@Gbengagold: Shame on me for letting GEJ win in 2011! (Y! Politico)

by Gbenga Olorunpomi

After the 2011 general elections, I fell on emotional hard times. I was depressed. My wife forced me out of my shell a little and I switched jobs. Ayomide my daughter was still under six months old and she made me smile a bit. But, I hated my job. Hated it even more when 2012 brought the infamous subsidy removal and that extra financial crunch. I was depressed. My work suffered. I suffered.

Looking back now, I know why I was so low. Between August 2010 and April 16th 2011, I had told everyone I had contact with that another term of President Goodluck Jonathan as leader of Nigeria would be a disaster. Each time my parents called me to know how I was doing (I was a media officer to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, ACN’s presidential candidate), I would beg them not to vote for Goodluck. I even promised to fly them out of Nigeria is the Bayela man won the election.

“Daddy, that man will lead us to destruction,” I would coo in Abinu dialect. “Stop being deceived by his gentle appearance. He has no sense of patriotism nor does he have any clue how to lead a country. He will end us!”

My dad saw he was a Christian and that was enough for him. I knew my mum was not going to vote but I begged her to spread the word to her colleagues. I’m sure she didn’t. Such campaigning can hurt your job in Nigeria.

I blamed myself for not doing enough to stop Jonathan in 2011. I blamed myself for not trying enough. I blamed myself for enjoying those “I-Told-You-So” moments. I blamed myself for blaming me.


So, I threw all my energies and talents into the ACN presidential campaign. I knew we stood only very little chance but I felt I owed my family the effort. I fought friends, made new enemies; won a few, lost scores. Jonathan won. I got depressed.

Last Thursday night, as I was retiring to bed after landing in Dubai and being blown away by the magic that is that city, I checked on my Twitter account and my depression began to return. The sight of men in suits and agbada climbing over a gate, forcing down the gate, walking through a field of teargas fumes and bundling the fourth ranking citizen of Nigeria set my blood racing and freezing intermittently. I buried my face in my hands and wept. My heart broke.

I blamed myself for not doing enough to stop Jonathan in 2011. I blamed myself for not trying enough. I blamed myself for enjoying those “I-Told-You-So” moments. I blamed myself for blaming me.

It was just a matter of time that Nigeria would come to this sorry pass. Many of our leaders from 1960 have been unpatriotic and dubious but Shagari added weakness to his list of character flaws. In President Jonathan, we have a man with double the portion of all these unwanted traits plus a healthy dose of crass crudeness. Only the late Idi Amin Dada of Uganda had less tact.

President Jonathan has laid so many undesirable precedents that you can hardly blame any Nigerian for doing anything immoral. When he offhandedly dismissed the link between the October 1st bombings and MOSSOB, he tied the hands of the investigators who could never disprove him. Since he went on air and said he doesn’t ‘give a damn’ about asset declaration, few public officers has considered it important any more. When he told the world that the House of Representatives was unduly bugging his favourite minster, Alison Dieziani, she developed the guts to tell the world that she could unilaterally disobey a gazetted directive to stop the N700million daily subsidy on kerosene.

Our president has set so many bad trends, it is unreal. He kicked off the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge, a project yet to pass the Environmental Impact Assessment. So, who are we to blame Pastor TB Joshua for turning a two-floor building into six floors without due permit? With over six months to elections, his jingles, billboards and newspaper ads assault all our senses; so why won’t opposition parties hold political rallies? He refused to act in good time, insulted the parents of the Chibok Girls by inviting them to his domain to console them after his wife gave them the “Diarisgodoh” drama; so why won’t Doyin Okupe launch the hash tag, #BringBackGoodluck2015? He has treated the #BringBackOurGirls coalition with contempt, so why won’t should AIG Mba treat them any better? The C-in-C supported the Jonah Jang faction of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum in the 16>19 Debacle; so who are we to challenge the Ekiti Governor, Ayo Fayose that his math of 7>17 in the Ekiti House of Assembly is ludicrous? President Jonathan is an evil trendsetter!

I am typing this from the comfort of my hotel room in Dubai. For the three nights we have been here, power supply has not blinked, we have been taking hot showers and the room is cleaned to a shine each time we step out. I visited the Dubai Mall and saw the wonders that the billions of oil dollars can do. Only eighty centimetres of glass separated me from a shark and a 750kg crocodile. At no time did I fear for my safety or security, even though there was no police officer in sight. When I left the mall at after midnight, not an inch of the road was in darkness. The cab’s odometer revealed the vehicle had well over 390,000 miles under its hood, but the engine smoother and the body looked in far better shape than our far-less travelled Sienna back home. I swear down, I have not spotted a single pothole on Dubai roads. And I have looked hard and long.

I have only seen one police vehicle in Dubai and everyone is safe. There are thousands of Nigerian soldiers in the North East, yet over 300 people have lost their lives in the last two weeks.  Before I left Nigeria, one dollar exchanged for N173.60; as I type this, it is up (down?) N177.05. Global oil prices are dropping and the pump price of PMS is equally dropping in many countries; Nigeria’s has remained the same.  All our health workers are on strike. There is an urgent need to arrest the slide towards the twin demons of economic instability and insecurity. But, President Jonathan and his advisers have decided against addressing the nation. Their priorities last week included; cutting the president’s birthday cake, using the police to stop Speaker Aminu Tambuwal from performing his legitimate dues, unlawfully attacking an opposition digital operations building and giving every living Nigerian the finger.

Shame on me for letting him win in 2011! Shame on us all for making him believe he stands a chance in 2015!


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.


One comment

  1. weda you like it or not by God’s he must surely win.Ewu, dose western countries ask dem how many years it took dem to transform dier countries.If u want to die cos GEJ is d best, go and hug transformer.

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