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Goodluck Jonathan as Buhari government barometer


Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan

In spite of all that we know, the Buhari government and its fire-eating alter-ego, the All Progressives Congress (APC) have not tired of reminding us of the profligacy and grand corruption of the previous years which have inhibited growth and prevented investments in healthcare, education and infrastructure”

Either as an excuse for its generally observable mis-governance or as a hype of the seething resentment of an outgone administration, the Buhari administration has left little to differentiate it from its visceral opponent, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

It has unwittingly denied the earlier public view of it as an informed, prescient and high-minded intervention.


The somewhat overdrawn indictment of the immediate past Goodluck Jonathan administration has implacably put the Buhari government on the spot regarding a medley of failed promises made to the people in the glare of electioneering campaign in 2015.

An uncritical acceptance and promotion of the existing social and economic order had made the PDP the despair of the people, especially the progressives.

There was nothing in the purpose of the party that held for any illegitimate business in the country any threat or menace whatever. All was fair and usual in business as in battle.

Co-terminously, the APC is being censured for its apparent indifference to heavy unemployment, the ogre of insecurity of life and property, its cluelessness regarding the menace of economic recession, the palpable absence of priority respecting human capital development, etc.

Buhari himself is viewed or has turned out to be a token liberal of indefinite commitments or, in fact, a conservative of the most austere or dangerous hue.

At the slightest opportunity or whenever they run out of anything to talk about, leading members of APC have not missed to pound the lectern, wave their arms or sound the shrill frenetic note just to compel us to remember our dreary days under the un-impressive PDP.

The latest of the APC top brass’ razzle-dazzles was on display as the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expectedly launched into the party’s all-too-familiar tirade against the PDP even as Mr. Bill Gates addressed a special session of the National Economic Council (NEC).

Gates had called for a re-direction or prioritisation of the nation’s energies towards human capital development instead of the present fixation, in the words of the ordinarily combative Nasir El-Rufai, “on the provision of electricity, roads and others without priority for human capital development.”

Not to be put down, Osinbanjo reasoned a factual situation out of Nigeria’s sorry plight.


Intoned he, “…high oil prices and economic growth of the previous years, did not translate into a better life for most Nigerians because grand corruption prevented investment in healthcare, education , and infrastructure”.

It may appear un-gainly that a dyed-in-the wool capitalist in the mould of Mr. Gates will be our august lecturer for teaching our professed social welfare faithfuls the ideals or the primacy of human capital development over all other development genres.

Unfazed by Gates’ reasoned call for a review of the administration’s flawed Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), Osinbajo strenously sought answer for the identified failure of the “growth plan” in the buccaneering, desultory tenure of the PDP.

But the kernel of Mr. Gates’ preachment was sorely missed.

Not being a politician, Gates does not share of the foible of elliptical or ambiguous ranting of which politicians are adept.

He was straightforward and direct but is mischieviously misunderstood even as the ERPG remains incoherent and vividly lacking in animus or is evidently soul-less.

The image-burnishing campaign of the APC on the plank of our general resentment of the Goodluck Jonathan mis-rule has grown sour or has become anti-climactic.

It is clear that APC is no more willing to tamper with the foundations of economic power or with the underpinnings of our social dis-equilibrium than is the PDP.

What has been dramatised for all to see is the crass similarity of the two parties.

The general verdict is one for wresting control of the country’s affairs from the siamese twins that have ineptly at best, and criminally at worst, mismanaged us for these twenty or so years.

chief defect of the APC is that it is purely personal and egotistical.

It is generally un-itelligent in conception and misleading in programme. It lacks the definite purpose and direction of a proper “a little to the left” paradigm.


The PDP, on its part, is bedevilled by a disturbing lack of enthusiasm – a fatal defect even as a self-professed people’s party. It is too calm for comfort – possibly too cynical of the requirement for social equilibrium.

Under Jonathan it became bewildered, apathetic and obtuse.

Buhari’s APC on the other hand is possessed of a strong bias for the concentration and exaggeration of government which is far less genuinely liberal than much that goes by the name of liberalism.

Note the party’s measured reaction to the popular calls for the country’s political restructuring!

It is yet to learn to be shrewd enough to know that to unite its followers it has to avoid the issues that divide them.

The party is an inelegant gathering of the self-proclaimed dis – enfranchised or dissatified.

It disproportionately warehouses a statistical 45 per cent on its leadership roll call, malcontents from the PDP and from it own internal wranglings or bumblings.

One is amused no end at the un-abating tongue-in-cheek mutual criticisms by the parties.

When recently the PDP strategically apologised to the electorate for its past misdeeds in government, the APC was quick to counsel it that a voluntary, unconditional return of the loot it garnered during its tenure amounting to billions of naira would be the proper or requisite penitent heart or a demonstration of remorse rather than a mere public apology.

The APC conveniently forgot for a moment that among its rank and file are many of the alleged beneficiaries of the filthy lucre. It is difficult to find a man in the circumstances of our politicians who though intimately associated with that menage has kept his idealism intact.

Rotimi-John is a lawyer and public affairs commentator.

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BuhariGoodluck Jonathan
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