Jonathan’s​ Reception : The Irony of Hero’s Welcome


Seeing the way the minorities in the South-South rose up in defense of Goodluck Jonathan over a statement allegedly made by Nnamdi Kanu in 2014 calling him ‘weak’, my mind flashed back to the same way Ndigbo had defended Nnamdi Azikiwe in the past whenever there was an attack on his person. Just like the Igbos who never have much regards for Azikiwe for well known reasons, the minorities do not have much regards for Jonathan for the same very reasons Ndigbo do not have for Azikiwe. We all know this, let’s not pretend here. But for the sake of brotherly love, both would have to defend their ‘heroes’. It is permitted, isn’t it?

Despite our pretense, Jonathan is viewed with derision in the South East and South South as having not done any tangible thing for them to stoke up the socio-economic lives of both regions for all the years he was the president of Nigeria. Jonathan and Zik were so much fixated with the north and paid little or no attention to their home fronts. They are both unsung heroes at home, but for the sake of brotherly love would have to be defended whenever they come under attack.

This northern fixation by politicians from the south east/south south has seen us giving away too many concessions with nothing to show back home as a reward. The fixation is fast catching up with the younger politicians from these two regions that if not mitigated as it should, would see us repeating the same mistakes that our forebears did.

On the flip side, I have seen a lot of emotional reactions from people of the south east and south south over the rousing welcome given to Jonathan in some northern cities. Let’s not fool ourselves, the north is according Jonathan what respect he deserves as a past president only. Given a chance to vote him again, they will still vote according to their political ideology – which is the north first – a core northern candidate first. Do you doubt this?


Chidiebere Okere



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