Former President of Nigeria,Olusegun Obasanjo is reported to have said he feared that there would be a revolution in Nigeria.President Obasanjo expressed his fears in far away Senegal at the weekend whilst speaking at the West Africa regional conference on youth employment.
According to him: “I am afraid. And when a General says he is afraid, that means the danger ahead is real and potent. Despite the imminent threat to Nigeria’s nationhood there is no serious, realistic short or long term solution to youth unemployment.”
Obasanjo claims that his administration was able to reduce youth unemployment from 72% to 54% between 1999 and 2004 and that the rate had returned to 71% in 2011.
The former President went on to inform his audience that ”Nigerian youths have been patient enough and that this patience will soon reach its elastic limit.”
We, at Spearide very much agree with the former President;we are also of the opinion that President Goodluck Jonathan should take Obasanjo’s warning seriously.
But we have some questions for the former President:
1.Obasanjo was President of Nigeria for 8 years, he was the head of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),the PDP has been in government for the past 13 years (actually since 1999): from the foregoing, Obasanjo has in one way or the other supervised the government /party that has impoverished many Nigerians.Should’nt he just shut up and apologise to Nigerians?
2.During his speech in Dakar,Senegal ,Obasanjo proffered solutions to the current administration.Now how much of his suggested solutions did he apply during his own time in government?
3.If good leadership is the solution to the current unemployment level, how does Obasanjo expect good leaders to emerge: after all he is said to have left a legacy of electoral fraud as claimed by Bola Tinubu.
4.16 billion US dollars was spent by his administration on electric power, but there is nothing to show for this waste. Lack of electricity has been the major reason why many factories have had to shut down ,leading to lay offs.
5.Obasanjo was in charge of the petroleum ministry during his time in office yet none of the refineries operated at capacity.
The former President would do well to admit to Nigerians that his time in office was an opportunity he wasted, and yes the revolution would come but he is also likely to be on the recieving end.
Remember ”Nigerian youths have been patient enough and that this patience will soon reach its elastic limit.”
As for the current administration, our counsel to President Goodluck Jonathan is that he would need much more than Goodluck to scale through any revolution.There is growing anger in the land , and people are increasingly losing faith in his ability to govern.
The body language of this administration shows it regards corruption as a sacred cow:it simply lacks the will and ability to rein it.
Goodluck Jonathan may be playing good boy to everybody in order to secure a second term for himself by 2015;however , if the level of discontent gains more traction, there may be nothing for Mr Jonathan by 2015 if not earlier.
If President Jonathan and members of the other arms of government want to really help themselves , they should consider what happened to President Ferdinand Marcos during the People Power (EDSA) Revolution of 1986 in the Philipines and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 that marked the end of the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu.
Think well, and act now.
Perhaps a lesson from China may help illustrate the point:China is currently undergoing a leadership transition, and the next Premier Li Keqiang …’has been telling everyone to read Alexis de Tocqueville’s The old Regime and the French Revolution. The book, published in 1856, was one of the first major history books to examine the Ancien Regime and exactly what caused the French Revolution that tore it down
According to Jamil Anderlini, of the Financial Times, many are viewing the book as a warning: “de Tocqueville blamed the 1789 French revolution in part on the fact that the bourgeoisie inspired envy among the masses while the nobles elicited scorn”.