By; AUWAL AHMED IBRAHIM GORONYO
I write this birthday message as a gift to you with mixture of two reactions; happiness and agony. The agony of the past regarding how Nigerians treated you during your presidency, but I am happy for you because since you left the throne of presidency, your life has continued to shine and truth manifests while convincing every person in the world that you are a true leader that Nigerians mistakenly shunned. You are a democratic leader that served Nigerians with all your heart and might but many people within your government and outside worked against you.
Oppositions said many things against you just to get the power but the God is not wicked, the sun has shined and the truth is revealing it self. They said you can’t defeat Boko Haram but your military action before 2015 general election surprised the world that you can do better than them if you were given another opportunity. With the ongoing activities of Boko Haram since you left nothing has changed from the stories and promises the leader after you made.
On May, 2014 it was calculated that Boko Haram had killed 12,000 Nigerians but after you left from 2015 to October, 2022 there was a calculation that more than 63, 111 were killed. While, thousands of Nigerians were killed by Boko Haram insurgency and banditry; communal crises and protests had also engulfed precious lives of Nigerians.
The government after you accused you of borrowing to run the government but they didn’t explain that you inherited $42.23bn debt, borrowed only N4.7 trillion through your presidency and conducted the most ever transparent elections in the country, fought the deadly Boko Haram and executed giant projects and left the seat with only N6.17 trillion deficit.
Your government is accused of corruption during 2015 campaigns but up to now nothing emerged to testify that allegation, but Nigerians began to hear fables on the mess of the previous government with shocking revelations.
The stories of Nigerian Airway and Mambilla Hydroelectric that slowed billions of Naira without nothing to show was an irony of a saint government. While you administered a people centered government without blaming games and pointing accusing fingers on the problems of your government on others you did well in human development with commendable efforts.
One of your greatest mistake in governance they said was the kidnapping of the Chibok girls and with all the promises to bring back the girls, many of the girls are still in captivity to date. As October, 2022 SERAP said that there were almost 2,000 students kidnapped under Muhammad Buhari.
In all the years you served and handed over, Dollar to Naira exchange rate was between N170 to N190 but now; in December, 2023 Dollar stands for more than N1000. Fuel was at N87, Gas, food and school fees are all affordable but oppositions blackmailed you and Nigerians blindly turned their backs against you, voted the change that changed the whole sweet to sweat.
As a gentleman you refused to be dragged in the mud, you blatantly refused to join APC for presidency. You remained to be humble and simmer for what Nigerians caused with their hands. And that was the best you did as an elder statesman.
I know you already heard about the singer that sang against you during the 2015 general elections had opened up about the past government. “The former president had done more bad than good, he allowed corruption grown bigger and borrowed more than he could control to suffer Nigerians,” Rarara said.
I believed as the truth continue to show us your charisma, good conduct, sacrifices you made and the adventures you thread, you will continue to be happier but will never for a second erase the love of Nigerians in your heart because we all know that you are a true lover of every son and daughter of Nigeria.
Your commitment on the Almajiri Schools was a clear vision of how you served all Nigerians without sentiment. You envisioned a good change for the North, but I want to tell you the truth about the legacy you left for the North; the N15b program aimed to eradicate poverty, problems of out-of-schools-children, promote the North and bring a new name for us has been abandoned, neglected and almajiris are now at the expense of begging and the mighty insecurity is brainwashing some.
I believed in your words on the worth of a Nigerian blood, your statement is a testimony that you can sacrifice even your life for a Nigerian. You did all your best to make Nigerians happy, wanted to lift the country above poverty level and make the life of the poor better but that dream was shattered.
At last, the masses that voted you out are regretting, praying in repentance for the time to tickle back. They now want that time of bombs than this time that hunger kills more.
Although, I didn’t mean that your government was perfect because there were some hiccups that strangled the function of the government optimally because you trusted every cabinet member of your government, many perpetuated in corrupt actives and you couldn’t castigate them because they worked your way to the villa, but as a person you rendered a selfless government for all Nigerians like your boss; Umaru Musa ‘Yaradua.
You conceded defeat to save Nigerians lives and congratulated your political opponent before the winner is announced, what you did was a history in record and has never happen in Nigerian democracy. The legacy of credible election you left is at marble. The evidences of Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states’ elections testified to the fact that Nigerian democracy is at stake and is heading to hit the rocks again.
Former President, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan as you clocked 66 good years of blessings, health and commitment in the work of Nigerians. Your government will continue to be remembered for all your sacrifices, hard work, perseverance and love and your life will continue to be great forever and ever. Happy Birthday and best wishes.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim Goronyo is a political analyst and write from Kaduna State, Nigeria, can be reached at email@example.com