The former president, Goodluck Jonathan, says he felt humiliated when the former United States president, Barack Obama interfered in Nigeria’s 2015 elections which he lost to the current president, Muhammadu Buhari.
Goodluck Jonathan recently launched a new book titled “My Transition Hours”. In the excerpts of the new book, TheCable reported that 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.
In the new book, Jonathan 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.”
Jonathan also 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. 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.”