Nigeria’s miracle: President Jonathan nomination comes with peace, transparency and stability
A miracle happened in Nigeria on the day President Jonathan was nominated to be the flag bearer and presidential candidate for Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the largest political party in Nigeria. The miracle that eluded many local experts and local media was not the election of President Jonathan per se, but the aftermath peace, transparency and stability that came with it. The calm and relaxed atmosphere that followed the PDP convention was an omen of the country’s rising maturation and tolerance. There was no fighting and no violence on the streets of Nigeria and the country was safe for democratic capitalism.
A teachable moment happened in Nigeria, contrary to what the naysayers were bellowing about Nigeria – ‘the religious and regional divide that comes with violence and instability’ but Nigeria overcome it at the PDP convention. This is important, for had confusion and violence followed the political convention, they would have said, ‘I tell you so, for nothing good comes out of Nigeria.’
The international and domestic communities together with investors responded with their further investments in Nigerian stock exchange. In capitalist democracies investors vote with their pocketbooks and stock markets become the barometer to measure the way investors and traders felt. To Nigeria’s credit the nomination shows that contrary to many slanted observations and analysis, Nigeria is a nation that is willing to stay together and work together at least for that moment.
The country may have just begun to start making the tiny step to growth and self actualization. But this cannot be interpreted that Nigeria is now standing tall without existential problems. Far from the truth, Nigeria still has many problems but peaceful nomination of President Jonathan is a testament that Nigeria is better than what the world would like to think about the country. Nigeria is not necessarily out of the woods; therefore she cannot afford to sit on her laurels but to increasingly build on this for free and fair April election.
There is an American adage, “follow the money” and investors have proven with their resources and money that Nigeria is safe for investment. The Nigerian stocks were on fire after the successful nomination of President Jonathan. There were no riots, no ethnic and religious conflagrations. The winners and losers shook hands and go home. Many investors were happy with the outcome of the convention. They realized that there is a continuation and that their investments are safe and protected. Therefore investors showed a resounding approval by investing more and sending in more money.
Due to the political stability that followed PDP convention, Nigerian Stock Exchange rose to eight-month high. The international news network, Bloomberg reported that: “Nigerian stocks, the world’s best performers this year, rose to an eight-month high as President Goodluck Jonathan won the ruling party’s nomination to compete in an election this year, easing concern that infighting would destabilize the nation.” This is good news for Nigeria and moment of triumph over cynicism and mischaracterization of Nigeria’s situation. There are good people in Nigeria, the silent majority that are committed in building a good country.
“ The 215-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index added 0.9 percent to close at 27,267.17 by 2:30 p.m. in Lagos, according to an e-mailed statement from the bourse, the highest since May 19. The measure has gained 10 percent this year, making it the best-performing equity index among 91 tracked by Bloomberg. Nigeria Breweries Plc, the second-biggest company by market value, led gains, surging 5 percent to 91.43 naira, the highest since 2002.”
Nigeria has been seen as hopeless, dissected and balkanized in the minds of those that want the country to fall apart and to be label a failed state. Nigeria was type casted as a nation divided by religion and region but that is not the whole story about Nigeria. Most Nigerians live together in peace; co-existing with each other and working together. Now in Nigeria a citizen respective of religion, region or creed can become a Nigerian president and that is the good news. But nobody is denying the problems of the country but a small but important leap was made with peaceful convention and nomination of President Jonathan.
The business community is looking for a place to grow their money with appreciate able returns. Nigeria is gradually taking a minimal but a significant step; rising to the occasion, demonstrating to friends and foes and most importantly to herself that she can grow up. The global business is now seeing Nigeria, as an emerging nation with a good prospect and a safe place to invest.
Emeka Chiakwelu is the principal Policy Strategist at Afripol. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.firstname.lastname@example.org www.afripol.org