Mefor: Circles of conspiracy against Jonathan
THOSE who were disappointed by President Barack Obama when he blocked Nigeria from buying arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency now say there is more than meets the eye. To be fair to the duo of Obama and David Cameron of Britain, they may not be directly involved in plotting a regime change in Nigeria that would bypass democratic processes. But Obama particularly cannot claim he does not know that his own presidential campaign handler David Axelrod has been in Nigeria for about a year now, cleaning up the APC’s presidential candidate and developing and deploying propaganda packages for the APC to win the 2015 Presidential Poll. To give him some credit, Axelrod has done a marvellous job and, unlike in the last three Presidential Elections, the PDP and President Jonathan can now ignore Muhammadu Buhari to their own peril.
Like when erstwhile British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, claimed that the ‘freedom for all’ declaration by the United Nations at the end of the Second World War, did not extend to Blacks, America and Britain did not see anything wrong in 23 million Nigerians being disenfranchised if the February Polls were held as both countries insisted, despite American National Democratic Institute and IRI, showing clearly that INEC was not ready for the Polls. This disenfranchised population taken to be irrelevant by Obama and Cameron is more than the populations of some four African and European countries combined.
The double standards of the U.S. and UK can further be seen in their curious refusal to allow dealing a decisive blow on Boko Haram. When the U.S. led some international teams to Nigeria in search of the Chibok girls last year, the U.S. deridingly refused to share the information they collected with the Nigerian security. Now, President Idris Derby of Sudan has directly accused the U.S. and Israel of forming and fueling of Boko Haram and ISIS. This is plausible because it is about two years since the U.S. criminalized and branded the Boko Haram sect an international Terrorist Organization. Yet, that country has openly objected to military onslaught against the sect.
Then again, what made forensic probing into concentric circles of conspiracies against Jonathan, are specific desperations of the visible hands pushing for regime change in Nigeria. The growing confidence of the APC was initially a welcome development. It was thought to be signs of the anticipated vibrant and robust opposition in Nigeria’s politics, which was really long in coming. But many were taken aback when it turned into bragging, utter contempt and name-calling for the sitting President, culminating in the level of propaganda yet unknown in Nigeria’s political history.
The APC sees propaganda as necessary to push into the public consciousness that it is popular; and that President Jonathan did nothing in five years and has neither the capacity nor the will to fight corruption and insurgency. Yet, President Jonathan has fought the twin evil perhaps more than most administrations before his. He has equipped the armed forces more than all administrations since the Shehu Shagari time and systematically and silently fought corruption.
In his unique way of fighting corruption by checkmating it particularly, Jonathan has targeted the sources the mean cabals manipulate in the system to steal government funds in large lumps and plugged them off. One huge outlet of massive corruption, which Jonathan plugged, is ending fuel subsidy scam. The same applies to fertilizer distribution bootlegging and scams by removing the rogue middlemen and introducing electronic wallets for all the over 10 million farmers nationwide, each of who was given a mobile phone free.
The next is the unbundling and selling off of NEPA, which has ended yet another source of massive looting of the economy and fleecing of the masses by some cabals. Then his removal of over 63 thousand ghost workers from federal civil service and handing over the case file to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), yet another move that saved over N208 billion annually. Jonathan also handed over the Nigerian Ports Authority verification to a third party and eliminated port frauds. This also put some cabals out of business.
President Jonathan has fought and reduced corruption in Nigeria in a rather less dramatic but more effective manner. Fact is: Jonathan has secured more convictions of corrupt persons than the Obasanjo and Buhari regimes put together. No wonder, Transparency International rates both Buhari and Obasanjo’s regimes as more corrupt than that of Jonathan, the country moving from 2nd most corrupt country in the world in 2004 under Obasanjo, to over 30 places in 2014 under Jonathan. These are hard facts being whittled down or denied by the propagandists.
Jonathan opened the democratic space and has actually outperformed most Governments before him even on Project delivery. This may be part of his sins. Apart from restoring the rail system that went moribund since the seventies, despite gulping billions of naira yearly since then, and constructing and rehabilitating more roads, he tried to liberate the masses by building nine new universities in the North and more importantly, building almajiri schools to give the abandoned Muslim children wholesome education.
Jonathan made history in other sectors, even in automobile by instigating the first made-in-Nigeria cars. NISAN just rolled out the first set. But perhaps the last straw was convoking the National Conference where the ethnic nationalities took far-reaching decisions to move Nigeria towards true federalism.
Apart from the printing of PVCs still going in China weeks after Jega’s INEC claimed he was ready, the Commission did not send single PVC to three Local Governments in Cross River State, a strong hold of the President. Discerning minds could also see the gerrymandering in the PVC distribution; where cards meant for some states in the South East and South South, the primary bases of the President, were deliberately sent to northern states and those meant for the southern states, delivered in piecemeal, were muddled together so that only a very few would be able to sort and collect their PVCs before the expirations to dates variously set aside.
Is it not more indefensible that nearly 70% of PVC collection was recorded by the INEC in Borno State where 14 Local Governments were said to be under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents while most southern states enjoying relative peace were yet to record 50% PVC collection when Jega would have conducted the polls?
It is becoming clear why the dark forces want Jonathan out at all costs; it is certainly not for want of performance. It is said that politics is concentric circles of conspiracies and those who conspire last carry the day. It is beyond any doubt that INEC was not ready to conduct the February Polls. The card readers are massively failing across the country as INEC carries out belated test-runs and trainings are yet to be conducted on their use apart from the needed replacements. The conspirators, both within and outside Nigeria, should please allow Nigerians to either retain Jonathan or remove him through their votes. We too are human and entitled to democracy; Nigerian masses are not mere statistics or an irrelevant majority.
• Law Mefor, Forensic Psychologist and Journalist, is National Coordinator, Transform Nigeria Movement (TNM); email: email@example.com.
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