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Buhari behaving like Jonathan, favouring South-West against north – Junaid Mohammed

May 27, 2017
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A statement credited to a second republic lawmaker, Junaid Mohammed, has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari is behaving just like the Ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan by allegedly favouring only the South-West regions in terms of infrastructural development while neglecting his own people, the north. Mr. Mohammed was also quoted to have said that President Buhari has also not built even a single road in the north despite haven spent two years of his administration.

The statement also said that the ex-lawmaker made the comment while appraising President Buhari’s two years in office,  in a chat with DAILY POST.

According to him,  “Today, it is the South-West that is enjoying the Buhari administration in terms of key appointments and development projects like roads.

“He has short-changed the north.

“He has not done even a single road so far in the north.

“Buhari’s idea of project implementation is skewed in favour of the South West.

“This is the same thing that Jonathan did for other parts of the country excluding the South South where he comes from.

“I believe that he has done reasonably well but he had a lot of work to do if he must meet the basic needs and expectations of Nigerians.

Nigeria needs a strong leader who practises what he says. Buhari is generally sick and this limitation has really hindered his performance. He has disconnected from his party leadership, the APC, and he has problems with the legislature and the judiciary.

“We really have no basis to celebrate May 29 since it was set up by the military.We have acted and behaved more as despotic nation and have not met the basic tenets of democracy and for me, there is nothing to celebrate”‎, he said.

A report on the Jonathan’s case of abandonment was extensively captured by By Waritobo Soweibo in his article, “Six wasted years: Weep not for Jonathan.”

He wrote thus: A MAJOR  ammunition with political foes of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan which shot down his re-election bid in 2015 was the accusation that he favoured the Niger Delta region over other parts of the country.

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Specifically, his critics alleged that the choicest appointments he made went to Ijaw people, with Bayelsa, his home state, particularly favoured. This allegation was practically made into a song, one that played loudly and was enjoyed to the hilt by other sections of the country.

However, those of us who are Ijaws knew this was nothing but fallacy. It was effectively thrown up as such before the election, which Jonathan eventually lost to General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The widespread assumption that Jonathan did so much for the Niger Delta, especially the ordinary Bayelsan, was ripped up by the former President himself. Perhaps unintended. Unknown to him at the time, he was making a rod for his own back. The former President, standing on the podium at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, venue of the presidential campaign rally in Port Harcourt, unwittingly invited what would come to haunt him later.

With the trademarked wide grin pasted on his face, he danced and waved enthusiastically to loud cheers from his supporters. While speaking, Jonathan admitted that he had done very little for the Niger Delta, but promised to make amends if re-elected.

Perhaps, the admission was made in the hope that other parts of the country would view him as a non-sectional leader, while the people of the Niger Delta would be seduced into longing for four years of intensive development of the zone.

It did not pan out either way. In fact, what happened was that Jonathan, unknowingly, invited Niger Delta activists to come up with a narrative that his five-year presidency amounted to a waste for the ordinary Bayelsan and Niger Deltan.

A confirmation of this was delivered by Jonathan himself after he lost the re-election bid. It was at a state banquet held in his honour by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson at the Dr. Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Yenagoa on May 29, 2015.

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The occasion, brimming with Jonathan’s close aides, officials of his government and the crème de la crème of the Ijaw nation, was akin to a stock-taking exercise.

Addressing the gathering, Jonathan said he thought Bayelsans would boo him for neglecting them but was amazed by the level of love the Governor and the people of the state have shown him.‘‘…When you are in high office and you finished serving, you are afraid of going back home, … at the late hour, it dawns on you that you could have done that, you failed to do this, you failed to do that… you begin to fear whether the people that come to receive you will curse you, hoot at you,” Jonathan thundered.

Clearly stated by the former President was that despite his administration’s neglect of Bayelsa State, Governor Dickson’s support for him never wavered. What, perhaps, went unstated was that Governor Dickson also remained steadfast despite the former President’s wife undisguised attempts to humiliate him.

As a matter of fact, mutual friends of the duo were persuaded that Governor Dickson’s affection for the former President was like that of a son for the father, a state of affairs that angered many Ijaw activists such as I. We believed that such strong affection for a man, whose administration neglected the Ijaw nation, amounted to a betrayal of the Ijaw cause for which Isaac Boro, Melford Okilo, DSP Alamieyeseigha fought and died.

The former President would, again, confirm Governor Dickson as a dependable ally. The confirmation was made during the run-up to the December 2015 Bayelsa State governorship election, which Governor Seriake Dickson won. On 8 September 2015, while making a strong case for the re-election of Governor Dickson, the former President described the governor as a man of uncommon leadership qualities and a ‘‘trusted and dependable person’’.

Thus, when the news media erupted with the reports, on 16 May, that Governor Dickson accused Dr. Jonathan of neglecting the Niger Delta during his five-year presidency, it came as no surprise to me. Why? Jonathan himself had admitted doing so.

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The governor made the remark at the annual Isaac Adaka Boro Day celebration at the Izon Warri in Yenagoa. After a careful reading of the Governor’s speech, I realised-as any reader capable of reflection should-that Dickson’s comments were directed, exclusively, at the political elite, notably ministers and other appointees of the Jonathan administration. In very clear terms, the governor pointed out the studious refusal of people in this category to team up with him in his efforts to develop the state.

Even then, it would require a mighty effort not to be tempted to interpret Dickson’s remarks as suggesting that Jonathan wasted the chance by the Ijaw to develop the Niger Delta because he was the leader. The leader, by nature, provides direction to the led. Not the other way. Ijaw leaders invested significant efforts, time and resources in the quest for true federalism, resource control and an opportunity to have one of them lead the country as president.

The strength of this agitation, arising from decades of minority oppression, led the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo to say: “I look forward to the day, not in the far distant future, when an Ijaw would be president of our Republic and a Birom or vice versa.” Awolowo’s hopes were fulfilled when Dr. Jonathan got the chance. Did he use it well for the Ijaw nation?

He has answered the question by himself. It is important for every Nigerian to understand that there should be adequate collaboration between the government of Bayelsa State and the Federal Government principally because the challenges posed by the environment cannot be surmounted by the state government alone.

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