Cautious optimism as Jonathan inaugurates new Cabinet

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Acting Goodluck Jonathan
Acting President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigerians across the world have adopted a ‘wait and see’ and ‘still watching’  attitude as the nation emerges with a new Cabinet, inaugurated by the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House Abuja on Tuesday.

Low zeal, reserved optimism and a complete sense of indifference met the inauguration of the new Cabinet as the nation adopted a wait and see posture to welcome the Acting President’s new government decision initiators.

The postures have not been very surprising for a people so deluded, disorientated, traumatised  and deprived, and currently psychologically imprisoned by successive government whose stock in trade has been to embezzle the fortune of the people.

“Nigerians are no idiots” was the solemn response from Adams Bisiriyu yesterday as he responded to a question on the cabinet take-off claiming the citizens are watching  very closely what they will offer for the country.

A deluded Sunny Adewale last night responded to a question in London :” Can we still trust a government in today’s Nigeria?”.

The nation’s  dispirited citizens for long have witnessed a government adrift  from uncertainty  untenables, result of many years of misrule and flagrant  abuse of political system such that has made many to give up expectations and just parading as having nothing to do with governance.

A short reaction yesterday from various groups are of the opinion that  the current constituted Cabinet would have to prove to the entire world that they have a vision and a mission before any confidence would be reposed in them.

Acting President Goodluck Jonathan installed the new cabinet on Tuesday, a move his supporters hope would herald a period of stronger government and ease months of political uncertainty in the country.

Jonathan assigned portfolios to 38 new cabinet ministers, including senior Goldman Sachs executive Olusegun Aganga and former mines minister Deziani Allison-Madueke, who were appointed finance and petroleum ministers respectively.

With his own team now in place, can Acting President Jonathan assert his authority and revive reforms that stalled after ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua stepped away from the public eye last November.

“I have confidence in this team, which I believe reflects on the federal government’s commitment to take bold steps in solving the nation’s problems,” Jonathan told reporters after a swearing-in ceremony.

Goodluck Jonathan
Settling down to good governance? Goodluck Jonathan

Only 13 months remain of the presidential term, can the leadership of Goodluck Jonathan signal a new era of hope for Nigerians? Can he turn around the current lost confidence on the unpopular government of Peoples Democratic Party? Can Jonathan turn around the fate of the nation regarding continuous lack of electricity? Can he restore confidence and bring hope to those deprived Niger Delta citizens?,

Can he fight off the current plague of corruption and the associating endemic diresrepect for the rule of law and disregard for the constitution?, Can he improve the Security of the nation by providing a foundation for the employment of millions of youth roaming Nigeria streets? Can Jonathan make a mark within his short period which terminates a little over a year away?, Can he…..

The new ministers, including 13 returnees from the outgoing cabinet, face an herculean task in achieving the above  goals as the rest of Africa watch Nigeria drifting from one uncertainty to another to the consternation and mocking of the entire world.

NOT REALLY A DREAM TEAM?

Jonathan surprised many with the appointment of Madueke, the country’s first female oil minister, and also the replacement of Mohammed Barkindo as head of state-run oil firm NNPC. Shehu Ladan, a retired NNPC executive, was chosen to be his successor.

“What is worrying is (Madueke’s) performance in the past was not inspiring. She couldn’t make any impact both at the works ministry and solid minerals ministry,” said Reuben Abati, chairman of the editorial board for Nigeria’s Guardian newspapers.

Madueke and Ladan will be in charge of implementing legislation, currently before parliament, that would overhaul the energy industry and turn NNPC into a profit-driven company.

“The change is to inject new blood in NNPC and refocus it in a new direction because NNPC should be a global player, like (Brazil’s oil firm) Petrobras,” Jonathan said.

The acting president named Godsday Orubebe as the Niger Delta minister, responsible for developing the oil-producing region as part of a federal amnesty program.

Considered the most comprehensive peace effort in the region for years, hundreds of former militants have surrendered their weapons for clemency, a monthly stipend and job opportunities.

But little progress has been made in the program’s implementation and talks have yet to take place with the country’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

“As long as it does not deal with the justice and root issues, any minister there will not have any influence on the actions we will eventually take to force a change,” MEND said in an email to Reuters.

Additional Source: Reuters.