In an advance copy of “Against the Run of Play” written by the chairman of THISDAY editorial board Segun Adeniyi, former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that former U.S. President Barack Obama, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, outgoing French president Francois Hollande, and some of his (Jonathan) officials conspired to cause his defeat in the 2015 Presidential election.
THISDAY reports that the U.S. government “even brought some naval ships into the Gulf of Guinea in the days preceding the elections”.
See excerpts from the book:
Professor Attahiru Jega, Others Disappointed Me
I was disappointed (in) Jega because I still cannot understand what was propelling him to act the way he did in the weeks preceding the election. As at the first week in February 2015 when about 40 percent of Nigerians had not collected their PVCs, Jega said INEC was ready to conduct an election in which millions of people would be disenfranchised.
Of course, the Americans were encouraging him to go ahead yet they would never do such a thing in their own country. How could we have cynically disenfranchised about a third of our registered voters for no fault of theirs and still call that a credible election?
The interesting thing was that the opposition also supported the idea of going on with the election that was bound to end in confusion….
….What happened was very sad not for me as a person, but for our democracy. Take for instance, the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu. I believe he joined in the conspiracy against me. For reasons best known to him, he helped to sabotage the election in favour of the opposition.
Mu’azu also reacted to the allegations made against him in the book saying: “It pains me that anybody would want to pin a tag of ethnic or religious bigotry on me because that is what President Jonathan means by his accusation, even if he did not directly say it. I suppose my crime with him is that I am a Muslim and a northerner.”
“Majority of Nigerians will remember that I took over a party that was in shambles. Very quickly, I injected a new lease of life into the PDP for which I was hailed as the ‘game changer’. It is convenient to forget all that now,” Mu’azu added.
“But in the build up to the election, some people decided to introduce religion and ethnicity into the campaign in such a manner that not only hurt the PDP in the north but was actually helping to mobilise our opponents against us.”
He vowed to tell his own story one day, but for now, the former PDP chairman was content to say: “After President Jonathan had accepted defeat, congratulated Buhari and the whole world was acclaiming him, some of our party leaders now wanted me to make a statement that would ridicule me before civilized people and cause serious problems for our country.”
“Of course, I refused to do any such thing. If that was the sabotage President Jonathan is referring to, I don’t think I should apologise for that,” he added.
Election was postponed for security reasons
When the military and security chiefs demanded for more time to deal with the insurgency, the reasons were genuine. As at February 2015, it would have been very difficult to vote in Gombe, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. But moment all the arms and ammunition that had been ordered finally arrived, the military was able to use them to degrade the capacity of Boko Haram to the level in which they posed the threat to the election.
Obama’s Administration Undermined my Government
Applying the law introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy in 1997 on the primacy of human rights record in military operations, the Obama administration blocked the sale of arms to Nigeria, not only from America but also their allies.
That, quite naturally, made the war against Boko Haram very difficult. Explaining the rationale for the decision, the then American ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, said the human rights situation was key.
In November 2014, the Nigerian government halted a U.S training of its soldiers to fight Boko Haram. Two initial phases of training had already been completed between April and August of the year, which provided previously untrained civilian personnel with basic soldering skills, while a third session had been planned with the intent of developing the battalion into a unit with advanced infantry skills.
The decision, according to a top military officer, was taken because ‘it made no sense for them to be training our officers and men, and refuse to sell us the necessary arms to fight. Were we expected to fight with our bare arms? I believe President Jonathan was correct in putting a halt to the hypocritical nonsense’.
Obama Put Pressure on UK and France to Cause my Defeat
I got on very well with Prime Minister David Cameron but at some point, I noticed that the Americans were putting pressure on him and he had to join them against me. But I didn’t know how far President Obama was prepared to go to remove me until France caved into the pressure from America.
On one occasion, following an appeal, Hollande even organised a conference in Paris with all the French-speaking countries within the sub-region. But weeks to the election, he had also joined the Americans in supporting the opposition against me.
On the Issue with America
There was this blanket accusation that my body language was supporting corruption, a line invented by the opposition but which the media and civil society bought into and helped to project to the world. That was the same thing I kept hearing from the Americans without specific allegations.
I Felt Betrayed
I felt really betrayed by the results coming from some northern states. Perhaps for ethnic purposes, even security agents colluded with the opposition to come up with spurious results against me.
You saw the way the Inspector General of Police, a man appointed by me, suddenly turned himself into the ADC to Buhari immediately after the election.
How could we have lost Ondo, Benue and Plateau States if our people were committed to the cause? If you examine the results, you will see a pattern: in place where ordinarily we were strong, our supporters did not show enough commitment to mobilise the voters.
The book will be released on Friday, April 28, 2017.