Niger Delta group defends Jonathan’s position on 2015 elections
Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s kinsmen under the aegis of Ogbia Political Forum in Bayelsa State rose to his defense Wednesday following criticisms that greeted his interview in a new book entitled ‘Against the Run of Play’ by This Day editorial board chairman, Mr. Segun Adeniyi.
In the book Jonathan was said to have spoken about those who worked against him during the 2015 general elections.
However, in a statement on Wednesday by the President of Ogbia Political Forum, Chief Azibaodusi Maclean Aduba, the group said they stood by what Jonathan said stressing that many local and international forces took an unusual interest in the last elections to the ex-President’s detriment.
Chief Aduba also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of confirming Jonathan’s explanation when he thanked the international community for their roles in the elections while receiving a European envoy in 2015.
The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to excerpts from Segun Adeniyi’s new book entitled ‘Against the Run of Play’ as published by some media agencies, especially with the widespread reactions and comments from a section of the public.
“While we do not have the full details of the interview with former President Goodluck Jonathan which formed part of the book, we are atleast delighted that the ex-President is finally coming out with the details of what transpired in the build up, during and immediately after the 2015 general elections.
“We are aware that some people are already dismissive of the interview, pretending to be roiled by what they describe as an attempt by Jonathan to clean up his image. Such people would prefer that Jonathan remains silent while the forces of evil continue to heap odium on his image and public records, despite all he did to preserve our democratic institutions and ensure that peace reigns in our dear fatherland.
“We however do not find anything new in what has come out so far from the book, as all that Jonathan was quoted to have said pertaining to national and international conspiracy against him during the 2015 elections, were well known to all and sundry then, and has continued to remain in the public domain.
“This same group of people are now savagely criticising the former President for the mere mention of the fact that Americans and few other world powers took unusual interest in the 2015 elections, in the bid to frustrate his re-election bid. If anything, the former President had merely reaffirmed the obvious, as it is no secret that his signing of the anti-gay bill into law brought down the full weight of the Barack Obama administration on the Jonathan Government, with the intention of forcing a regime change.
“It is instructive that President Muhammadu Buhari himself confirmed this when he openly thanked the United States, Britain and the European Union for the roles they played in the outcome of the 2015 elections, while hosting the Italian envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Fulvio Rustico, in 2015. The question is, if it was cool for Buhari to express gratitude to those that helped him during the last general elections, why then will it be a sin for Jonathan to say the same thing from his own standpoint.
There is no doubt that there are so many people given to duplicity in this country, and it appears such hypocrites are always lying in wait to pounce on the former President whenever he speaks about his time in office.
Our own position is that the former President had kept quiet for too long. He should no longer continue to sacrifice his God-given right to free speech, just because some people in certain quarters are still baying for his blood for reasons best known to them.
It was our great nationalist of blessed memory Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who said that “In all times, every allusion to falsehood must be promptly effectively discountenanced. Any failure to do so will create danger to society given the extremely vulnerable nature if its members”
It is our conviction that ex-President Jonathan needs to speak more forcefully and frequently in defence of his legacies, otherwise the loud voice of his enemies will constitute the false narrative that may go down in history in his name.