2015: Volunteers Place Pro-Jonathan’s Billboards Near Chibok Protesters (PHOTO)
Several customised vehicles and giant electronic billboards with photos of President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo mounted on wheels appeared on Wednesday, July 2, in a strategic part of Abuja.
The customised vehicles and electronic boards with President Goodluck Jonathan’s achievements appeared at the Unity Fountain where the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners were meeting in solidarity with the Chibok girls who were abducted over 80 days ago by Boko Haram.
It was gathered that the boards and the vehicles were rolled out by a group, Gejites (Goodluck Ebelo Jonathanites) to allegedly prepare everyone for Dr. Jonathan’s announcement of his plan to run again.
The new volunteer group is similar to Neighbour2Neigbour, one of the organisations that led the President’s campaign in 2011.
The edges of the Unity Fountain were littered with the “expensive” boards. Many condemned the pro-Jonathan campaign as “insensitive”.
The inscriptions on the wheel boards says: “Goodluck Sambo,” “Goodluck Ebelo Jonathan will be the best loved President of Nigeria ever,” “Volunteer to be a GEJITE,” “Our administration has successfully rehabilitated and reopened the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation depot at Aba. The depot was closed for over 10 years,” and “Kaduna Refinery rehabilitated after 15 years.”
According to a highly-placed source, the organisation is one of the pulse-feeling mechanisms put in place by Jonathan’s strategists. “They want to see how far they can go with the volunteer group before the President makes a declaration to run for second term in office,” the source said.
“The President may declare either later this month or next month to lay all speculations to rest. This is the most practicable period because there will be primaries in October,” the source added.
Speaking about Gejites, the source said: “It is a volunteer group and non-governmental organisation. It has nothing to do with the Presidency or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). You should go to the volunteers to tell you why they believe in Jonathan’s administration.”
According to the 2015 poll guidelines released by INEC, all political parties are expected to hold primaries between October 2 and 11, 2014.
The Gejites Volunteer group, which released its mission statement yesterday, said it was only mirroring after Chavistas and Obama Volunteers.
The mission statement said: “We are a volunteer organisation set out to popularise the work and activities of government under President Gooodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), thus our derived name Gejites.
“The philosophy and ideas behind Gejites is mirrored after the Chavistas, the highly successful campaign by the former President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and the victorious Obama Volunteers.
“The brain behind the Gejites volunteers is Chief Anthony Tosan Prest, a scion of the late Chief Arthur Prest, Nigeria’s first Federal Minister of Communications and one-time Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Court Of Saint James.”