By Pastor Ose Festus Patrick, an author, Youth development coach, conference speaker; founder, Pastorial Forum for good governance and democratic sustenance; is based in Lagos
"I am working to make sure we don't only protect the environment, we also improve governance" – Wangari Maathai
Let me start this topical issue with this profound statement that at the end of Goodluck Jonathan's second term in office as Executive President of our great nation Nigeria, the same Goodluck Ebele Jonathan most criticized, vilified, abused and called all manner of printable and unprintable names will be praised, to the high heavens by all and sundry. Why, you may ask? His practical transformational results shall be evident for all to see!
His style of governance may not be in tandem or in agreement with the generality of Nigerians. Nigerians expected the gra-gra and guerilla kind of approach in his governance of a system that has suffered decades of deliberate neglect, bastardization, misgovernance and lack of sincere leadership.
He may be slow, but he is sure. Do not forget the axiom that says "slow and steady wins the race". He is steadily winning the race in the Nigeria project. He may be slow, but there are silent developmental efforts going on.
There was no functional foundation to achieve developmental goal on ground before he came to the scene as the President. There was no functional leadership pillar on ground to accelerate development, governance and strong policy framework for successive government.
The systems on ground were divisionary, dysfunctional, in disarray and a kind of soldier go soldier come type of governance. A well balanced approach to achieve good governance was not in place, if you may know.
"A well-balanced, inclusive approach, according to certain standards and ideals, is essential for the proper governance of any country" – Laisenia Qurase
In a system as bastardized as ours, there is need for Mr. President to do ground work that will ultimately be the benchmark for his well intentioned transformation agenda.
Before hitting the road to start running, foundational pillars are very crucial and paramount. Visible developmental impact will thrive on these factors. To achieve a holistic transformation of the Nigeria State, the leadership and the followers must play a patriotic role that will bring Nigeria out of the woods.
We should also not forget that the multifarious problems and challenges on ground were not created by him in the first place. It is axiomatic to state the obvious fact, that the problems bedeviling the Nigeria nation were systemic leadership failure of several years.
These were problems caused by lack of sincerity of purpose by the past leadership. These were problems caused by self-seeking and selfish leaders in governance.
These were problems caused not because of paucity of fund, but lack of political will to pursue national development frontally. Goodluck Jonathan loves this country deeply and cares so strongly about its future.
Let's have an understanding of the multi nature of Nigeria. Nigeria as a developing nation, is multi-tribal, multi-ethnic, multi- religious and multi-language. As multi-this and that of the Nigeria state, we should not lose sight of the fact that the problems bedeviling the nation are of multi-dimensional proportion.
"Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. If Nigeria succeeds at democratic governance, it will be an anchor for all of West Africa. Africa needs a strong Nigeria" – Ed Royce
Beside the problems, he has to tackle there are also multi tribal interest group to contend with by Mr. President. I have come to realize that leadership and governance is not a tea party.
In order not to be termed a tribal and sectional president, there must be an inter-play of wisdom, sincerity and the capacity to bring all the multi-dimensional nature to the decision table.
Mr. President needs to imbibe 21st century leadership style to overcome the decaying nature of the nation. And the gra-gra and guerilla method which a larger percentage of Nigerians expected is not the best approach.
To be candid, he's not to be blamed for the sordid state of the nation. He should be appreciated for doing work of a repairer. Nigeria needs the touch of a repairer.
Be that as it may, one year is too early to judge and condemn the Jonathan government as a monumental failure. At the beginning of the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu government in Lagos State, Lagosians gave him a name as "Baba go slow".
The name was as a result of no visible action at the beginning of his government. Thank God he laid the foundation for a successive government. President Jonathan will lay the foundation for a progressive, prosperous and a transformed Nigeria that generations yet un-born will be proud of.
Nigerians should understand the sincerity of Mr. President and be patient with him. He is not wasting time at all. You may not accept my very sincere views on this subject, but that is the truth.
The Good Book of the Lord stipulates in I Corinthians13:8, For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. The truth is that, Mr. President is not mindless, rudderless, clueless, actionless, idealess and motionless as some people want us to believe about him.
Every mortal man has areas of weakness, only God the Immortal has no weakness. The word of God says pray for those in authority not use abusive language against the person of Mr. President. President Jonathan as an individual is a very good person. He is not a braggart.
Is Goodluck Jonathan responsible for 50 years of decay? Under Goodluck Jonathan administration, Nigeria is on the pathway of recovery of wasted years.
It will interest you to know that for the first time in the governance of the country, serving ministers are made to account for their services to the nation through key performance agreement indicators. This is to spur them into achieving greater service delivery to the Nigeria people. It also means that, it is no longer business as usual in governance.
It will interest you to know we have never had a very sincere and pragmatic approach to solving the problem of power as we are witnessing now. Previous government basted, billions of dollar with nothing to show for it.
There is a greater improvement to power supply all over the nation. Privatization of the power sector has gone at advance stage. And very soon, we shall begin to enjoy 24/7 steady power supply that will ultimately boost economy growth.
President Jonathan Goodluck, and his policy frame work for a progressive and a transformed Nigeria of our dream, is rooted in total sincerity personal integrity and with a very strong desire to live the stage better than he met it.
Methink, Mr. President will not disappoint the confidence repose in him by the generality of Nigerians that voted him into power. There is a brighter light, despite glooming darkness.
For the first time, in our electoral history, the world at large is beginning to have full confidence in our electoral system because of his transformation of the system with "one man one vote" ideology. I think we should give Mr. President kudos and not bad belly and baseless criticize. Don't forget that he inherited "do or die" electoral system from the past government.
We've never had a listening president like Goodluck Jonathan. Several topical issues and policies that did not go down well, with the populace were reversed in a jiffy. That’s global best practices leadership quality.
Goodluck Jonathan is not corrupt. But he inherited corruption that has been with us for about 50 years. If you may know the level of corruption in Nigeria is endemic.
He may not have gotten everything right! But he has gotten some things right. For the first time in fighting corruption, a serving chairman of the ruling political party, son is facing trial on corruption related case.
But previous government would have treated it as a family issue and sweep it under the carpet for political reasons.
"Only a mad man will go to bed when his house is on fire"
On the security challenge, he is not sleeping; he is making great progress to restore peace.
Some level of objectivity in criticizing Mr. President and his policies will go a long way in his pursuit of the transformation agenda.
Most times the level of criticizing Mr. President is facing is tribal, political and lacks the flavour of objectivity concerning the nation. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is sincere in addressing issues concerning the nation. All the sectors of economy are going through transparent and pragmatic reforms.
In summation, Goodluck Jonathan Nigerians do not know, is not a sessional leader. He’s not marking time in presidency. He’s sincere and honest about the transformation of Nigeria. He’s a wise and meticulous leader.
He’s not an agent of destabilization and disintegration. He's not an arrogant leader. He's not a dictator who careless about the people. He needs our cooperation and our prayers and not vilification of higher proportion. He has weakness as a man, but his strength is more than his weakness. He has a vivid picture of his transformational agenda. He’s a God-fearing leader from a very humble background.
In a nutshell, this is the only nation we can call our own country. Let us join hands with Mr. President to make it great.
"One tree can not make a forest".
Mr. President alone can not achieve the Nigeria of our dream. Everyone has a role to play in making Nigeria great.
"If all of us can be the change we want, the country will be a heaven of a sort. Governance is easier criticized than led" – Lord Alfred Marcus