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The Second Coming of Goodluck Jonathan



By Eric Elezuo

Baring any unforeseen circumstance or sudden change in direction and decision, immediate past President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is set to dump his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to informed sources, the former president, who superintended over the country between May 2010 and May 2015, is under intense pressure to join the ruling APC. This is because of the promise made to him from various quarters of the party that he may be fielded as the party’s consensus candidate for the 2023 Presidential Election.

The source further stated that Jonathan is the preferred choice of members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s inner caucus, who has the interest of the north at the back of their minds, and who believe that Jonathan will further project the interest of the north. Not only that, the President’s kitchen cabinet believes that Jonathan should be the choice as a result of the fact that he is constitutionally licensed to serve only one term of office, since he had done one earlier between 2011 and 2015.

“This arrangement will further feather the nest of the northern elites, whose interest is to continue to maintain a strangle hold on the country for as long as possible. Jonathan remains their choice despite the fact that sacked him about six years ago, using unprintable expletives to describe him then” the source hinted.

The Boss investigation also revealed that the situation had warranted top officials of the PDP to pay Jonathan a visit to ascertain his position in the matter, but the former was quoted as neither confirming the report nor denying it. However, he was said to have declared that he didn’t know what to do because he was under intense pressure.

Jonathan’s choice of the caucus has however, seen him warming up to the mandate as his body language gas been speaking volumes. A reliable source revealed that the 2023 presidency matter is one of the reasons Jonathan was present at the wedding ceremony of Otunba Gbanga Daniel’s daughter’s wedding recently. It is on record that he spent quality time at the event; arriving quite early, and staying till the duration and conclusion of activities. Daniel, who himself recently decamped to the APC, was the Campaign Director General for PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar in 2019.

A two terms governor of Ogun State, Daniel is seen as well versed and experience in national politics, as he toured the length and breath of the country during the presidential campaign with Atiku. His closeness to Buhari ever since he decamped earlier in the year has put him a vantage position as one Buhari’s ears, especially as a suitable replacement is concerned.

The same reason prompted his presence at the wedding of President Buhari’s son, Yusuf Buhari to the daughter of Emir Ado Bayero, Zahra

The desperateness of the ruling APC, according to another stakeholder, lies in its quest to retain power in 2023, and having weighed all options on the scale, Jonathan seemed to come tops. But the desperate nature is also extended to having a Buhari loyalist as the next president in 2023, and that informs the reason for the new found romance with the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, should the pressure being exerted on Jonathan fail.

The Vice President is portrayed as having been very loyal to President Buhari, the APC and the north, and so capable of continuing the Buhari legacy irrespective of where he is destined to.

On other angle, the all important 2023 presidency has also attracted the APC Governors’ Forum, who is fighting tooth and nail to ensure that one them replaces Buhari on May 29, 2023. Most of them, overtly or covertly, are already reaching out to other parts of the country, to gain momentum and gather followership, especially among the media, which they believe is a veritable tool for propaganda and canvassing. The likes of Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, have actually voiced their opinion and interest in the plum presidential job. Though yet to declare his interest, Ekiti State Governor, who is also the Chairman, Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum, is also said to his eye on the presidential seat come 2023.

But then, Jonathan is considered the real deal as a result of his known inability to run for two terms. Others, obviously, are sure to harbour the ambition to go for another term if selected for the 2023 period, and that explains why Jonathan is the most preferred bride among the Buhari caucus and the northern oligarchy. The collaboration, they believe is a win-win situation where both the APC and Jonathan will eat their cake and have it. The APC and the North will have power remain in their domain as the tenure years lasted, and will have it back after four years.

And for Jonathan, he would have had the opportunity to complete a second, which he was denied and booted out from. In that way, his dignity, to an extent would have been restored. Though he may remain the President that was defeated in office, but he would also be the President that made the most dramatic comeback.

“So, it is a win-win situation for the APC/North on one hand, and Goodluck Jonathan on the other hand,” the source quipped.

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan GCFR, GCON, remains arguably the only Nigerian politician, who has occupied all political offices on a platter of gold. Born on November 20, 1957, 63 years and very much eligible, Jonathan remains a force in Nigeria, politically and in the internationally. His popularity ever since he was booted albeit unceremoniously, out of office in 2015, has continued to soar, giving him a status many of his followers believe is equal to the most important person in the country today, especially as he willingly conceded defeat without rancour.

“My ambition is not worth the drop of blood of any Nigerian”, has remained a quote of his that has found solace in the hearts and minds of not a few Nigerians. Jonathan is termed legendary considering that not many in his shoes would have played ball as he did even with barefaced electoral practices his loyalists were ready to prove.

His lost to Buhari in 2015 turned out to be a blessing in disguise as a lot of people has score Buhari and his APC administration abysmally low. He has therefore leveraged on the dismal performance of the present government to relaunch himself and his career in both politics and diplomacy.

He was born in Ogbia to a Christian family of canoe makers from the Ijaw minority ethnic group in Bayelsa state, where he had his early education. He received a Bachelors degree in Zoology, a Masters degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology; and a Doctorate in Zoology all from the University of Port Harcourt.

Before joining politics in 1998, Jonathan worked as an Education Inspector, a Lecturer and an Environmental-Protection Officer.

On 29 May 1999, Jonathan was sworn in as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa alongside Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who came in as the governor of the state on the platform of PDP. Jonathan served as Deputy Governor until December 2005. On 9 December 2005, Jonathan, who was the deputy governor at the time, was sworn in as the governor of Bayelsa State upon the impeachment of the current Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha by the Bayelsa State Assembly after being charged with money laundering in the United Kingdom.

In 2007, he was privileged to be selected as running mate to eventual presidential winner, Umaru Musa Yar’dua. As a vice-president, Jonathan maintained a very low profile though he participated in cabinet meetings and, by statute, was a member of the National Security Council, the National Defence Council, the Federal Executive Council, and Chairman of the National Economic Council.

He was instrumental in negotiating an agreement with many of the major militant groups in the Niger Delta, to lay down their weapons and stop fighting as part of a government amnesty programme.

In February 2010, he was named Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, following a controversial doctrine of necessity from the Senate of Nigeria, due to President Yar’Adua’s trip to Saudi Arabia in November 2009 for medical treatment. There and then, he became active, and on February 10, 2010, during his first day as Acting President, Jonathan announced a minor cabinet reshuffle.

In accordance with the order of succession in the Nigerian constitution following President Umaru Yar’Adua’s death on May 5, 2010, he was sworn in as the substantive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 6 2010. He went ahead to choose Kaduna State governor, Namadi Sambo, as Vice President. In 2011, Jonathan and Sambo stood for election and won, and so began his own tenure in office as President, Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, becoming Nigeria’s 14th Head of State.

In his inauguration address, he declared that his government was to focus on a Transformation Agenda and promised to continue implementing the seven-point agenda policy framework of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. He cited anti-corruption, power and electoral reforms as focuses of his administration, stating that he came to office under “very sad and unusual circumstances”.

It is instructive to note that under Jonathan’s administration, Nigeria rebased its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the first time in over a decade to become the largest economy in Africa overtaking South Africa and Egypt. He has been praised for assembling some of the best technocrats to help him run government following in the footsteps of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and his immediate boss, late Yar’dua.

Jonathan is credited with revolutionalising the infrastructure sector, opening up vistas for the construction of new railways in the country, including the Abuja-Kaduna railway, Lagos-Ibadan railway and conceptualised high speed rail projects. There are the construction and beautification of many federal roads in the country, including the Lagos-Benin expressway, Abuja-Lokoja expressway, Enugu-Abakiliki expressway, Onitsha-Owerri highway and most parts of the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. Also, construction of the second Niger Bridge between Onitsha and Asaba to relieve the pressure on the old Niger Bridge which was completed in December 1965. Construction of airports across the country. The Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu was upgraded into an international airport, directly connecting the South-East region of the country to the outside world for the first time since independence.

Among his many pluses, he gave a soul to the Almajiri caste of the north, creating schools to absorb homeless children of that region. He also established six universities across the geo-political zones.

Jonathan’s low point in administration was the January 2012 Occupy Nigeria Protests, which shut down the country for close to two weeks over government’s decision to remove fuel subsidy. The same people that berated Jonathan for the decision today canvassed for the removal.

Many analysts has said that the recent events have proved that Jonathan was a better administrator as most of the things he was called names for in times past has been initiated and propagated in today’s Nigeria.

Since leaving office, Jonathan has remained a focal point in international politics. In 2019, he was appointed as the honorary Special Adviser to the Bayelsa Education Trust Fund Board. In June 2019, Jonathan emerged as chairperson of the newly inaugurated International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP). In July 2020, Jonathan was appointed Special Envoy of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); to lead mediation talks during the 2020 Malian protests. His avalanche of awards and recognition speak volumes of his style of leadership and perception to human life.

Jonathan is married to Patience, a very vocal and visible member of administration during his hay days in Aso Rock Villa.

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Identity Saga: Tinubu Pleads with Court to Release Only His Certificate, Not Academic Details




President Bola Tinubu has reluctantly allowed a federal judge in the United States to give his university certificate to his political opponent Atiku Abubakar.

But the Nigerian leader pleaded with Judge Nancy Maldonado to block all other details, especially the gender, and admission records, among others, of the person who owns the certificate from being disclosed.

Mr Tinubu’s prayers on Monday morning came as part of the ongoing legal battle unfolding at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago.

The case was brought by Mr Abubakar, who has been on a judicial quest to establish that Mr Tinubu was not eligible to be Nigerian president despite his election in February 2023.

He won the election by 36 per cent of the vote after Mr Abubakar and Peter Obi, who was his running mate in the 2019 election, fell out, subsequently dividing their potential votes into at least two parts, paving the way for Mr Tinubu’s victory with the slimmest margin in Nigerian presidential election history.

Mr Tinubu’s acceptance that his certificate could be released came after he narrowly escaped full disclosure on September 21 by pleading severe harm to his life in order to obtain a stay of a magistrate judge’s order on September 19.

“There is harm in allowing discovery on issues and documents outside the diploma,” Mr Tinubu’s lawyers said in their full briefing to the court seeking a review of Judge Jeffrey Gilbert’s order by Ms Maldonado, a district judge.

The identity of who was admitted into Chicago State University in the 1970s has been a hot issue after college transcripts emerged that indicated the school admitted a female Bola Tinubu from Southwest College Chicago in 1977.

Source: People’s Gazette

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Sanwo-Olu Floors Jandor, Rhodes-Vivour As Court Dismisses Petitioners’ Application




The Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, on Monday, dismissed the petitions brought by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and the Labour Party, and Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor of the Peoples Democratic Party, challenging the victory of Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 governorship election.

The tribunal therefore, affirms the election of Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the March 18 Lagos State governorship poll.

Jandor and Rhodes-Vivour had contested the results, challenging the victory of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr. Obafemi Hamzat.

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Supreme Court Building Catches Fire




A portion of the Supreme Court is on fire.

The fire, according to source, engulfed a side of the judges’ chamber of the apex court.

Details about the incident are still sketchy as of the time of filling this report.

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