Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
As a teacher of Physics in the university, I was excited when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua awarded a contract of some N40bn for an alternative-energy, wind-powered electricity generation plant to be sited, naturally, at Katsina State.
Any such alternative energy plant would provide a vista for studies that students of physics could do. When Yar’Adua passed away, President Goodluck Jonathan stuck to the schedule of completion of this project and he was on the verge of delivering when some elements “reasoned” that this project would score Jonathan high in Arewaland.
Thus, Boko Haram struck by kidnapping the principal French engineer who was readying this electricity plant for opening. This hapless Frenchman was held captive in a building at Zaria for months on end until he escaped by sheer dint of good fortune. That project was tanked for good.
This arrested development was a boon for the anti-Jonathan forces but it was strange that a people would hit at Jonathan by impoverishing their folks. Now, the North-East we heard of as kids was that remote, almost romantic clime, where mangala fish abounded and where the tap water was so “hot” at Gamboru Ngala that one would be tempted to make eba with it is no more; it was a place of thriving business and prospects for sustainable poverty reduction until Boko Haram struck to reduce that region to rubbles, as it were, whilst Jonathan was holding forte.
The Chibok Christian girls’ kidnap was meant to be a spear thrust deep through the heart of Jonathan and, shamefully, it worked, but to what end? When President Jonathan had the wherewithal to continue to boost a growing economy, Boko Haram terrorism (sympathisers call it “insurgency”) was an irritating conduit of resources; it was bad that streamlining these resources originally meant for national development to defeat Boko Haram was met by brickwalls, by among others, the man who opined that fighting Boko Haram was “anti-North;” the traditional ruler who whined that Jonathan had a grand design to decimate “Muslim youths and mere unruly boys,” and so on. With such sustained pressure that Boko Haram mustered on the public relations front, it is no wonder Jonathan lost the 2015 general elections. The alternative to Jonathan is no better option at all.
Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State