Home » POLITICS » Jonathan seeks to clarify choice of words over ‘southwest rascals’

By Nigerians Abroad staff writer

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday, posted on his official Facebook page that he was “grossly misunderstood” over his statement that suggests that part of the country is being administered by rascals.

At the launching of the presidential election campaign for the South-West zone, held in the ancient city of Ibadan on February 8, the president was quoted to have said that; “The entire South-West is too important, too sophisticated and too educated to be in the hands of rascals,” - in an attempt to drum-up support for his political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Jonathan choice of words - now tagged as an ‘unpresidential gaffe’ by critics attracted swift reactions and condemnation from notable political and opinion leaders from the region.

“I had referred here to the fact that unreliable or mischievous behaviours or notions ought not to be acceptable in any part of our body politic especially not in the South-West where the population has had the privilege of a head start in education compared to other parts of the country,” the president wrote on his Facebook page.

The Facebook post further reads: “It is unhelpful to public discourse if we constantly twist words beyond intended meaning. Surely, even the most zealous detractor of the interest of the South-West would not desire that anyone would wish upon such a sophisticated part of our country, the activity of unreliable or mischievous intentions.”

Jonathan described by some as an ‘accidental president’ who’ lacks the guts to lead a multi-complex nation like Nigeria, is overwhelmed with lingering internal crisis threatening his party’s unity and that might affect their chances in the general election slated for April.

However, his supporters strongly believe that he is the best candidate to lead Nigeria into the future.

“These are not the best of times for the president. His campaign right from the beginning was thrown into crisis as a result of internal power play, which remains unsettled and some faulty missteps of his own doing. But, this shows his lack of experience as a politician.  He is still learning the game,” said Mr Momoh, a university lecturer and political observer.

On February 7, in Lafia, North-Central, Nigeria, some youths threw stones at Jonathan’s convoy as it approached the stadium to protest his candidacy.

The incident resulted into the arrest of the Campaign for Progressive Change (CPC) governorship candidate - accused of orchestrating  the protest. The arrest was followed by   clashes between CPC and PDP supporters.

On February 12, Jonathan campaign was further thrown into confusion after avoidable stampede at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt, venue of the South-South Presidential campaign that caused the death of 11 people and left many others injured.

The Port Harcourt incident forced the President to suspends his campaign tour.

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    2 Responses to “Jonathan seeks to clarify choice of words over ‘southwest rascals’”

    1. Emma Majebi February 14, 2011

      To me it would have been more presidential to simply say …am sorry ..it was a mistake! The words were spoken in plain English…no need to try and tell us what those clear words mean.!?

    2. Mr Jonathan that’s not your first time to misfire. You always misfire any time you open your mouth t talk. Its better for you to stop talking in public. Please stop playing game if you think you smart. Nigerians of today are smarter than you. People now getting to understand you that you are deceiving us. You nothing to offer to Nigerians & I am really disappointed. Its better for you to go for debate with Ribadu & tell Nigerians all your objectives etc.