Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, says he felt humiliated by the interference of former United States president, Barack Obama, in Nigeria’s 2015 elections which he lost to current president, Muhammadu Buhari.

In the excerpts of his new book, ‘The Transition Hours’, as reported by TheCable, Jonathan said Obama’s decision to send then-US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to press on the government after the elections were postponed by a few weeks was meddlesome.

Jonathan’s government had postponed the 2015 presidential election from February 14 to March 28 due to security concerns arising from the insurgency of terrorist group, Boko Haram, in the northeast region. The decision was unpopular and many speculated that it was an attempt by the former president to prolong his tenure.

In his new book, Jonathan said the speculations were false and that the Obama-led US government interfered to influence the sovereignty of Nigeria.

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 ‘it’s imperative that these elections happen on time as scheduled’.

“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.”

Obama rooted for the opposition – Jonathan

Jonathan further noted that Obama’s ‘unusual’ video message where he spoke directly to the Nigerian people was a subtle attempt to influence the votes in favour of the opposition at the time to oust him from office.


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Former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan (left) believes former US president, Barack Obama (right), was rooting against him in 2015 (Christian Science Monitor)

 

He wrote, “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.

“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!”

Jonathan said Obama’s actions as well as that of other foreign powers like the United Kingdom’s then-Prime Minister, David Cameron, were fueled by “deeper political interests”.

He noted that all of Nigeria’s relevant stakeholders were present when the decision to postpone the elections was taken and that the foreign interference was designed to humiliate him.

“In attendance at the meeting of the Council of State where the decision to reschedule the election was taken were almost all the living former Heads of State of this country.

“That should have convinced John Kerry of the good intentions of the government. He cannot claim to love and defend Nigeria more than all our former heads of state present at the meeting.

“I have stated earlier how Kerry’s visit was designed to humiliate a sitting Nigerian president and clearly take sides in the country’s election,” he wrote.

Jonathan ended up losing the election to Buhari by more than 2.5 million votes, the first time an incumbent lost a presidential election to an opposition candidate in Nigeria. Jonathan conceded defeat to Buhari in a phone call before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officially announced the former military Head of State the winner of the election.


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