23 December 2013

Nigerians Divided Over Jonathan's Response to Obasanjo

Photo: Vanguard
Obasanjo's letter

President Goodluck Jonathan's much awaited reply to Olusegun Obasanjo's 18-page letter ignited the social media on Sunday with most users characteristically criticizing the former's response.

In his diatribe to President Jonathan, penultimate week, Mr. Obasanjo, who was president between 1999 and 2007, criticized the current president's administration for, among other things, encouraging corruption and scheming to go after political foes.

While the letter, which raised a lot of pertinent issues and barely restated the myriad of problems facing the country, it was largely greeted, on twitter and facebook, with a 'Don't-shoot-the-messenger-focus-on-the-message' applause.

However, President Jonathan's "unprecedented and unconventional" reply to the former president failed to elicit a similar treatment.

Instead, critics on social media were hell bent on using the message to strangle the messenger, with a lot of President Jonathan's apologists labelling the president's critics as " hypocrites."

From criticizing the president's spellings, punctuation, and grammatical construction, the social media was agog with claims of the letter being "grammatically challenged."

Even his poetic licence was not respected, such as when he chose to use the word 'sixthly' in the letter in itemizing his response to the points raised in Mr. Obasanjo's letter.

"I doubt if Jonathan actually wrote this letter," Ifayeni Awohenri wrote on social media.

"Somebody wrote that letter for him! He's too confused to hold pen and reply to all the allegations charged on him," another user, Adebayo Abiodun, wrote.

Shuaibu Jubril described the letter as "the long awaited rubbish."

"The letter itself is full of corruption, you should have just continued keeping quite (sic) rather than exposing yourself and justifying OBJ's claim," Mr. Jubril added.

A number of users, however, rose up in defence of President Jonathan, hailing him for the "well crafted" response to Mr. Obasanjo.

"Thank you GEJ. Your reply has stated the facts which some Nigerians have taken for granted just because of 2015... Just keep to your transformation agenda because we are solidly behind you," a user, Chiedu61, wrote.

Obawusi Obafemi said that he was "amazed" by the letter.

"It is very easy to read, comprehend and straight to the point. Gooduck is not perfect, but if given a free hand, he will do a lot, Mr. President, you have done us proud," Mr. Obafemi added.

Barely an hour after the letter was made public on Sunday night, President Jonathan - GEJ- began trending on twitter.

Copyright © 2013 Premium Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.