– Jonathan says he was betrayed by those he relied on to defeat Buhari
– The former president accuses the former chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, of acting American’s script in the weeks preceding the elections Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has said foreign powers helped President Muhammadu Buhari emerge victorious in the 2015 general election.
Jonathan blamed his loss in the election on former United States president, Barack Obama, ex-British prime minister, David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande who he said aided President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory.
Jonathan reminisced on his defeat in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, which is authored by the chairman of This Day editorial board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, The Nation reports. The former president said he was betrayed by those he relied on to defeat Buhari. Jonathan has accused the former chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, of acting American’s script in the weeks preceding the elections. 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 against him, he 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 accused the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, of acting American’s script in the weeks preceding the elections. “I was disappointed by 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 per cent of Nigerians had not collected their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), Jega said INEC was ready to go ahead with the election. How could INEC have been ready to conduct an election in which millions of people will be disenfranchised?
“Of course, the Americans were encouraging him to go ahead yet they would never do such 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 an election that was bound to end in confusion,” he said. ROYAL NEWS learnt that Jonathan also insisted that it was right for his administration to have postponed the election based on 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 the 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.” Although the former president faulted the results of the 2015 presidential election, he said he conceded defeat to avoid bloodshed. “Go and check the results from Kano. The Presidential election and that of National Assembly happened on the same day and same time. The National Assembly result reflected that about 800,000 people voted but that of the presidential reflected a vote of about 1.8 million. I had reports of what happened but I decided that for such to be accepted, it meant that those who called themselves my supporters must have colluded. I was betrayed by the very people I relied on to win the election.
“In 2011 when Buhari did not campaign anywhere and could not have won the election, there was a spontaneous violent reaction that led to the death of several innocent people, including Youth Corps members.”
“I asked myself: what would happen in a situation in which there was already internal and international conspiracy in his favour? I could not bear the thought of anybody dying, so I told myself I had only one option and that was to concede,” Jonathan said.
Meanwhile, the former president has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s style of fighting corruption, saying it forces people to go into exile for political reasons. Jonathan said that his family is being hounded by the Buhari administration. He said if every president decides to go in to dismantle what his predecessor did, society will never make progress. Jonathan suggested that Buhari could still fight corruption using a different style.
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