Saturday, July 20, 2019

‘Na only you waka come?’ — and a million other things that damaged President Jonathan

‘Na only you waka come?’ — and a million other things that damaged President Jonathan
April 01
03:39 2015
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And so, President Goodluck Jonathan has become the first sitting president to lose an election in Nigeria. Not only that, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems poised to become the minority in the national assembly, completing the demystification of a party that used to brand itself as Africa’s biggest party — one that was supposed to rule for 60 years.

Why did Jonathan lose out in the power game? There are probably a million and one reasons, the biggest being that the opposition finally got its act together and fielded a man who has a natural street appeal. The frustrations of Nigerians with the PDP have been on for ages, and the successful formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should count as the biggest factor in these elections. But Jonathan had had it coming all along — starting from the removal of fuel subsidy in January 2012.

Below are some of the reasons that weakened his appeal to Nigerians since his overwhelming victory in the 2011 elections. You are free to add yours in the comments section.


Anti-deregulation protests in January 2012

 Occupy Lagos

The increase in the pump price of petrol in January 2012 was the first point of conflict between Jonathan and the populace, especially the youth. The timing — coming while people had travelled for Christmas — was a major factor in the popular resistance, but the allegation that nearly N2 trillion was spent on fuel subsidy alone in 2011 further fuelled public anger. Citizens held Occupy Lagos rallies, with Ojota being the biggest meeting point in the state. There was a paralysing strike by the labour unions. The social media, which hitherto worked in favour of the president, buzzed with anti-Jonathan sentiments. Although Jonathan held the opposition responsible for the sustained protests against deregulation, he never really recovered from the devastating damage the fuel price rise did to his government — despite cutting the pump price to pacify the protesters.


Patience’s drama went viral

‘Na only you waka come?’

In the tragicomedy that followed the April 2014 kidnap of nearly 300 girls at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, Patience Jonathan, wife of the president, worsened an already sad affair by trivialising it. In what looked like a well rehearsed drama, she openly lambasted officials of the Borno state government and the school principal, and suggested that nobody was kidnapped. Then she shed crocodile tears in the cameras, wailing: “There is God o. All this blood that you are sharing in Borno… remember there is God in everything we are doing.” She famously asked the school’s principal: “Na only you waka come?” (“You came alone?”). She was probably expecting more officials from the state. The video went viral and global. The joke was on her at a time the world was mourning the plight of hundreds of kidnapped teenagers.


Michelle Obama played her part

Bring Backs Our Girls movement

The kidnap of the Chibok girls and Patience Jonathan’s drama led to the birth of a movement that gave Jonathan a nightmare he would never forget: the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) group. The movement parodied the name of Bring Back the Book, an initiative launched by Jonathan to encourage a reading culture among school children. BBOG made a global impact, drawing international attention to the kidnap saga at a time the government was accused of not doing anything to address the issue. The security agencies and Jonathan’s supporters adopted a hostile attitude towards the group. They were threatened and harassed. However, the campaign got more popular, and #BringBackOurGirls was trending on Twitter across the world. International celebrities carried the placard, the most famous being Michelle Obama, the American first lady. Jonathan got the most negative global publicity from the activities of BBOG.

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Social Comments


  1. mhafiz
    mhafiz April 01, 04:25

    Am sorry to say this, but it was GEJ who dough his own grave on the issue of chibok girls. But nigeria once loved GEJ due to the sympathy he rubbed nigerians with his past or history.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Pi
    Pi April 01, 05:14

    Obasanjo December 2013 letter to Goodluck & book “my watch” where he called him clueless & incompetent.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Pavilion
    Pavilion April 01, 05:30

    Not only that, when the UN house was blown in Abuja, it took our President about 24hrs to speak, after when other world leaders have spoken, even when the incident took place in Nigeria. Again, he never visited any opposition controlled state officially during his tenure. Does that mean he not President over opposition parties led states? He had it coming all along. I would have been shocked if he had won this election. His wife is a national calamity, who speaks very bad english. Then, the President’s several insensitive quotes didn’t help him. “Corruption is not our first problem, not even second. Maybe third”. “Stealing is not the same thing as corruption”.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Femi Vaughan
    Femi Vaughan April 01, 05:53

    There is no doubt that the Jonathan administration squandered its goodwill. Unwillingness to fight corruption, Boko Haram insurgency, the Chibok girls and the First Lady’s embarrassing public utterances all contributed to ruin his popularity enter his name in the record books as the first Nigerian president to be voted out of office. However, all he lost as a sitting president, he significantly recovered by his uncommon show of grace and maturity in the face of defeat. He could have played the Laurent Gbagbo card and plunged Nigeria into chaos but restrained or allowed himself to be restrained. He earned my respect. It is now up to Gen. Buhari to match rhetoric with action.

    Reply to this comment
    • jigi jigi
      jigi jigi April 01, 12:57

      Well said, my brother. Gej presented himself & acted as a spineless, slow, docile & unable to put together a team of sound & selfless people in his government. His being voted out is in d best interest of Nigeria. One thing is certain, his govt has projected corruption to new heights in Nigeria. We need to wake up & start holding our public official accountable for funds voted for developmental projects that end up in their personal accounts. Then they escape with d loot & end up becoming millionaires in dollars within a short time in office. Too many cases of this nature prevailed under GEJ. To date, none of these eere prosecuted. This inaction sends a bad signal

      Reply to this comment
    • Tutu
      Tutu April 01, 13:06

      Well said.

      Reply to this comment
    • Alamu
      Alamu April 02, 13:46

      He lacks the character and guts to play the Laurent Gbagbo card!

      Reply to this comment
  5. 'em
    'em April 01, 06:33

    Checking his antecedents, GEJ wasn’t ever prepared to be in the spotlight. Asides being elected alongside DSP ALAMIESEGHA as running mate, he never really challenged for the offices he’s held. He even won the 2011 elections on compassionate grounds, making Nigerians fall for his ‘not having shoes growing up’ story. Putting it simply, he was never prepared for the job. And unfortunately also didn’t surrounds himself with people that could help move the country in the right direction. It’s unfortunate for him and his party to have lost this elections, but it actually the best for Nigeria and Nigerians.

    Reply to this comment
    • No
      No April 01, 09:19

      Jonathan remains a great man history has made. He rose from grass to grace and by ascepting the outcome of the election result puts him on the part of still sustaining the grace. This Buhari never did but wept and vowed to make the country ungovernable for him. He pleaded with him despite that to join hand with him in building the nation. He blatantly refused. Even when the insurgents nominated him to mediate between him and Nigerian government. Defeat could be painful you know?
      Indeed, GEJ surrounded himself with his greatest enemies. It is Biblical that man’s own worst enemy are among his household. These persons were all nominated by persons still insulting and accusing him of incompetence and etc.
      Remember, uneasy is the head that wears the crown
      I sincerely know that not too long from now, we will begin to praise GEJ.
      His regime concentrated on tackling insurgency from the root by establishing those schools primary, secondary and tertiary in the north which he learnt from his boss whom everyone lamented his slow pace.
      He remains the peoples president. It would take hi nothing to behave like OBJ by bluffing and put measures to remain in power. But for his mantra, my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
      Let us appreciate him for the sake of the peace he has enabled.
      As for the PDP, 95% of it leaders destroyed it to this level not GEJ.
      APC, is a twin brother of PDP. I had wished that the leader of this emerged from none of these two.
      We owe our leaders one thing before God, pray and support them to succeed. We the masses are the ones who suffer when they goof. Pray for them and pray for Nigeria. A country loved by God. We are great people of inestimable values.

      Reply to this comment
      • Arms Dealer
        Arms Dealer April 01, 12:23

        I like your comment. President Jonathan was not without fault, no. He erred in places and didn’t have the personal charisma to inspire rousing confidence in his cause. He is reticent even. To a people needful of symbols, It was, to the President, costly. But were we also totally fair to him? I doubt. To deny he did nothing right is one reason, i doubt. He had a Cause. But for many of us to denigrate, lampoon or ignore the positives because of our prejudices,(we have a right to an alternative), lacks integrity. Its not very useful to our national development cause. This tendency is also one big Nigerian problem that we scant recognize. God bless Nigeria.

        Reply to this comment
        • Tony usoro
          Tony usoro April 12, 12:26

          @armsdealer. Thanks for one great post filled with clearheadedness and truth. This country will miss GEJ quote me. The grand larceny fuel subsidy regime he wanted to stop abruptly in the interest of ALL Nigerians was sabotaged by the evil sinister cabal that suffer from pathological greed. He wanted to avoid going into the disruptive scenario of prosecuting thousands of past beneficiary and move on. This was sabotaged. Let see how this new regime will handle it with their leader neck deep in subsidy and fuel scarcity blackmail!

          Reply to this comment
      • Peace
        Peace April 01, 21:22

        Well said bro. GOD bless Mr President GEJ.

        Reply to this comment
      • Gbemi
        Gbemi April 02, 11:00

        All I can say is that you guys celebrate mediocrity. Jonathan tried. Really? What can you really mention that is of real value that Jonathan provided us. We have a very weakened dollar, depleted reserves, lost investment opportunities, still no refineries, we still import petrol, no new money. I could go on an on. The airport they claimed they fixed, have you been there? Are our standards so low? What is wrong with us?

        Reply to this comment
        • joy nigeria
          joy nigeria April 11, 08:03

          Your comment..Jonathan’s problems is compounded with d calibre of people dat make up his executive council.The worst set of people without credibility formed his council.D wife was a disaster.

          Reply to this comment
      • Bigmama
        Bigmama April 05, 00:09

        I hope you can listen to yourself . Somebody is voted in as a President and Commander In Chied of the armed forces of the Federal republic of Nigeria, and someone like you wants us to blame 95% of PDP members and exonerate GEJ! A leader takes responsibility. Please make no excuses for a weakling that failed the Nation and made Nigeria the laughing stock of the world.

        Reply to this comment
      • Tony Usoro
        Tony Usoro April 12, 12:00

        Thanks No for your correct analysis and truth.. GEJ still remains the best President Nigeria ever had. The evil cabal that harangued and undermined his well thought out programmes will account to God and man very soon. You killed U ppl to blackmail and rule! You undermine infrastructures economy to rule. Sorry pay day is coming. Very soon GEJ will be appreciated. I doubt if Buhari can up national development efforts of GEJ in four years- I pray he disappoints me, his 18 months was a disaster. If u made Nigeria ungovernable for us U think Gods retributive justice is not waiting for U? Danger prospective politicians will use similar evil strategy to undermine the govt believing it’s a winning formular to achieve leadership-frightening!!! God Help Us!!!

        Reply to this comment
    • Molly
      Molly April 01, 09:39

      I totally agree with you. When you do not have a plan, you plan to fail. He did not have a plan and he failed.

      Reply to this comment
      • Perowat
        Perowat April 01, 15:40

        GEJ is not that bad, he tried his best and also have at least a legacy of free and fair election which far far better in democracy compared to mobile phone of OBJ

        Reply to this comment
  6. Otoyo Samuel
    Otoyo Samuel April 01, 06:48

    For me the action of President Jonathan to split the governor’s forum was one of his greatest undoing.For me it began the loss of states and the realignment of political actors that gave the APC life.

    Reply to this comment
    • akin
      akin April 14, 17:53

      I quite agree with you on this. Jonathan and indeed the whole of South South failed to seize the opportunity to have complete control of the nation’s body politic first by antagonizing Gov. Amaechi and failure to call the two of them to order by the so called south south elders. Imagine the awesomeness of a cordial relationship between Jonathan, the president and Amaechi the Chairman of the powerful Nigerian Governor’s Forum both of south south. But the SS failed to seize the moment and at the end of it not only Amaechi was braised, but Jonathan and by extension the SS people who floundered an amazing opportunity to stamp its feet politically in Nigeria. My advice is; if the SS gets another opportunity like this in Future, they should learn from this costly mistake of theirs and close ranks. this is why the North is superiority more matured politically than the South. If such opportunity were to available to the North, it would have maximized it without rancour.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Nathan
    Nathan April 01, 07:37

    Nigeria, a land where everyone is a pundit! Precisely why we ever continue to grope.
    GEJ was clearly ahead of his times, as most could not comprehend his sublime and intellectual worth.
    Nigerians refused to support him against the grand conspiracy to grab power through means fair or foul.
    Now that change has come, shall the conquered now return to their destinies as hewers of wood in in a motherland fraudulently constitutioned.
    Now there shall be corruption no more. The economy shall be in surpluses. Every unemployment shall cease and our streets be laid with gold. Let us enjoy the ‘change’.

    Reply to this comment
    • gringori
      gringori April 01, 08:40

      Hmm…so I believe it was afghanistans that supported GEJ when yaraduas pple tried †☺ prevent GEJ emerge as acting was uzbekistans that supported GEJ in 2011.d election was a person got his strategy wrong,surrounded himself with d wrong pple and lost.d winner did d exact oppositemno sentiments.its serious biz

      Reply to this comment
      • gegeliscious
        gegeliscious April 01, 09:23

        so true Giringori! APC clearly had a strategy which they played out. Before PDP knew what was happening, APC was in the lead. This necessitated the postponement of the election. To break the South West, they relocated to Lagos, bought over the organized touts and sent them on rampage. They spent so much money buying votes. Paid blogs and journalist to go viral with achievements and propaganda. At the end of the day, GMB working with a mastermind in Tinubu became triumphant. It was a close call but he won.

        Reply to this comment
    • bar beach boy
      bar beach boy April 01, 18:55

      We’re caught in the web of the worst kind; tied up like chickens and the lethargy you pointed out is part and parcel of this; the big topics for us as Edos have been no go areas for 50 years: Land Use Act and the deliberate annexing – and gerrymandering – of the Benin River Delta which has turned NNPC into a later-day Royal Niger Company, were issues they hoped to exploit sometime before 2019 when they thought their fun was going to end, and they hoped to walk away with a confederacy where they own the oil. We’re still here, we’re still asking

      Reply to this comment
  8. Change4Real
    Change4Real April 01, 08:17

    Jonathan allowed his Predisency to assume an ethnic colour starting from the abuse of other ethnic leaders and nationalities by the self styled Ijaw leader Edward Clark. The threats to national security and unity by ex militia men and political and economic scavengers mostly from the South East and South South Nigeria helped polarise the country and alienate people from other regions and political divides in the country. Jonathan obviously was not in control of the affairs of the country as he was far removed and shielded from the problem that required his immediate attention by aides who can best be described as a cabal who harboured self serving objectives

    Reply to this comment
  9. Babs
    Babs April 01, 08:18

    The NIS Scam and killing of unemployed youths with Aba moro left in office without any questions

    Reply to this comment
  10. Olabode
    Olabode April 01, 08:35

    One of the thing that weaken GEJ. government when mr president said he knowns that 80% of people in his government or advisers are not good and he did not do anything about them yet keeping them in his government . A lot of atrocity were happening yet no caution hook lops were making inciting words and mr president kept silent and no caution.

    Reply to this comment
  11. princevinco
    princevinco April 01, 10:30

    Yes what Olabode said above is correct, Mr.President failed to take action against members of his Cabinet that was convicted for looting the treasury. His silence against those corrupt officials shows that he was weak to discipline his ministers.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Emmanuel
    Emmanuel April 01, 11:03

    I think we have passed the stage of asking what caused Jonathan’s/PDP’s downfall. What is paramount now is to ask how this issues could be handled now to achieve positive results starting with the Chibok girls.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Hercules
    Hercules April 01, 11:14

    GEJs ineptitude and lack of decisiveness crept into National unifying institutions like the Military and turned our Generals and Admirals into politicians.He eroded the public confidence in the military by appointing Officers that made him felt all was well and that the war against the insurgents was being won why they kept enriching themselves on the altar of the blood of innocent citizens of Nigeria

    Reply to this comment
  14. Omar
    Omar April 01, 12:09

    The hashtag of “BRING BACK JONATHAN” was seen as a blow to the efforts of all concerned on the “BRING BACK OUR GIRLS” campaign. Though it was eventually stopped, the damage had already been done to Mr. Jonathan’s image

    Reply to this comment
  15. Stevie
    Stevie April 01, 12:32

    APC did not win because they are better, PDP lost because Nigerian youths desired a change. Lots of voters just got tired of PDP. Youths wanted a change for the sake of change. Lots of female voters voted not to have Patience in the news for another 4 years. So, it was not an election of issues, but one of hate against PDP as a party and the First lady. APC is just as bad as PDP but now that we have voted for change, let us see how it plays out for better or for worse.

    Reply to this comment
  16. ellanx
    ellanx April 01, 13:40

    Your comment..inaddition to all the reasons enumerated so far the last straw that broke the camel’s back was his patronage of ethnic terrorists :opc massob niger delta millitants to the rest of nigerians they are the class with boko haram

    Reply to this comment
  17. POP
    POP April 01, 14:46

    Great piece. GEJ shot himself so many times in his foot. Lessons to all political class. Long live Nigeria

    Reply to this comment
  18. Adio
    Adio April 01, 14:51

    in addition if President Jonathan has done nothing good what of this spirit of good sportmanship demostrated after d election? time will tell. goodluck to goodluck Jonathan.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Ehis Roberts
    Ehis Roberts April 01, 15:25

    Stealing is not corruption. When President Jonathan during a live telecast declare that corruption was mere stealing he lost me and million of Nigeria youths

    Also “I don’t give a damn” was one of his statement that turn the tide against him

    Reply to this comment
  20. JIMMY
    JIMMY April 01, 16:57

    Well, congratulation to all Nigerian people for just Presidential election, GOD bless PRES. EBELE JONATHAN , while Patience brought bad luck to his husband

    Reply to this comment
  21. SAJ2004
    SAJ2004 April 01, 18:51

    The issues of kerosene and cement were other causes of GEJ failure to retain his sit at the villa. He pronounced that kerosene should be sold at #50 naira per litre, but never materialised, also he said that a bag of cement would go for #1100 which also failed. how much is a litre of kerosene and a bag of cement now? It means he lacks power and authority to lead as the President of the Federal republic of Nigeria.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Martins Egbe
    Martins Egbe April 01, 20:36

    There is something most suspicious about the persistent delays in responses to national issues by Jonathan.

    He never at any single time responded quickly to any national issues that demanded urgency.

    He always react like a man than needed to always be woken up from drunkenness and be made sober; before being dressed up to go out to the public.

    His lackadaisical attitudes are worrisome.

    He is hardly sensitive to public criticisms – Kudos to our worst public enemy – Ruben Abati.

    Ruben Abati disappointed me. I would not believe he was the same man I used to listen attentively to in “Patitos Gang”. Ruben Abati! You disappointed me. You misled Jonathan. Why?

    Reply to this comment
  23. ata
    ata April 02, 00:55

    Let Asari Dokubo and his kinsmen know that Jonathan would never have been president if Yar-adua did not die. He probably would have been VP for eight years and that would be it. So, they should thank their stars and Nigerians in general that he was president for a whole six years.I think Niger Deltans already have more than enough of their share.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Chima
    Chima April 02, 01:01

    Jonathan was a weak and unconscious leader who was always dancing around national issues instead of dealing with them.He abdicated his responsibilities and made the office of president look so casual.He was misled by a group of cabal that insulated him from reality on ground.His wife added to his downfall,chibok girls issue,massive corruption and open defence of corrupt officials,deflation of national reserve,increase in poverty and desire for a change by the masses.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Nwannecious
    Nwannecious April 02, 06:52

    What is done is done…I remain GEJ loyalist irrespective of any opinions as we are all entitled to one or more. Here comes the real deal now that the baton might be exchanging hands (only God knows what the future holds)….with the same measure ye mete, it shall be meted out. Our expectations are very high! one Naira to one dollar, we must get back ALL the Chibok Girls, all corrupt leaders including those that diverted state funds for elections must be brought to book, BH must never return, PHCN must supply 24/7 within our own set timelines (no excuses), All and I repeat All our roads must be motorabke, airports upgraded to international standards and the trains, the kind we have in SA and US not China deployed.We are holding the general accountable and we are watching. The 100 days in office scorecard is a must watch for so many….

    Reply to this comment
    • technospeak
      technospeak April 02, 18:28

      What a ridiculous assertion. So you have excuses for Jonathan after 6 years in power with oil at at average of $100 a barrel but you think that an APC administration should fix all issues in 100 days. That is the extent of your logic right? There is serious work to be done and thankfully, we now have a serious government in place, led by a man who has shown he wants the opportunity and he will be in charge. May God guide him and grant him wisdom and good counsel. If those of you who supported GEJ had made the same prayers and asked the same of him perhaps we would all still be Jonathan supporters. To ignore the obvious damage done by an inept administration is bias and sentiment run amok.

      Reply to this comment
  26. Musgan
    Musgan April 02, 07:57

    Is popular I don’t give a “damn” mantra at the inception of his administration played through all his undoings… he never gave a damn and Nigerians too. Never gave a damn when he needed them again despite his dolarisation..

    Reply to this comment
  27. Niyi Akinlabu
    Niyi Akinlabu April 02, 08:56

    The article spoke the minds on a preponderance of Nigerians. But I think the sheer morally odious manner with which the outgoing President courted criminal elements from the West just did him in, at least for Yoruba’s.
    Bode George, Iyiola Omisore, Jelili Adesiyan, Buruji Kashamu, Ayodele Fayose are all characters that did nothing to enhance his rating with the Yoruba’s.

    Reply to this comment
  28. VIP
    VIP April 17, 17:11

    Madam Patient Jonathan should learn and learn for good that no condition is permanent and that one mustn’t abuse God given opportunities but exploit them for goodwill against the future. GEJ too should learn that opportunity once misused and lost can never be regained.

    Reply to this comment

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