First 100 days of President Goodluck Jonathan Administration: Passed or Failed? by Femi Aderupatan
In his first 100 days in government office, it has been a roller coaster ride for President Goodluck Jonathan. The administration has been receiving cold feedback in its performance so far from Nigerians home and abroad.
President Jonathan’s first 100 days in office, have been marked with very serious instability in the country. The current level of insecurity, political corruption and lack of a clear political focus in the country is unacceptable. It is obvious that some elements are out to frustrate his administration but i believe that the President 100 days has shown no signs of implementing essential reforms that would restore stability in the country.
What Nigerians desire most is political stability and peaceful co-existence for the survival of the nation and the President has so far not shore up Nigerians confidence. He needs to address these issues first before he can tackle the very essential economic reforms he promised the country. On the issue of Boko Haram, the truth of the matter is that his administration is slow, woeful and disappointing.
There is a real crisis atmosphere gripping the country and doubts about the survival of Democratic capitalism and the presidency. President Jonathan took office, ushered in a great wave of reform promises, and so for almost 100 days there is no a sense that the country's psychological mood at least had been transformed. The only thing I would add is that I suspect every president since Franklin Roosevelt wishes that the term "100 days" could be exorcised from the language. I mean, in some ways it's so unfair to compare that extraordinary accomplishment in the time of crisis when the country needed presidential action with ordinary presidents in ordinary times.
In fact, the story is told at one point in a speech was written for John Kennedy in which he said all these promises I have made will not be accomplished in the next 100 days. And he angrily slashed out the 100 days and made it 1,000 days instead not wanting to be compared to Roosevelt, at which point of course that 1,000 days would end with his own life which he could never have predicted at that time.
Well, just like Roosevelt, Jonathan had the whole country falling apart and he had this massive demand "do something, do anything." that will bring the country together. On the other hand, I think the one area that he still hasn't made the progress that a president needs to is engaging Nigerians at large in his presidency. I think he's overreacted to overexposure and he's kept himself back too much from really using that bully pulpit to make Nigerians feel engaged. You don't have the feeling that Nigerians at large are banging on their representatives doors to get his own programs passed.
With the election of President Jonathan, hopes in Nigeria soared. Finally, they seemed to have found someone who could lead the country out of years of corruption and economic misery. Were these hopes realistic? There seems little reason to doubt his honesty, but even before his rise to President, many questioned whether he was decisive, and displayed true leadership qualities. His record as governor and Vice President was uninspired, showing little inspiration or initiative. Since taking office, criticism of his lack of action has continued. Insecurity, killings, corruption and nepotism at all levels of government, remain issues largely unaddressed by this administration. The same accusations of foot-dragging and indecisiveness continue to plague him.
On his inauguration few months ago, President Jonathan had, among other things, expressed his determination to intensify the war against corruption, and , like every other promise President Jonathan made on that unfortunate day, none has been, and may never be fulfilled. It would therefore not be strange if in the years to come, he, not uncharacteristically, volunteers that he was not in office to fight corruption in the same manner former President Olusegun Obasanjo said recently he was not elected to provide electricity.
Despite all the criticisms , there is still hope and time for Jonathan to be a great President. The President must quickly begin to formally create his presidential footprint during the next 100 days to foster support for his economic stimulus package.
I really don’t want the president to fail. If the president fails, the country fails. But the big questions facing Nigerians now is how do we get President Jonathan to do the right things, the way it helped move the country forward towards political stability and peaceful co-existence.
Femi Aderupatan lives in chicago, Ph.D Candidacy holds an MBA and BA in communication. He is an investment banker, business consultant and President of Strategic Business Solutions.