by Azeez Adeniyi
Former President Goodluck Jonathan had said he lost the 2015 Presidential elections due to conspiracy by the United States of America, Britain and France.
Jonathan reminisced on his defeat in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, which is authored by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi.
Jonathan claimed former US President Barack Obama, ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande aided Buhari to win the election.
He said, “President Barack Obama and his officials made it very clear to me by their actions that they wanted a change of government in Nigeria and we’re ready to do anything to achieve that purpose. They even brought some naval ships into the Gulf of Guinea in the days preceding the election.
“I got on 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 realise how far President Obama was prepared to go to remove me until France caved in to the pressure from America.
“But weeks to the election, he had also joined the Americans in supporting the opposition against me.
On why Obama was not confident in him, Jonathan said, “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.”
He added that he didn’t sack former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke for alleged corruption in the sector because the evidences against her were weak.
He said: “We commissioned a report which I believe this administration is using. It deals with the undervaluation of the crude oil and gas being declared between what was lifted and what was discharged by the vessels. It was a comprehensive report that dealt with issues of oil theft in Nigeria and how much we lose as a result of it.
“Look at what we did when the allegations became strident. We established four committees to investigate different aspects of the oil and gas sector, including the one headed by Nuhu Ribadu. If I had anything to hide, would I do that?”
“On the day the report was being submitted, there was open disagreement between Ribadu and Steve Oronsaye. How could we use a report that was discredited by its own member?”
“I am from Niger Delta, I have no single oil block and my government never gave out any. Nor did we allocate the marginal fields. In the agricultural sector, I blocked the fertiliser trade. These areas one could make easy money and I blocked those loopholes.”
Jonathan also said he was not weak in the fight against corruption, stating that he fired ex-minister, Stella Oduah when the evidences against her were overwhelming.
He said: “I have been told that I should have made scapegoats of some officials so I would be seen to be fighting corruption, I usually subject them to investigations.
“You know Stella Oduah played a prominent role in my campaign in 2011. But when the investigation I ordered was carried out and the indictment was confirmed, I had to relieve her of her position,” he added
“Up till today, Stella hates me for her removal. No doubt, it was a very hard decision for me to take because I see her as a friend as I take all the people who work with me, but that was what leadership demanded.”
He also admitted that the present administration was doing better job on the fight against insurgency.
He said: “What is happening now with regards to Boko Haram was the same thing that happened to me regarding Niger Delta militants in 2007.
“I did my best and so did the military, though I can understand if there is greater commitment to the fight now than in the past. In my time, Boko Haram said they were fighting an infidel government. That naturally has to change since they cannot also call Buhari an infidel.
“There is a feeling of ‘our man is there now’ that you cannot discountenance. It was the same feeling with me with the Niger Delta militants at the initial stage in 2007.”