Former Nigeria President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, believes that everyone conspired against him on his way to losing the 2015 presidential contest to Muhammadu Buhari.
In a new book written by Chairman of ThisDay editorial board, Segun Adeniyi, Jonathan blames the Americans, former U.S President Barack Obama, former PDP Chairman Adamu Mu’azu, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Attahiru Jega, the north of Nigeria and even Boko Haram, for his electoral misfortune.
Jonathan still doesn’t believe that he lost the vote fairly and squarely.
He doesn’t yet understand that in 2015, a nation on the cusp of an internecine war, was yearning for change.
Obama came in for plenty of flak from Jonathan.
“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 were 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”, Jonathan said.
“I got on very 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 into the pressure from America”.
In certain parts of the book, Jonathan also blamed the media for his loss and denied that he ran a corrupt administration.
“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.
“By virtue of being President of Nigeria, I have come to know so many things about so many people. Some of the most corrupt Nigerians are the ones who speak most loudly about corruption. Once you have access to the media in Nigeria, you have the liberty to accuse others of corruption regardless of what you are doing”, Jonathan said.
There were several attempts by Jonathan to obfuscate and muddle up the waters in Adeniyi’s book.
By all parameters, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was an awful President and even more awful, pitiable leader.
He didn’t run Nigeria in the ‘60s or ‘80s. He just left Aso Rock two years ago and his reign of cluelessness is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians who were not born in 2015.
The Jonathan administration depleted foreign reserves, allowed terrorist sect Boko Haram fester and bloom, stole monies meant to equip the army in its fight against terrorists, couldn’t rescue over 200 schoolgirls abducted by the terrorists while it was yet day, encouraged corruption and stole billions of dollars accruable from oil.
Diversification attempts were half-hearted during the Jonathan era, the administration didn’t bother saving for a rainy day at a time of high oil prices, infrastructure deteriorated and the power sector privatization was wrapped in so much cronyism, Nigerians are yet to recover.
We have to remember that under Jonathan, stealing wasn’t corruption, a Central Bank Governor was suspended for whistle-blowing, Diezani Alison Madueke amassed so much, she took ill soon after, Patience Jonathan insulted Governors and the rest of the country and Colonel Sambo Dasuki funneled the nation’s wealth to private hands all in a bid to win an election for the President.
Nigeria is still reeling from the many poor decisions of the Jonathan era and it’s a shame that the man isn’t even contrite.
However, it is an indictment on the APC led Buhari administration that Jonathan and Jonathanians are still chest-thumping when they should be hiding their heads in shame for running this country aground.
The incumbent and his political party haven’t made the most of a 2015 pre-election goodwill, allowing Jonathan array himself in new garbs and segue into a darling of the international audience just because he made a historic concession phone call.
“Pikin wey dey cry, still dey see road”, goes an African proverb.
Trying to pass the buck for his defeat in Adeniyi’s book, further exposes the mindset of the man. Here was a man who allowed self to be held hostage by powerful forces in the nation at the time, because he simply couldn’t grow a pair.
The Goodluck Jonathan era is better forgotten and may we never return there—the man’s many attempts at canonization and hagiography no less.