President Jonathan And ‘The Gbagbo Strategy’ For Delaying The Inevitable

By on February 14, 2015

..Obasanjo Blows Whistle On President Jonathan’s  Imitation Of Gbagbo Of Ivory Coast in Dealing With Elections

History they say is always repeating itself and from what is unfolding in Nigerian elections of 2015, it looks like Jonathan is borrowing from the disastrous history playbook of Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory Coast.

It is amazing that despite the ignoble end of Laurent Gbagbo, and other sit-tight leaders like him, who have tried, ad failed, to frustrate the will of the people in a fruitless attempt to hang on to power, President Jonathan seemed bent in following in those same footsteps.

As we get deeper into the 2015 elections maneuverings, all indicators point to the fact that President Jonathan is hell-bent on following the footsteps of discredited leaders who chose to play games with electorate once they realized that they were not going to win the popular vote from the people in an election, based on their failures in government.

Until General Obasanjo sounded the alarm about the possible ‘Gbagbo Gambit’ by President Jonathan Goodluck, many Nigerians have not really focused on the uncanny similarities between the road to perdition for Gbagbo and the one our president is now walking

1. SHAM ELECTION POSTPONEMENTS -It should be recalled that Laurent Gbagbo postponed the Ivorian elections 6 times due to his diminishing popularity in his company, before finally conducting one. Just like Gbagbo, our own President Goodluck, has taken the unprecedented step of postponing elections here in Nigeria for 6 weeks, and the fear is that he intends to postpone it again into June and beyond, if things still don’t look favorable to him by March 28th.

This is indeed not idle talk. The national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki has actually said for the record that the vote on 28 March could be postponed again if it has to be if further security concerns are present.

2. WAITING UNTIL ATMOSPHERE IS FAVORABLE TO GOVT BEFORE CONDUCTING ELECTIONS -Like Gbagbo, it also appears that President Jonathan is hoping to keep the elections at bay until the political atmosphere favors him [Godluck with that!]. After all, we all know it is stretching the bonds of credulity for us to accept that a government that was retreating from Boko haram for 3 years will all of a sudden find the skills, and will power, to defeat them in a mere 6 weeks. So, Dasuki is basically laying the ground work for further postponement by letting us know they could do postpone again if the security situation does not improve as we all know if wont.

3. UNLEASHING VIOLENCE ON THE PEOPLE – We all also remember that when Gbagbo finally conducted the elections and lost, he refused to hand over power by making bogus claims of rigging against his opponent. He stuck to the throne and unleashed violence and mayhem on his people with using terror squads loyal to him until he was forcefully removed by international force.

I see the ground work of a similar scenario being laid out in Nigeria.

Already, we have terrorists very close to President Jonathan like Asari Dokubo, Tompolo and Rogers all openly threatening to cause violence and mayhem should Jonathan lose the elections. Some of them have said this in high profile interviews with Al Jazeera and local news outlets like Silverbird.

Yet, President Jonathan, who opened the year by telling us there would be zero tolerance for any talks of violence in the country, never called them to order, and neither were they arrested by security forces for inciting the polity, thereby giving the impression that they were doing his bidding.

4. ACCUSING THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF BIENG COMPROMISED – Furthermore on this GBAGBO STRATEGY, the Presidency is now on the path of discrediting its own INEC. The Jonathan Government has started accusing the same election officers it appointed of bias. There were even talks that the electoral officer, Jega, may be forced to go on terminal leave before the elections so that can replace him with a more government friendly bureaucrat.

While it is true that the President has come out and denied the rumors of the planned removal of INEC Chairman Jega, the feelings still persist that the government planned to interfered in the process

Of course this would be in keeping with what Gbagbo did in Ivory Coast where he basically annulled the election and dissolved the electoral body, when it appeared he had lost the election, when it finally took place. That action plunged Ivory Coast into serious internal war and thousands of citizens killed as Gbagbo tried to hold on to power that he people have wrested from him at the ballot box. We sincerely pray that this will not be our portion in Nigeria this year

5. USING THE ‘SECURITY’ EXCUSE TO KEEP POSTPONING THE ELECTIONS – One would also remember that when Gbagbo kept postponing the elections, his major excuse was that the nation was dealing with insurgents and that no reasonable government will conduct elections when the nation is at war. This sounds eerily similar to the reasons that the government gave us for postponing the elections for 6 weeks in Nigeria. We are being told that several parts of the North were unsafe because of book haram activities and that they needed 6 weeks to fight and uproot the insurgency before there can be enough security to conduct elections.

Today we heard the President take this gambit a step further on Channels TV. When interviewed, he said Boko Haram has to be ‘totally defeated BEFORE we can conduct elections’. TRANSLATION: Don’t hold your breath for election in March!

6. REFUSAL TO LISTEN TO ADVISE OF INTERNATIONAL LEADERS ON THE ELECTIONS – Gbagbo steadfastly refused to listen to the voice of reason from international leaders not to keep postponing the elections and after he lost the elections. While we do not yet have an election in Nigeria, Jonathan is already playing the Gbagbo Game’ by refusing to listen to many international leaders who have been advising him not to postpone the elections or play games with the democracy in Nigeria. Leaders have called from USA, UK and many African countries but Jonathan kept marching to the drums of Gbagbo in his head. We wait to see what he would do once the elections are eventually conducted and he lost. Will he peacefully handover or would he unleash his ‘dogs of war’ to cause violence in the land preparatory to setting up an interim government? Time will reveal all.


While it is too early for President Jonathan to unfold all the aspects of the doomed Gbagbo Strategy, the signs are already there for those who are looking closely. Whether or not Jonathan will ride this strategy to the inevitable oblivion that it leads or will recant and toe the path of honor so that history can be kind to him will be determined by what he does as we count down to the new dates of the election. Will he change the date again as the strategy demands? Will he remove the INEC chairman as being feared? The next 6 week will tell

This may be HardTalk but it is True-Talk all the same.

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.

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