It is always quite easy to prove that all the variables for assessment which effectively determine the criteria for any meaningful rating have continued to indicate or reveal a sharp conflict between the country’s heavy endowments and its disappointing level of development.
There is a strong opinion among several credible experts on development and governance that Nigeria is unfortunately not performing. And it is on the basis of such opinions that a lot of theories on the nature and scope of operations of successive governments of the country have been profound. Although the clear presence of immense human and natural resources has continued to re-enforce the confidence that the country can always attain greatness, the protracted clash between such an endowment and the declining fortunes of the citizenry strongly supports the argument that something fundamental to the smooth governance of the country is missing. This is, in fact, the reality that continuously and rapidly depletes the hope of most Nigerians for a better future.
What is even most worrisome is the fact that everything – hopelessness, helplessness, restlessness, etc – is being compounded mainly because of some circumstantial factors and the nature of the country’s leadership. The effects of the bad times and the heightening irresponsibility are showing in every aspect of the country’s operations as evident in the directionlessness that has become the boldest feature of the governance style of “elected” leaders. But neither the combination of those factors nor President Goodluck Jonathan’s penchant for making excuses for governance failures. When he became president in 2010 after the death of Umaru Musa Yar’adua, there was a huge expectation that, even with all the challenges that he inherited, Jonathan would seek to seize the opportunities that existed to, at least, sustain the little hope that was there.
He is, in fact, more a successor of several past leaders each of whom was, in his own right, a giant than just inheritor of problems. It was therefore clearly possible for him to stand on the shoulders of such giants which certainly would mean building on their past individual and collective achievements. It is the failure of the president to recognize such a possibility that has made the endlessness of our collective hopelessness even more real. Almost everything about his government including the so-called transformation agenda has failed to register in the minds of all those elements that are the most critical to the development of the country and perhaps in the mind of everyone else. It looks like Jonathan is giving the country his best which is however not enough thereby making the expectation for more or better services particularly unrealistic. And the earlier this reality is understood and the readiness to live with it is developed by all, the better.
Apart from those many individuals and groups that are after the job and will unhesitatingly do everything to push Jonathan out of it just for the heck of it, there are many others who consider it their patriotic duty to wrestle power away from Jonathan or from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or from both to save the country. In either case, the struggle for the presidency, which has already become intense with the possibility of becoming more so, is now the most defining element of the political and governance processes at all levels.
The crises in the PDP and the heightened interest generated by the merger of the key opposition parties all indicate the stiff competition that has begun to characterize the journey to 2015. And none of the competing side is leaving anything to chance. But the PDP, or more precisely Jonathan, has more to account for than any other bidder or party. It is even the failure of the present administration under Jonathan to satisfactorily explain the reasons for the prevailing disappointing state of affairs in the country or even formulate a more practicable and result-oriented agenda into which development partners and change agents can comfortably key that is making Nigerians more hopeless.
Yet, 2015 represents some hope. As a rich country, Nigeria whose citizens are evidently enterprising can survive the hard times and begin to re-engineer itself towards realization of its destined glory. The disappointment being expressed in most quarters over the current situation and the determination being manifested within and outside the ruling party can effectively translate into a giant move; a kind of revolution that, if well-managed, can deal with the lingering hopelessness.
Gimi is Controller of News & Current Affairs, DITV/Alheri Radio, Kaduna <Shubaibugimi1966@gmail.com>;