No “Northern” or “Southern” Nigerian — Jonathan

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday urged Nigerians not to see themselves as “Northern” or “Southern” citizens, but as people and a race bound by the same history and constitution.

Mr. Jonathan stated this in Abuja at the annual National Migration Dialogue organised by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and internally Displaced Persons.

The Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, who represented the President, called for an end to the classification of Nigerians as “indigenes” or “non-indigenes” of any particular state.

“We must insist that in relating among ourselves as a nation, there are no Northern or Southern citizens neither are there citizens of any particular state in the East or in the West,” Mr. Sambo said on behalf of the President.

“We are citizens of Nigeria, a people and a race bound by the same history and constitution,” he said. “We must continue to insist and uphold our constitution that guarantees the right of all Nigerians to live anywhere in Nigeria without any fear of economic, political, religious, or social exclusion.”

“Our ethnic diversity, ideally, should be a source of strength, not weakness; a country where people freely profess and practice their respective religious beliefs anywhere within our national boundaries, without any fear of discrimination. The future I see is of a nation where people are no longer identified by their ethnic or religious affiliation but by the very virtue of their Citizenship as Nigerians,” the president said.

According to him, the Nigerian Constitution and the recommendations of the recently concluded National Conference guarantee the right of every Nigerian to reside anywhere in the country without discrimination.

While acknowledging the role migration plays in national development, the president noted that the country has the highest volume of international migrants, and the largest remittances in sub-Saharan Africa worth $20.76 billion in 2013.

He, therefore, stressed that Nigeria, while aiming to mitigate the negative impact of migration, would continually to deploy strategies to encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest remittances in social infrastructure, human capital development and other activities.

He stated that his administration had made it a cardinal principle that Nigerians must be treated humanely and with dignity in any country of their residence.

On internally displaced persons, the President said he had directed that victims must be given due care and maintenance without any form of social exclusion.

Mr. Jonathan expressed the hope that the national migration dialogue would help shape Nigeria’s national migratory orientation.

In her remarks, the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Hadiza Kangiwa, noted that Nigeria was the first country in ECOWAS sub-region to institute the dialogue.

She said the dialogue was conceived as a strategy for mainstreaming migration into the post development agenda, and was also a derivation of the draft National Migration Policy document.

According to her, the objective of the dialogue is to provide a platform for debating the impact and linkages between migration and development thereby shaping Nigeria’s national migratory linkages.

She said the dialogue would also provide opportunity for reviewing the various operational challenges at the implementation level.

The participants at the dialogue were drawn from the 36 States of the federation and international development partners such as the International Organisation for Migration.



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  • amazing2012

    We are seeing the exact opposite of what you said, Mr. President. You are a good man but the people that are working with you or speaking on your behalf do not help matters but help their interest and pockets. The issue of Indigene and non indigene is long over due to be abolished also along with all ethno-religious associations. These associations cause division among societies and took over most of the institutional responsibilities of the government agencies. Religion and ethnicity are the single problem that cause problem among us where even in open market your tribe / religion determine the price of commodities to people. However I noticed the report did not include ACTION plan on your instruction to end the menace. This means is another story along the many of its likes. Please instruct to act on this important reform. Before you achieve “transformation agenda” the people has to be transform to see each other the same. Humans are the instrument for Implementation of government policies, their unity of purpose determine how they will collectively be used to for change course !

    • kammykazee

      ‘interest and pockets’..are you refering to the Olekus and the Otiles?

      • kammykazee

        yeah, your bro Jona preaches peace but he never practice it. That’s why I called him a green snake.

    • kammykazee

      Please mention 2 things that qualify Jonathan as ‘a good man’, dont let his meek demeanor deceive you, the man is a green snake.

      • Oleku

        Bro Jona is more good than Imam Buhari–GEJ preaches peace Imam calls for the blood of dogs and baboons–Jona has no blood on his hands Imam Buhari got blood of youth corpers on his hands and legs–who is the good man?

  • Oleku

    Bro Jona you are a rare gem, one of a kind–sadly no matter what you do to liberate and transform the country, build skyscrapers as almajiri schools and provide sugary jobs for the Mohammedans they will never consider you as one of them–they see you as an infidel and until Imam Buhari is smuggled in to aso rock peace will never reign in naija–to them wazos Ijaw are nonentities–but our oil feeds them

    • Omoagunmate

      Here again is the lamentation of a fading and lonely man. Soon your voice will fade into oblivion where you scream and no one hear nor respond to your faded voice. Only a few months left now.

    • AA

      u are to late, ur creticsm would not make any infact to our GMB.

    • saj

      Mr oleku the time’s off, this is what we call a campaign after election, we are nigerians,we the people that has been humiliated under this so called government with it’s incompetent leader who has been called a president by some empty head people like you. You people made a mistake when you show us your true colour, we already shine our eyes this time,all this talk will never do you any good,coz jona is already out of options he is only waiting for his numbered days in office, better u people start arranging a place to accommodate him before the true leaders pounce on him and his crime to nigerians.

    • tundemash

      E-rat .. keep shut …. everything Dumbo said here negates what you preach here daily !!!!

      • Oleku

        Tundemash, he who laughs last…?

        • tundemash

          Election is coming, Dumbo is jittery of going to jail next year and He’s now preaching unity …. what a cl0wn ….. How about Dumbo calling off his e-rats on this forum and attck dogs Okupe and Abati first ……. everything Dumbo said here negates what e-rats spit on this froum daily !.

  • Bayo

    Jonathan is nothing but a hypocrite. The terms “Yoruba christian” and “Yoruba muslim” were coined by Jonathan campaign agents. Prior to this I only knew myself as a Yoruba man and never conscious of my religion.

  • Akindolamu

    I am going to go for the broke with no hold barred because the statement here by President Goodluck Jonathan goes against the FACTS about his mode of governance and administration. President Goodluck Jonathan, you are the worst LIAR I have ever seen. You lack basic decency such that you look Nigerians straight in the face and LIE through BOTH SIDES of your mouth. These are my reasons. (1) You hired Mr. Reno Omokri as your adviser on New Media. (2) Mr. Reno Omokri as your adviser on Social and New Media coordinates the following online names and pay them. These names are oleku/otile/mani_kay/mpitikwelu/Gideon Orkar/akpos1/Tawanda/the “truth”/peter2000/Deacon/proudly Niger Deltan/Temmie. I ask readers to DELVE into ALL online news papers to see what these names Mr. Reno Omokri stand for. They stand for a divided Nigeria. They tell Nigerians to their face in a most a-historical manner that “their oil” sustain Nigeria as if Nigeria had been living only on oil since before 1960. They have a slogan FORWARD ONTO REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST , IT IS OUR OIL, THE SWEET OIL IN OUR BACKYARD. Hunting for votes for Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections they go to Yorubaland and create the most diseased concept ever-the dubious and non-existent concept called “Yoruba Muslim/Christian” . They gave a so-called ‘pastor” (he calls himself Bosun Emmanuel) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God OIL MONEY to create South against North, Muslim against Christian propaganda materials and actually sell and distribute these propaganda materials. Now election is coming, seeing that Ijaw votes alone will not give him the presidency, seeing how the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket has SHREDDED the religious and tribal LIE told by PDP and president Goodluck Jonathan administration and campaign staff against APC , President Jonathan is dubiously trying to sound like a “statesman’ which HE IS NOT!!! President Goodluck Jonathan, I say this to you: You already broke the bridge of unity. You damaged the bridge of unity. You allowed your online campaigners to damage Nigerian unity in a most hurtful way , we need a new leader of women and men to rebuild Nigeria all over again. You allowed all your campaigners to go too far, and they have. We know them in and out. Their slogan? “THE SWEET OIL IN OUR BACKYARD…” To you and your Ijaw team the following hold (I)The Northerners are “lazy” (2) The Yorubas are “lazy”, (3) The country depends on “OUR SWEET OIL IN OUR BACKYARD and we will do anything with it. Mr. President Jonathan, your new song is fake and too late. Nigerians have taken their decision. You broke the bridge. You must leave. It is too late, far too late. You are no longer the symbol of unity we long for, you cannot be. Therefore with this new song, PRESIDENT JONATHAN YOU ARE A LIAR!

    • Sword of Damocles

      What you have done is called “putting him in check”. Na truth wey you talk, but them go say sey you dey give them hell(Harry Truman). Much Respect. Truth is the elixir, always has.

    • dave

      God bless you Akindolamu,you just spoke the mind of many who have been hurt by the irresponsible attitude of the Jonathan men on the social media.It is very unfortunate that the president is in support of the garbage they write on his behalf.They divided us on religion and ethnic line and created much hatred for their principal.Nigeria never had it so bad.The President himself is never known to speak the truth,he has disappointed so many who voted for him in 2011.All we can wish him now is a safe journey back to Otuoke.

    • tundemash

      RESPECT !

    • wode

      Hit the nail on the head, that’s what you have done. Nice one.

  • AA

    U cant deceive us just becouse u need our vote, jonathan u are a loser.

  • peirodam

    mr president thank you very much, for your advice bordering on nigeria unity,but after 16years of pdp,its time for change,its time nigeria try something else,its not about you or buhari,pdp or apc,christain or muslim,north or south but let give another altanative a chance to see if they can do better,thanks

  • Xman

    No wonder he was represented, I know he is not that intelligent to ask us to see ourselves as Nigerian instead on the binocular prism of region and tribes that he sees before.

  • tundemash

    Election is coming, Dumbo is jittery of going to jail next year and He’s now preaching unity …. what a cl0wn ….. How about Dumbo calling off his e-rats on this forum and attck dogs Okupe and Abati first ……. everything Dumbo said here negates what e-rats spit on this froum daily !

  • djay

    Yes, you Gej said the Igbos are the pillar of your administration and you encouraged the alliance of what we have today SE/SS which is fading fast. Come 2015 Nigerians will kick your butt out of aso rock with a landslide defeat.

  • Otile

    @Abubakar tundemash, what the President is preaching is poison to us. He
    does not know what Ndigbo and their cousins east of the Niger are
    suffering at the hands of Yorubas and Northerners. Everyday we are
    maligned, falsely accused, overpowered on the streets, hooted, called
    e-rats, clowns, pongids, clueless, dumbo and other names that can only
    be found in the devil’s dictionary. If he takes time out of his busy
    schedule to read PT and SR he will be surprised to find out that our tormentors call him Dumbo Jo too.

    The only way we cay see
    ourselves as one Nigerians is if the North and Yorubas abolish Islamic
    terrorism, ask the Fulanis to allow our people to rule as long as they
    have, allow us to control our mineral resources, abolish federal
    character, bring back merit system, abolish sharia in the land, pay us
    back all the money our brother Azubuike spent hoping that they would
    make him a VP, finally declare publically that western education is not haram.

    of these conditions is hard to meet. If the North and Yorubas want us
    to be part of their one Nigeria all they have to do is to act
    accordingly, we are accommodating good Christian people. We shall
    forgive them. O ti gbo mi nko?

    • endingNaija

      Reno Omokri na Otile , can you reconcile President Jonathan’s statement and your statements thru all kinds of fictitious names that “Forward onto republic of South South and South East It is Our Oil in Our Backyard…?” Why did you and President Jonathan say all these consistently for four years only to start talking about “unity” three months to election? That is the question. Do not muddle the issues. Over to you otile na oleku na Tawanda na the truth na Reno Omokri!

  • tuco

    According to Prof. Wole Soyinka, only four sets of people will vote for PDP:
    1) Those who are intellectually blind.
    2) Those who are blinded by ethnicity.
    3) Those who are blinded by corruption & therefore afraid of the unknown, should power change hands.
    4) Those who are suffering from combination of the above “terminal sicknesses”.

    So Nigerians shine your eye well well ooo



    • Funso

      No President Jonathan sees himself as Ijaw only please. Why did he arm Tompolo, his fellow Ijaw with warships in preparation for the Ijaw attack of Itsekiri?

      • EDWARD Israel-Ayide

        Where did you hear this wonderful news? Have you not had the time to read the papers and see that the Nigerian Navy has explained that the boats allegedly acquired by Tompolo are for NIMASA? We need to do better and stop spreading falsehood about the President

        • Funso

          Shut up! Is Tompolo, a terrorist an official of NIMASA? If so, why will a terrorist buy warships on behalf of a sovereign govt? Is our govt under President Jonathan a disguised govt of terrorists waiting in the wings? Nigerians Open your eyes and shine your eyes well well. Over to you Tompolo.

  • Oro Sunnunkun

    Tell that to Asari Dokubo.

  • Bidemi Lukman

    How come PDPigs regionalise the country and agreed on power sharing formular which is causing trouble uptill now. How come Oritshejafor & CO are campaigning for Christain Governor in Lagos at the expense of ability to deliver. When the whole Nigerians were protesting aganist subsidy removal, Bayelsan were protesting in favour of removal.

  • wode

    This damage control is insincere, deceptive and too late. People watch what you do and not what you say. We already know where the “speaker” belongs. He has demonstrated that in the last six years. We are no more up for PDP sweet-talk, grandstanding and deception. The damage is enough, we NEED a CHANGE.

  • EDWARD Israel-Ayide

    It is quite shameful that when a leader enjoins us citizens to live in harmony with one another, and look beyond ethnic and party lines, we resort to name calling and hurling insults at his person. Yet we claim that we want change. The opposition APC that we are all so giddy about, has it shown itself to be a truly national party?

    The President is addressing us as Nigerians, but no we don’t want that, we want to follow godfathers who will divide us into Christian, Muslim, Ijaw, Yoruba etc. Goodluck voting GEJ out of office with your archaic divisive ideas.

    • endingNaija

      We, Nigerians have honestly told the President -Goodluck Jonathan-that he lied. Why? For six years president Jonathan divided Nigerians along North/South, Christian/Muslim , oil producing /non-oil producing lines. If President Jonathan has been CONSISTENTLY divisive for 6 years and he suddenly remembered the word “unity” just two months to election, Nigerians must be more worried. But more importantly, I grant that you are intelligent enough to see how President Jonathan and you his people are speaking from both sides of the mouth like you are doing now. And we know that the words used to describe someone who speaks from both sides of the mouth are LIAR, DECEIVER/DECEPTION/UNTRUSTWORTHY/UNRELIABLE etc. Given that you and President Jonathan speak from both sides of the mouth we can reasonably say that you and President Jonathan lie, deceive and are unreliable and untruthworthy. See what I mean?

      • Edward

        You have raised good points. But I will need you to back your claims that the President has divided Nigeria with facts. Without that, I wish you a great day

        • endingNaija

          President Goodluck Jonathan divided Nigerians along North/South and Christian/Muslim. Looking for votes, he went to Yorubaland which is the most plural and inclusive of Nigerian societies and deliberately created a phantom called “Yoruba Christian/Muslim”. All of us Nigerians know that both Islam and Christianity co-exist PEACEFULLY in Yorubaland and that is a model for the world. Yet President Goodluck Jonathan as a Nigerian President cannot even flaunt that to the world as a model Nigerian society where nobody cares whether you are a muslim or christian because the Yorubas DO NOT see one another as Christian or muslim. Because he is looking for a so-called Yoruba Christian votes, he created an ebola dichotomy called “Yoruba Christian/Muslim” Hope you are okay now Ijaw man Edward. And Ijaw man hope this helped you!

  • Preco01

    Really? Then visit the Northeast!

  • ceweeco projects

    A wise man once said, My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. True talk from a true President, as those too blind to see will never see anything good in GEJ, but they find it necessary to collect their oil money. We know quite well a goat is never pronounced innocent if the judge is a leopard. GEJ keep up the good work, service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. some a born to rule as they say while some are born betrayers other are slavers for them.

  • Mr. Abdin

    When has the President show any concern if people are killed in the North all this campaign strategy will not help him.

  • Objective

    Well, on the face of it, the President has spoken so well; but the question we should ask ourselves is this, has the composition of his cabinet in the last six years reflect this emergency view about cohesion? I am convinced that some parts of Nigeria will answer in the negative. It is most likely that even large ethnic groups might not share this sudden brotherly love as they have been treated as if they meant nothing.

    What I don’t know however is, if this sudden lip service to unity will get anyone anywhere at this time. As the saying goes: “once beaten, twice shy”.

    Do I still share the zeal I had about Jonathan in 2011? I don’t know. Let’s keep praying.

  • Sanmi Falae

    As I have always argued and coined it, the future of Africa is in Africa. How else do we want Europe and
    America to drum this into our head, especially after Euro/American Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Colonisation, Apartheid, and now Globalisation? The direction of international real-politik is explicitly dictating to Africa’s
    leadership that they should begin to translate my theory that the future of Africa is in Africa into political, economic, and educational reality or experience. Globalisation is a civilized version of colonisation as both are
    designed to retain Africa as fodder for international development – i.e Europe, America, and now China. Europe, but especially the United Kingdom, is too intelligent and experienced to fail or collapse. If we were to have INTELLIGENT LEADERSHIP in Africa coupled with a semblance of political and economic union
    and a reasonably functional African Union, the disintegration of Europe would have been manna for us from heaven. It would have the scramble and partition of Africa in reverse in that we would not only be playing the West against itself but Eastern and Western Europe against each other to maximize returns from our raw and mineral resources. Don’t cry for Britain. Cry for Africa, instead. ‘Britannia ruled the waves’, remember.

    • Nandi

      Zainab Usman suffers a deliberate failure of recall on Nigeria’s history. She’s at best a Sophist or a Sophomore on contemporary Nigeria. Ms. Usman only sees agitations for self determination in south-east, south-south & southwest. Somehow, she manages to forget that in her part of Nigeria, a bunch of loopy bigots declared an Independent Caliphate 3 years ago & have been slaughtering thousands & displacing millions for yonks. She missed that since the Tiv crisis began in 1961, northern Nigeria has had more self determination hotspots than the South because her Fulani people were born-to-rule. She missed the fact that Gideon Orkar who sought in 1990 to excise the North-West & North-East was himself also a northerner. She begins her piece like she is a thinker & ends up announcing herself as a bigot.

      • Jaja2015

        You ended up distorting the message of the article, misrepresenting it and sounding more like the confused bigot.

  • Wale

    We need to understand that the emergence of China as the most competitive centre for manufacturing global cost effective products has imposed the need for producers and manufacturers in western countries to reduce costs of labour to be competitive hence decline in standard of living for the middle class in the western countries hence the rebellions we are witnessing. The sensible response by Nigeria is for our leaders to create enabling environment for global competitiveness by doing three things. Deregulate the energy sector completely. Build five strategic roads with rail from lagos to sokoto port harcourt to kano uyo to maiduguri east-west in the north and south to connect the whole country and invite investors for the following reasons: Nigeria is a big market we have raw materials in all parts of the country we have large under utilised and unemployed skilled labour and the country is centrally situated globally unlike China to all parts of the world making us a better place for distribution of finished products to all parts of the world we also have good weather all year round. We should stop this terrible habit of asking or relying on the west to come and develop our country they will only do so if it is in their strategic economic interest. We should expect them as rational people to protect and address their national economic interest at this critical time than to bother themselves with helping unimaginative beggars seeking for help when they also have big problems they are battling to address.

    • nnaji74

      Yes i agree. But for that to happen we need to restructure the country. The current unitary system promotes laziness and corruption.

  • Bashir

    A very decent piece of writing. However, looking at #Brexit from another angle, I wouldn’t conclude that the success of the leave-campaign was anti-establishment but rather a seamless strategy by the establishment to steer the country in another direction that has a global thrust. Given Britain’s influence and resources, any decent leadership would review its options with regards to EU. Britain is obviously not getting a good deal from EU relative what the kingdom brings to the table. Besides the fact that EU laws impede Britain’s ability to exercise its influence and outreach around the world thoroughly, especially, among Commonwealth countries that have a lot more to offer compared to EU countries. The Commonwealth provides the Kingdom a launching pad to pursue a decent global interest. While at the same time playing a leading role within the Commonwealth to achieve shared objectives. I think the future is clear and bright. Yes, bigotry, racism, and xenophobia cards were used heavily during the campaign, but at the end of the day, these reactions demonstrate the disapproval of what EU offered Britain, and the consequences thereof, rather than hate in itself.