Tambuwal, Obasanjo, Babangida, others shun Jonathan’s midterm report presentation

Former President Obasanjo preferred to be in Jigawa than in Abuja.

When top officials of the various arms of the Nigerian Government gathered on Wednesday to listen to President Goodluck Jonathan present the scorecard of his administration in the last two years, one notable absentee was observed.

The event, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, was attended by Nigeria’s top five public officials but one, the fourth citizen by Nigeria’s official hierarchy.

Aminu Tambuwal, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was conspicuously absent at a ceremony attended by Mr. Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Mukhtar.

No reason was given for the speaker’s absence although it was later announced during the programme that he was represented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Emeka Ihedioha.

Though a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Tambuwal has never really been a darling of the ruling party or indeed of the president.

“ ..the joke here (at the presidency) used to be that the Speaker is an APC man in PDP government,” a presidency source told PREMIUM TIMES, saying they were not surprised the speaker was absent.

Mr. Tambuwal’s election as speaker was opposed by both his party and allegedly the presidency; while he got the support of the opposition for his emergence as speaker.

Rumours have also been spread that the speaker is being considered as a presidential candidate of the APC, a merger of Nigeria’s largest four opposition parties, a claim the speaker denied.

However, Mr. Tambuwal’s spokesperson said there was no big deal to his principal’s non-attendance.

“Usually, the Speaker goes to his constituency on a day like this (Democracy Day) to interact with his people, there is no issue at all,” Imam Imam, Mr. Tambuwal’s spokesperson, said.

He said the Speaker left Abuja for Sokoto on Tuesday after the sitting of the House, and has commissioned some projects undertaken by Governor Wammako.

“In any case even the invitation sent, read the House of Reps, and the Deputy Speaker was there to represent the House, so it will be erroneous to assume that the Speaker shunned the event,” Mr. Imam added.

Mr. Tambuwal was, however, not the only major dignitary that shunned the event witnessed by ministers, lawmakers, foreign guests, and others, and broadcast live to millions of Nigerians.

Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdulsalami, Atiku too

At least four former heads of state: Olusegun Obasanjo, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, and Abdulsalami Abubakar, and a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, also shunned the event, which was used by the Jonathan administration to showcase its successes.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that they were all invited to the event.

While hundreds gathered for the event, Mr. Obasanjo, a leader of the PDP and one of Mr. Jonathan’s main backers in 2011 preferred to attend an event in Jigawa State.

Although no official reason was given for Mr. Obasanjo’s non-attendance in Abuja, he was present as Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa outlined the achievements of his administration in the state. Mr. Lamido, also a member of the ruling party, is seen as a loyalist of Mr. Obasanjo and is believed to be one of the PDP Governors that voted against Jonah Jang, the PDP and presidency’s reportedly backed candidate for the chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF.

Posters have already been circulated across various Nigerian states of a joint ticket of Mr. Lamido and Rotimi Amaechi for the 2015 presidency, a move reportedly supported by Mr. Obasanjo. Mr. Amaechi, who won the NGF chairmanship election, is currently having a running battle with the presidency and the PDP leadership. He has since been suspended from the ruling party.

The Jigawa event was also attended by Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of the Central Bank, another person who has the backing of the opposition parties. Though serving in a PDP government, when Mr. Sanusi was being honoured with a traditional title in Kano, the event was largely attended by opposition leaders including Mr. Buhari and Mr. Tinubu.

Mr. Sanusi also preferred to attend the Jigawa event than attend one by Mr. Jonathan even though several achievements of the economic team of which he is a core member were being highlighted at the Abuja event.

Two other former military heads of state, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdusalami Abubakar, were also absent at the event, attended by three other past Nigerian leaders: Yakubu Gowon, Shehu Shagari, and Ernest Shonekan.

Mr. Babangida challenged Mr. Jonathan for the PDP presidential ticket in 2011 but eventually lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in a northern consensus arrangement before the latter lost the party ticket to Mr. Jonathan. He eventually declared his support in the presidential elections for Nuhu Ribadu, the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in 2011.

Mr. Babangida also recently encouraged Mr. Tambuwal, the speaker, to run for “higher office.”

On his part, Mr. Abubakar, the former head of state, who is said to be a cousin to Mr. Babangida, is known to always share the same position with the latter and has also not been seen attending presidential meetings and events.

Another notable absentee was Atiku Abubakar, also a member of the PDP, and the loser in the PDP presidential primaries of 2011. Mr. Abubakar recently warned that the PDP faced disintegration with the various crisis it is facing.

Buhari expectedly absent

Of the prominent absentees, perhaps the least surprising is that of Mr. Buhari, a perennial challenger for the office of president.

Mr. Buhari was the runner-up in the 2011 elections to Mr. Jonathan; and had earlier contested in 2003 and 2007.

A major critic and outspoken opponent of the Jonathan administration, it would probably have been more of a surprise if the former general attended the meeting.

When Mr. Jonathan was first appointed acting President in 2010, Mr. Buhari attended meetings of the National Council of State at the presidential villa, but stopped attending the meetings or even going to the villa after Mr. Jonathan was announced as the winner of the April 2011 presidential election which Mr. Buhari as candidate of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, challenged up to the Supreme Court.


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  • Ndidi

    They are only being childish and jealous. Nobody missed them! They are only a bunch of corrupt men suffering from “big man” syndrome anyway. I enjoyed the Democracy Day presentation and felt proud that our Elder brother, Rev Jesse Jackson was there with us.

    • DomDDominic’sDomini’sDominic’s

      Ndidi u r only being stupid n cheap pls wake up n stop being cheap

    • Adoki

      They called it mid-term report, so I do not think anybody should read too much meaning into who attended or who didn’t. I avoided watching it on TV, not necessarily because I hate Jonathan (after all he is my president, and it is in our collective interest if he succeeds), but because I personally think these events are becoming too many and serve no other purpose than line the pockets of professional events organisers in the presidency like Oronto Douglas and co. Incidentally, it is these type of people who are distracting the president and creating too many enemies for him for their own personal gains.

    • Sahfeeyah

      Of cos it’s only a Jesse Jackson snr that would be there with you. Only God knows how much he was paid to come act as your elder brother. Make una dey proud for yeye things!

      • Omo Odua

        A hypocrite Jesse Jackson, who said Obama is not “Black Enough” to contest for US president! But showed shamefully crying, claiming emotions!!! Show me your friends I tell who you are

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    The so called president Jonathan fictitious midterm report card deserves no credibility as it was all formulated to reflect what did not exist or take place or impact the lives of Nigerian electorates since the advent of president Jonathan non performing corrupt regime after the demise of late president Umaru Tar’dua.
    Last time that accountability reared its good trasnparent head in governance in Nigeria was while late president Umaru Musa Yar’dua government was in place as all Federal ministries and departments were compulsorily mandated under Yar’dua to remit all non-spent funds allocated
    to every Federal Ministry before the end of every year before December 31.President Yar’dua was also noted to have ensured he made public his declaration of assets to support and promote anti-corruption fight against official corruption which president Jonathan is squarely encouraging and supporting.
    But since president Jonathan succeeded president Yar’dua official corruption practices has triple
    in practices in the Nigeria Federal government and looting,thieving and embezzlement have pervade governmental system functions under president Jonathan regime.

  • olumide

    Mr. Pat, its people ℓi̶̲̥̅ke̶̲̥̅ Ɣøû that Α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ misleading T̶̲̥̅̊h̶̲̥̅̊e̶̲̥̅̊ uninformed people I̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ this country. T̶̲̥̅̊h̶̲̥̅̊e̶̲̥̅̊ projects Α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ there A̶̲̥̅̊₪d̶̲̥̅̊ Ɣøû Α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ talking rubbish. Tambuwa Ȋ̝̊§ a baby that will find his waterloo soon. ♓Ε̲̣̣̣̥ should learn from Mr intergrity [ Faluk Lawal]

    • Efe1

      oiuyt fghytr hjuyte bgoiuy obj asd gej yt89p-ut6 ffddetre

  • Adoki

    They called it mid-term report, so I do not think anybody should read too much meaning into who attended or who didn’t. I avoided watching it on TV, not necessarily because I hate Jonathan (after all he is my president, and it is in our collective interest if he succeeds), but because I personally think these events are becoming too many and serve no other purpose than line the pockets of professional events organisers in the presidency like Oronto Douglas and co. Incidentally, it is these type of people who are distracting the president and creating too many enemies for him for their own personal gains.

  • Victor

    I am surprised why Nigerians are even thinking about these rogues that are absent. They are lucky this is not Ghana…they wouldn’t be alive to be counted

    • Afam

      Some Nigerians so much believe in worshiping those rogues because they re-distributed money with their croonies without any investment or future plan,mind you some Nigerians believe so much sharing and let’s eat today and forget tomorrow…

  • Nemlong_Manchok

    Jonathan’s only crime is that he is not a born-to-rule Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani!!!!!

    • Dan maikoko

      Nop! He disgraced us in the commonwealth meetings in Australia, the AU 50th Anniversary, the insensitive and criminal hike of the price of petrol and other fuels, his refusal to visit crisis states of Borno and Yobe until the opposition showed the way, his constant drunkenness, his fake media chats, his lack of ideas, his cluelessness….

      • Nemlong_Manchok

        @Dan Maikoko; All you have said here is nothing but a mild clip, a new chapter in the mindless false propaganda mounted against President Jonathan by the born-to-rule Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani who are now desperately and falsely attacking the person and character of the President having failed to accomplish much by making the country ungovernable for him. Be assured that just as making the country ungovernable for the President have now backfired on the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani, so also will this their new wave of attacks on our beloved, innocent and hardworking President will also backfire on them. It is on record that the Northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani parade the highest rate of uneducated illiterates in Nigeria; I wonder where they would get materials that are better than Jonathan from.

        • Bala R

          Or Zamani Lekwot.

    • BB

      Sorry…u missed the point… Jona.. is not hated only Hausa Fulani’s what will u say about our South-West Bros & Sis? Why is it that they don’t like him????? Answer me..

      • Afam

        What did he do to the SW? you guys are good at spreading propaganda and mischief..SW NASS members due to their personal and political issues sold out their right and position to the north,today they are crying for marginalisation..It is known that SW so much has something in common with the north…If you doubt it read CHINUA ACHEBE’S BOOK …THERE WAS A COUNTRY..

      • David Prosper

        Please speak only for yourself

    • Bala R

      Nemlong. Kai dai jaki ne. Do you think when the cheeps are down these non Hausa Fulani will be there to help you? Like your grand father you will die serving the Hausa Fulani wether you like it or not.

  • Fula

    while GEJ was busy crowing about his achievements, PHCN was at its best in Lagos, and I did not consider the event worthy enough to waste my diesel powered generator on. Thank God for this my china made, Igboman imported generator, how I for survive this gofment and dem do nothing and announce all policies?

  • igbiki

    Mr Jonathan wants the former so-called leaders to attend so he could churn out fable about his fanthom achievements and how good he is and how he is far more better than his STUPID predecessors???

  • Fatrik Luu

    Whether these funny characters mentioned were at the function or not, it still went on as planned and there is nothing they could do about the fact that President GEJ is in charge of the country.

    As for Babangida, i think he is nursing the wounds of the humiliation he got when Atiku was picked at his expense in the 2011 presidential elections…

    For uncritical minds, let me remind them that, in 2011, the north felt they were the people that must produce a presidential candidate and because so much heat was exhausting from the region, it was felt that Adamu Ciroma should head a committee that would select a consensus candidate that will run alongside many other contenders across the nation. It was in that process that, IBB with all his tactics and evil ideas/manipulations was dumped for Atiku……
    Since them, he has been feeling ashamed of himself hence it marked the beginning of the end of his political relevance.

    As for OBJ, i think he is equally going to get the same treatment that IBB got in the aforementioned issue. He is gradually becoming a political liability than an asset,

    Turning to Buhari. I believe he wants to hide himself from shame. He dont want to cry next time he contests for presidency as he did in 2011 before he was used as a marketing tool for the opposition..

    Again to Tambuwal, all i can say is mscheeeeeewwww

  • Pivo679

    What goes around comes around!, If the president did not find it worthy to be our voice at the AU just few days ago, why should these individuals sit and listen to him and not attend other meetings that have more meaning to them?. The president has only himself to blame for constantly shooting himself in the foot. As long as the ordinary citizens of this country do no begin to feel the impact of government policies we shall criticize whoever is at the whelm. Nigerians are only good at trivializing issues to bury tremendous deficiencies, GEJ is the current president in the kitchen and MUST face the heat of the moment. Obasanjo openly said, he should be held responsible for all that was wrong in his government, this is what we call ‘character’. Where is the character in GEJ when he is continuously blaming someone else?. Even the best countries (Scandinavia) where equity and social justice is the norm, citizens still criticize and complaint this is why they are much better countries than ours. We have leaders who are paternalistic, egoistic and damn too corrupt to be liked by any decent human being and you want us to sit and watch them?. We must make leadership in Nigeria attractive only to those who are willing to genuinely serve the people and NOT themselves!.

  • Afam

    Who cares if they don’t come? what have they done to Nigeria when they were there? i pity Tambuwal because he was a member of Reps when OBJ abused all the laws and got away with it so telling me he has repented amount to hypocrite ,For those people talking about AU speaking slot, you guys barely know nothing about diplomacy.Ignorance they say is a diseases and that diseases has affected many youths on social media who are nothing but haters and joiner of band wagon…If GEJ dim it fit not to speak at AU summit and delegated his the speaking to the minister of foreign affairs then what is so much noise about it? If Nigerians still think that someone like IBB should grace any democratic event in Nigeria,then we are not serious because such a man should be in jail now in a normal country.

  • David Prosper

    GEJ have achieved a lot in his administration. It is we Nigerians that
    makes it seems like he have done nothing. Let’s tell ourselves the
    truth. We should ask ourselves how many president have achieve what GEJ
    have achieved in just 2 years. Even with all this distraction around him
    he is still striving hard to achieve a goal. I believe GEJ want the
    best for Nigeria.

  • David Prosper

    The day Nigerians forgets sentiment and embraces the truth there will be peace. Democracy has come to stay in our beloved nation and there is nothing dictators can
    do about it rather we are going to wax stronger till we reach our
    destination and even beyond. Most ungrateful Nigerians don’t know it
    yet, but am sure one day, they will be asking why they never appreciated
    and supported a good president when they had one. I love President GEJ.
    He’ll continue to succeed in governance. It does not matter the
    oppositions he is faced with. He has a divine mandate to lead and nobody
    can stop him.Long live Nigeria


    tambuwal is more dangerous than amaechi–Ibb is not well–bed ridden-do u expect such to attend such a meeting-0bj is now a turncoat-so whether he is there or not is not our wahala-9ja is not owned by obj

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    The president Jonathan artificial,cooked-up so called mid-term report card is a falsified piece of document that meant to deceive Nigerians for 2015 re-election bid.President Jonathan is a semblance of lies upon lies right from the day of his installation after the demise of president Umaru Musa Yar’dua.
    Very extravagant and wasteful with our nation financial resources and assets with naked continue decaying public utilities.President Jonathan has achieved nothing in security,roads,healthcare modernization or employment generation initiative.