Fact-Checking GEJ On His Electoral Promises

By Egghead Odewale
Dear President Goodluck Jonathan: It was with rude shock and utter disbelief that I received the news that you had the legally required 25 percent in 28 states plus Federal Capital Territory in the presidential election of April 16, 2011. According to the 1999 constitution, a winner needs the majority of votes and at least 25 percent of votes in 24 states of the 36 states of the federation.

According to Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, you won 25 percent of votes in 28 states, leaving your closest rival, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) with victories in only 12 states. As expected, you and your cronies celebrated and popped the proverbial champagne. Recall sir, that in a widely circulated piece before your swearing in on May 29th 2011 and as one of your worst, albeit gracious, critics, I had issued a note of caution.

Allow me to explain that the presidential victory of April 16th, 2011 was a victory for yourself and not necessarily for the PDP, of which you are a part and parcel. Sadly too, many of those who trusted and blindly voted for you have now regretted that decision cursing the day they thumb-printed their finger against your name. This should reveal without any equivocation that the elections were not driven by issues, but sentiments about personalities, religion and ethnicity – which you irreproachably milked to your ultimate advantage. It is my opinion that as a nation we should grow our democracy to achieve a situation whereby persons win elections on the basis of merit and actual performance not sentiments, and certainly not with the aid of financial inducements, blackmail and violence – tenets which have roundly deepened since your accession to power.

I will not bore you with all the expectations Nigerians (the ones who voted for you, anyway) – I believe you know all of these and intend to meet all of them.

As you commemorate three years of unhindered presidency and two years since your last election, I intend to remind you of all the myriad of promises you made during your political campaigns as you traversed the nooks and crannies of Nigeria circa 2011. I cannot ever allow my extremely busy president, one who has been overwhelmed by his own transformative agenda the laborious task of a long comprehension. In essence, of my own generosity, I have listed only some of them for you below.

1. You promised to rule for only one term (reference http://ow.ly/4KScO). Not that it mattered, as you’re not legally barred from seeking reelection. This reminder is only so a test of your mettle of honour as I see your lackey, Mr Asari Mujahid, making unsolicited pronouncements that have heated the polity.

Mr President, as a man of your words or rather as you want to make us believe (http://ow.ly/4KSda), PLEASE stick to this plan and pledge. I sincerely hope also, you will not come out and openly deny you didn’t make such promise or statements as you did about the zoning saga. Anyway, I have provided links above and you may instruct your Israeli friends to pull these links offline.

2. You promised a constitutional role for Traditional Rulers!!! (http://ow.ly/4KSfI) I am short of words but Nigerians are waiting. But I assure you sir, with a few financial reports in the pockets of the traditional rulers, this is not a major promise to uphold, as like you, Nigerians may not give a ‘damn’ anyway.

3. On March 17th 2011, in Dutse the Jigawa state capital, you promised: “If I win the election, within my four years in office, I will establish domestic airports in all the states without airports,” (http://ow.ly/4KSgt).

4. In Nasarawa, at the flag-off of your campaign you promised at least a university in every state (http://ow.ly/4KShX) including building specialist almajiri schools to shore up education in the North so as to eradicate illiteracy (http://ow.ly/4KSiK). It seems you have started on this one but a good number of the Almajiris are waiting!

5. On February 8th in Ibadan, the day you called some people “rascals”, you promised to create jobs and improve the power sector (http://ow.ly/4KSlU). The Oyo people and indeed all Nigerians were all left in darkness last weekend!

6. On Feb 9th, you were in Bauchi and you promised to intensify oil and gas exploration in the North-East as part of efforts to harness resources for economic development. Also you pledged to boost agriculture, power and water supply for wealth creation and revenue generation. Then you assured that projects such as the Mambilla hydro-electricity, Jada irrigation project and Kafin Zaki dam in Taraba, Adamawa and Bauchi would be pursued to boost agriculture and industrial development (http://ow.ly/4KSnF). Then you promised that your administration would establish two universities in the region. The NORTH EAST PEOPLE ARE STILL WAITING.

7. You landed in Port Harcourt on Feb 12 where you made a lot of promises, maybe to woo your Niger Delta people. Be that as it may, you announced that the NNPC, in partnership with the private sector, would establish a petrochemical plant in the Niger Delta (you didn’t state where exactly). You promised the plant would create job opportunities for Niger Delta youth. Then you went ahead to promise the implementation of Local Content Law and Petroleum Industry Bill (http://ow.ly/4KSpu). In case you can’t remember when you made all these, cast your mind back to the stampede that claimed some lives (where your wife called them martyrs!).

8. In Kaduna, you promised massive transformation of the agricultural sector through construction of large dams and distribution of one million metric tons of fertilizers for the 2011 farming season (http://ow.ly/4KSqE). The rains are here again, so fulfill your promises o.

9. In Benue, you promised to revolutionize agriculture and establish industries in the country through a five-year plan (We need that Plan now so we can keep track. Of the five years two years is already gone). You also promised to complete the irrigation project in Otukpo (http://ow.ly/4KSsh). Then you promised that the second Niger Bridge and the Benue Bridge projects will be worked on in the next four years (http://ow.ly/4KStl).

10. February 17th, you were in Plateau where you shocked the entire country with amazing promises. First of all, you pledged to refocus on the solid mineral development of the state and make it one of the key revenue sources in Nigeria. Two years hence, the Plateau people are still banking on you. Mr President, You promised to build more dams and complete ongoing ones, so as to boost agricultural growth. In addition you promised to complete the Vom-Manchok-Jos road to boost economic links between Plateau and Kaduna states (http://ow.ly/4KSuz). You left the state and the Plateau people have been happy ever since and now that you have been president for two years, a progress report on that promise is in order.

11. Mr President on Feb 21, you were in Kogi. You promised among other things that the dredging of the River Niger and Lokoja-Abuja road dualisation would be completed very soon. (http://ow.ly/4KSvB) THE KOGI PEOPLE AND INDEED NIGERIANS ARE HOPING AND WAITING

12. In Kwara State on February 22, you pledged that the irrigation project in Shonga would be completed soon to boost the commercial farming activities of the New Nigeria Farmers in the area (http://ow.ly/4KSwn). Mr president, remember you also said the Jebba-Mokwa road and Jebba bridge would be given adequate attention to ease transportation in the area. Kwarans are await a report!

13. On February 24, Mr. President, you pledged to rehabilitate all ailing industries in Aba (http://ow.ly/4KSxd). I believe all Abians are hoping on you to provide the enabling environment to do their businesses, you must keep your promises.

14. Mr. President, on Feb 25th in Anambra you said there is a plan to build a power station in the state, assuring that within the next four years your administration would construct and rehabilitate ALL federal roads leading to Anambra as well as the South East. You equally promised to provide potable water to the densely populated Onitsha and Nnewi cities (http://ow.ly/4KSyf) and tackle erosion in the South-East. To tell you the truth, Mr. President, Anambrans banked on you!

15. In Ebonyi state, you promised to dualize the Enugu-Abakaliki federal highway in addition (http://ow.ly/4KSza) to establishing a secretariat for ALL Federal government’s agencies and parastatals in Ebonyi. Mr. President, the people of Ebonyi have never had it so good since the creation of their state. Now, you have promised them the good life. Please keep to your words!

16. In Niger state, you promised more power generation. Perhaps the most important aspect of your promises is that your government would map out a five-year strategic plan for road projects (http://ow.ly/4KSzL).

17. On Feb 27, you were in Asaba, the Delta state capital. On that fateful Sunday, you revealed that “The NNPC is developing a new programme that will absorb about 5,000 youths,” (http://ow.ly/4KSAO). Mr. President, Deltans were delighted at that REVELATION. While that number is a far cry from the number of unemployed youths in the state, at all at all na winch (as we say in Warri), so Deltans are waiting.

18. On March 2nd, you were in Ondo where you promised that roads and other basic infrastructure across the states will be developed in four years. In addition you also promised the exploitation of the vast bitumen deposits in the state for national economic development and employment generation (http://ow.ly/4KSFj). The Ondo people are waiting. Your Four years have started already. You must start now.

19. On the same day, March 2nd, your campaign train was in Ekiti state. While there, you promised that more than N50 billion federal intervention projects were ongoing in the state (http://ow.ly/4KSGb). You can rest assured that Fayemi and indeed the entire Ekiti kete are waiting for you.

20. On March 9th, in Sokoto, you promised to rehabilitate the abandoned Shagari irrigation project as well as reviving the nation’s rail system and fight the menace of desertification in the country. (http://ow.ly/4KSGX) Sokoto people have suffered for too long. This is your time to redeem your pledge, Mr President. The clock is ticking!!!

21. The date was March 12th 2011 and you were in Ogun State, my home state. Remember, the day you rode to Abeokuta through rail? Yes, that was the day you promised an improved power supply before the end of the year through the Integrated Power Project (IPP) initiative. You also pledged to build more refineries, encourage downstream activities, resuscitate rail transportation and create jobs. In case you have forgotten, that was the day that Gbenga Daniel your South West campaign coordinator was booed by the Ogun people (http://ow.ly/4KSHM).

22. On March 14th, your campaign trained moved to Kebbi where you promised to establish a federal university next year (2012). You also promised to create jobs through science and technology, tackle environmental challenges and boost health care delivery. (http://ow.ly/4KSIX)

23. Katsina, was your port of call on March 15 where you promised to enhance the living standard of Nigerians through implementation of people-oriented programmes that would provide citizens the necessary opportunities to realize their potentials. In my opinion, this was just mere rhetoric, as you did not make any concrete promise. Or did you have the premonition, you will lose in Katsina? Seems I was right.

24. In Kano, you pledged to resuscitate the nation’s power sector and encourage the development of small and medium scale enterprises in the country while ensuring justice, equity and fair play in the polity (http://ow.ly/4KSKJ).

Mr. President, space will not allow me to list the deluge of promises in Lagos, Osun, Borno, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Imo, Taraba, Jigawa, Edo, Bayelsa and Zamfara states, and Abuja (http://ow.ly/4KSLf). If you can accomplish all your promises in the next four years, then you will go down memory lane as the best President ever.

Thanks to Yahoo, Gmail and Facebook (and now Twitter and Google Plus), we can all save this message in our Inbox/Wall/Timelines for the next four years and check out how much you achieve on your promises.

Your fellow Nigerian,

Egghead Odewale

NB: This article was initially published in May 2011. It has been modified and republished in commemoration of two years of Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidency since election. Except otherwise stated, all dates were in 2011.

Contact Us…

Please send your Press Release/Articles/ Stories/Enquiries to: editor@newafricanpress.com

Views expressed herein are not necesarily that of  New African Press  but that of the individual writers. Facts and accuracies are the responsibilities of the authors. Please also note that some people may use pseudo names or generic emails, to which New African Press may not be able to verify. Therefore, an author’s identity should not be inferred on the basis of name, subject matter, or any other characterization presented here.

Pls leave your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This blog claims no credit for any images posted unless where otherwise stated. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it to appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to the image and it will be promptly removed.