Former president Goodluck Jonathan has accused ex-US President Barack Obama of meddling in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election, TheCable reports.
In excerpts of his book, ‘The Transition Hours’, Jonathan said Obama sent his secretary of state, John Kerry, and made a video broadcast to Nigerians in ways designed to influence the outcome of the election against him.
Jonathan, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost the election to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and conceded while the final results were yet to be announced — a step unprecedented in Nigeria’s history.
In the book, Jonathan tried to justify the rescheduling of the elections from February 14 to March 28 in rather controversial circumstances.
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.
“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 added that then 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”.
The former president said it was “unbelievable” because “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 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,” Jonathan wrote in the book.