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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Rejects Calls to Step Down

Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has rejected calls by prominent northern politicians to resign within a few days or face impeachment. The politicians include former military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Kwara State governor Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who issued a joint statement saying Mr. Jonathan mishandled the Independence Day bombings in Abuja, which killed 12 people. They also accused him of failing to provide security around the country.

The criticism is not justified, says Sully Abu, the head of the media and publicity section of Mr. Jonathan’s campaign.

Those calling for the resignation of the president need to be educated on what it takes for an elected leader to be removed, says Mr. Abu.

“The terrorist bombing at Eagles Square that day was something that should have rallied everybody to the protection of the federal republic and the government, but instead we have this entire people making political capital out of it. Their attention really should have been to zero in on the clear and present danger the country was facing.”

President Jonathan has does not want to engage in political battles with his critics, says Abu, contrary to claims he is taking advantage of the tragedy for political gains.

“Things get overheated. It’s the political silly season, so people over-dramatize issues that ordinarily should pass without notice. This happens in every clime. I recall when (current Secretary of State) Hillary Clinton and President (Barack) Obama were running for the Democratic primaries; it was almost like a civil war.”

He says those waiting for President Jonathan to resign are in for a surprise.

“What are the grounds for resigning and those who talk about impeachment perhaps need to be schooled. Impeachment is a legislative process. What high crimes has the president committed?”