of Nigeria or a major part of it, so they should be able to compare their record side by side the president and establish by such facts whether or not their claims of a clueless leader has any basis in fact.
Since they cannot do it, I will help them by bringing out facts about the Jonathan administration vis a vis what existed before this administration came to power.
They have said that the Nigerian Economy Under President Jonathan has Retrogressed. Is this true?
Here are the Facts with web based evidence so that my readers may trust what I write but verify for themselves:
Under President Jonathan Nigeria’s Economy Has Grown To Become The Largest Economy in Africa. (tinyurl.com/pbbld8r)
In 2009 Nigeria’s Per Capita Income Was $1091.Today it is $1721 and increase of almost 70% (tinyurl.com/y5tfwwd)
In 2007 Average Life Expectancy in Nigeria Was 47 Years. Today it is 52 Years (tinyurl.com/yyl5xy2)
In 2010 Inflation in Nigeria Was 15.60%. Today it is 7.9% (tinyurl.com/6pyhylf)
In 2007 Maternal Mortality Rate Was 750 per 100,000 Births. Today It Is 580 (tinyurl.com/lfr4jjb)
They have said that President Jonathan Does Not Fulfill His Promises. Is this true?
Here are the Facts with web based evidence so that my readers may trust what I write but verify for themselves:
On August 26, 2010, President Jonathan Promised to Privatize Nigeria’s Power Sector After Heavily Investing in Improving It’s Infrastructure. On November 1, 2013, That Promise Was Fulfilled After Successful Bidders Took Delivery Nigeria’s Power Generation and Distribution Companies.
Before President Jonathan Ascended to Power The Southeast Had no International Airport. He Promised The Southeast One in 2011. On the 24th of August 2013, The First International Flight Operated by Ethiopian Airlines Landed at the New Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu. (tinyurl.com/ovodpla)
In 2011 President Jonathan Promised to Revive the Railways. By 2012 The Nigerian Railways Corporation Began Operating a Lagos to Kano Service at the Cost of Just 1500 Naira. In 2013 Rail lines Were Revived From Lagos Port Direct to Kaduna. (tinyurl.com/dytx484)
In 2010, President Jonathan promised to Build at Least One Federal University in 12 States of The Federation That Had No Federal Universities. These Include Bayelsa State, Katsina State, Jigawa State, Taraba, Kogi State, Nasarawa, Ekiti State, Ebony State, Gombe State, Kebbi State, Yobe State and Zamfara States. Today, ALL of These States Have One Federal University Each.
In 2011 President Jonathan Promised to Build Schools for Itinerant Scholars in The North Known as Almajiri. As at Today, 123 Almajiri Model Schools Equipped With Malam’s Quarters, Hostels, Qu’ranic Recitation Hall and Science Laboratories Have Been Completed While 277 Are Awaited.
In 2011 President Jonathan Promised to Rebuild or Repair Nigeria’s Roads. This Advert From ABC Transport Company (a Private Company) Is Proof He Is Fulfilling This Promise.
In 2011 President Jonathan Promised to Revive Nigeria’s Health Sector. By 2013 His Administration Has Built 3389 Heath Centers Nationwide. This Administration Built National Cancer Screening Centers nationwide, including at the Federal Medical Centre, Gusau in Zamfara, The University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital and the National Obstetric Fistula Centre in Abakaliki. The Jonathan Led FG By 2013 Has Modernized the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and Built National Trauma Centers at the University of Abuja and the National Hospital also in Abuja.
These Investments in the Health Sector Led to the First Stem Cell Transplant Surgery Ever in Nigeria at UBTH in 2012. By October 2013 UCH Performed the First Open Heart Surgery in Nigeria.
In 2010 President Jonathan Promised to Overhaul Nigeria’s Football and Sports Administration for Better Service Delivery. In 2013 Nigeria are the African Champions after Winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa. We are Also the World Under 17 Champions After winning The 2013 U-17 Tournament in The UAE. Nigeria Also Became the First African Nation to Qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In 2010 President Jonathan Promised That Agriculture Would Be Revived. In 2011 Nigeria Imported $11 Billion Worth of Food Especially Rice and Wheat. In 2013, After the Introduction of Cassava Flour and The Duty on Imported Rice Which Led to Massive Local Production, Nigeria’s food Import Bill Has Been Reduced by 77%.
3 Million Jobs Have Been Created in the Agriculture Value Chain Since 2011. And Nigeria is amongst only a handful of countries that improved over the previous year In the 2013 Global Hunger Index (http://tinyurl.com/lskklx6).
Fiction: Educational Standards are Falling in Nigeria.
Fact: In 2009 only 25.99 per cent of candidates had credits in English and Mathematics in the WASSCE examinations. By 2013 70% of students had credits in at least 5 subjects.
Conclusion: Don’t Judge President Goodluck Jonathan and This Administration on the Fiction That Opposition Linked Propagandist Media Publish. Learn to Separate Facts From Fiction.
Reno Omokri is Special Assistant (New Media) to President Jonathan.