Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has claimed that ex-US president, Barack Obama meddled in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election.
TheCable reports that in excerpts of his new book, ‘The Transition Hours’, Jonathan said Obama sent his secretary of state, John Kerry and made a video broadcast to Nigerians in ways designed to influence the outcome of the election against him.
Jonathan, who contested under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost the election to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and conceded while the final results were yet to be announced.
“I can recall that President Obama sent his Secretary of State to Nigeria, a sovereign nation, to protest the rescheduling of the election. John Kerry arrived in Nigeria on Sunday January 25, 2015 and said ‘it’s imperative that these elections happen on time as scheduled’.
“How can the US Secretary of State know what is more important for Nigeria than Nigeria’s own government? How could they have expected us to conduct elections when Boko Haram controlled part of the North East and were killing and maiming Nigerians? Not even the assurance of the sanctity of the May 29, 2015 handover date could calm them down. In Nigeria, the constitution is very clear. No President can extend his tenure by one day.
“On March 23, 2015, President Obama himself took the unusual step of releasing a video message directly to Nigerians all but telling them how to vote. In that video, Obama urged Nigerians to open the ‘next chapter’ by their votes. Those who understood subliminal language deciphered that he was prodding the electorate to vote for the opposition to form a new government. The message was so condescending, it was as if Nigerians did not know what to do and needed an Obama to direct them.
“In his message, he said ‘all Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear,’ yet his government was vehemently and publicly against the postponement of the elections to enable our military defeat Boko Haram and prevent them from intimidating voters. This was the height of hypocrisy!” Jonathan wrote.
Jonathan said the foreign pressure on the issue of election rescheduling was intense, suggesting that “the curious posture” was of one who had been “deceived before and therefore had every reason to cede no credence to our position. But there was no reason to have such a posture”.
He revealed that David Cameron, then the UK prime minister, called to express his concern about the election rescheduling, “just as John Kerry came from the United States to express further worry… In fact, John Kerry did not accept our reasons for the rescheduling”.
The former president said it was “unbelievable” because “we knew why the agitation was beyond what meets the eyes. There were deeper political interests”.
“In attendance at the meeting of the Council of State where the decision to reschedule the election was taken were almost all the living former Heads of State of this country. That should have convinced John Kerry of the good intentions of the government. He cannot claim to love and defend Nigeria more than all our former heads of state present at the meeting. I have stated earlier how Kerry’s visit was designed to humiliate a sitting Nigerian president and clearly take sides in the country’s election,” Jonathan wrote.
Senate President Wants Buhari To Declare State Of Emergency In Power Sector
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has called on the Executive to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in the power sector to overcome the legion of problems stalling steady power supply in Nigeria.
Lawan stated this on Monday while declaring open a one-day round-table discussion with the theme: “Addressing Nigeria’s Power Problems” organized by the Senate Committee on Power.
The Senate President declared that the privatization of the power sector in 2005 and 2013 was a grand scheme conceived with the intention to defraud Nigeria.
According to him, “For me if there’s any sector of our economy that is so important and yet so challenged, it is the power sector. I believe that this is a sector that needs a declaration of emergency.
“This is an opportunity for us in this round-table to exhaustively discuss not only the problems of the power sector in Nigeria but the solutions and way forward.
“The truth is that we all know what is wrong. What we really need to do is to have the political will to take on the challenges generally.
“From the electricity power reform of 2005 to the privatization of Gencos and Discos and to what is happening today, we know that everything is a fraud. If we play the ostrich, in the next ten years we will be talking about the same things.
“I think the time has come for us to have courage. I want to remind us, that we have signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. What will give us an edge is to have a competitive environment.
“Our industries and businesses must be able to produce things that can compete favourably with products produced in other countries in Africa. We are not in that position today, and we all know the consequences of that.
“Even our citizens, who have capital, will rather relocate to Ghana, produce whatever they want and bring to Nigeria to sell. Where does that leave our country? No employment opportunities; Nigeria becomes a dumping ground”, he lamented.
The Senate President, therefore, called for a review of the privatization exercise undertaken by the Goodluck Jonathan administration which led to a takeover of the power sector by private Generating Companies (Gencos) and Distribution Companies (Discos).
Lawan added that the National Assembly would make a significant contribution to the reform of the power sector through enabling legislation required to turn around the fortunes of power generation and distribution in Nigeria.
“If we went wrong with our privatization of Gencos and Discos, the time has come to look into it.
“Whatever we have to do to review these things, we should do. We must do it in the interest of the people of this country. We must admit there was something done wrong.
“This round-table actually is an idea of the Senate, that we should come together to talk among ourselves. Ours is to provide legislative interventions, but we are also part of the government.
“Therefore, whatever that is required to support the executive arm of government to turn-around this sector, in fact we are more than prepared to do so through legislation.
“If we are going to amend the power sector reform, we are prepared to do that, and expeditiously. Tell us where the issues are, because we can’t afford to delay any action to make the power sector of this country perform.
“In the sixties, we were comparing ourselves with Indonesia, Malaysia and the rest, now we started comparing with Ghana, Togo. With all due respect, that tells us we are not making progress where other countries are.
“This round-table is an opportunity to come up with measurable roadmaps because we are not going to leave the implementation to the executive alone. We want to participate in every inch of the way.
“Every bit of what is to be done; we want to be part of it, so that we can contribute meaningfully to take the power sector to the next level.
“It is really disheartening that we are still talking about 4,000 megawatts. I don’t understand this. Other countries within Africa are talking of so much, even Ghana is three times better than what we are doing.”
He also called on the federal government to deploy the political will towards revamping Nigeria’s failing power sector. “We are yet the largest economy in Africa, for how long can we sustain that position?
“I believe that we have to declare a state of emergency on Power, and courageous decisions must be taken by the government”, the Senate President said.
Yuletide: 1,700 FRSC Personnel Deployed To Oversee Traffic Activities On Highways
At least 1,700 personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have been deployed to oversee traffic activities on highways across Ogun and Lagos States.
The personnel would be overseeing the Lagos – Ibadan; Sagamu – Ijebu Ode; Sagamu – Mosinmi – Ikorodu; Abeokuta – Sagamu; Abeokuta – Ibadan; Abeokuta – Ifo, Sango – Ota and Idiroko corridors.
The Route Commander, Florence Okpe Public Education Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Ogun State Sector Command made this known in a statement.
This deployment, according to the statement, is part of the Ember Months Special Patrol Operations which will commence from Thursday, December 19, 2019, till Monday, January 20, 2020.
The Special Patrol Operations would focus on, excessive speed; dangerous driving; wrongful overtaking; lane indiscipline; use of phones while driving; seat belt violation; overloading violation; tyre violation (expired/ substandard) as well as speed limiting device violation; unlacthed vehicles violation; child restraint violation; passengers manifest violation by commercial vehicles and use of drugs & intoxicating alcoholic beverages while driving.
The FRSC Ogun State Command has also embarked on aggressive motor parks public enlightenment campaigns across the state.
It has also concluded arrangements with the NDLEA to conduct joint drug tests on drivers suspected to have consumed illicit drugs as well as those that have consumed intoxicant alcoholic beverages beyond the legally tolerable level.
In addition, eye examinations would be conducted in partnership with the National Optometric Association (NOA), to ensure only drivers with good eye sights are allowed to drive passengers during the Yuletide.
Using Phones At Checkpoint Is Wrong, Says Military Chief
The Army has said that the use of phones when approaching a military checkpoint is wrong because it is a security loophole. Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Major-General Usman Mohammed disclosed this on Monday.
Major-General Mohammed reacted when he was asked why the military frowns on motorists using their phones while approaching a checkpoint.
“It is a security measure when you are approaching a checkpoint,” he said, “you don’t make phone calls. Because the tendency is that if you are making a phone call, you might be communicating with some bad guys. Or you may use that particular device to set up some certain devices.
“It is a general convention; it is not peculiar to Nigeria, it is everywhere; people who have travelled abroad know that you don’t make phone calls when approaching a checkpoint.”
He stressed that relations between the military and civilians were improving.
Speaking further, he also noted that while human rights violations have not been eliminated, the military is working assiduously to limit such crimes.
“We soldiers are part of the society,” he said. “We didn’t fall from the sky. We are a product of the society in which we are operating. Where you have one or two individuals behaving differently from what the military stands for, you don’t say everybody is abusing human rights.
“Where those occur, we identify those individuals, investigate and sanctions are applied.
“But generally, we are doing a lot in terms of educating our personnel, and also we are instituting measures to ensure that human rights violations are reduced to the barest minimum.”
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