Many articles have been written and much has been uttered as to the remote and immediate causes of the failure of ex-president Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election. Political and social analysts, both on radio and television have also offered reasons for the failure. The masses through the uncontrolled social media also expressed their minds on the loss too. Many of the above attributed the loss of the election by ex-president Jonathan to corruption, insecurity and lack of performance in terms of infrastructures. Some of the reasons given by these analysts concurred with mine while a few are at variance with mine.I have no grudge against them for they have the right and are entitled to their opinion. Having read articles and listened to Nigerians spoken on this issue, I felt it was unnecessary to dissipate energy to write on same issue. But on a second thought, I reasoned that if I don’t give my account as to why Mr. Jonathan lost the election such reasons would remain with me forever and that wouldn’t add to scholarship hence I have chosen to add my article to the volumes that have been written on this matter.
Contrary to the reasons attributed above, former president Jonathan actually lost his re-election bid for the reasons mentioned below. Allowing the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the greatest blunder ever committed by a sitting president. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo wouldn’t have allowed the registration of a mega political party like the APC that would have given him stiff opposition. No mega party was allowed during his tenure rather he permitted the registration of small political parties which were mere regional political parties. No regional political party can ever win a presidential election in the country. Thus, the merging of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a fraction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), was the beginning of the fall of Jonathan and the PDP. The absence of a rigid opposition political party gave Obasanjo victory in his second term bid in 2003 and not because he performed in his first term in office.
Mr. Jonathan had a stiff opposition from the north even before he was elected in 2011. Thus, he didn’t enjoy total support from the north even though that region benefitted more from his government in terms of infrastructural development and political appointments. Another undoing of the Jonathan’s administration was the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents leading to the shedding of innocent blood and the abduction of the Chibok school girls. All these beclouded all the good works he did. The activities of the Boko Haram sect portrayed the former president as an incompetent leader which is not true because insurgency all over the world is not an easy task to overcome. America with all her power couldn’t crush the Taliban in Afghanistan. Also, America couldn’t bring to an end the war she began in Iraq. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has not been able to contain the uprising in his country for about five years now. All these are testimonies to the fact that insurgency is not a tea party.
The implosion in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that led to the defection of five governors and 40 members of the House of Representatives and subsequent massive defections from the party to the APC caused a colossal damage to Mr. Jonathan’s re-election bid. The implosion precipitated by the demand by the governors to remove the then chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamaga Turku which was turned down by Jonathan was another reason for his failure. The election of the governors’ forum which led to two factions led by ex-governors Jonah Jang and Rotimi Amaechi also contributed to the failure of Mr. Jonathan during the elections.
Again, former President Jonathan is not a shrewd politician. He is not power drunk like some politicians that want power at all cost. Ab initio, he made his stand obvious by saying “Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian”. This he fulfilled by conducting the elections devoid of violence and bloodletting. His concession of defeat before the final result was announced was the magic wand he employed; this he did for his love and unity of the country. To him, the unity of the country is paramount above his political ambition. His loss in the election could also be attributed to his weak media team. His media team was not proactive but reactive to the alarm propagandist media team of the APC. His media team was in slumber but only woke up just before the general elections.
The Anti-Gay Bill which he signed into law irked the American Government against him hence they worked against him covertly before and during the elections. Under age voters who voted in the north against him was a contributory factor to his fall in the elections. The availability of the social media such as facebook, twitter, email and short message service also led to his loss in the elections. The availability of these platforms enable Nigerians to speak their minds on national issue. With these platforms, Nigerians kept shouting about corruption as if corruption began and would end with the administration of ex-president Jonathan.
Former President Jonathan lost his second term bid because of political naivety. The registration of the APC was the beginning of the downfall of Jonathan and the PDP and not because of lack of performance. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was re-elected in 2003 not because of performance but because there was no stiff opposition political party. Former President Jonathan should however be commended for deepening democracy in the country.