Ex President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed 8 factors worked against his re-election in 2015.
Jonathan in his new book, ‘My Transition Hour,’ which he publicly presented in Abuja on Tuesday, recalled that “Obviously and with the benefit of hindsight, I have come to be aware of the intrigue that played a significant role in costing my party and me the election.
(1)“For instance, there were governors elected under the banner of my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, who did not wholeheartedly campaign for me and adamantly refused to allow campaign posters with my picture and theirs to be printed and circulated.
“In fact, a particular first term governor in the North openly said his ideal scenario was to have him re-elected and my opponent elected President.
“This same governor told his aides that I would be removed in a coup. Unfortunately for him, his wishes did not come to pass and he ended up not being elected.”
(2)Jonathan also said that there was a tremendous measure of religious pressure on members of the party in the north. people were persuaded or harassed into falling in line by deploying religion as an instrument of politics.
”“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.
“The message was so condescending, it was as if Nigerians did not know what to do and needed an Obama to direct them,” the book read in part.
He criticised Obama, who was American president from 2009 to 2017, for allegedly saying “all Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear.”
(4)Jonathan also did not spare Kerry, whom he said arrived in Nigeria, on Obama’s instructions, to protest the postponement of the 2015 election on January 25, 2015.
The former President said the top US diplomat was nonchalant in his attitude towards his government despite all efforts to make him understand that the decision to postpone the election was in the overall interest of Nigeria.
He stated, “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 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.”
(5) Crisis of fuel subsidy removal was a major development that highlighted his administration, Jonathan said opposition governors saw it as a very good opportunity to bring down his government.
(6)The House of Representatives whose Speaker, then Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was hobnobbing with the opposition (he eventually defected to the opposition) did not help matters.
“Thinking that I left the country for South Africa to attend the centenary celebration of the African National Congress, Speaker Tambuwal convened the House to sit on a Sunday just to condemn the deregulation.
“That was the first and only time in Nigeria’s political history that the parliament sat on a Sunday.
“At that sitting an opposition member of the House got up to allege that I had abandoned the nation at such a crucial time to join in festivities in South Africa.
“Unknown to the House, on that same day, while they were sitting, I was at the Eagle Square to launch Mass Transit vehicles my administration purchased to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
“I had to address the issue by telling the nation that it was untrue that I abandoned the situation at hand to go to South Africa. The country was tense and the public was wondering what would happen next.”
(7) David Cameron, then the UK 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 elections 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.
(8)President Obama and his security adviser, Susan Rice, bluntly refused to sell any military hardware including jet fighters and attack helicopters to Nigeria.
Obama cited the Leahy Law as the reason his regime prevented the American Government from supporting Nigeria in providing weapons to fight Boko Haram.
“Even when the state of Israel expressed the willingness to sell attack helicopters to Nigeria, the gesture was frustrated by the Obama administration that kept waving the same Leahy law like a banner.”