Whether or not this is true, grapevine has it that outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan had confided in a prominent Nigerian business mogul immediately after the elections that all said and done, he was glad he did not win the election because his first major challenge would have been how to pay salaries.
If it is true he said that, then, it was no effect of a post-defeat trauma. With the deluge of information at his disposal as the Commander-in-Chief, it can be taken that he knew the extent to which things are now bad and had probably done a rethink of some of the actions of his inglorious regime. And as it has come to be known, practically all the states are unable to pay salaries today, including the certified healthy ones. It is also not unexpected that the issue of inability of states to pay salaries has become a subject of recriminations amongst stakeholders.
A couple of days back, if you switched on to international media (before the oil marketers called off their strike), the news about Nigeria was one of a country shutting down at the twilight of an administration handing over to another. A few radio stations shutdown early. Banks followed suit immediately as well as telecommunications companies. The nation was gradually inching to the precipice before reason prevailed and respite came, albeit not completely.
The ugly manifestations of the economy are clearly a product of the incompetence and lack of capacity of the Jonathan administration in the management of the nation and the many shades of her character. And rather than seek help with a view to redressing a majority of the crises that were biting hard, it chose to cover up and manage them at even costlier expense. But that didn’t change the character trait of an unsustainable economic model of the Jonathan administration. That is why Nigeria is where it is today.
The greatest good that has happened to the country today is the ouster of Jonathan through popular votes, the same way he came to power in 2011. He was lucky to have conceded defeat early enough as that action seems the only good he will be taking with him by May 29. He’s destroyed the country and is handing over its tatars. He’s decimated its politics and is handing over a badly and sharply divided people. He’s battered the economy and all is left for the incoming government of Muhammadu Buhari is an economic carcass with no employment, no cash flow and signs of a budding change.
The lesson in this horrifying experience is instructive, especially on the eve of Buhari’s assumption of office. At least, the message in it for the president-elect is clear and it is that the energy sector is very critical and must be uppermost on his agenda. If on the basis of a few days’ strike in the energy sector, the entire economy was almost coming to a halt, then Buhari must know that the moment he is able to fix the energy crisis, every other thing will fall in place.
Despite all, Nigerians still have to thank President Jonathan for accepting defeat and not allowing the country slip into the Burundian canal. Although the time to write about his days in office has not come, definitely, history already has him documented for posterity and at the appointed time, it shall be released for public consumption, what shall be known as the years of the locust in the nation’s body polity. Thank you, Goodluck Jonathan!