Nigerian former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has said that he would have won a re-election in 2015 but for the plots of former U.S. President, Barack Obama, and some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors and leaders, who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, a few months to the election.
Jonathan, who also stated why he granted late former Bayelsa State Governor, DSP Alamieyeseigha presidential pardon, made the disclosures in his new book, ‘’My Transition Hours,’’ which was launched, yesterday, in Abuja.
For the first time, Jonathan said the 2015 presidential election was flawed and that he had many grounds to challenge the outcome but chose to side-step his personal ambition to avert bloodshed for the sake of democracy and Nigeria’s unity.
With a margin of 2.5 million votes, Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election to Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC. It was the first time an incumbent president lost a re-election in Nigeria.
The Obama role in 2015
In the book, a piqued Dr. Jonathan described Barack Obama’s message to Nigerians ahead of the 2015 general elections as overbearing and ‘condescending.’
According to Jonathan, the former U.S. president was very biased during the 2015 elections, by issuing a video appeal to Nigerians and almost advised them on which candidate to vote for.
He wrote: “On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote.
“In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes. Those who understood subliminal language deciphered that he was prodding the electorate to vote for the opposition to form a new government.”
He berated Obama for saying “all Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear,” but was reluctant to allow the Nigerian security forces drive Boko Haram insurgents away from the Nigerian territories they had been occupying in order to free Nigerian citizens there ahead of elections.”
Also, Jonathan did not spare the former U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, concerning the decision to postpone election in the overall interest of Nigeria.
“How can the U.S. Secretary of State know what is more important for Nigeria than Nigeria’s own government? How could they have expected us to conduct elections when Boko Haram controlled part of the North-East and were killing and maiming Nigerians? Not even the assurance of the sanctity of May 29, 2015 handover date could calm them down. In Nigeria, the Constitution is very clear: No President can extend his tenure by one day,” he said.
Intense foreign pressure
He continued: “The foreign pressure on the issue of election rescheduling was intense. They maintained the curious posture of one who had been deceived before and, therefore, had every reason to cede no credence to our position. But there was no reason for such posture.
“The United States and the United Kingdom were especially agitated. David Cameron, then U.K. Prime Minister, called to express his concern about the election rescheduling, just as John Kerry came from the United States to express further worry. It was at best unusual and sobering.
“In fact, John Kerry did not accept our reasons for the rescheduling. It was unbelievable because at the back of our minds, we knew why the agitation was beyond what meets the eyes.
“There were deeper political interests. In attendance at the meeting of the Council of State where the decision to reschedule the election was taken were almost all the living former Heads of State in this country. That should have convinced John Kerry of the good intentions of the government.
“He cannot claim to love and defend Nigeria more than all our former heads of state present at the meeting. I have stated earlier how Kerry’s visit was designed to humiliate a sitting Nigerian president and clearly take sides in the country’s election.
‘’Anyhow, the six weeks served us well. We received the military equipment we were expecting within that period and our Armed Forces commendably dealt a deserving blow on the terrorists and repossessed all territorial areas of Nigeria previously occupied by the terrorists. Boko Haram was deflated up to the point I handed over to my successor on May 29, 2015.”
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