Jonathanomics: Reliving Margaret Thatcher in Nigeria

Jonathanomics: Reliving Margaret Thatcher in Nigeria
Goodluck Jonathan and Margaret Thatcher


Today, Nigeria’s story is a tale of woes. It is that sorrowful that if she were a spinster in search of a suitor, men would stigmatize her with “badluck.”

All economic and human development indices are skewed on the negatives, giving little hope of survival, a situation worse than the 2008/2009 global economic meltdown.

Just two week ago, the nation’s buffer, foreign reserve slided further down to $400m. The Naira is still bed-wetting against the Dollar and other currencies. Crude oil prices losing hold almost every day; inflation staring at faces and pockets with hard knocks; unemployment ratio increasing by the day; insecurity seems intractable, etc.

Really, put conversely, which woman can accept a man with these baggages of problems for a husband? Her answer is as good as my guess: “He needs deliverance!”

These facts are not far from what the United Kingdom (UK) was before the reign of Baroness Margaret Hilda Thatcher, who died in April, 2013 at the age of 87. Britain, in a stroke of faith, shared some ups and downs with the life and times of Thatcher who later was described as “Iron Lady”, for her uncompromising nature in politics and leadership.

Thatcher could have wanted “deliverance” was it suggested, in a country like Nigeria, now.

On the contrary, she showed some surprises afterwards with just a key.

Born by Methodist parents and raised as a Wesleyan Methodist, Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990 and the leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She left great legacies behind. She was the longest serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and currently the only woman who ever held that office. As a prime Minister, she implemented policies that have come to be described as Thatcherism.

Her political career was marked by many ups and downs. She stood for elections for the first time in the 1950 and 1951 general elections. Her local party selected her as a candidate not because she was an orator but for her fearlessness in answers to questions posed to her.

She enjoyed media attention as the youngest and only female candidate. She lost both elections. She sought elective office again in the 1955 general elections and lost again but that time, narrowly. Finally, in 1958, she was elected Member of Parliament (MP) after a hard campaign. She was appointed Secretary of State for Education and Science in 1970. She became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general elections. On assumption of office, she introduced a series of political and economic reform intended to reverse high unemployment in UK then. She was re-elected Prime Minister in 1983 and won a third term in 1987. In the wake of her death, so much was said about her and her achievements. One great comment that was made about her was this, and please note: “Margaret Thatcher never contemplated defeat”.

The “Iron Lady” lost elections several times like Britain was brought down on its knees by economic Summersaults, but she never bothered about all the defeats she suffered. Rather, she re-strategized and became Prime Minister thrice, a feat nobody has achieved in the history of Great Britain, till date.

So, Nigeria is encountering many defeats today, but we must not be defeated. The mistakes, disappointments and defeats can catalyze a series of new strategies for bigger and better Nigeria like the Great Britain and this explains the assemblage of technocrats and analysts from different sectors and sub-sectors of the economy by MMS Plus Weekly to make statements of revivals through our quarterly business intelligence review called The Verdict.



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