I stated on this page last Friday that my focal point is proving that by conceding defeat to retired General Muhammadu Buhari, when President Jonathan had all the powers to have, at least, delayed, cancelled or brazenly manipulated things, the characteristic way of most African leaders (I hope we still all remember June 12, 1993?), he-Jonathan, plays himself into history books as ‘Child of Independence’ predicted by late President Umaru Yar’Adua and ‘The Dark Horse’ foretold by late Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo to fix Nigeria for good.
Consequently, I erected the superstructure of my conclusion on the foundational base that ‘Jonathan is the best Nigerian leader till date in terms of genuine infrastructural development of our country. I also alluded that ‘the second plank of my belief and appreciation that President Jonathan is the predicted ‘Child of Independence’ to fix Nigeria is his unpretentious carriage in putting Nigeria on the world map of genuine democratic culture’. I will like to broaden these two areas of our national existence under the Jonathan presidency as much as possible.
First, let me start with the second plank of President Jonathan’s ‘unpretentious carriage in putting Nigeria on the world map of genuine democratic culture.’ In 2011, President Jonathan said nobody should rig elections for him and that if he lost the election, he would go back to his home town of Otuoke in Bayelsa State. More inspiringly, he made it clear that no Nigerian blood is worth his political ambition. This is a foundation of democratic culture that I believe must be nurtured by all Nigerians-the leading and the led. On this score, I make bold to assert that in Nigeria’s political history, no Nigerian leader of his stature-not even at state level-has ever made and lived up to a tension-dousing statement like this. And, if we are not going to attempt covering the full-blown pregnancy with mere two hands as the Igbo adage goes, elections in Nigeria, especially since 1959, have all been do-or-die affairs and almost all Nigerian leaders have preached and subscribed to this culture with unbridled and reckless abandon. On several occasion too, this political culture of leading Nigerian politicians have seen Nigeria spralling into the brink of dismemberment. Contrarily, Jonathan promised Nigerians credible elections in which peoples’ votes would count: This he established in Edo, Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States, where international and local observers applauded him for free and fair elections.
What about his conceding victory to General Muhammadu Buhari and at the same time, congratulating him as winner of last presidential election? Once again, I declare that this singular act by President Jonathan moved Nigeria out of the jinx of being “Lord Lugard’s Contraption,” “Mistake of 1914” or “Mere Geographical Expression”, predicted to go into balkanization this year the way of defunct almighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, USSR, Czechoslovakia and others.
Talk of Jonathan’s legacy of unsurpassed infrastructural development in Nigeria, it is evident space constraint will not permit an elaborate listing and presentation here. However, I will attempt a synopsis. Under President Jonathan’s ‘Civilian Command’, many Nigerian major roads hitherto neglected, have been or are being fixed to catalyze Nigeria’s latest economic status as the Giant of Africa: In the light of this, there has been practical, visible and identifiable massive rehabilitation/construction of major highways across the country. These include: Benin-Ore, Gombe-Potiskum, Jos-Bauchi, Lagos-Ibadan, Owerri-Onitsha, Abuja-Lokoja and the popular East-West roads amongst others. Construction of the Second Niger Bridge linking the East to other parts of Nigeria with potentials of boosting industrial and economic activities of the country is on-going.
It is quite heart-warming that the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has acknowledged the Jonathan administration strides in agric and power sectors. It is incontrovertible that President Jonathan is first Nigerian Head of State to build 10 new plants for power generation and distribution in the country. Some of them include the Geregu 1 and 2 located at Kogi State and the Gas Power plants in Gbarain Kingdom in Bayelsa State. Similarly, it is noticeable that there has been construction of dams across the Northern part of Nigeria with the most notable being the Zungeru Dam in Niger State and Mambilla Dam and Power State, one of Africa’s (and Nigeria’s) biggest dam projects and hydro power plant and which, on completion will be connected to three dams across the Donga River in Taraba State for optimum power generation in Nigeria.
One area of our national economy, which has enjoyed global recognition and applause under President Jonathan, is Agriculture. In the past three years, food imports in Nigeria have been reduced by about 40 per cent while local production of rice, cassava, sorghum, cotton and cocoa in has gone up by percentages ranging from 25 to 56. Thus, for the first time since independence, agric sector in Nigeria is attracting unprecedented Foreign Direct Investment. For instance, since 2012, the sector has attracted more than $ 4 billion in private sector executed letters of commitment to invest in agricultural value chains, from food crops, to export crops, fisheries and livestock. In a similar vein, number of private sector seed companies grew from 10 to 70and above, while over $ 7 billion of investments from Nigerian businesses have been made to develop new fertilizer manufacturing plants with Nigeria’s potential of being largest producer and exporter of fertilizer in Africa. It is also a fact that farmers all over the federation now get fertilizers at augmented prices with the elimination of the intractable corrupt practices in all the pre-Jonathan administrations in the country.
Lastly, The Jonathan administration infrastructural stride is also noticeable in the aviation sector where Nigeria has witnessed safer air-flights as a result of the improvements in Airports facilities and remodeling of 22 Airports across the country. Like in the aviation sector, education has enjoyed infrastructural development with establishment of about 15 New Federal Universities including those for the Police and Maritime studies and Federal Polytechnics for training of manpower on technology-related fields while 125 special schools for Almajiris in the North were built.
These and many more are the foundational infrastructural facilities I believe should not be made to go into waste garbage of what is called ‘Sunk Cost’ in Public Administration by the in-coming and future federal administrations in Nigeria. I am convinced that continuing with these foundational infrastructural facilities will be a sure roadmap to Nigeria’s much anticipated greatness.

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