FLASHBACK: Buhari, Lai, Tinubu… all those who asked Jonathan to resign over insecurity

On  Saturday, Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, sacked Salihu Tanko Yakasai, his spokesman, hours after the media aide made a post on social media, apparently asking President Muhammadu Buhari to resign over insecurity.

Muhammad Garba, Kano state commissioner for information, said Tanko Yakasai was dismissed because of “continued unguarded comments”.

Yakasai was sacked hours after he expressed disappointment at the news of the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls from a secondary school in Jangebe, Zamfara state.

“Clearly, we as [the] APC government, at all levels, have failed Nigerians in the number 1 duty we were elected to do which is to secure lives & properties. Not a single day goes by without some sort of insecurity in this land. This is a shame! Deal with terrorists decisively or resign,” he said in a Twitter post on Friday.

Less than 24 hours after, Tanko Yakasai was picked up by officers of the Department of State Services (DSS). The agency’s spokesman later explained that the former media aide was being investigated for matters beyond his opinion expressed on social media.

While Tanko Yakasai was sacked after asking Buhari to resign over the rising insecurity and abductions in the country, checks by TheCable revealed that top APC chieftains, at different times, had asked former President Goodluck Jonathan to give up his office over failure to address security issues.

Aside from Yakasai’s post, there have been various calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to resign, but the presidency has described such comments as foolish.

“President Buhari to resign on what basis? Just because some characters think that President Buhari should resign, then they expect him to quit. That call does not represent the opinion of the country. This is the opinion of an armchair critic, known for making stray comments,” Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, had said in a statement.


During the build-up to the presidential election in 2015, the APC chided the ex-president and asked him to resign over the failed war against Boko Haram.

“President Jonathan, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, must take responsibility for the monumental cost, whether of his incompetence or his political strategy-gone-awry or both, apologise to the nation and immediately back down from seeking re-election,” Lai Mohammed had said, in a statement he issued as spokesman of the APC at the time.

“The president must not be allowed to profit from an error of judgement that has cost 15,000 lives, forced over 3 million out of their homes, and cost the taxpayers 32.88 billion US dollars.”


Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former governor of Lagos state, had asked Jonathan to resign over “lack of capacity” to tackle the country’s security challenges.

He was speaking in Ilorin, the Kwara capital, during the formal declaration of Abdulfatah Ahmed’s bid for a second term in office at the time.

“I saw the sea of refuges caused by the Boko Haram insurgents and the lies coming from Jonathan’s administration. They have exhibited failure, lack of capacity, vision and creativity. The lies of yesterday are what they repeat today and are what they will repeat tomorrow. They are lying to you,” Tinubu had said.

“They are lying about the security, toying about the security of this country. I don’t have time to explain the logic of their lies.

“But if you control the armed forces and you are the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the federal republic, why should any part of this country be under occupation? And you give us excuses every day. In any civilised country, Jonathan should have resigned. But if he will not resign, he should wait for our broom. We will sweep him away.”


Back in May 2013, Buhari, who had lost three chances to become president at the time, asked Jonathan to vacate office for “failing” to tackle insecurity.

While addressing journalists at his residence in Daura, Katsina state, Buhari said: “Jonathan should vacate and give way to competent hands to govern the country.”

According to him, the then-president failed to perform his primary function of securing Nigerians.

“When the Niger Delta militants started their activities in the south-south, they were invited by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. An aircraft was sent to them and their leaders met with the late president in Aso Rock and discussed issues. They were given money and a training scheme was introduced for their members. But when Boko Haram emerged in the north, members of the sect were killed,” Buhari had said.

“And when the police failed to address the insurgency, soldiers were invited and they captured the Boko Haram leader, Muhammad Yusuf alive and handed him over to police. But Yusuf was eventually killed, his in-law too was killed and their houses were demolished.

“In Bama and Baga towns, military personnel were reported to have been engaged in extortion and sometimes raping of women. And because a soldier was killed in Baga the whole town was sacked by the military. This is not the best way the military should have acted when they were sent to restore law and order in a town. How can a responsible government allow its people to be killed in this way?

“The soldiers are not expected to go and sack a town because one of them is killed. They are expected to capture the culprits for prosecution. After all, the soldiers are not meant to tackle the internal crisis. But when it is necessary, they should act professionally. Whoever is sent to protect people should also protect their integrity.”


As early as 2012, Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state took a swipe at Jonathan, and asked him to vacate office over growing security threats.

In an interview, the former minister of the federal capital territory (FCT) asked Jonathan “to go home” for being the only president that can’t tackle insecurity.

“Why is it that only President Jonathan cannot solve Nigeria’s security problem? If he cannot do the job for which he was elected to do, he should consider going home. No president has ever sought the help of ordinary people in tackling security problems in this country,” el-Rufai was quoted to have said.

“The protection of lives and property of the citizens is the basis of any government in power and if the leadership has failed woefully to deploy the resources and information at its disposal to enforce coercive power for the benefit of the society, then it had no reason to stay on.”

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