A Public Affairs analyst, Emmanuel Addo, on Tuesday in an interview with Vanguard newspaper said President Goodluck Jonathan will win the 2015 presidential election with ease because of the Boko Haram sect.
|Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan|
Addo, who is also a chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) went ahead to say that, all attempt by the North to mar Jonathan-led administration has already failed and would in turn enable the President win with ease.
Below is an excerpt from the interview:
What is your take on the state of affairs in the Nigerian polity?
As things stand today in Nigeria, especially with insurgency, there is no doubt that things are bad. We have big challenges on our hands. It is not just about Bring back our girls or Boko Haram because we have kidnapping in the South-East, we have piracy in the South-South, armed robbery and religious crises in the North and so on. We don’t have respect for one another and the problem continues. But my take is that we cannot in any way treat things in isolation. We have to take time to diagnose the problems and take a holistic approach to fix the problems inherent in the system.
But my worry is that all times Nigerians prefer quick fixes to their problems.
Some think that once the girls are brought back and we contain Boko Haram, our problems are over but I say no, it is not. For me, there is no quick fix for the insurgency. It is also a wake-up call to fix our police, fix our civil service, fix our army, fix our immigration, customs and all the apparatus of government to enable the country run effectively as a nation.
The fear of some Nigerians is that this government has been too slow in responding to the challenges facing the nation.
No, I don’t think so. I have heard people describe President Jonathan as clueless, incompetent and so on. I don’t believe a PhD holder, who has been deputy governor, governor, Vice President and President is clueless. The problem we have in Nigeria is that most people want quick fixes. I have read about insurgency in Pakistan, Columbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Thailand, to name but a few and none was resolved overnight. Like the civil war that Nigeria fought, by the time Obasanjo and Col Effiong signed the ceasefire agreement, we had the last shot fired and peace returned to the country. Today, the war that is being unleashed on the country by Boko Haram is such that nobody knows who the members of Boko Haram are, their sponsors and what they really want. It is not possible to catch all members of the sect and their known and unknown sympathizers. Until you do that you cannot say that the war has been won.
How do you react to the claim in certain quarters that the insurgency is actually targeted at weakening the Jonathan administration so that the President does not seek a second term?
Now, unfortunately, I would say that in all the political statements I have so far heard, I think the most unfortunate of them, which has also placed the north in a very bad situation was that credited to certain Lawal Kaita in 2011 that the North was going to make the country ungovernable if Jonathan won the election. I have not heard him deny that statement till date. Unfortunately, it is a statement that is going to really hurt the North because the perception now is that the Boko Haram insurgency is targeted at the government of President Jonathan and the pattern of attacks has been made very clear: it comes any time the President is trying to carry out some political engagements.
You would remember that it was during his visit to Kano that the first Nyanya blast was unleashed. He was going to Ekiti when the Jos bomb blast occurred and when he was about to go to Yola for a political event, the second Nyanya blast went off and so on. So, everything in life is about perception and we cannot run away from it.
Truly, what is happening is targeted at Jonathan’s administration and the perception is very clear. Now the danger is that even if Jonathan is defeated, we are going to have a big problem in the Niger Delta and unfortunately for us, whether we like it or not, it means that Nigeria is not going to sell even a litre of oil not to talk of a barrel.
Whether the president is defeated fairly or unfairly, people are going to assume that it is because some persons from the North had sworn to make the country ungovernable for the President and he has been defeated through a combination of orchestrated factors.
They may decide to go their separate ways. That is why I have been saying that the 2015 election will not be based on performance but on personalities. Even though Mr. President has performed creditably despite distractions, I want to say that the election will be won and lost because of the personalities. The perception that the northern insurgency is targeted at Jonathan has framed the question for the 2015 election. I am saying so because, election, like, religion is an emotional issue. I have met people who are now saying they are going to vote for Jonathan because they believe that the insurgency is deliberately targeted at him.
And now, for the North itself, it is a problem for them. Assuming that anyone in the North is able to come out and contest the Presidency, it is going to be difficult for the North to support such a person for him to win. Why is it that the North is in crisis today? For us, it is not good because enlightened self interest tells me that the North needs help. But the north should help itself first by accepting other minorities of the North and we must help them to achieve that.
Do you think that it is still necessary for Jonathan to contest given the myriads of daunting challenges in the country? Why does he not go to rest and save himself from the country’s problems?
It is going to be very difficult for Jonathan not to contest. Perhaps, he did not plan to run but given the way things are going, it is going to be very difficult for him not to run in 2015 because most Nigerians have become very emotional about his re-election in 2015 because they believe that he has been targeted by insurgency to stand down. I am very certain he will contest and win. Even an opposition governor once told me that Jonathan would sweep the poll in 2015. But I don’t see Jonathan accepting defeat if he loses the election fairly. But there is no way he can lose the election because the people are with him.
The Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad popularly known as Boko Haram, is an Hausa language which means “Western education is sin”. The terrorist group has its strong hold in the northeastern part of the country, Cameroon and Niger. It has launched several deadly attacks and bombings which have claimed thousands of innocent lives in its quest to Islamise the country and put an end to what they described as westernisation.
The sect is responsible for the abduction of over 234 school girls from GGSS, Chibok, Borno State. Their menace has attracted international communities like France, U.S, China, Israel, Britain among others, whom have volunteered to help the Nigerian Government in wiping them out as well as rescue the kidnapped Chibok girls.
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