The Most Interesting President Goodluck Jonathan Quotes

Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, President of Nigeria since 2010, is a man who cannot avoid the spotlight and the controversy it brings. A former governor of Bayelsa state, GEJ holds a B.Sc. degree in Zoology, an M.Sc. degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries biology and a PhD degree in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt.

GoalDig presents President Jonathan’s most interesting quotes ever. 

“I have absolute power to suspend the CBN governor. The CBN act is somehow anomalous. To remove him, i have to go to the senate, but not to suspend him.”

Thanks, Presido. Some of us sure needed grammar lessons to know there’s a BIG difference between ‘remove’ and ‘suspend’.


“The political tension is high already, I don’t want to raise it. At the appointed time, you will know.”

Are you going to contest the 2015 presidential elections? Yes or No would have sufficed just fine, sir.


“The Niger Delta militants were not terrorists. I’m not trying to defend them”

Militants or Boko Haram? The difference is clear for Mr President.


“You can’t negotiate with people you don’t know. Sometimes, you people know more than me.”

He is not Einstein, right?


“Terrorism is not a phenomenon a six months or one year State of Emergency can solve.”

Now you know it’s not the President that is slow, it’s the fight that is faster than him.


“Nigeria will not be the first country, people in other countries do that. It does not affect our economy. We are not saying that private companies must close down, but we advise that they do.”

Well, it’s no big deal to ask an entire city to shut down for the World Economic Forum.


“I never said that Boko Haram has infiltrated my cabinet. I used the word government.”

It’s becoming easier to misquote the presidency. Or is it the President!


“I don’t know whether he is dead or alive. I don’t know him. I have not seen him and I don’t know whether he is dead or alive.”

Sir, the Nigerian military were economical with the truth on this one. Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau is still very much alive. Obviously.


“After I declared a state of emergency, the crises came down, but now, they are looking for soft targets such as students in hostels, places where you will not expect them, just to embarrass government. If the drum-beat changes, of course the dancer has to change his steps too.”

Pardon the pun, but GEJ doesn’t seem much like an agile dancer.


“Within three years alone, I made sure that every state has a Federal University. Before I took over, out of the 17 states in the southern part of the country, only three did not have a Federal University. In the north, out of the 19 states, only 10 had federal universities, nine had no federal universities. We felt that one way to emancipate people is education. Without education, you will not see Jonathan here.”

That should score as an education pass mark, right? Think Oliver Twist.


“Before the PDP administration, even directors in ministries had no phones! As Assistant Director, I had no phone. But with the PDP administration, now my mother has a phone.”

What else will the president’s mother have if not a phone? Beats me.


“Even if we give ASUU 100 per cent of what they are asking for, as long as we still manage the universities the way we are managing them, further strikes will come up in one way or the other. University autonomy without responsibilities is a recipe for crises.”

Don’t say it loud that the president suggested that ASUU is a bunch of greedy mis-managers. In their anger, they may go on a ten-year strike.


“ASUU should not insist that except we close down other departments of government and bring all the earnings of government and solve the problems in our universities overnight, they will not go back to work. That will be unpatriotic.”

Let’s not resort to name-calling, alright. It’s quite un-gentlemanly.


“Even if the federal government does not pay salaries at the time salaries were supposed to be paid, that does not automatically mean the federal government is broke.”

Only $20bn went missing, right? Or is it $49bn? This is Nigeria for God’s sake, that can’t make us go broke!


“No matter your political interest, you must place your country first. You must show some kind of patriotism.”

Thinly coated but that clearly is an APC cheap shot.


“So they don’t really need a gathering where people will begin to protest as if we are in a secondary school. But those are some of the problems of developing societies that we have to contend with.”

Some state governors must have been quite rowdy at the FAAC revenue-sharing meeting to the indignation of Mr President.


“Stealing of crude oil didn’t start today. It started long ago and it started on a very small scale. If government at that time had been able to clamp down on it, it would have been easier for us to deal with. But we allowed it to stay for a very long time, to the extent that Nigerians and non- Nigerians have now invested in the business and made it a big business.”

That’s that on crude oil theft.


“Crude oil stealing is not done by poor people. Because, you need a vessel to lift the oil across the ocean to go and sell. And if you are to sell a stolen product abroad, you also need some connections because the refineries abroad don’t take crude oil from just anybody.”

Thanks for confirming our fears that many of the Nigerians involved in this business are highly-placed people.


More Goodluck Jonathan Quotes


“So don’t force a President to declare his interest. It is not right. It is even against the electoral law. Even if is not a sitting president. If you now go and declare that you want to be a governor of your state, we will take you to court.”


“When you talk about corruption, perception is often different from reality. It is said that if you say the wrong thing a thousand times it becomes truth.”


“Don’t misquote me. I am not saying we don’t have issues of corruption but that is not our number one problem.”


“Sometimes people take common stealing as corruption. A thief is a thief. When you steal money you are a thief.”


“I am not a lawyer but what I was told is that it is better for ten criminals to get away than for one innocent man to be punished.”


“And if you have a smart lawyer, you can steal billions, hire the best lawyer and get away with it.”


“But what I want you to know is that the parliament is made up of politicians. And if you have been following the issue, especially in the House, you will know that there is more politics than work.”