Obasanjo, IBB shun Jonathan’s 2nd term declaration, as experts express divergent views on assessment


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was conspicuously absent at President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration to contest the 2015 presidential election in Abuja on Tuesday.

Also absent was a former military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, both are members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

Babangida was among those who sought the party’s ticket in 2011, but lost to Jonathan.

Obasanjo was a former chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, who later resigned his position over some disagreements with the way he said the party was being handled.

There were speculations that the former President was against the second term ambition of the President because of the alleged agreement he (Jonathan) had with the leadership of the party, including the governors in 2011, that he would only be in office for one term.

Meanwhile, there were mixed reactions to the President’s self assessment at his declaration for the 2015 election.

Jonathan, who admitted that the Boko Haram issue had been a big challenge to his administration, listed his achievements in various sectors.

A former chairman of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, said Nigerians could not be carried away by the list of achievements reeled out by the President.

Ubani said, “Nigerians are already used to this road; the road of leaders coming out to tell Nigerians about their achievements that are not seen. Leaders at state and local government levels during the period of elections come out to say a lot of things.

“We are used to it but we are not carried away by their claims.”

Financial analysts also expressed divergent views on the economic performance of the Jonathan administration.

Analysts such as the Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekwere; the Registrar, Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Godwin Eohoi; and a former President of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association, Peter Nwabuzor.

While Onyekwere rated the performance of the economy under Jonathan low, Eohoi and Nwabuzor were of the view that the economy had witnessed massive transformation within the last three-and-a-half years.

Onyekwere said, “I will assess him as a student who want to get let my people go, which is about 40 per cent. We can afford to do more than two times as better as we are doing now in terms of uplifting the standards of living.

“He promised refineries he has not done that. We are still importing fuel and spending about a trillion naira in importing fuel and the electricity he promised is not there yet.

“To whom much is given much is expected and we have abundant resources but we are yet to fully get to utilise that resources for the benefit of Nigerians.”

But Eohoi said that when considered from all economic indicators, the Jonathan administration has performed well.

“He had done well in boosting the economy since he assumed office. Look at the work so far carried out in key sectors of the economy which had resulted in creating wealth, reducing unemployment and ensuring macro economic growth,” he said.

Eohoi, however, said there was still more work to be done in boosting power supply in order to increase the capacity of manufacturing companies.

Also in his assessment of the current administration, Nwabuzor said, “He is a president that has performed credibly well in spite of all the challenges facing the nation.

“I have to mention that Mr. President has made tremendous achievements in all sectors of the economy, and in realisation of the fact that he has positively touched all relevant sectors of the economy by making tremendous achievements.”

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