Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has said that his loss in 2015 was due to several factors including Nigerian politicians – especially northern leaders – who were “blinded by ambition” and the then U.S. President, Barack Obama, who sent his secretary of state, John Kerry to influence the election.
In the excerpts of the book, ‘The Transition Hours‘, launched on Tuesday, November 20, in Abuja, Jonathan said Obama’s action was humiliating.
He wrote: “I can recall that President Obama sent his Secretary of State to Nigeria, a sovereign nation, to protest the rescheduling of the election. John Kerry arrived in Nigeria on Sunday, January 25, 2015, and said inter alia ‘it’s imperative that these elections happen on time as scheduled’. (pg 64)
“How can the US 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 the 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.” (pg 65)
“In his message, he said ‘all Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear,’ yet his government was vehemently and publicly against the postponement of the elections to enable our military defeat Boko Haram and prevent them from intimidating voters. This was the height of hypocrisy!” (pg 65).
He revealed that former UK prime minister David Cameron called to express his concern about the election rescheduling, “just as John Kerry came from the United States to express further worry… In fact, John Kerry did not accept our reasons for the rescheduling”.
Jonathan, who flew the flag of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lost the 2015 election to current President Muhammadu Buhari, who ran under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“This time around, there were governors who were rounding off their eight years tenure and were blinded by ambition,” he continued.
“Some governors wanted to be Vice President whilst others strived to be the President. If I contested none could realise his ambition. This muffled implosion would fully manifest in the buildup to the 2015, which each ship-jumper calculating how much he or she would take from the PDP or the most opportune moment to cause maximum damage and based on that, plot their exit.
“As they jumped ship in preparation for the 2015 elections, only very few of this lots, if any at all, bothered about what the PDP did or did not do in terms of delivering our campaign promises. Their opposition to my re-election was principally driven by personal ambition. They, therefore, played up the issue of where I come from and the faith, I professed to fuel their burning ambition. My performance mattered quite a little if it mattered at all,” he wrote.
He said despite all the threats and opposition, Nigerians thought he was the best person to lead the country and came out en masse to vote for him in 2011.
“In spite of the threats and provocations to make the country ‘ungovernable’ for me, I had the overwhelming support of Nigerians in the run-up to the presidential election in 2011. I was able to win the election to the grace of God and the love of Nigerians. The election was all but won even before the whistle was blown for some strong factors. To mention a few, the pressure to preclude me from contesting in 2011, met with solid indignation from a majority of Nigerians.”
We wrote that unending insults during his tenure stained him far too much, especially when his administration was called “clueless”, even when it is on record that his administration pioneered many things.