Kinsmen of former President Goodluck Jonathan, under the aegis of Ogbia Political Forum (OPF) in Bayelsa State, have risen to his defence, insisting that both internal and external conspiracies swayed the 2015 Presidential election in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Blistering criticisms had greeted Jonathan’s interview in a new book entitled ‘Against the Run of Play’ by This Day editorial board chairman, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, in which he (Joinathan), for the first time, spoke of circumstances leading to his defeat at the polls.
However, the OPF, in a statement by its President, Chief Azibaodusi Maclean Aduba, said it stood by the revelation from Jonathan on the many local and international forces that took an unusual interest in the last elections to the ex-President’s detriment.
Aduba, who 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, said Jonathan should open up more to expose the evil machinations during and after the election.
According to him, there was a deliberate ploy to down play the sacrifice Jonathan made for the survival of democracy in Nigeria which he needs to reveal for evil forces to keep quiet.
The statement read in part: “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 at least 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.”
Aduba, who urged Jonathan not to deny himself his right of free speech, said he needed to rise up and defend his legacies.
“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.
“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 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.”
Source: African Spotlight