40 reasons why you should re-elect GEJ in 2015 by Chinedu Nnawetanma
The Goodluck Jonathan administration no doubt has had its good and bad times just like any other administration charged with the leadership of a large and diverse entity such as Nigeria. In the 4 years that he has been the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there have been flaws which are all well documented in the local and international media. Over the course of those four years there have also been successes and giant leaps which often receive little or no media coverage and public attention. This may not be unconnected with the notion that “bad news is good for business” in journalism. The simple fact that bad news catches the attention of the public more than a good news may be the reason for the Nigerian press’ myopic and indifferent reportage of the great feats of the current administration.
President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan has often challenged Nigerians to compare his administration’s achievements with those of his predecessors before they judge him, but getting a comprehensive list of those achievements is usually a daunting task due to the paucity of information and Nigeria’s poor reputation when it comes to record-keeping. Below is a list of some of the ways in which the Goodluck Jonathan presidency has silently transformed Nigeria from its dark ages of underdevelopment to a 21st century economic and political force. The list, however, is not complete and it may be missing out on some key developments.
1. Promotion and practice of true democracy by creating an enabling environment where people from diverse backgrounds and with divergent views and opinions can be accommodated. Under his watch, the APC was registered by INEC as a mega opposition party big enough to challenge the PDP at both state and national levels. This would have been unthinkable some years back.
2. Conduct of free and fair elections in the country, including the 2011 poll which was adjudged to be the most credible election of its magnitude that has ever been conducted in the country, though it was not without its flaws. Unlike in other administrations, the Goodluck Jonathan presidency has given a free hand to the country’s electoral umpire, INEC, to perform its statutory duties.
3. Relative non-interference with electoral and judicial matters as evident in the number of governorship elections that have been won both at the polls and in the court by opposition parties in Anambra, Imo, Osun, among others.
4. Liberalization of the press and guaranteeing the freedom of speech in a country where the stifling of the press and suppression of the citizens’ right to freedom of speech used to be the norm; a legacy of over 30 years of military rule. The existence of vocal anti-government media houses and critics would have culminated in some high profile assassinations some years back, but today citizens are free to air their views whenever and wherever they like just like any other sane country.
5. Opening up of Nigeria to the global business community and becoming Africa’s number one destination of foreign investors. In the first six months of 2014, a total of US$9.70 billion or
N1.51 trillion flowed into the national economy as foreign direct investments (FDI).
6. Under the Jonathan administration, Nigeria re-based it’s GDP for the first time in over a decade to become the largest economy in Africa, overtaking South Africa and Egypt in the process.
7. Nigeria now has one of the fastest growing large economies in the world with an annual GDP growth rate of over 7.3. Nigeria is on course to break into the 20 largest economies of the world by 2020.
Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote’s net worth increased from US$2.1 billion at the start of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration to US$23 billion in 2014, making him Forbes’ richest black person in the world and the overall 26th richest in the world. He attributed this mammoth increase in his monetary worth to Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s favourable economic policies.
8. The Nigerian foreign exchange reserve reached an all-time high of US$38.1 billion in January 2014. SEE MORE ON PAGE2