Prior to the 2011 elections, I wrote an article querying the credentials of President Goodluck Jonathan who was being promoted then as the first PhD president. In the piece, I mentioned that I spent time scouring the Internet, searching for Jonathan’s contributions to scholarship; that despite his stint as a teacher, it was curious that there was little linking him to the academia.

His campaign team, ironically, vigorously promoted his PhD as a reason he deserved our vote but avoided attempts to subject this much-vaunted qualification to inquiry. Since 2011 however, one or two co-written academic papers with Jonathan’s name on them have surfaced online and the man’s supporters have distributed them with much triumphalism. What they miss is that the contention about Jonathan’s PhD is not so much about whether he passed through a process that culminated in the award of the degree but why his self-expression is often antithetical to what is expected of someone who has acquired the highest possible educational certification. It is worse that his degree was awarded in a discipline that is neither popular nor understood by many Nigerians. So often, you have ignorant people reducing a PhD in Zoology to training in taking care of animals in the zoo! You cannot totally blame them though.

For the 2015 reelection campaign, his adulators and apple-polishers have returned to his possession of a PhD as part of his unique selling point. The PDP national secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, earlier this week voiced this when he enjoined Nigerians not to vote for the All Progressives Congress candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, because he is a “semi-illiterate.” Oladipo, to make his point, even summoned the same jaded religious tropes that the Jonathan camp – frequently bereft of either ideas or imagination – resort to to seduce the feeble-minded Nigerians: “God has decreed….”, “God has decided…” bla bla bla as if that baloney will reduce the number of generators polluting the Nigerian atmosphere.

Since Jonathan is not a fresh candidate, and he is running against the same main contender as in 2011, why is Buhari’s comparatively “lower” educational attainment coming up? Nobody needs to be reminded about Buhari’s lack of university education. If Buhari has failed to transcend his Fulani roots and remains parochial; if his attempts at coming across as a cosmopolitan and a pan-Nigerian candidate look cosmetic and fail to convince even his most rabid worshipper; if his joining Twitter feels both anachronistic and incongruous, the certificates he did not acquire cannot – or should not – be held responsible.

Jonathan has a PhD, yes, but when he speaks, you cringe at the simplicity of his thoughts and wonder if he needs an interpreter between his mind and his audience. You begin to understand why his teachers have not publicly identified with him; why his former students have yet to surface to share a moving testimonial about his teaching career; and why even the University of Port Harcourt that produced him must shudder when he makes his famous gaffes. The only student who ever talked about his teaching career is the woman who later became his wife. According to Patience Jonathan, he took interest in her because she was such a brilliant student!

I suspect the PDP is descending into this banal sophistry at this time for two reasons: one, they are intimidated by the profile of the APC VP candidate – Yemi Osinbajo – who happens to be a university teacher like Jonathan but is far more distinguished. Two, the PDP is desperate. They have run through the entire gamut of issues they want to sell to us and are now deflecting attention with inanities. They have, sadly, taken photoshopped graphics from the Internet and sold them as evidence of their transformation agenda. They scream that Jonathan built 125 Almajiri schools but grow quiet when you ask for accessible documentation to verify their claims. They talk about Jonathan’s transformation in the area of railways but they themselves have yet to ditch their private jets to travel in those 20th century locomotives. They praise Jonathan’s achievements in the area of education but their children school abroad.

All the figures they have bandied – from the never-seen-before achievements of the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Akinwunmi Adesina, to that of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, have been disproved and shown to be anything but real. The Jonathan administration, in summary, is like the man’s religion itself – built on a tissue of lies. You would think people who have such unsavoury records of performance would slink into the night and reappear after the election. No, they hang around and talk glibly about “semi-illiteracy” as if that redeems their failures.

If the PDP has so much confidence in its administration’s achievements, it should prove it by bringing out the campaign promises of 2011 and let us put a check mark to the ones its man has achieved. The party should tell us, in an unambiguous language, what happened to the 7-Point Agenda of Yar’Adua/Jonathan regime. It should explain why Boko Haram, a rag-tag army of religion-crazed maniacs that lack the intelligence to make the simplest battle formation, keeps defeating trained soldiers of the Nigerian Army. It should explain why soldiers consistently mutiny; why their wives have echoed the similar complaints as their husbands – that their failures on the battlefront is because that they are poorly equipped for war. It should tell us why, after all the monies spent on security and the extra $1bn it received, soldiers still complain they lack the weapons they need to confront Boko Haram. It should tell us why those soldiers should be sacrificed on the altar of their collective impotence and pot-bellied corruption. And truthfully tell us if the government is still searching for the Chibok girls. It should tell us about the fuel subsidy and why Nigerians are still paying that obnoxious money even as the price of oil is crashing on the world market. It should tell us what became of the various reports on corruption and why so much money has been reported “missing” in this government and no one has been held accountable. It should also tell us why kerosene sells for more than N150 per litre when government claims it is subsidising it to sell for N50/litre

If it has occurred to the party that it could possibly win the elections, then, it should let us discuss the issues that matter to our Nigerian lives post February 2015 elections. The time is short and we do not have enough time to thrash these issues, so the earlier we start, the better. And, hopefully they will let the conversation flow without impeding it with their now overplayed strategy of ethnic-, religious-, and now, certificate-baiting.



  2. I checked out your link:

    However where is your evidence for Buhari? Please provide similar links for his record.

    You response focused on ethnicity and GEJ failure towards the Youruba and Hausa/Fulani.
    For the record please post a link to those promises here. Also for the record post a link on Buhari’s promises and his record.

    My focus was on the challenges Nigeria and Africa face now and in the future. The corrupt western ruling cabal are eating their own and will also engulf Africa,

    Nigerians corruption is overblown in comparison to the western banking fraud and intelligence crimes however is either party corruption free?

    I just cannot shake the despair that an ex-military man ( I did not say northern or youruba man) is the choice. It is the same despair when you think that the US with 350 millions people will have an election between another Bush (Geb) and another Clinton (Hilary).

    So I view internal ethnicity when all are Africans as petty reasons for support but alas that is the sad reality of Nigeria in 2015.

    If we performed a DNA analysis on all of West Africa, how different would the populations be? The language/culture (though patterns) that they are born into is largely what decides ethnicity NOT DNA.

    The headwinds of global trade agreements, gmo, bioweapons and economic warfare do not care about ijaw, youruba, Igbo or hausa ethnicity. What group and its figure head is aware and has plans to deal with and protect its citizenry is what’s important NOT what language they speak.



    • …it appears we have different focal points at this point in time…by the title of my post perhaps u might have noticed that some of your points are a bit far-fetched even if they are true…with regards to ethnicity u will agree with me that no discussion about our two gladiators are possible now without the ethnicity factor either expressed or being in the background…for instance why are majority of GEJ supporters today Igbos and Ijaws?…just by chance?…from tweets received on this post its the same…those from SS or SE said we were wrong while those from other parts of the country said what we raised through the post was cogent….to be honest with you i prefer we discuss matters directly arising from the post.

      With regards to Buhari why should i be the one to look for what he did right?…our reference enumerated what GEJ messed up so you should please dip your despair under water for a while and enumerate for us what exactly Buhari did that is causing u so much pain…

      Anyway,thanks for your contributions…


  3. 100milion plus Nigerians and Buhari is the best to oppose GEJ. So it comes down to ethnicity. GEJ is southern and Buhari is northern. Is that the basis for a progressive opposition to GEJ?

    What about a candidate that has a 4, 8, 12 year plan for projects to build health care, education, infrastructure, technology, manufacturing, truly national central bank, export diversification.
    So its GEJ or a regression to an ex-military man. So what current evidence can you provide that Buhari and his group can provide the disciplined leadership that Nigeria needs?

    Ebola is still in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. It took 10 years to jump from Central Africa to West Africa with no intervening outbreaks or animal carriers. Not an accident.
    How would Nigeria cope with a sustained campaign of false flag terrorism, bio and economic attacks.
    What capability does Nigeria have to detect, isolate, respond and treat any future biological attacks?
    What university or Lab can evaluate genocidal vaccines as seen in Kenya and Uganda?
    Will Nigeria openly allow GMO cultivation to compromise its population unlike the Chinese and Russian states?
    What awareness does either candidate have concerning the global trade agreements (TPP/TTIP) that will reduce Nigerian citizens to slaves of corporate interests.

    If African leadership are not aware of the threat to their people, then they will be ignorant accomplices to further genocide in Africa. If they are aware of the pending dangers then they must prepare and invest in their people and countries.

    The challenges facing West Africa and Nigeria will increase, so using ethnicity as a basis for support is truly shocking in the context of world events. Northern Nigerians vs. southern Nigerians, how gravely petty that looks with the on-going impact of global medical, financial, pharmaceutical fraud and US/EU geopolitics.


    • My comments based on what you have written are as follows:

      1.If Nigerians are 1billion in population how does that disqualify BUHARI or anyone allowed by the Nigerian constitution?

      2.As to opposing GEJ and considering the state of Nigeria under him. What has he done that cannot be surpassed by anyone including Buhari? I will not use this space to list the litany of woes and embarrassment that Nigerians have faced under him and PDP because we have published too many written by many people about them…here is one of them…https://mile2herald.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/but-why-does-a-countrys-president-always-look-and-do-things-like-its-undertaker-or-is-he/

      3.But remembering the title of this post i recollect someone on Nairaland saying his 5-yr old boy has a clearer analytical mind and ways of expression than GEJ.Mind you PDP started the mudslinging about his intelligence and oratorical abilities by stating he was competing against a “semi-literate”

      4.My dear friend why do many of us adopt a holier-than-thou attitude once the issue of ethnicity come to the front burner? Why do we deceive ourselves as if most of our thinking,support or opposition to political candidates have no connection to where they come from? Even your statement about it is very funny like it is a revelation to you…When are we going to stop deceiving ourselves and consider it as a serious issue separating us? So because it is said makes it wrong not so? Even your conclusion that ethnicity is about North and South makes a mincemeat of everything.How can ethnicity in modern day Nigeria be interpreted as it sounded in the 60’s?

      5.Ethnicity today is mainly reflected by Ijaws and Igbos being the main backers of GEJ versus the rest of the country.It does not matter whether u accept it or not but thats my point of view.Now taking one more step forward the Yorubas to whom i belong gave GEJ support in 2011 especially for a most important matter that is everything to them…power supply.GEJ TOLD YORUBAS TO WATCH HIS LIPS AND GO TO SLEEP ONCE HE IS ELECTED.But has the promise been fulfilled? All we hear is TAN propaganda on billions being spent on this and that without relevance to the core needs of Nigerians.In fact many Nigerians keep asking where all the propaganda projects by TAN are based or existing.Whereas if he had fulfill just that one promise perhaps all his failings in the others could have been overlooked.By the way we used to be GEJ apologists ourselves until a few months ago when another mess about agreement with Boko Haram turned out to be another flash in the pan and a serious indication that another 4 yrs with GEJ WAS GOING TO BE FRUITLESS!.

      6.If there is any real problem confronting GEJ today about his re-election it is that he has lost the support of the south-west to Buhari.And the reason is based on unfulfilled promises and recklessness of the PDP over many years.The ethnicity-related point there is that Yorubas will hold you to your political promises and can decide support or not based on the way they see you trying to fulfill promises.Yorubas have not met anywhere to decide for Buhari and Tinubu’s political party is only a fraction of the Yoruba population.But there is anger in the south-west.Deep vexing anger that is bringing out those who never voted before to come out massively in 2015 as they did in Osun.

      7.So should we turn away from saying this just to avoid your comment about ethnicity? No we won’t.In fact the more we talk about it the better.The more it is necessary for our young ones to understand more of what is going on,rationalize among themselves what is most important to each area and bring those to the table of each party to demand for fulfillment instead of just remaining like mumus and SUPPORTING POLITICIANS BASED ON THEIR NAMES.

      8.Your comments about Ebola,awareness of leaders etc are neither here nor there.We are talking about a government based on a manifesto which can be effected through both politicians and technocrats within the party.YOU ONLY NEED THE PRESIDENT AS THE LEADER TO SHOW NIGERIANS WHAT HE IS MADE OF WHEN NECESSARY and Nigerians have seen Buhari as a leader once and as far as many are concerned changing to any leader now will be better than GEJ WHO HAS FAILED TERRIBLY WITH HIS THIEVING PDP CLIQUE IN THE LAST 6 YRS.


  4. Valid concerns but is an ex-military dictator Buhari the answer?
    Why is Buhari’s VP not running for President?
    It is deeply sad that Buhari is the only alternative in a nation of over 100million Nigerians.


    • …yes he was head of state by a coup…but “dictator” like Abacha is debatable…what many Nigerians remember was not wickedness but discipline…my statements are not to convince you about anything just as your question does not raise any new issues for me…i guess by now we are all entrenched in our ethnic stockades first and our personal convictions next…both have caused a very significant section of this country to shift away from GEJ…i noticed however that u do not doubt the need for an alternative to GEJ


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