This publication has a believe that President Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo on the PDP ticket is the the best team between the two big parties that should be best suited to lead the country. We do not aim, at this point, to argue the case but the performance of this administration in very key areas informs that what Nigeria needs at this stage is CONTINUITY and not necessarily CHANGE as the APC is campaigning on.
Buhari does not represent CHANGE
A former Major-General in the Nigeria Army that has ruled the country following a coup. the first coup after Nigeria survived the difficulties starting from 1966 and inauguration of a civil democratic elected administration of President Shagari. Gen. Buhari, a leader that participated in some of the most destructive administrations to ever rule the country when he dined with General Abacha and became his appointee, thus he was totally silent even as the whole country was in revolt during the pro-democracy protests. A leader who can be regarded as a contemporary of the Generals and the old guards that had ruled the country and languished it since 1966 cannot be the face of change.
Anti-corruption is one of the pillars on which the APC and Buhari are running on. But frankly they will be unable to effectively fight corruption in a productive way. The underlying reasons for corruption in the country are poverty, lack of equal opportunity, civil service traditions and political profit taking. The military enforced methods that Buhari/Ideagbon employed to tackle corruption in their administration is no longer available and Buhari is yet untested in tackling corruption in a democratic and civil setting. Also Buhari would still have to contend with many within the APC who could be even more influential than him if he wins the elections and whose anti-corruption credentials are totally suspect. Anyone who thinks that corruption will be a thing of the past or will even be scratched on the surface should Buhari and his team win the election is being incredibly naive.
APC vs. APC-PDP
Most of the more credible individuals within the APC are political figures who lost out within the PDP and simply jumped ship to try their luck elsewhere. And in fact the face of change for the APC should have been Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. He would have been CHANGE for the APC to campaign on. A fresh politician and credible, non-polarising and a tested hand. But what really happened was typical of the old Nigeria political order. Why did he withdraw his presidential ambition? I would surely like to have an interview with him on that. His withdrawal is a tell tale sign that APC really did not want change. Leadership is what makes the difference between the APC and PDP. Whereas the PDP has one in Jonathan/Sambo the APC lacks one in Buhari/Osinbajo-Tinubu. Why is the APC so hooked on Gen Buhari? A highly plausible reason is this: Gen. Buhari will not give up his ambition for anyone. So the APC is afraid to divide their votes and so they plan to go with Buhari instead of anyone no matter how credible. Especially as they saw that Buhari has a rank and file name recognition in the North having been in circulation for nearly four decades. His performance as CPC leader almost gives him the option that if he is not given the Presidential ticket he will immediately pull out of APC. Without the CPC element APC is dead on arrival. Tinubu knows this too well. His experiment with Ribadu in the last election must be fresh in his mind. Without Buhari on the ticket and without Buhari’s CPC, APC is not even going to be a challenge.
Jonathan/Sambo: The new generation
Jonathan/Sambo represent a new generation of politicians away from the generation of 1966/Gowon/Buhari/IBB/Abacha generation. You could see that in the way they run their campaigns. One generation thinks “If I loose, we will make the country ungovernable or form a parallel government”; the other says “No Nigerian life is worth being shed for politics”. President Jonathan is the only President in Nigeria history that even at the peril of loosing an election keeps harping on and promising that the election under his watch must be free and fair and has actually demonstrated it by appointing widely regarded and credible people in positions of authority for conduct of elections, namely Prof. Jega and his INEC team.
The Jonathan/Sambo team has initiated a number of programmes that should be allowed to be completed either by them or by anyone elected next. The agricultural program, the railway, the foreign policy with respect to value of ordinary Nigerians citizens living abroad, Power sector reforms, reduction in corruption etc.These are ground-breaking initiatives. The administrations commitment to free and fair election and for inclusive national dialogue on vital issues etc. is unprecedented in Nigeria for an incumbent.
We endorse the Jonathan/Sambo team to lead the country for the next four years. The last term for a President should be his most productive for the simple reason that at this time he has very little propensity to do things with caution so as not to upset key donors or interests. So it should be good that the President gets the mandate to do the things he has started and finish them without fear or favour. We see that he is in the right direction for the Country.