Goodluck Jonathan, Ethnic Bigotry And Political Competitiveness

June 29, 2010
3 mins read

“Nigeria is a country peopled by ethnic bigots who reach out to their narrow cleavages when they cannot compete”- Goodluck Jonathan

There is something about traveling abroad which seems to dispose President Goodluck Jonathan to committing political mistakes. Two months ago, then Acting President told an American interviewer that the problem in the Plateau was caused by “settlers”. With such an impolitic statement, Jonathan divided the community down the middle instead of finding the words to heal wounds. That passed as the naïve statement of a man from the backwaters of Nigeria yet to have a steady hold on the affairs of state or appreciate the nuances of power. Then a few days ago, THISDAY newspaper reported Goodluck, apparently over-effusive at being invited to rub shoulders with the leading imperialist politicians, going one step worse than he did in his earlier faux pas during the American visit two months ago.


On his most recent visit to Canada, Jonathan met members of the Nigerian community and was said to have told them what we quoted at the head of today’s piece. It is a line in the sand by Goodluck against all those urging him to respect the zoning agreement within the PDP; Jonathan is unambiguously stating that he has chosen to darn the consequences of his intention and plan: run he will and in the process, cause as much problem for Northern Nigeria as he possibly can especially! Those who assume the man will be honorable now know the truth: Jonathan Goodluck is the typical political opportunist in power, and as was said in MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL, the strong man strongly, the weak man by caprice, each has the same ambition: take power and retain it. Goodluck has Nigeria by the throat and he will do with it as he likes in search of power in 2011!


But let us attempt some interrogations of the bizarre statement of the president, starting with his assertion that people retreat into an ethnic laager because they cannot compete. He got it wrong, because nobody has asked that power be given to any ethnic community. Those who seek respect of the PDP’s zoning formula remind him that the South under his godfather/mentor, Olusegun Obasanjo, was in power for two terms. If that was the agreement within the PDP it should be respected; it is that simple! Then there was the laughable adjunct about people who are unable to compete; such statement coming from the mouth of Goodluck, who has NEVER won an election in his life, is incroyable, as the French say! Goodluck rose to the top by default and he knows that better than anyone. In Bayelsa, he was the spare tyre which Obasanjo fitted to the wheel of governance after treacherously dealing with Alamieseigha. He then became the running mate of the late President Umaru Yar’adua in the WORST-RIGGED election ever conducted in our country, in 2007! When Yar’adua died he inherited power on a platter with the active support of people he now accuses of “ethnic bigotry”!


Goodluck Jonathan occupies no moral, intellectual or political high ground to talk about competitiveness, because his entire political career has not taught a single lesson about competitiveness! As for his accusation of ethnic bigotry, I think Alhaji Tanko Yakassai offered him a fitting riposte this week, when he said that “it is unfortunate that of all people, it is President Goodluck Jonathan that is quoted of accusing fellow Nigerians as being ethnic bigots. If Nigerians have now resorted to ethnic sentiments it is because we are following the actions and utterances of the president. It is this presidential moral rectitude that is guiding ordinary Nigerians. If President Jonathan is ethnically biased, he is …making other Nigerians tow this line of thought”. Frankly, I think we have in power a president who is clearly willing to let crisis overtake the state in his desperate effort to run for president in 2011.


I also think that those who are willing to stop him should reduce the amount of time being dissipated telling Jonathan to be honorable; he will not be. He is using the power of incumbency to build a movement for his 2011 project hence the motley groups of campaigners that are mushrooming everyday. There is a huge war chest that is being moved around to buy people; the EFCC and ICPC will blackmail opponents; religion and ethnicity will be used to decimate the North especially and governors will be beaten into line by employing the Obasanjo method of hostage-taking through the exhumation of corrupt activities. If people are truly determined to defeat Jonathan Goodluck, they must be willing to organize and struggle and should work on time on a national platform. He has already started his campaign; even Madam Patience commenced another leg of the campaign amongst women last Tuesday at the Eagle Square. By describing those who tell him to respect his own party as ethnic bigots afraid to compete, Jonathan Goodluck has thrown down the gauntlet. Let us politically de`1feat that paper tiger hiding behind presidential power to cause disaffection in the country.

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