BY SIMON ATEBA/WASHINGTON DC
Nigerian activists have described as “outrageous” and “disappointing” an attempt by former President Goodluck Jonathan who was clearly defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 to blame his electoral failure on many world leaders rather than his own ineptitude.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, described some comments credited to Mr. Jonathan in a book to be launched on Friday as “outrageous, disappointing and of no consequence in moving the country forward”.
“The latest comments from former President, Goodluck Jonathan and most of his public statements after woefully losing in the 2015 general elections have consistently remained ‘un-statemanly’ and serve no positive end in the bid to rebuild our country Nigeria,” said Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL who spoke on behalf of the Centre.
“His utterances leave many Nigerians wondering what could be responsible for the dodgy, unwarranted and unintelligent statements periodically coming from the former President, particularly when the beams of the country’s anti-corruption drive with its attendant heat seem to focus on the plethora of corruption atrocities perpetrated under his watch,” Mr. Adeniran said.
“This attitude only reinforces the notion that Jonathan has a lot to answer for and he is apparently only preparing his defense before the ‘knock’ comes on his door to clarify his roles in the humongous cases of corruption that transpired during his tenure as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Continuing, Adeniran, said “it is totally preposterous for the former President to blame the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Professor Attaihiru Jega for his well deserved loss at the 2015 Presidential elections. It is befuddling to hear these meaningless spins two years after the elections because any discerning mind would necessarily question the motive and purpose. And this is a supposed ‘hero of democracy’, a titled ascribed to him by his supporters because he congratulated his opponent before the final results of the presidential elections were announced.”
Former President was reported to have blamed the former United States, President Barack Obama, ex-British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande for his defeat, adding that he was disappointed by the conduct of the immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, in the weeks preceding the elections. In a book to be launched on Friday, “Against The Run of Play”, authored by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, Jonathan reportedly said he only conceded defeat to avoid bloodshed in view of a similar experience after the 2011 poll.
“We remember that sometime in the past that the ex-President had said that if he spoke the ‘heavens’ was going to fall, then we told him to ‘speak up or forever hold his peace’. Now that he has suddenly found his voice after maintaining ‘sealed lips’ for more two years, even in the face of the myriad of palpable accusations directed at the acute mis-governance that characterised his administration, we refused to be impressed, but we are rather disappointed that Dr. Jonathan still nurses the illusion that our country will not move on from the ‘stealing is not corruption’ mode of governance! Let him be told that, that was the essence of the decision credibly and democratically made by Nigerians in the 2015 general elections.”
Mr. Debo Adeniran said that the former president’s position is baseless, petty and pedestrian. “A crucial time like this when the country is in recession and Nigerians are going through a very harrowing experience, calls for sober reflection where leaders who are worth their salts ought to project what will positively steer the ship called Nigeria forward particularly the ongoing anti-corruption drive.”
“The former president’s comments will not help the current situation of the country but rather serve as a distraction from the unpleasant aftermaths of his administration. Goodluck Jonathan cannot be objective enough in evaluating himself and his administration. He would only be focused in branding his administration as competent and from all indications he would blame everybody but himself for the malfeasances, maladies and grand corruption that occasioned his tenure. It is only Nigerians and the laws of the country that can be objective enough to assess the performance, competence and lawfulness of the last regime.”
“Generally, we see this episode as another desperate attempt by an individual who is conscious of the reality that he has a lot of questions to answer for when it comes to the corrupt practices that reigned supreme under his watch. He has already put himself on ‘trial’! Nigerians are not fools.” Adeniran concluded
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