5 Reasons Why GEJ Should NOT Resign



In the wake of 2 bombings in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, the second taking place barely three weeks after the first, some people have resorted to calling for President Jonathan to resign or, alternatively, for the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against him. I  disagree. While it is true that scandal continues to follow scandal, bombing follows bombing and national morale is undoubtedly very low, I do not think the President’s resignation is required. Here are my reasons.


1. THIS IS A DEMOCRACY. If we truly believe in democracy and the need to build enduring democratic institutions, then, barring gross misconduct, we need to accept that we are stuck with whoever we elect for the duration of time prescribed by the constitution  for them to be in office. We don’t get to chop and change midstream if the person we elected turns out not quite as we expected. This is the reason why we must pay greater attention and commit to playing a greater part in the electoral process first. The earliest that GEJ should go, is May 2015, when everyone crying #GEJOut can test the popularity of their movement at the polls.


2. WHO’S NEXT IN LINE? If the President resigns or is impeached, Vice-President Namadi Sambo takes over. If they’re both impeached, Senate President David “telephones-are-not-for-the-masses” Mark becomes President. Forgive me for not being too enthused about either of these prospects. At any rate, how would this change anything, with elections less than a year away?


3. GEJ IS NOT THE SERVICE CHIEFS. These guys need to get a whole lot more of the blame than people are willing to allocate to them. GEJ is Commander-In-Chief but he’s not the head of the intelligence gathering or counter-insurgency combat teams. He isn’t personally manning check-points or patrolling the terror hotspots. His Generals and their troops are. If anyone should be resigning (and that’s a big “IF”), the service chiefs are probably better candidates.


4. RESIGNATION WOULD BE A(NOTHER) VICTORY FOR BOKO HARAM. Would it not be the greatest tragedy, a huge smear on our collective nationhood, for Boko Haram to be able to beat its chest and declare that they bombed our president out of office? At the end of the day, until he’s served out his term, he is our president; our number one citizen. A king defends his castle. It would be a shame on my family if an unruly neighbour could unseat my father from our homestead. I’m sure the same applies to most of us.


5. RESIGNATION WOULD ONLY SERVE THE ETHNIC SUPREMACISTS. There are some who believe the President of Nigeria cannot and should not come from one of its smallest minorities. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. I will be politically correct and end my 5th point on that note.


Times are dark and dire, though, and we need our president to be bold, brave, inspirational and communicative. Not a word from him so far on the 200+ missing school girls, or the most recent bombing. Even if it’s hot air, we need to hear that he’s with us, see him shed an Obama tear or two and just generally show some emotional intelligence. Step up, President Jonathan.

9 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why GEJ Should NOT Resign

  1. I suspect the president lacks emotional intelligence and the ability to take a defined stand, ironically qualities that made him suitable to be the duputy of a thieving governor and then a loyal vice president.

    I am yet to see evidence to the contrary. Thank you for this


  2. Tex,

    I agree with point 2 and 3. The alternatives do not inspire any confidence and the service chiefs should get more flak. Then again, weren’t service chiefs just replaced? However, your first point did my head in. A democracy means CHOOSING the leader. It doesn’t mean PUTTING UP with the leader no matter what. Impeachments are definitely options in cases where the leader is found to have abused his powers, undermined his office or, in this case, failed abjectly in his duties. I wholeheartedly agree that a lot more thought must go first into the electoral process- picking the right guy means not having to think about impeaching him later- BUT if Mr President cannot man up, he has got to go. A democracy doesn’t insulate the President from the consequences of his failure(s). As for Jonathan’s resignation being a victory for Boko Haram; does this then mean that Jonathan remaining in office will be a victory for the fight against terrorism? If that amounts to a victory, it could not be more pyrrhic.


    • Good points, Mr. Kazeem. My thrust with Point 1 really is that impeachment is reserved for gross dereliction of duty, or should be. I don’t think you impeach Presidents for losing battles. You generally impeach them, as you’ve said, for abusing/undermining their office or misappropriating state funds. Can the insurgency’s impetus be attributed to any of this rather than a failure of the SSS, Police, Armed Forces instead? Is it Presidential failure that has resulted in the inability to preemptively strike against BH?

      I agree that the reverse of victory for BH isn’t a victory for the fight against terrorism. But I think him being forced to resign because of them would embolden them, win them more recruits and lead to more insecurity. No empirical data for this, but that was my thinking.


      • Actually, as a leader, you’re elected/selected to fight battles. Battles not personal or imagined but battles facing the majority of the people on a daily basis.

        Even *if* impeachment or resignation were the right way to go, as a people, we’ve not given ourselves viable options. We cry when things go wrong but how many of us have been to party primaries or ward elections or even know who the Rep or Senator for our constituency is?

        I keep trying to remind people that the legislature is the means of redress when the executive cocks up and we should participate more in that process. Some of would like to even contest elections but is it on these same dirty platforms?

        Where do we go from here please? As a people, we need direction; enough of the soundbites.


  3. Does inability to perform duties qualify as gross misconduct or is that reserved for tawdry affairs and theft of oil monies?
    I agree resignation is not the answer, sets a bad precedent and could lead to more unrest.
    GEJ just needs to step up and lead.


  4. I aggree with you TEX,..the truth is just like Ukraine,…even though that was a more positive and different case, just because they succeeded in getting Victor Yanukovytch out and making Crimea part of Russia, other states in Ukraine, think if they do the same, they can turn to Russia. So I believe this will be a wrong move, if President Jonathan gives in to thier threats or pressure. This boko haram people will get anything they want, in whatever Government comes in next, just because Jonathan paved a way for them. So, JONATHAN HAS TO FINISH HIS TERM PLEASE. We are still praying for Nigeria and God has heard our plea, we are safe in Nigeria by the grace of God, and this madness and spiritual wickedness have been put to an end in Jesus Name, Amen


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