I Single-Handedly Made Sure Ex-President Jonathan Lost The 2015 Presidential Election, And I Have No Regrets – Obasanjo

By Post Nigeria April 27, 2017 10:03

I Single-Handedly Made Sure Ex-President Jonathan Lost The 2015 Presidential Election, And I Have No Regrets – Obasanjo

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has explained some of the reasons he insisted that the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan, must not be re-elected in the 2015 Presidential election.

This is contained in the new book: “Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria”, written by a former Presidential Spokesman, Segun Adeniyi.

Obasanjo disclosed that Jonathan prior to the Presidential election, was gripped by the fear that President Muhamamdu Buhari, as President, would jail him, or lead him to an early grave.

“Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office, but Buhari”, the former President, who also criticised the role played by the military in the last election said, noting that, he suspected that Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office, but Buhari, his successor.

“I believe the President’s concern or fear, is not about life after office per se, because he and I have had occasions to talk about this, both seriously and jovially. I believe the President’s fear is particularly motivated by the person he sees as his likely successor, that is General Buhari. I believe the people would have been telling him that Buhari is a hard man; he would fight corruption, and he (Jonathan) may end up in jail, if not in the grave”, Obasanjo stated.

He pointed out that Jonathan from the early stage of his administration, made some decisions that showed that the Presidency office was bigger than him.

Among the decisions according to Obasanjo, was Jonathan’s appointment of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as the Minister of Petroleum, which he said he vehemently warned him against, but Jonathan despite showing initial signs that he was not going to appoint her in that position, went ahead to do so to his own disappointment.

On how Jonathan deceived him with Diezani’s appointment, Obasanjo said: “There were certain decisions taken by Jonathan very early in his administration, that pointed to the fact that the office was bigger than him, and one of them was the appointment of a Petroleum Minister.

“He gave me the impression that he was not going to give her (Diezani) the portfolio, but at the end he did, and we can see the consequences. He of course knew what he was doing. I warned him not to make Diezani Petroleum Minister”, he said.

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Obasanjo revealed that he endorsed Jonathan as President, following the demise of Umaru Yar’Adua, majorly to solve the problems of minority agitation in Nigeria.

He said: “I saw the emergence of Jonathan, as an opportunity to solve the problem of minority agitation. The three majority ethnic groups in Nigeria can always sort themselves out, but not so for the minority. A good example is my State here in Ogun.

“Despite the best of intentions, nobody from Ogun West has been able to become Governor, because of this minority issue, and it will take a conscious effort to make it happen. So, it was in the context of that, I had to plead with prominent people in the North, to allow Jonathan run for a term.

While Obasanjo denied any direct support for General Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 Presidential election, he pointed that he was absolutely opposed to a Jonathan candidature, and that Buhari only benefited from his opposition to the immediate past President.

“I didn’t join them in supporting Buhari; I joined in opposing Jonathan, so Buhari was just a beneficiary of my opposition to Jonathan, since my position was AOBJ: meaning Any Option But Jonathan.”

On why he opposed Jonathan and refused to back down, Obasanjo said: “I confronted him several times, but he kept deceiving himself, and when I could no longer put up with it, I had to register my opposition to the idea on record, as I did in my letter to him.

“Jonathan and his handlers believed they could buy the election, and they were so arrogant about it, that the PDP would print only one nomination form for him and him alone. If he was wise, he would have yielded the ticket to somebody else in the PDP.”

He further said that though Jonathan enlisted Pastor Enoch Adeboye and Bishop David Oyedepo to beg him at his Hilltop residence, in Abeokuta, he stood his ground that Jonathan must abide by the one term agreement.

“It was only Pastor Adeboye that Jonathan told me was coming with him, but Bishop Oyedepo is a man I also know very well, so I had no problem with his presence at the meeting. I told him in the presence of his witnesses, that I was not going to support him for a second term, and I gave my reasons.

“Aside the issue of zoning on which he was reneging, his stewardship at that point, had also shown very clearly that he was not up to the job.”

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