By Jide Ajani, Dayo Benson, Kingsley Omonobi, Ben Agande, Umoru Henry, Gbenga Oke
As President Jonathan took the about 40yard walk from the VIP Box, to the blaring sound of music rendered by DBanj,he attempted yahooze dance steps to the rhythm as provided.
His dance steps, though with no synch with the music, he was still able to create a rhythm that made it easy for him to move round and wave at the crowd.
With Patience brimming with smiles and walking majestically beside her husband, President Jonathan demonstrated that men of power could sometimes lighten up.
He danced for all of 10minutes before he eventually delivered his about 20-minute speech.
He waved, pointed, shook hands – a scenario never before witnessed in contemporary Nigeria. Even constituents of the crowd could not believe it as his security aides handled the occasion with cool heads – a testament to
Opening his statement, Jonathan said, “When I was coming in, those I saw outside were more than those I saw inside. I thank you all. This is more than a crowd; this is a revolution”.
Jonathan traced his tortuous journey to Nigeria’s presidency.
He made reference to the challenges which confronted him and the nation in those days when late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was bedridden in far away Saudi Arabia, describing those moments as “creating challenges for the nation’s
He spoke about his first days as President and Commander-in-Chief and the approach he adopted in tackling the problems confronting the nation in those very early days of his presidency. Acknowledging how the late Yar’Adua and
himself set out to deliver good governance to Nigerians, Jonathan said what he has discovered from the day he became President and Commander-in-Chief was that “this country has a lot of potentials to make it a very great nation”. (See
But what I have discovered is that “with will, a lot can be achieved. With will and determination, we were able to ensure that the long queues for petroleum products disappeared”.
Jonathan also reminded the huge crowd of the emerging situation whereby power supply appears to be having a semblance of stability – at least different from what it used to be before his ascendancy.
“You can attest to this by the (reduced) quantity of diesel you now buy to power your generating sets”.
One thing which rang hollow throughout his speech was a “deep sense of appreciation for Nigerians especially all of you here today. Go and tell every Nigerians and those who are outside who could not come inside as you leave this
place that something new is happening in Nigeria and together we can make this country a very great nation”, he said.
The Event of The Day
Kicking off the event was Dalhatu Tafida, the Director General of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation. He spoke eloquently about the experience of Jonathan after welcoming everybody. He also interpreted what he said in Hausa for the
Hausa members of the crowd. Then came Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, Chairman of the Jonathan Campaign Council, who traced the history of governance in Nigeria and also spoke well about the need for unity in the country, an apparent reference
to the Northern Political Leaders Forum, NPLF, still kicking against Jonathan’s presidential ambition. Engr. Barnabas Gemade spoke for the North Central Zone.
He described President Jonathan in superlative form and said those talking about division would not succeed in dividing the nation. Phrases like “Jonathan is a man of intelligence, a man of integrity, a clean man without baggage, a man whom
God Almighty has chosen for Nigeria”, among others, were employed by Gemade, the second national chairman of the PDP.
Alhaji Kaula Aliyu, spoke for the North East. He said the North East geo-political has never had it so good since the death, in the First Republic, of late Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa, until President Jonathan emerged. He then
listed a number of appointments that have now come the zone’s way since Jonathan became President, including the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF.
Ambassador Isa Mohammed spoke for the elders from the north and North West, and he traced the working relationship between Jonathan and the late Umar Musa Yar’Ádua. He said a vote for Jonathan would be a vote for transformation; that
a vote for Jonathan would be built on the belief that he would tackle the infrastructural decay. He also said Jonathan is expected to continue to lead Nigeria.
Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, speaking for the South East zone confessed that he had never seen the Eagle Square so organized and that “this is a sign that Nigeria would be so organized by Jonathan. Let me again say that I
am honoured to address this gathering of all the leaders of Nigeria across the board from Presidency, governors, council chairmen and ministers. Today marks another miles stone in your life as a politician and a Nigerian with full rights
and we are in solidarity with you on your endeavour under the umbrella of PDP.
Mr. President, you were brought to where you are today by God and only God will take you to where you want to go and God who has brought you this far will not abandon you”.
Dr. Olusegun Agagu, former governor of Ondo State spoke for the South West zone. He started by speaking in Yoruba. “They say the voice of the people is the voice of God. I have been coming to Eagle Square since it was built and there
has never been a crowd like this. The people have spoken and God will bless it. The leaders of our party in the South West sat together in Ibadan and took the decision that after 50years of slow progress, Nigeria must move fast by
taking steps to actualize the dreams of our fathers and the youths of today; that the time is now to put good men and women in the right place; and to do this, that person that was divinely chosen by God is the one to do it. The pair
of Jonathan and Sambo is the most educated men that would rule Nigeria. These are men without baggage, prejudice or scandals. They have started things that would show that things would be better.” After listing the achievements of
Jonathan, he pleaded that to avoid the crisis of policy summersaults, “we should allow these two men to continue”.
For the South South zone, it was Chief Samuel Ogbemudia who was supposed to talk but because of his fracture, he delegated Senator Anietie Okon to speak on his behalf. Okon said he brought greetings from the South South. “We stand here to acknowledge that today the whole of Nigeria have shown that they are a people who appreciate those who have done them a good turn. Nigerians have told us that they are one with us in the South South. We are grateful to Nigerians for
accepting our son who is of good quality and he, too, has picked another Nigerian of good quality to work with him”.
John Nwodo, one of the comperes for the day, after showering encomiums, Chief Anthony Anenih was called upon to speak.
Anenih’s voice rumbled through the address system:
“I’m overwhelmed with joy. I have been an active politician for years. In 1979 we did it. In 1999, we improved on that. In 2003, we did it. In 2007, we did it. I have never seen anything like this before. What I am seeing today,
success for Jonathan today, success for Jonathan tomorrow, success for Jonathan
“I’m a politician, I’m a father and I know who is good and not good. I want to assure you that President Jonathan, not because he’s from an oil producing area or from the SS, it is because he has the courage, he has the education and since
he took over, he has put policies in place in the interest of this country.
“All we need to do today is to appeal to those who are still sitting on the fence that the train is moving, don’t miss the train. This is the first time that you have two former governors, one becoming President and the other
becoming Vice President. What else do you need? Former this, former that. We have seen his humane character, his courage and the plans he has for Nigeria.
He will do well I assure you. “Now that we want to retire from policy, I want to assure you that a responsible team will be. The words of elders are words of wisdom; follow the Jonathan/Sambo ticket. “I wish Jonathan well, I wish Sambo
After a musical break, Chief Mrs. Beatrice Adama, from Bayelsa State, came on to speak and invoked the Ijaw nation. She started by greeting the President and Vice President and their wives, she went on say she has “come to lend her nod to
all the good things that have been said about Jonathan”. She reminded the crowd that she was not alone but that all Nigerian women were with her. “Look at the arena, I have never seen anything like this. I was here when Jonathan and our
late President YarÁdua were enthroned but the crowd was not like this. This means Goodluck is bringing peace and he would melt all of us together. I can write a book on Goodluck because he’s a man I have known.
His birth was not a mistake and like Moses, his parents saw ahead and gave him the name they gave him. Jonathan in the Bible was loyal to David and Jonathan is faithful and loyal. There is another name in the Bible, they called him
Jonah and he was sent to Nineveh. Nigeria is Nineveh and Jonathan is here to save us like Jonah did for the people of Nineveh. Please back me up and give your support to Jonathan”. When it appeared the women did not want to leave the
stage, it was Oronto Douglas who ushered them.
For a second time, the stage had to be decongested because, according to information, it could not take more than between 25 and 30 persons but the number on top rose to as much as 50.
Joking, another compere said Dr. Okupe alone represented five persons and, therefore, needed to step down with some others.
Then came the minister of women affairs, “a formidable woman leader, Josephine Anenih”.
She started like a typical politician with Daddy Shoki’s song “if you see my mama….”.
“With Goodluck we no get problem. Na Goodluck make una tie better wrapper. Na Goodluck make una tie fine fine headtie. Nigerian people we are lucky; our name na Goodluck and I’m here for us to thank God for what he has done for us and I
am not here to try to convince you. Dem put sweet for your mouth you go thruway am?” She answered herself. “No”. To the women and youths, she said “Jonathan na una owni-o; Goodluck na we owni-o. This na our government”.
Another woman, Hajia Aisha Aliyu came on stage. Her speech was in Hausa but laced with English language. She started by “begging God Almighty to separate üs from satan. Goodluck is humble, Goodluck is respectful, Goodluck is patient
with all due respects to Her Excellency”. It was all about encomiums and why Goodluck remains the man. The name of God Almighty resonated heavily in all she said. “We have a Petroleum Minister, a minister of Foreign Affairs who is a
woman from the North; we have a minister of education. We asked Jonathan to give us 35% but he promised to give us 40%. So, na wetin we want make he do again”? Another break was observed.
One Olawale Ajani James spoke on behalf of about “60 million Nigerian youths”. “Today the students and youth of this nation say Goodluck will be President.
Today the people speak the language of action. Here is a great awakening and the year 2011 will witness that”. He listed all that Jonathan has been able to do so far. His message to Nigerian youth is that Goodluck Jonathan has been
doing well and if given the opportunities, he will do more”.
A certain Otunba Funso Lawal was called upon to speak on behalf of Corporate Nigeria. He listed issues from security, water, petrol and all other such needs, saying, “if you want all these, vote Jonathan and Sambo all the way”. The
gathering was told that 42 political parties had stepped out of the race deliberately just because they want the PDP to adopt Jonathan as its candidate.
Yusuf Baba and Udemba Chukwudolue spoke on behalf of the 42 political parties including but not limited to Action Alliance, Better Nigeria Peoples Party, among others.
Baba said: “as you’ve heard we are not members of PDP but as a representative of the grand coalition of political parties in Nigeria. This is the biggest coalition of political parties coming out to support the candidacy of a
candidate. Today will never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria. We have decided to give total solidarity to Jonathan because national interest must not be sacrificed on the alter of partisan politics. This is because for his brief period as President, he has shown that he is a good player. After due consultations, we have found that petroleum scarcity has disappeared; he has stabilized the academic calendar; he has improved power supply. He has given
human face to leadership. It is for all of these that we call on the delegates of PDP to vote for Jonathan and when he emerges as candidate we will vote. But let us warn that if PDP fields any other candidate apart from Jonathan, we are
prepared to give him another platform”.
Francis Duru said “we no want badluck we want goodluck. Nollywood actors and actresses came on stage to declare that history was being made. Stephanie Okereke and another actress from the North also pledged on behalf of the actors
to support Goodluck”.
A long interlude of music followed. Then the state governors mounted the stage.
Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, said for me as Governor of BS, I want to assure the people of Nigeria that today Nigeria is making history because the biggest democracy in the world appreciate the contributions of minorities and
Obama was voted in.
We have decided that a minority from the SS. As a minority state, I want to speak for the minorities of this country and the people of Benue State have unanimously mandated me to tell Nigerians that the Goodluck/Sambo ticket is
Governor of Abia State, Theodore Orji: Chants PDP, Power to the People. I have come to greet you on behalf of Abia State to say that we are supporting GJ and he is a winner.
Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako: PDP, PDP, Our country is facing a lot of challenges and PDP has made the right decision and I know we have the ability to solve the challenges facing us. Goodluck all of us.
Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda: Cast satan aside. It is a privilege and honour to speak on behalf of my people in Bauchi state and indeed as the co-ordinator of the GJ/Sambo ticket in the North East Zone. We are of the firm
belief and conviction that that is the best ticket and for the South South, this is a payback time for us and we assure you that we are going to support GJ in 2011. We will rally round and deliver the highest number of votes for 2011.
Mr. President, we believe in your ability to deliver – we want security, we need food, we need dams both for agriculture and power; Mr. President is dredging the River Niger and we believe you will dredge the River Benue. We thank you very
much and God Bless
The Governor of Bayelsa State, Timpreye Silva: PDP; Power to Nigeria, power to the youths, power to the women. As you all know, Bayelsa is the glory of all lands. Today, because all of you have gathered here and supported that our own
son, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to be the President of this country, our prayer is that the glory of God will shine upon all of you, goodluck will follow you and because you have done this thing, your lives will never be the same again. Vote
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Governor of Nasarawa State, Akwei Doma: PDP, PDP, power to the people. Great Nigerians, I bring to you warm greetings from the good people of Nasarawa State and to assure you that the people of NS are with Goodluck Jonathan 100%. We
assure you that come 2011 presidential elections, we shall vote Goodluck totally; we are for goodluck, we are not for bad luck. The Governor of Taraba State: On behalf of the people of Taraba State I wish to declare our total
support for the Goodluck Jonathan/Sambo ticket.
Gov of Kogi State: PDP, PDP. Power Jo, Power jo-jo. We have agreed to vote for our brother, father, son, friend, Ebele Goodluck Jonathan. As his name implies, I wish all of you good luck and Nigeria will continue to have good luck
Governor of Kebbi State: I greet you all Nigerians that we are here today from the West, East and South is because of Goodluck and may goodluck follow all of us
Gov of Kaduna State: PDP, PDP, power, power: Your Excellency P, VP and wives, on behalf of the good people of Kaduna State, I bring to this mammoth gathering from all corners of this country, the warm greetings and solidarity and
declaration of total support for GJ and NS. It is a perfect ticket and the people of Nigeria will never regret.
Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido: PDP! PDP!! PDP!!! Assembled here is the family of the PDP, the best family in Nigeria and it is a strong Nigerian family which has the capacity and commitment to save Nigeria. They are for the people of Nigeria and we shall present them to other Nigerians and declare that this is
the only family that can lead Nigeria to prosperity.
The governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi: We are the face of the new nation and it is about participation. Goodluck comes from both Bayelsa and Rivers and we of Rivers State support GJ and NS and we ask you to come with us.
The governor of Delta State: PDP! Warri no dey carry last. At all at all no be so. No yaw ah for this matter. You must register, when you register you must vote for GJ
The governor of Gombe State spoke for Northern governors: PDP! PDP!!; Nigeria, I stand here as the governor of Gombe State but also as the representative of Northern Nigeria. First I want to congratulate our P and VP for being honoured
by this unprecedented crowd at the ES. I have attended events from here and today there is no space. It is for GJ and NS, we are for them, Nigeria is for them. PDP, Power Governor of Plateau State: PDP! PDP!! I bring you greetings from Plateau State and the message I’m bringing from Plateau State is that I should come and congratulate GJ and NS for their matter has been settled in Heaven, Amen.
Governor of Sokoto State, Wamako: PDP! PDP!! PDP!!! Your Excellency Mr. President, Your Excellency Mr. Vice President, fellow governors, distinguished audience, I bring message from Sokoto State that in the interest of peace and
unity, the 2011 will be the best and I pray for you that this country will remain firm. Asalam Alleikum.
Gov of Enugu Sate: PDP! PDP!! Power to the people! Goodluck, Goodluck. On behalf of the good people of Enugu State, I must tell the nation that the entire Enugu State is PDP. Enugu is what, PDP and PDP Enugu has endorsed Jonathan/Sambo. Do you want infrastructure, do you want amenities, vote for GJ and NS. They will share it equally. Enugu State Kwenu, Ndigbo Kwenu, Nigeria Kwezuonu
Governor Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State who also spoke for the South East: PDP! PDP!! Thank you very much, today, today, we are witnessing the deciding moment of the history of Nigeria. Never before in the history of Nigeria did so many
people lend their voices to call on one man to be the president of Nigeria; never before, in the history of Nigeria, the international community, wish for the emergence of one man in Nigeria as its president.
Never before in the history of Nigeria did so many people, the youth, men, women, north, south, east and west, clamour for one man. This is because Goodluck Jonathan is different. He is a gift to Nigeria from God. On Jonathan
we stand, on Jonathan we stand. Jonathan will not annul an election that is free and fair; Jonathan will not discriminate on the basis of tribe or religion. Jonathan has a listening ear to the problems of Nigerians. We of
Ebonyi in particular and SE in general stand for Jonathan. As you step out to accept the peoples mandate, you can count on our support. To God be the glory.
Governor of Ekiti State: PDP! PDP!! This is a spectacle. This is the beginning of the project to deliver the Nigeria of our dreams. We need teamwork and this is a man who believes in teamwork and therefore, there is no better time to
deliver on the promise than now.
Governor of Oyo State, Alao Akala: PDP! Our President is Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe and that is JEGA, so if you’re happy and you know it, say JEGA.
Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola: PDP! PDP!! PDP!!! I present to you all the warm greetings of the people of Osun State and I want to tell you that we in Osun State stand by and support the collective decision that was made in
the SW last month that we whole heartedly support the Jonathan/Sambo project.
May the good Lord bless our aspirations!
Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel: You Excellency, our President today and our President tomorrow by the special Grace of God. There is not a lot for us to say today than to thank God Almighty. From the totality of what we have seen
today, the people have spoken and spoken well. I stand here today to affirm that what we stand for in the SW is true federalism and what it means is equal opportunity and what this ticket of Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo is the
beginning of true federalism, a nation where we can all be what we want to be and I commend you to support this ticket and solidarise with the President.
Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema: PDP! PD and P, power. Hello Nigerians, this is a great day for our nation and our party. Indeed, it is a matter for all of us in this nation from the SENW. This is a day for all of us
to come together as one people and one nation with one destiny, it’s a matter for all of us, the North West is part of the North East, South East, South West, South South. Therefore I am calling on all Nigerians that we are heading into a
transformational period for rendering of services and I’m urging all Nigerians to come together in equity in justice, fairness and equality. Nigeria is for all Nigerians and this is time for unity. Unless we come together as one
family, no matter where we come from, the success we want would not be achieved.
Governor of Niger State: Mr. President, why am I here? I came here on Wednesday and today I am here, why, because politics is about negotiations, politics is about dialogue and discussion and because I am the chief servant of
Niger State, I have been told to negotiate and my people are afraid that we would have the Cameroonian style. Nigeria is for all of us and we must negotiate, we must not diminish any candidate. E will need the person after the
primaries. Many of us have worked for your emergence and the transformation politics must be to ensure that we are united.
The Governor of Zamfara State, Shinkafi: PDP! PDP!! PDP!!! Mr. President, my very good boss, the governor of Niger State has spoken and I associate with it.
Mr. President, during your time, the party became stronger. The party will continue to win. Say good luck to my very good boss.
The Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim: PDP! Goodluck Jonathanis patient “The good Lord who has done it for me will do it for you too”.
The governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke: PDP! I no dey hear una-o. When I shour PDP, the answer should be, Jonathan. When I say PDP, say total. Today we get President and VP and as we dey move forward, Nigeria dey celebrate 50
years. Some of us say the last 50 years no beta. The one wey dey come for front, na as we take enter am nah in we go know wetin be. Na J and S nah in we go take enter am. Dem say this ticket dey do better work and this ticket go
keep us together, for us wey be youth na total support for Jonathan and Sambo. Youth, una dey? Women, una dey? We from Cross River State 100%, SS, 100%, Nigeria, 100%.
FCT Minister: PDP! PDP!! PDP!!! Spoke in Hausa eulogizing Jonathan. I thank you very much and I want to assure you that we in the FCT are with Jonathan and whatever you’re seeing is all about the vision and mission of Goodluck
Jonathan. We will do our best in the FCT.
Governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio: Mr. President and his amiable wife, Mr. Vice President and his dear wife, great Nigerian students, started by singing that ‘Things are getting better since Jonathan took over”. Let me say, on
behalf of the entire SS Nigeria, among the governors, we want to guarantee that we are giving a good product to Nigeria, that with the team, Nigeria will reach its height. The reason is because for over 50 years, Nigeria has been
clamouring for Goodluck and we want goodluck in all walks of life. America used Obama to show unity. Today, God wants to use Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo to make a statement. For many years, the SS has produced resources and the
entire region felt that they were not pat of Nigeria. Never have we seen this type of support. Nigerians have come to show support. With Goodluck Jonathan, the entirety of militancy will come to an end. They say he who wears the show
knows where it pinches. Goodluck Jonathan as a son of the ND can bring good things.
He is prepared to bring back good rods. It is a shame that for 50 years, Nigeria can not have uninterrupted power. Nigerians want stability and if others have tried and they could not deliver, is it not time for a change. That
is why we are bringing Goodluck. He will touch education and other areas. I bring appreciation from the entire governors of the SS. For many years, the minority people now know that anybody from anywhere can rise. I want to assure
the President that the crowd here is not doing any wayo. This is how they came out for Obama. With what you have seen here today, Nigeria has spoken and victory is our watchword
Speaker Dimeji Bankole: PDP! I no hear-O! To all the youth in the house, na we dey do the votes. PDP, Power Power, Power, Power, Power, Power. What is the big deal? On behalf of the majority of us in the House of Representatives, we
already confirmed him our President and he brought Sambo and we confirmed him.
The job now is for all of us to go out and confirm Goodluck/Sambo, God Bless Nigeria
David Mark, Senate President: PDP! PDP!!PDP!!! Mr. President, distinguished members of the family of PDP, the Goodluck Sambo combination is the product of the NA theory of the doctrine of necessity. When you plant a tree, you have to
water it and nurture it. We will make sure that we nurture it. The road to our economic recovery is rough and there are two persons who can take us through that road and they are GJ and NS. It is not just about what we ay here but
about people who can translate our policies. They will not make empty promises and we want people of honour and integrity and courage who will implement our policies. We have spoken here today and when the election comes we will confirm
it. When you’re patience, you will have goodluck.
Namadi Sambo spoke:
Bamangar Tukur introduced President Jonathan, saying Mr. President, I beseech you to look at your side, left and right, front and back, the sea of heads, Nigerians have answered your call. It is my honour and privilege to call upon
you. God has fulfilled his promise towards you, Thank you: