Tunji Andrews: Jonathan is a victim of unrealistic expectations

by Tunji Andrews


If corrupt at all, President Goodluck cannot said to be the most corrupt out there, but I’d say his indecisiveness has caused a great deal of concern for Nigerians. In as much as making the right decision is key, leadership also calls for experience that can take tough and right decisions in shorter time frames.


I have a story to tell.

A story set within the boundaries of the eternal plot of good versus evil; a plot rigged to have the chivalrous knight in shinning armour triumph over the diabolical schemes of the less colourful villain, in a battle of blood and guts, for glory.

Our location, is neither Gotham city nor Small Ville, but set in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest nation by economic and population size. Nigeria, a blessed and resourceful entity west of the Sahara, rich in culture, diverse in ethnicity, a leader of leaders, and the envy of all.

Like the setting of the average hero story, Nigeria, a peaceful nation and its people continued to prosper, with stories of increasing GDP growth and the emergence of one of Nigeria’s super tycoons as Africa’s richest man, glossed the front pages of newspapers and magazines. Moreover, as Leader after leader emerged, military or civilian, the growth story remained the same, of Nigeria rising.

Nevertheless, from uncharted regions of the Niger delta, arose a would-be legend, a man who seemed hand picked by the gods, themselves. Having aspired to the position of deputy governor of Bayelsa state, even Nostradamus himself would have struggled to see the eventual destination of the Legend of Goodluck. A man whom in an Obama-like fashion broke the trend of national leadership and for the first time gave Nigeria its first president from the Niger Delta.

Goodluck Jonathan can be said to arguably be only the 2nd popularly elected president of Nigeria, after the late MKO Abiola; but unlike the latter, Goodluck was elected solely based on the ‘LEGEND OF HIS RISE’. It was the perfect underdog story, rising through the ranks based on providence rather than skill or achievement.

Right after it was confirmed that the late president Umar Yaradua had gone on to be with his ancestors, the stars looked aligned once again as Nigerians rallied to push this legend a step further. I recall 234Next self-ordaining him president and sparking of a row on the constitutionality of why he was meant to be president (Having been vice); it was after all, written in the stars.

Like Achilles, Goodluck seemed so blessed of the gods that even mothers began to name their children after this demi-god. In a subliminal wave of emotion, Nigerians began to ascribe the Hero status of someone who had risen above his fears and limitations to achieve something extraordinary, to this favoured man; and as the days passed, his legend grew.


As deputy governor in Bayelsa, Goodluck was seen as a simple minded man, whom nobody ever expected would venture into the dicey and precarious nature of Nigerian politics. It would be unfair to say he his tenures as deputy governor, or even governor were the worst in Nigeria’s history, but he cannot also be described in any measure as exceptional.

As state governor, he grew abit bolder, and many described his tenure as not being much different from his erstwhile predecessor, Alamieyeiseigha; who was largely seen as lazy and incompetent. The grouse many people of Bayelsa had was that he was not accountable and transparent in his financial and political dealings, whilst at the same time being very intolerant of critics and criticisms. Many at the time frowned at what was described as allowing his wife to run a parallel government, with many saying that she wore the pants in their home.

His leadership ability to listen was often called into question, even as governor, he tended to look to the North and the West for solutions to his problems and seemed not to trust his fellow Ijaw brothers and sisters. An issue that still plays out as president, as he tends to seek the confidence of the international community, over the Nigerian people.

If corrupt at all, President Goodluck cannot said to be the most corrupt out there, but I’d say his indecisiveness has caused a great deal of concern for Nigerians. In as much as making the right decision is key, leadership also calls for experience that can take tough and right decisions in shorter time frames.

The chain of command around him also seems greatly inefficient, aided by his poor recruitment ability. It is said that a leader is only as good as his team. He is meant to direct, delegate, motivate and ensure that goals are met. However, irrespective of where you take a lizard, it would not metamorphosize into an alligator, and irrespective of what he may have handed out, the tools he gathered were just not fit for purpose.

Speaking of purpose, for a man who seemed to have reluctantly taking on this position, he seems to be making it up as he goes. With wave after wave of terror attacks, the FG is yet to show a template reaction plan, that would not only scares the enemy into a retreat, but also reassures Nigerians of their safety. It is true we have a “TRANSFORMATION AGENDA”, but when the supposed initiator communicates his plan with little conviction and further executes the plan sporadically, you almost feel like this agenda was forced upon him; as was everything in this story.

Our hero wielded no swords, nor fought any dragons, saved no cities, nor rescued any damsels prior to his coronation; thus why have we ladened him with such expectations. He is your average likeable guy, very much like you or i, cast in the face of opposition and falling short of the mark. It isn’t a crime not to be great at it all, as even Superman fumbled in the areas of love.

So next time you see him, know he is just a regular Joe, who has weaknesses and flaws very much like you. The hero of this story is not a hero at all, he may fall short of the qualities for the job, but I’d sure like to grab a drink with him something.

The End


Tunji Andrews tweets from @TunjiAndrews

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



One comment

  1. Jonathan may not be the only leader who is corrupt, but he is the only leader who allowed all around him to engage in corrupt practices without blinking an eye lid. He is also the only leader who surrounded himself with dubious and controlling women, including his wife— each doing her own thing. He is also the only nigerian leader who even under democratic dispensation will not listen to the voice of people who elected him to power, but allowed tribalists like edwin clark to think for him.

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