It is not every time that we have had cause to write about Nigerian political leaders and express their recorded successes. While we are not here to sing praise of anyone, but we believe it is good, as objective critics, to highlight and see ‘the good side’ of President Goodluck Jonathan and not only his ‘bad sides.’ Considering the fact that every one of us has a good and a bad side, what differentiates each and every one of us however, is how much of these two sides are more evident in one’s life. It is on that note that we believe we, and many others in the polity, should equally take a look at the good side of President Jonathan, and not to be known to only look at his bad side always. As patriotic Nigerians and of course, amongst the country’s leaders of thought, we felt the need to appreciate the good attributes of President Jonathan, emphasize the relevance of doing the right thing by our political leaders and the importance of advancing on these good attributes for posterity sake.
One of the major things we believe President Jonathan should be appreciated for is on the recent recorded successes by the Nigerian Military Forces in the fight against terrorism, especially in North East Nigeria. For someone with no military background and training, we must commend President Jonathan for his ‘renewed’ doggedness to fight terrorism headlong. As the Commander In Chief of The Nigerian Armed Forces, the successes or failures of the Military Forces in curbing insurgency in the country, to a large extent, is dependent on the body language, state of mind, dexterity, and courage and leadership prowess of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And we must say that the President did not do badly at all in this regard, particularly of recent.
We also commend President Goodluck Jonathan for having visited the Nigerian Military in Baga town in Borno State, and Mubi in Adamawa, to boost the moral of the soldiers in their fight against Boko Haram insurgents. During his visit, the President addressed officers and men of the Nigerian army in both towns, which were recently recaptured from Boko Haram. He applauded the army for their bravery and patriotism they have shown in the fight against Boko Haram. Jonathan also stated that their performance so far proves beyond reasonable doubt that they are more than capable of defeating Boko Haram. This is the sort of ‘encouragement’ that every Nigerian soldier (who has put his/her life on the line), surely needs from their President and Commander In Chief. Some have argued that the President’s visit has been long overdue; others said the move was part of the President’s re-election campaign strategy. Whatever the case maybe, the fact is that the President went out of his way to visit and encourage our Nigerian troops in the fight against terror.
On President Jonathan’s recent alleged visit to the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, which  created a little uproar in the polity, we do not see anything wrong with this contact, especially if it has to do with getting cooperations from other countries in the fight against terror. Though, President Jonathan admitted later that he did not speak on telephone with the King of Morocco, as claimed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry (a false claim that sparked a diplomatic spat with Morocco recalling its ambassador), we still believe there is need for the President to be given the leverage to do what he sees fit in ending insurgency in the country. Unless the issue in question has nothing to do with the Nigeria’s welfare, then it will be within our right to fault such move. President Jonathan has however ordered an investigation into the scandal, and has vowed to punish the officials responsible for it.
When news first broke out some months back that the Boko Haram sect were seriously gaining grounds in some States in North East Nigeria, and they were capturing Nigerian territories, many like us were greatly disturbed with the development and we wondered what the Nigerian Security operatives were doing to address this. Aside capturing Nigerian territories in States like Adamawa, Yobe and Bornu, these insurgents had also dared our military Security operatives and had in several occasions, captured and carted away Armored Tanks and weaponry from the Nigerian army. We had faulted this development, because it seriously makes one to wonder. This is hinged on the fact that we are talking about the ‘almighty’ Nigerian Army; that is practically known to have singlehandedly secured peace missions in some African countries. Yes, we know that the fight against terror is a global war, and is not regular guerrilla warfare between well-established enemy lines. But like many like us had suggested, we are glad that the Nigerian Army and other Joint Security Operatives have not only reestablished bilateral relations with neighboring countries like Chad and Niger, they have also developed the needed intelligence and well-organized warfare strategy to curtail the excesses of the Boko Haram sect.
Happy that it finally regained its waning glory as evidenced in recent wave of successes against Boko Haram terrorists, Nigerian Defence Headquarters recently promised not to relent until every part of the country is finally rid of insurgency. Spokesperson for the Defence Headquarters, Major General Chris Olukolade said “we are conscious that the fight is not over and the Nigerian military will therefore not relent. Nothing will be taken for granted. All Nigerians are equally enjoined to maintain this posture.”
According to him, “the current turn of the tide against the terrorists is an initiative conceived and is being driven by the Nigerian military but enjoying the backing of the reinvigorated Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which has troops from Niger, Chad and Cameroon. In his words, “The continuous aerial bombardment of identified terrorists’ cells and hideouts by the Nigerian Air Force and subsequent ground offensive by the Nigerian troops pursuing the dislodged terrorists is proving worthwhile.  Our partners are entrusted with employing the instrumentality of the Multi-National Joint Task Force to contain any terrorists who heads towards our borders with neighbouring countries and preventing the formation of any new safe haven elsewhere.” For these successes, we say kudos to the Presidency and the Nigerian Military Forces.
Another good attribute of President Jonathan, which is worth commending, is the fact that he is one president that does not arbitrarily arrest, jail or clampdown on radical critics of his administration or his person. Nigerian journalist would agree with the fact that they have been allowed to always air their views and enjoy press freedom. Freedom to the press has never been this good. Though, there are few cases of journalist being harassed by security operatives, the fact is that the President’s somewhat ‘indifferent body language’ towards radical critics of his administration, has somehow created the room and encouraging atmosphere for freedom of the press to say and write whatever they please without the fear of being in the bad books of the Presidency.
Perhaps, President Jonathan’s unassuming demeanor and calm and cautious nature, has contributed to this fact. No matter the names he has been called, or criticism about his person, President Jonathan has never seen the need to retaliate by wielding the power he enjoys as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Again, perhaps this explains why he never came out openly to criticize the person and character of his main Presidential Opposition candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) of the All Progressive Congress (APC). President Jonathan’s public utterances in this regard were usually well-cautioned and very moderate. However, most of President Jonathan’s supporters and aides are the ones that used every opportunity they could get to ridicule and criticize the person and character of the opposition Presidential candidate. This again raises the question if President Jonathan is not aware or in support of these observed moves by his aides and supporters. But again, we guess this is part and parcel of the ‘Nigerian kind of politicking’, where the ruling party and the main opposition are always on each other’s neck by throwing jabs amongst themselves at every opportunity.
But we must give it to President Jonathan for always carrying on an ‘easy-going’ and calm disposition towards such ‘jabs’ from the main opposition. He is one that is very ‘slow to anger’. Hence, he is rarely seen to have ‘personalized his campaign on assassinating the character and person of Buhari. We would also say that President Jonathan is one President that does not have too much power concentrated on his seat as the Centre of Aso Rock. To a large extent, he has allowed a great measure of freedom to his Cabinet members/Ministers to exercise some level of power through their various offices. He has also maintained some level of ‘neutrality’ and very limited interferences into the affairs and workings of the National Assembly. All of these are some of the good attributes of the President Jonathan led government, which many would agree with us, is quite different from past civilian administrations.