Jonathan Was Patriotic Not Clueless, Ex-Minister Declares
Goodluck Jonathan

Mr Bolaji Abdullahi who was the Minister of Youth Development and Sports under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, has described the former president as a real patriot, countering the perception of some Nigerians that he was weak and clueless.

The Ex-Minister spoke at the launch of the Education Champions League (ECL), a competition among secondary schools in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, organized by the August Meeting, a Port Harcourt-based book organization.

Abdulahi pointed out that former President Goodluck Jonathan was never weak or clueless during his years in the saddle as Nigeria’s President as wrongly portrayed by the media. 

The former Minister and Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (2016-2018), disagreed with the widely held claims that the former President was weak and clueless, stressing that  Jonathan was  patriotic.

He said: “Definitely, he’s not weak, definitely he’s not clueless from my experience. The most important thing I know about him is that he’s very patriotic. As a patriot, he’s also someone who’s careful about how he uses power. He understood the enormity of the powers of the President and he used to say that if he uses 30 percent of his powers as President of Nigeria, he will become a dictator.

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So, he’s someone who is careful and who is also reluctant to hurt people. So, because of his reluctance to hurt people, it’s possible that some will interpret it to mean that he’s clueless.

“Some of the things that he did at that time, some other people have done the same and even worse. So, I think he was just a victim of the kind of politics of that time. I think if he had been president at this time, he would probably have had a different approach.”

Abdulahi who also is the author of “Sweet Sixteen”, described his latest book as “a journalist’s attempt at trying to practise history,” saying he was inspired to write the book a long time ago.

He added that as a minister, he saw every event that played out from the point of view of a journalist and a technocrat, not a typical Nigerian politician and the irresistible urge to put pen to paper to document what he saw in Nigerian power play.

He stressed: “I saw everything in the government from a news angle, but soon realised that I couldn’t report all that I saw in the government. I saw myself mainly as a journalist and technocrat, not as a politician and realised that I was excluding myself from the mainstream. But, the journalistic instinct in me took a better part; so, the book came forth.”

In his remarks at the event, Kingsley Wali, Convener of the August Meeting and arrowhead of the programme, explained that the idea behind the ECL was to promote literacy and intellectual engagement in Rivers State, other than politics and political bickering.

He said: “A society that doesn’t read dwells in ignorance, and ignorance is a very dangerous tool.”

He explained that the ECL, an Incorporated Trustee dedicated to fostering intellectual growth and community enrichment, has announced that depending on the educational calendar of the state, the competition would start in April or May, firstly for secondary schools in Port Harcourt due to logistic reasons.

Africa Today News, New York

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