I never said I’ll not seek a second term — Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has denied he signed a pact, in 2011, to not seek a second term in office as claimed by his critics.

Despite unambiguously stating he was not going to seek re-election in 2015, Mr. Jonathan also denied he ever gave such verbal commitment.

Ahead of Mr. Jonathan emerging the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s presidential candidate, the Niger state governor, Babangida Aliyu, had claimed that the president endorsed a pact with the governors to exit in 2015.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had also reminded the president of his commitment to run for only a term.

Addressing Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he attended an African Union Summit, the president had, while regretting that Diasporans would not vote in the April 2011 elections, Mr. Jonathan categorically stated that he would be vying for Presidency in 2015.

“I would have loved that Nigerians in the Diaspora vote this year. But to be frank with you that is going to be difficult now,” he said on January 31, 2011, before striking home his point.

“Nigerians in the Diaspora will not vote, but I will work towards it by 2015, even though I will not be running for election.”

However, speaking to Tribune newspaper, Mr. Jonathan said the comment, which has been repeatedly aired on television and radio by his critics, was quoted out of context.

He explained that what he said after the 2011 election was that occupiers of executive positions should be allowed a single term of seven years and that if this was accepted he was going to forfeit pursuing a second term in office as sacrifice.

Mr. Jonathan said he made the suggestion to avoid the huge security and financial burden that comes with political campaigns. He explained that it would have been unfair for him to remain in power for 12 years after advocating for a second term of seven years.

“I did not sign any document with anybody and I am not someone who signs documents carelessly. I don’t even make promises to people,” the president said. “I have never signed a pact of one term. I never even mentioned it anywhere that I will do one term.”

Of his remarks in Addis Ababa, he said, “I added something that people are misquoting. I said that I had won the election then, I used one year to complete (late President) Yar’Adua’s tenure and I had won election for four years. If Nigerians agreed to a single term of seven years, it would not be proper for me to contest. That would mean if I win, I would serve as president for 12 years. I said that people would question that ‘why do you want to serve 12 years and incoming presidents would serve seven years?’ Morally, I cannot defend that,” he said.

“So, if the country agrees to a single term of seven years, then I will not contest. I would rather lose so that they would know it’s because of my sacrifice because it is something I believe in. I also believe that the interest of the country is more important to me than my individual interest and I said five years was okay, and that even if I stayed here for 100 years, if I won’t work, I won’t work,” he added.

Mr. Jonathan acknowledged that Mr. Obasanjo, at least once, publicly announced that he(Jonathan) would serve for only a term, but said he could not have countered the former president because he needed the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential ticket at the time.

“Yes, former President Obasanjo spoke that way, I think the day of our primaries, and he used that to market me and I listened and I kept quiet,” he said. “It was not proper for me to go there and counter Obasanjo, because I wanted the ticket. I felt that he spoke like an elder statesman and I left it like that.”

President Jonathan also expressed confidence in his chances of emerging winner at the March 28 presidential election, adding his plans for the country are superior to those of his competitors.


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  • Tunde

    This man has no honour. Why is he just coming out now and talking nonsense? We saw the video and heard him say so with his own mouth. But let’s even assume that its true that he was quoted out of context, why hasn’t he come out on the numerous occasions in the past that this issue was raised to clarify his position? We all know things change and a decision or commitment made in the past might be reviewed based on other circumstances, and I don’t think anyone will castigate him for wanting to run again, but a truly honourable man would have addressed it way back then by admitting that he did say one term but since being in power and seeing the magnitude of governance and having a legacy, he has decided to run again. People will respect him more for that, some vested interests may not like it, but he will be respected. Don’t come here and treat Nigerians as fools that will swallow anything you say. It just confirms even more that GEJ is clueless.

    • Philip Gokir Musa

      what honour does a Yoruba man/woman have in this contemporary day and age? Look at charcoal calling diamond black

      • Maitama Tambari

        Philip Gokir Musa, you are the charcoal without the diamond. By the combination of your name, you are a minority. In 1999, PDP was constituted with a Constitution so attractive to the Minorities in Nigeria that PDP captured virtually all the Minorities Areas in Nigeria. What is the this magic element that attracted Minorities into PDP? ZONING OF PRESIDENCY. It was boldly written in PDP Constitution. When the Constitution came for review, the ZONING was retained and President Jonathan was in attendance and signed as No 27 in attendance. But when President Jonathan enjoyed the acting capacity and the 2011 election came up, President Jonathan said there was nothing like zoning. He sacrificed the Minorities. You may agree with me now. No Minority can make to the Presidency with the amount of competing candidates coming from the major Tribes. President Jonathan was economical with the truth then as he is doing now, just for him to grab power. Minorities are his tools in reaching power but he doesn’t care about you, period. I am also a Minority. CHANGE! YES WE CAN.

    • Sword of Damocles

      Word! nuff said!!

    • Patriotique

      I think he is trying to win sympathy votes again. Pathetic President he is!

  • true nigerian

    Lol. What kind of pettiness is this? Leadership is for the serious minded that’s all I can say.

  • progress

    Jona, simply forgot all the promises he ever made. He will also forget promising the SW implementation of the conference report. What do you expect from a drunk!!

  • adeola onitolo

    To all intents and purposes, it goes without saying that Mr . Jonathan is pathological liar. Having said times without number that he would not seek for reelection on the pages of newspapers, now cajoling by his will o the wisp.A promise is a debt.

  • Tamunotonye

    Chei…… Jonah can LIE!

    • pgo

      Not even a good liar.

  • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

    Leadership is all about intergrity a leader needs to have the intergrity in order to develop the credibility for people to believe what he or she said. It is not the first time we hear the President said one thing and tomorrow another.

  • Ette

    GEJ has zero credibility value, hence is totally rejected in heaven, earth and by Nigerians. We have had more than enough of his blatant lies.

  • Uvietesiri

    Prof Jonathan owes nobody any explanations. He will even go for a 3rd & 4th term. You may hug a transformer if you like.

    • Datti

      I go touch transformer because e no dey work for Nigeria – electricity no dey – na Jona wonder

    • Tunsj

      You do not know what you are talking about. He is the President of Nigeria and he owes Nigerians explanations about what is going on.

  • Guguru

    Jonathan is a victim of selective amnesia. He forgot that corruption is stealing. He also seemed to have forgotten that using soldiers to run elections rather than using the police may be an act of election rigging. And now, for the crescendo of his lies, he claims he never said he will not run for 2015 elections, even if his previous and contrary comments to this reality have been engraved, chiseled, and memorialized on solid blocks of posterity. So, to Jonathan, lies, stealing, dishonesty, etc., do not exist. They are only figments of our imagination. He says to us in the most condescending of ways: “we need to have our heads checked because we are all crazy to think he is a liar”.

  • endingNaija

    Look, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, you can continue to deceive yourself. You are a character who will say anything to get elected including lying barefacedly with both sides of your mouth. Haven’t you just visited a few Yoruba Obas with your bag of oil money beside you? Are these not the same Yorubas against who you and your footsoldiers invented your political ailment, and EBOLA, and highly DIVISIVE and dubious electoral strategy and fiction called “Yoruba Christian/Muslim” when you played the religious card all over Nigeria. But when the Yoruba middle class and their people beat you back effectively in Yoruba land and asked you to shut up for that was rude, and un-intelligent, you thought of another strategy to visit few selected Obas!!! Why are you visiting the Yoruba space now? You make one laugh a lot! So I am saying, Goodluck Jonathan, “Phd”, you will say anything at this stage to see if you can get some more votes and test whether you can still get re-elected. But Oga “Phd” Jonathan, we have passed that. It no longer matter whether you agreed not to serve a second term or not. It is a right under the constitution to exercise your right, and you have done that-Fine. But we Nigerian voters are saying, “Thank you for exercising your right, we don hear, but it is time for you to go back to Otuoke. We have had enough of you for SIX YEARS of waste…” We are changing to another hand. We want a change which you-Jonathan-cannot offer. So your statements on issues at this stage are irrelevant. Nigerian voters have moved pass you.

  • Patriotique

    One day GEJ might deny that he promised Nigerians Stable power supply. #Na Wa. E be like say this man, u were born to lie!

    • Firestone

      What else do you want? How long will you remain a lazy parasite? He & his region’s resources have fed you for over 5 decades. Isn’t that enough? Stay on the internet and be sending scam e-mails while the Igbos are busy digging the soil and striking oil everyday. Lazy e-rat.

      • Patriotique

        Sorry Mr Igbo Man, but I’m also from GEJ’s region. I’m not blind to the woes of this administration. i’m not going to vote just cos he is my brother! doh! u may continue to be “busy digging the soil and striking oil everyday”. I wish u GEJ’s ill-luck

    • Festus

      I agree with you. He will do so if we allow him to get away with all these. God is ready to bail us and that’s
      Why He is exposing all their lies. And that’s why Jonathan,s lieutenants are following suit. You will agree that they are all birds of the same feather, flocking together. God will save us.

  • Okon

    Dr Ebele Jonathan, Nigeria is blessed to have you as president. May you live long and continue to guide and lead us. Do not mind the parasites who are fighting tooth & nail to wrestle power from you. They shall fail with F9 as he did in Mathematics 53yrs ago.

    • Guguru

      You comments are already “F9” in terms of prose, logic, quality, and mechanics. Fix this before you dare advice Jonathan to fix his.

      • Okon

        What of in terms of oil, gas and other resources?

        • Finji

          Good one!

        • Guguru


          In terms of what again? Can you provide context and completeness for your weird assertion?

      • Tunsj

        You read my mind.

    • Arabakpura

      Haba Okon!

  • Guguru

    Jonathan has even lied with his name. His real name is “Ebelemi” and not “Ebele”. He has been lying to Nigerians since he came into office.


    Politicians are liar.

  • Contact Point

    So this man has continued to lie? He has taken this country to be zoo where he got if Port Harcourt Degree (PhD). Are we still going to vote in a man that can’t take responsibility, a man that cannot own up to his words? My PVC is going to answer these questions come March 28th

  • Faruk Al-amin

    lying in the face of 160 million Nigerians and the international community seems to be a very good skill of jonathan and his friends like kayode, fayose, obanikoro e.t.c

    • burning spear


      • Guguru

        Burning Spear,

        Reno Omokri has been removed from his job as a Special Adviser to the President. Why are you still posting his nonsense again?

      • Arabakpura

        What you are quoting if it ever existed was between two individuals. We are talking about an agreement in which a group of people were present and the main beneficiary corroborated it in the media

  • burning spear

    Fox News, indicated Former President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, to have said that he avoided publicly criticizing President Obama because he feels doing so would undermine the office of the Presidency. This is one practice Obasanjo has been involved over the years without restraints.
    “I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former President undermine a current President; I think it’s bad for the Presidency for that matter,” Bush was gathered to have said on Fox News.
    Bush had said that, though he follows politics and is “very aware of what’s going on,” he has no interest in generating headlines for himself by bashing his successor. Here, he demonstrated high leadership culture that transcends personal interests and respects institutions of the state.
    “Secondly, I really have had all the fame I want,” he said. “I really don’t long for publicity. And the truth of the matter is in order for me to generate publicity I would have to either attack the Republican Party, which I don’t want to do, or attack the President, which I don’t want to do. And so, I’m perfectly content to be out of the limelight,” Bush had declared.
    Bush is widely construed to have demonstrated the true spirit of elder statesman, a statesman who understands the sanctity of public institutions and leadership etiquette.

    • Gawgawa2015

      One thing you’re forgetting is that US is not Nigeria and Nigeria is not the USA

    • Dumbo

      Unlike the U.S.A Nigeria is fast sinking. It will be criminal for Obj to watch while his political son crashes destroyed the little that is left of Nigeria. Being a statesman entails being committed to the good of your country regardless of party affiliation.

    • Ologbonlolode

      @Burning Spear … I listened to the quote by former President Bush on Fox News that you alluded to. He said and I quote “I refrain from criticizing President Obama because the job is tough enough and I don’t want to make it tougher for President Obama.” He did not use the word ‘undermine the office of the President’.

      Plus, let’s always put things in proper perspective and always. Patriotism is love of and allegiance to your country and NOT to the person holding the presidency. GEJ cannot be trusted and he has brought so much odious and disgrace to that office; his tenor has elevated corruptions, impunity and cluelessness to new heights. It will be very unpatriotic for anybody to support the charade to continue. This has nothing to do with patriotism!

      He has shown and continually showing that he has not a modicum of integrity in him. Lets’ call a spade a spade. GEJ cannot be trusted!!!

  • Festus

    That is the moroon,s trademark. Even if he wins the 2015 election, himself and his cohorts, Fayose and co will never make any success of it becos the foundation is not solid.

  • marig

    depends on what the definition of is is

  • abbadd

    Lies and Deceit as always by GEJ. GEJ never admits anything he has done and blames everyone but himself for all the problems his government is facing and Nigeria at large.

    • Original_Raskal


  • Wetin Naija

    Lying is the blood of GEJ

  • Kekedu

    Liar! Pls stop.

  • New Nation

    This man is lies personified. Goodness me,what a man! How do we get this man as president of this great nation? He’s a disgrace to this nation. He lies and deceive with ease.

  • New Nation

    I just pray and hope those taking Jona by his word on his fake National Conference are reading this. He ‘ll later tell them he did not promise them anything. You take Jona’s words to the bank at your own peril. Too bad for a country president. No honour,No integrity. Nigerians wake up, take back your nation!

  • Arabakpura

    This interview has finally destroyed Goodluck Jonathan. A man that can’t be trusted, who kept quiet when words were put into his mouth just to win elections! What can you not do to win elections. O God! How did this man’s path cross Nigeria’s?

  • THE STATISTICS ARE STACKED AGAINST JONATHAN’S RE-ELECTION, and are worsening by the 6-week delay.

  • ’70

    See why the Oba’s should be very wary of him?

  • D1

    Oh GEJ, I so much feel for you! You finally NAILED your coffin with this statement. No one will ever trust you.

    Haba, how can you make this kind of statement during campaign period for re-election, even your cronies won’t ever believe any word from your mouth.

    This man is a walking disaster, literally!

  • Jodine Henri

    GEJ till 2019 FOR SURE

  • Akanji92

    Can you ever be trusted? GEJ start parking writing handover note for 28th of May, 2015. We watched your recording, read your statements and confirmed by others. He who is not truthful in little things….

  • Ken

    Obj thought he is smart. But GEJ was smarter. He was very sharp. GEJ will win GMB any time

  • Remi

    This man is a pathological liar.

  • blueeyedkitten

    he clearly said that when he was drunk. you know the guy is always in a tipsy mood. he has been drunk since 2010. he only became sober last month.



  • Zainab Ibrahim

    Ride on even beyond 2019. Nigeria needs you. #GEJ4Naija