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Nigerian Elections 2011: Goodluck May Need to Live up to His Name

After being tagged as favourite to win Nigeria’s presidential elections, Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign is faltering – despite the help of American strategists.
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President Goodluck Jonathan on the campaign trail

It was through the death of Umaru Yar’Adua that “accidental president” Goodluck Jonathan became Nigeria’s head of state. And with a faltering campaign marred by low turnouts on the campaign trail further buffeted by prominent figures rallying behind what may become an opposition running on a joint ticket, the former overwhelming favourite may now need to live up to his name to retain office.

Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai told Think Africa Press that “it is unlikely that Jonathan will score 25% of the votes cast in enough of the 19 states to be a serious contender for the presidency”. In recent days Jonathan has also been hit by a series of broadsides which threaten to derail his campaign targeted at Nigeria’s burgeoning urban youth, and supported by American strategists from Trippi & Associates - who Think Africa Press can reveal are on the ground in Abuja.

Taking damage

First, former military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida backed the bid for the presidency by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate and former anti-corruption csar, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. Babangida – whom Jonathan has said is “like a father” to him – stated that Nigeria is in need of a more youthful leader than Jonathan, arguing that “We have to allow generational change, which the ACN candidate represents”. And in a report attributed to well-positioned sources, it has been claimed that main opposition candidates Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Ribadu are to join forces and, after the outcome of this weekend’s National Assembly elections, decide who will stand as a unified opposition candidate against Jonathan.

Former president Olusegan Obasanjo reportedly left Jonathan “shocked” and “taken aback” after his final rally in Eagle Square, Abuja, when he said that zoning is enshrined in the PDP constitution - Jonathan controversially ignored the issue of presidential rotation between Muslims and Christians when he contravened the zoning pact by running for office. The issue is a key concern in winning the 58% of votes in the north of the country that could be crucial to a first round victory, and its resurfacing at the end of the campaign will do Jonathan no favours.

Jonathan has reiterated his hope for a clean election that would break from the legacy of the highly flawed polls recorded since 1999's re-democratisation. However, the day before Jonathan stated that “nobody must manipulate votes in my favour”, Independent National Election Commission (INEC) chair Prof Attahiru Jega revealed that “several” high profile individuals registered more than once for voting.  Jega opted against releasing the names, but the ACN claimed the culprits were most likely PDP members. The pursuit of a clean election was further hit when a Resident Electoral Commisioner in Anambra State told the press last week that he is under pressure to rig, claiming “My refusal to do the bidding of politicians has elicited malicious reactions from politicians”.

All this comes on the back of damaging allegations from Wikileaks and PDP rival and party founding member, Atiku Abubakar.  Abubakar, a former vice-president, called on INEC to rule Jonathan’s victory against him in the primaries illegitimate after claiming Jonathan bribed delegates with $7,000 each to secure their votes, adding that Jonathan’s selection in place of a Northern candidate risked plunging the country into “lawlessness and anarchy”. Wikileaks claimed that Speaker of the House of Representatives Dimeji Bankole was reported to have told the US Ambassador that Supreme Court justices were bribed by a state governor to ensure victory for Yar’Adua and Jonathan in 2007,  while Edo State governor Adams OShiomole was reported to have told US officials that Jonathan voted four times. Oshiomole denies ever making the claim and Jonathan has threatened to sue the publishing newspaper.

The “Facebook President”

While Nigerian elections historically favour incumbent presidents and the PDP has returned presidents in every election since the country’s re-democratisation in 1999, Jonathan none the less pulled out all the stops to carve out an innovative campaign to attract the votes of the some 40 million youths who account for the majority of the 73 million registered voters.

Much has been made of Jonathan’s presence on Facebook, where his tally of 500,000 “fans” is only surpassed by one other politician – Barack Obama. Jonathan’s staff have trumpeted that his engagement with Facebook and Twitter and use of voicemail on mobile phones is introducing a new dynamic between leaders and voters. In this they have been joined by Joe Trippi, the Democrat Party strategist who worked on the campaigns of several US politicians and also supported then ACP candidate Atiku Abubakar in 2007.

Trippi, who has had staff in Abuja assisting the Jonathan campaign for more than a week, argues that Jonathan launched his Facebook page to“deepen engagement with Nigerians and connect directly with citizens”. In an article published by the Huffington Post, Trippi says that Jonathan is “aggressively” trying to ensure elections will be free and fair, that he has already “shed much of the patronage politics that has plagued Nigeria's young democracy”, and that his setting up and interacting with his Facebook page shows that Jonathan “understands that he holds his office to serve the will of the people”.

While Jonathan strives to give the impression that a clean election is of paramount importance to him, although he appointed the widely respected Prof Jega to INEC he has failed to instigate a reform of the rest of the organisation, did not relinquish his power to appoint or remove INEC chiefs, and did not remove INEC’s dependence on presidential funding. Trippi’s assertions about the withering of patronage politics are even more specious. Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of the Good Governance Group (3G), a former head of Nigeria’s privatization agency, and a  former ally of Ribadu and critic of the Jonathan presidency, told Think Africa Press that embedded patronage will play a key role in garnering votes.

Losing votes

El-Rufai said that, in his view, Jonathan will struggle to win the election with ease.

“Most of those that would vote for Jonathan are either from his part of the country or direct beneficiaries of the intensively rentier structure that has become the Nigerian state under Yar'Adua and Jonathan,” he said.

“The bulk of Northern voters are simply upset with him for denying and defying the PDP "zoning" arrangement already embedded in the Party Constitution.

“Many others, particularly in the South-West and South-East, will not vote for Jonathan because he comes across as an uninspiring, weak and incapable leader. In his 12 months or so in the saddle, the nation's economy has been pushed to near distress – the Excess Crude Revenues Account has been frittered away, reserves have gone amidst rising oil prices, and fiscal indiscipline has been high. Insecurity levels have risen all across the nation without any adequate response."

Indicative of the malaise El-Rufai points to is the Excess Crude Account, which functions as a stabilization fund filled with money from oil revenues. Although funds from it have been used for boosting electricity generation and providing stimulus for the economy, some $22 billion was unaccounted for by February this year, with the money believed to have been withdrawn by state governments: earlier in the year, Jonathan approved the sharing of some $2 billion for states due to their support of his presidency. A financial consultant who has advised the Nigerian government told the New York Times: “It’s basically free money. Once you get it, there are no checks and balances on what happens to it.

To rig, or not to rig

Since Jonathan’s chances of winning are now no longer quite as certain as had previously been thought, attention will focus on INEC’s role in insuring a clean election and perceived attempts at rigging by the PDP. The combination of an escalation in inter-ethnic violence over the past year and Jonathan’s contravention of the zoning pact mean that any perception from Northerners that the South has rigged an election to retain power could be met with violence and a national crisis.

One of Nigeria’s most prominent human rights lawyers, Femi Falana, has hinted that action on the streets may be the best option in the case of a stolen election.

“If expectations of Nigerians concerning a credible poll in April are not met, I am very convinced that the crisis that will come up will not be solved in any law court but on the streets,” he said. “People should guard their votes jealously and ensure that their votes are not stolen by those who are bent on keeping them in bondage forever.”

There will be many in Nigeria and beyond who will be hoping Falana’s predictions will not be put to the test.

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Comments

Hello Mark,

I read your piece and I noticed that there were a number of inaccuracies which I hope you would address. I am a supporter of President Jonathan and recently arranged a Diaspora tour for his representatives under the banner of Build Up Nigeria, a banner under which I have interviewed and arranged town hall meets for many of the current Presidential candidates (see http://www.facebook.com/buildupnigeria).

I gave expert advise on Nigeria at the U.S. Institute of Peace last February (see http://www.usip.org/events/will-nigerias-elections-be-credible) and I am billed along with Malam El Rufai to do the same at Carnegie Mellon's International Center on the 12th of April, 2011.

For one it is inaccurate that the INEC is still financially tied to the Presidency. With the signing into law of the new Electoral Act on the 20th of August, 2010, the INEC now has financial autonomy and has gone directly to the National Assembly to request for funds which have been approved and released by the Ministry of Finance directly to them with dispatch. It is this act that led the President to say to the INEC board last year that “We have given you the free will to do that and we don’t want Nigerians to hear that some will say his legs and hands are tied. Nobody has tied anybody’s legs.”

It is most unfair that rather than praise the President for this unprecedented step which has guaranteed the INEC's independence you misrepresented the situation.

Also, you alluded that most of those who registered twice were PDP members. However, the facts do not support that. Firstly, Chairman Jega did not reveal their identities. Secondly, the figures released by INEC showed that double registration were actually more prevalent in states under opposition control. Thirdly, press reports including recent ones involving the Anambra REC which you cited in your story are from opposition strong holds (Anambra is governed by APGA). So it is unfair to allude or insinuate that the PDP is the chief culprit.

It is also inaccurate to state that the President's campaign tours have suffered from low turn out. This is simply a lie. There were never low turn outs at Mr. President's campaign tours. However, in Kaduna, one of the earlier stops, there had been a record turn out but due to disagreements over who won PDP gubernatorial primaries in some states of the Northwest (chiefly in Kano state) many of the party faithful left the stadium were the rally was holding after the gubernatorial candidates have been presented with flags.

However, you may want to note that the President drew a record attendance in Katsina state (home state of his main rival Major Gen. Buhari (rtd). He has repeated this feat all over the country and remains the only candidate that has toured all the states of the federation. Yes, Mr. Buhari draws larger crowds in the Northwest region from which he hails. And this is no big surprise. But Mark, please note that no one can become President of Nigeria with regional or ethnic votes, a fact re echoed by the revered Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa'ad Abubakar II, who said just two weeks ago “No politician can win elections with Muslim or Christian, northern or southern votes alone. Therefore, voting on ethnic or other sentimental divides cannot help us as a nation. We must vote for the person who we believe can move the country forward, not based on his religion or ethnic background.”

Further more, you stated that former military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida had endorsed Malam Nuhu Ribadu. However, in the spirit of your article (which seemed to pass on the impression that the President is not as popular as he appears to be) you neglected to mention that both the Sultan of Sokoto who is the spiritual head of ALL Muslims in Nigeria and former President Shehu Shagari both from the North both endorsed President Jonathan.

The Sultan of Sokoto not only endorsed the President and called him 'our son' he further said "Welcome home our son the President. You have taken us as your parents, your brothers and your sisters. This is your home and you will always be welcome here".

Please note that the Sultan has not received ANY of the other candidates in such a manner.

Former President Shehu Shagari also endorsed President Jonathan and stated his confidence that the President will emerge victorious in the polls and said inter alia “I’m getting old and I don’t think I can join any political party for active politicking now, but I’m happy that you (Jonathan) have emerged to undertake the onerous task of leading this country. I believe you will succeed, having worked so hard.”

You should also note that Nigeria is not a primordial country where Muslims and Northerners vote for only people from their region and religion with Southerners doing the same as you projected in your piece. Far from it. Historically Nigeria has rejected such tendencies and the North has shown the way in this regard.

In 1993 Nigerians from the North voted for Moshood Abiola a Yoruba from the South West of Nigeria over a Northerner, Bashir Tofa who lost to Mr. Abiola even in his home state of Kano. Also, in the 2003 elections Mr. Obasanjo defeated Mr, Buhari in much of the North (yes the elections were marred with malpractices but per the Commonwealth and AU monitoring groups the malpractices were not sufficient to effect the results of those elections). Even more recently, President Goodluck prevailed over Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who was the consensus champion of the Northern Political Leaders Forum and who was marketed as the 'Northern consensus' candidate.

You may also want to note that other than President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, none of the major Presidential candidates emerged from a democratically conducted Presidential primary. Both Mr. Buhari and Malam Nuhu Ribadu (for whom I have the utmost respect) emerged as Presidential candidate by imposition not be election.

In the run up to elections many things are said, but Nigeria and Nigerians have a long history of reaching a compromise before the elections. To put this in perspective, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, one of the previously major and most vociferous of the 'pro zoning' elements has softened his stance as well as agreed to serve on a Committee set up by the President. In fact he was on radio last week in the Northern city of Kano stating that President Jonathan is in good shape to win the Presidential elections.

Also, contrary to what you wrote, the President was not shocked and was certainly not taken aback by former President Obasanjo's comments for the simple reason that Mr. Obasanjo's comments were read from a prepared speech entitled 'The Nigerian Dream' which had been circulated among the main leaders of the PDP before the event. It was also circulated to the press before he read it. So how could he have "shocked" anyone?

Also, his comments on zoning emanated from a meeting of the PDP Board of Trustees which held the weekend before the rally was held and a full briefing was given to the President by Mr. Obasanjo so how could the President have been "shocked" and “taken aback” at comments he knew of before hand?

Also, I wonder what purpose Speaker Bankole's alleged statements to Ambassador Robin Sanders in the Wikileaks cables serves in casting doubt on President Jonathan's commitment to free and fair election given that those statements referred to the 2007 elections and the adjudication process which were concluded under the leadership of the late President, Umaru Yar'adua?

One would think that it would only be events that have occurred while President Jonathan has been in the saddle that would be evidence his intents. And there have been several incidences that have shown that things have changed positively in Nigeria. For instance under President Jonathan, the judiciary has upturned the elections of 2 PDP governors and ordered the swearing in of opposition governors in their place.

Also under President Jonathan's watch the opposition has won elections held in Anambra and Edo.

Also, it is a lie that Governor Oshiomhole told U.S. officials that President Jonathan voted four times. It has since been clarified by Governor Oshiomhole that what he told U.S. officials is that a former Vice President (Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, VP to Gen. Ibrahim Babangida who ruled between 1985-1993) voted four times (please see http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20110307632050). In fact how could Oshiomhole have been talking about President Goodluck when he was referring to the Edo State gubernatorial elections and President Jonathan is from Bayelsa state where he voted?

Finally, it is erroneous to state that the Excess Crude Account or the Foreign Reserves were depleted under President Jonathan. You might want to do a research on these two account beginning from May 29th, 2007 to the Present to pin point accurately when those funds ebbed and rose. Under President Jonathan, no funds have gone unaccounted for from those two accounts contrary to what you wrote. And also, you failed to note that drawings from the Excess Crude Account is subject to the dictates of the National Economic Council which is a multi partisan body comprising ALL the state governors icnluding opposition party governors.

That you omitted these facts and highlighted outdated events which happened before President Jonathan's ascendancy to the throne as well as included inaccurate information gives the impression that your piece is not objective. Perhaps you can correct these shortcomings by publishing this rejoinder in its entirety.

Many thanks,

Reno Omokri,
President and founder, The Build Up Nigeria Project.

Love you dear, God bless you sir.

Mr Gold fish, i want to let u know that all the fact u provided have no basics. Malam Nasir ElRUFAIL is only working for the oposition because he is from the north, it is the PDP constitution that talked about Zonning and not Nigerian constitution, talking about money spent from the ECA, which of the past presidnt from the north have been tried 4 spending from such acount if non then why GEJ. How can Buhari be the presidnt of this country, even his vice made a mistake accepting it. Buhari who once said in Yobe state that christian should be voting themselves and muslim should vote themselves, go to all the mosque in the north that is what they are preching to the people, please tell how will such person rule Nigeria a country of diversity. Mr gold fish GEJ will comeout victorious insha Allah.

u r a shameles liar and i dont have your time. when you rid yourself of this primitive dogma i think we can talk some issues.

So are you....
The Press is Horrible...

The fact is there are truths here by everyone and one or more lies...
Since most of us a really selfish... why just don't we just be sure of our own veiw?
And when generalizing, be of open possibilities

I believe whoever wins will make Nigeria great!!!!
Whether Goodluck, Buhari, or Ribadu... There is something to be admireable in everyone of them...
beating our chests like apes while the politicians are lavishing in Luxery, makes us look like fools.
So work hard and aspire to be great.!!!
wwwresponse@gmail.com

So are you....
The Press is Horrible...

The fact is there are truths here by everyone and one or more lies...
Since most of us a really selfish... why just don't we just be sure of our own veiw?
And when generalizing, be of open possibilities

I believe whoever wins will make Nigeria great!!!!
Whether Goodluck, Buhari, or Ribadu... There is something to be admireable in everyone of them...
beating our chests like apes while the politicians are lavishing in Luxery, makes us look like fools.
So work hard and aspire to be great.!!!
wwwresponse@gmail.com

amen laitan. I am hundred percent in support of Reno. dont get me wrong please.

Thanks for the insight. It birngs light into the dark!

Ab fab my gooldy man.

Reno, on the question of objectivity, no article can claim true objectivity as every article relies upon the author’s selection of what material is to be included. The question should be the degree of objectivity. Also, were I to amend and re-write the article along the lines you suggest, it would read like a campaign piece for Goodluck Jonathan - as did Mr Trippi’s (although you do not mention it, I believe you are a VP at Trippi & Associates – I stand corrected if this has changed: http://www.goodluckjonathanfor2011.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item...).
Please be assured that I have no bias towards any candidate contesting the election, and I hope that I have not given you the impression that I do. I hope the publishing of your letter in full helps you appreciate this.
I respond to your comments below:
“For one it is inaccurate that the INEC is still financially tied to the Presidency. With the signing into law of the new Electoral Act on the 20th of August, 2010, the INEC now has financial autonomy and has gone directly to the National Assembly to request for funds which have been approved and released by the Ministry of Finance directly to them with dispatch. It is this act that led the President to say to the INEC board last year that “We have given you the free will to do that and we don’t want Nigerians to hear that some will say his legs and hands are tied. Nobody has tied anybody’s legs.” It is most unfair that rather than praise the President for this unprecedented step which has guaranteed the INEC's independence you misrepresented the situation.”
On your main point, I agree and stand somewhat corrected: it should have been made clearer that INEC is not as directly tied to the presidency as it was previously. My apologies. However, although the step is unprecedented, I do not think it is necessarily true that it “guarantees” INEC’s independence.
Prof Jega is still presiding over a staff associated with historical electoral malpractices, not to mention that no one has ever been convicted of an electoral offence – I would imagine this would not discourage anyone considering rigging. Additionally, questions remain over whether public funds and assets are being used by incumbents for campaigning – in contravention of the Electoral Act.
I think it is also worth noting that INEC said that delays in receiving funding last year were hindering its ability to prepare for polls. Additionally, the ACN claims that there is collusion between some INEC staff and PDP members to bring about logistical delays - http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2011/03/29/acn-alerts-on-pdp-inecs-plot-to-frus... - while the PDP itself is citing allegations of bias and taking INEC to court - http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/pdp-cnpp-drag-inec-to-court/88581/.
It is one thing to endorse new legislation; it is quite another to enforce it. I address further alledged contraventions of the Electoral Act below.
“You alluded that most of those who registered twice were PDP members. However, the facts do not support that. Firstly, Chairman Jega did not reveal their identities. Secondly, the figures released by INEC showed that double registration were actually more prevalent in states under opposition control. Thirdly, press reports including recent ones involving the Anambra REC which you cited in your story are from opposition strong holds (Anambra is governed by APGA). So it is unfair to allude or insinuate that the PDP is the chief culprit.”
I did not allude that those who registered twice were PDP members. I stated that the “ACN claimed” they were. That the press reports I highlight are from opposition strong holds does not necessarily they are untrue – were that to be the case, I presume you would think the same of press reports from PDP strongholds?
“It is also inaccurate to state that the President's campaign tours have suffered from low turn out. This is simply a lie. There were never low turn outs at Mr. President's campaign tours. However, in Kaduna, one of the earlier stops, there had been a record turn out but due to disagreements over who won PDP gubernatorial primaries in some states of the Northwest (chiefly in Kano state) many of the party faithful left the stadium were the rally was holding after the gubernatorial candidates have been presented with flags.”
I think this point may well be a question of whom to believe. It has been reported in the (Nigerian) press and cited by prominent Nigerians I believe you to “respect” (as you say in your comments) at briefings given in the UK that there were campaign events where the turnout was low.
I did not highlight similar reports in Adamawa - http://www.peoplesdaily-online.com/news/national-news/7996-low-turnout-a... - and Lagos - http://allnewsnigeria.com/nigerianewspolitics/112-politics/5705-lagos-jo....
Also, again, I do not simply state it, I provide a link to a source, in this case the Daily Trust reporting on Plateau State.
“Further more, you stated that former military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida had endorsed Malam Nuhu Ribadu. However, in the spirit of your article (which seemed to pass on the impression that the President is not as popular as he appears to be) you neglected to mention that both the Sultan of Sokoto who is the spiritual head of ALL Muslims in Nigeria and former President Shehu Shagari both from the North both endorsed President Jonathan. Former President Shehu Shagari also endorsed President Jonathan and stated his confidence that the President will emerge victorious in the polls and said inter alia “I’m getting old and I don’t think I can join any political party for active politicking now, but I’m happy that you (Jonathan) have emerged to undertake the onerous task of leading this country. I believe you will succeed, having worked so hard.”
The intention of the article was to address the issue of President Jonathan’s campaign. As I’m sure you’re aware articles contain an ‘angle’. The angle in this was that Jonathan’s status as overwhelming favourite (which I myself have labelled him in other articles, for example: http://www.royalafricansociety.org/ras-guides/837.html?Reference=396) may not be so anymore – despite the help of Trippi & Associates. As such, I have detailed the issues that support this line of thought. I think it would produce confusion, if not boredom, to balance every claim made in the article with a counter-claim.
Also, the main reason for the inclusion of the Babangida story was that it was both somewhat surprising and contemporaneous – it occurred very close to the publication of the story (news of the Sultan’s endorsement came more than a week before, with Shegari’s endorsement before that). As such, it was included to inform readers who may not have know about this. Additionally, it was not simply the endorsement that was interesting, it was the reasons for doing so – a need for generational change, in the words on Babangida. I will be writing a separate article to address this issue.
Additionally, I think your emphasis on former president Shegari and the Sultan of Sokoto both being from the North (along with other comments) somewhat undermines your argument – which I believe to be erroneous - that I project Nigeria as a “primordial country”. I certainly do not believe it to be so, and I would not attribute this to any other country; I am much more aligned with instrumentalist schools of thought on such issues. I hope you appreciate that the article could not fully explore such issues, as this would require a separate essay-style piece.
“You may also want to note that other than President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, none of the major Presidential candidates emerged from a democratically conducted Presidential primary. Both Mr. Buhari and Malam Nuhu Ribadu (for whom I have the utmost respect) emerged as Presidential candidate by imposition not be election.”
As you will notice, within the article I highlight that not everyone believes it was a “democratically conducted” primary Suffice it to say that a founding member of the party – Atiku Abubakar - levied an official complaint to INEC alledging that a “lack of openness and fairness…flagrantly violated the Electoral Act 2010”. http://www.pointblanknews.com/Petitions/petition13.html
It is true that I did not address this issue with Ribadu, but if you read the factbox to the right of the piece, it is noted in regard to Gen Buhari. I have also written another article I can direct you to where this is noted in full.
I will also address these details in a subsequent piece – this article is only the first in a series. As the article is already lengthy, I’m sure you will appreciate that not every detail regarding all the many candidates can be addressed.
“Also, contrary to what you wrote, the President was not shocked and was certainly not taken aback by former President Obasanjo's comments for the simple reason that Mr. Obasanjo's comments were read from a prepared speech entitled 'The Nigerian Dream' which had been circulated among the main leaders of the PDP before the event. It was also circulated to the press before he read it. So how could he have "shocked" anyone?”
I did not assert that President Jonathan was shocked and taken aback; rather that it was reported to be so. The report alledging this was ‘hyperlinked’ in the story – it is based on the comments from a “source close to Jonathan”. I do not necessarily claim this to be the undisputed truth – hence my writing, “Former president Olusegan Obasanjo reportedly left Jonathan…”
“I wonder what purpose Speaker Bankole's alleged statements to Ambassador Robin Sanders in the Wikileaks cables serves in casting doubt on President Jonathan's commitment to free and fair election given that those statements referred to the 2007 elections and the adjudication process which were concluded under the leadership of the late President, Umaru Yar'adua?”
As we all know, Goodluck Jonathan was Umaru Yar’adua’s running mate and vice president. Whether or not he was privy to or played a part in decisions made by the late president, I do not know.
“Also, it is a lie that Governor Oshiomhole told U.S. officials that President Jonathan voted four times. It has since been clarified by Governor Oshiomhole that what he told U.S. officials is that a former Vice President (Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, VP to Gen. Ibrahim Babangida who ruled between 1985-1993) voted four times. In fact how could Oshiomhole have been talking about President Goodluck when he was referring to the Edo State gubernatorial elections and President Jonathan is from Bayelsa state where he voted?”
Again, I do not assert this to be true. I note them as damaging “allegations”. And, crucially, I also write that Governor Oshiomole denies making the claim and provide a link to a story outlining exactly what you say above.
“It is erroneous to state that the Excess Crude Account or the Foreign Reserves were depleted under President Jonathan. Under President Jonathan, no funds have gone unaccounted for from those two accounts.”
Again, I have used comments and provided references for their original citation. It does seem widely appreciated that despite drawings from the account being subject – in name – to a multi-partisan system, significant concerns remain, which have resulted in the decision to replace the ECA.
I would direct you to the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties {CNPP} concerns regarding the ECA under President Jonathan - http://www.saharareporters.com/news-page/hurried-squander-excess-crude-a....
Also, as Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, has said - http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/News/5682278-147/minister_explains... - : "The ECA is just an account not backed by law. The process for accessing the ECA is not as transparent and clear to the Nigerian people, therefore there is a general perception that there is some level of mismanagement.”
Also, his reasoning for the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund includes that: “The Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) is being proposed not just because the ECA is illegal, but because there is need to have a strong fiscal framework that would ensure that future generations of Nigerians are provided for with the earnings from excess crude. No government official will be on the Board of NSIA that would manage the SWF. So, it will be free from all political interferences.”
As 234Next also observes: “Some stakeholders, including the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) as well as states governments that make up the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) recently reiterated the call for the abolition of the ECA, claiming it was existing in breach of the provisions of the constitution requiring all revenues to be paid into the Federation Accounts and shared periodically among the component units of the federation.”

as u rightly said "....every article relies upon the author’s selection of what material is to be included. The question should be the degree of objectivity".
i think ur selection of materials appears to be very bad, as ur article reflects. Whether d poor selection is a deliberate act is also a question. The undertone in ur write-up was very clear: that the tides are growing against a victory for GEJ in d coming election because he s not popular as he seems. u also tried to portray that he has not faired well, either b4 he became president or after.
Ur effort strikes me as one with which the opposition are attempting to base their rejection and contention of the coming election results if they do not favor them (which is going to be d case). It also looks like a systematic campaign against GEJ, and u should have been bold enough to stand for what u believe in.
lastly, Reno Omokri's reply has adequately exposed the low degree of objectivity in ur article, but ur reply has confirmed my doubts that u are doing a paid job for the opposition in Nigeria!

Hi Adebayo. I assure you I would never deliberately try to frame a story in such a way. As you say the theme of the article was that Goodluck MAY need to live up to his name, although this is in the context of my revealing that Trippi & Associates are assisting him. It certainly is not a campaign against GEJ, and I hope you will read articles in the upcoming days that will reflect that to you - I base what I write on the information I receive, and try wherever possible to do as a journalist should: let the reader be the judge.
Best,
Mark

Reno Omokri,

I must say you've said all that could form part of my contribution to this falsified information put up here.

Thank you.

My advice is that we all work with a positive mindset and support the present administration.

I really do admire the achievements of GEJ till date and strongly believe he needs another term to do more greater things than any previous Nigeria leader.

Honestly, I think there'll be a serious regret if any other opposition takes over the responsibility of leading Nigera.

Vote GEJ for continuity and for the best.

All the best.

Regards,

Daniel Ikeora
ikeora_doc@live.com
07704246758

Is it that you are ignorant or wilfully stupid? The Nigerian youth you have sold ouit & betrayed can't wait visit you & your household with wrath of justice-Amen

Mr. Oluwaseun,
Why cant u be a little mature in ur contribution? someone has strongly argued his points and if u have a contrasting view let us know by highlighting them clearly. Must u always demonstrate in public that u lack proper home training? Na wao!

you sound very much the old nigerian type to hurriedly put a cosmetic defense for jonathan. you tried to paint jonathan presidency of having nation wide support while deliberately forgetting how he was pelted at in many northern states where he campaigned in nearly empty grounds despite the huge financial extravaganza to rent crowds. as far the sultan, he is neutral and received all candidates with respect. or what can you say about the crowd buhari pulled in port harcourt, ondo and edo states and other southern states. or buhari campain in the south west where he is assured of a landslide. as far the 2003 and 2007 elections the rigging was internationally recognised as gross and colossal. and it is your campaign organisation that puts the rhetorics of tribe and faith more on the front line. as far the foreign reserve its depletion answers your question why jonathan had toured every where because he cannot differentiate between the pdp and national purses. your tactics is trying to create a facade of national acceptance for jonathan as a platform to dircreetly rig the election. but this is a new nigeria in the making. you are welcome if you change and damn if you dont.

Hi Reno,

You are the exact kind of few Nigerians we are talking about. You will definitely 'admire' the president becuase you are one of the few Nigerians who benefit of the klargesse of government. If you admire him so much, tell him to do something about the political oppression in Akwa Ibom right now. If you admire him so much, tell him to say something on the Oct 1 bomb blast. If you admire him soi much tell him to say something on Jos crises. Does it also takke 10+ to tell us his findings on these security issues? How long will Nigerians suffere under the ineptitude of your oga and u tekll us'he is a man u admire so muce' please let's hear better things. He is not as popular as you make him. ANd we know, anyway that you manage his FB page/. What did DOra do to you? You used the page to promote your Build Up Nigeria project, not for once did you put up the Rebrand Nigeria logo. Why? Schemer... Everyone has a price, I know, you are just too cheap.

Reno=LuckyImbecile

Thanks Reno, u exposed his malicious objectives. God bless you

Mark, nice write up but do you still think ribadu is the best option? Because what I see in nigeria now is still the problem of Godfatherism in which OBJ is a godfather to Jonathan and TINUBU to ribadu in which when ribadu was the chairman of the EFCC, he pointed that tinubu is a rogue. Why is tinubu now semi god?

Hey, you're the goto expert. Thanks for hannigg out here.

Your article was excelelnt and erudite.