News / Africa

Nigerian President Jonathan Takes Aim at Predecessor’s Criticisms

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrives for service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrives for service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
x
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrives for service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan arrives for service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, First National Bank Stadium, Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
James Butty
A spokesman for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said former President Olusegun Obasanjo should stop trying to ‘play God’ when it comes to Nigerian politics.

Reuben Abati said the former president crossed the line when he criticized Jonathan’s performance in office in a lengthy letter made public December 2nd

Abati said it is something the international community and friends of Obasanjo should be concerned about.

Jonathan Sunday sent a strongly worded response to Obasanjo in which he accused the former president of trying to incite ethnic disharmony, as well as instigate members of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to rise up against him. 

Abati said Jonathan also made clear that Obasanjo’s letter was a threat to national security “as it may deliberately, or inadvertently, set the stage for subversion.”

“If you were in Nigeria, you will see that, within the last one month or so, with the emergence of the APC (All Progressives Congress), which is a coalition of opposition groups, that particular group has been trying to undermine the president. In the past, any time former President Obasanjo wrote a letter against a sitting president there were consequences in the form of military intervention, or maybe the failure of the government,” he said.

In his December letter, Obasanjo raised concerns about the security situation in Nigeria. In his reply, Jonathan said, although the current national security challenges were sown under previous administrations, his government was working assiduously to overcome them.

“Those who continue to downplay the successes in this regard, amongst whom you must now be numbered, appear to have conveniently forgotten the depths to which security in our country had plunged before now,” Jonathan said.

Abati said Jonathan also took exception to Obasanjo’s allegation that Jonathan was training snipers to assassinate political opponents.

“In that particular section of the response to former President Obasanjo, President Jonathan said that, one, it is an offense and an insincere allegation. And, he made it very clear that if President Obasanjo feels [that way] about this, he should provide evidence,” Abati said.

Jonathan responded to Obasanjo’s allegation of “high corruption” by saying that the seed of corruption in Nigeria was planted a long time ago.

“That corruption is an issue in Nigeria is indisputable. It has been with us for many years. You [Mr. Obasanjo] will recall that that your kinsman, the renowned afro-beat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, famously sang about it during your first stint as head of state. Sonny Okousn also sang about corruption,” Jonathan said in his reply.

Jonathan described as untrue Obasanjo’s allegations that he (Jonathan) asked half a dozen African presidents to speak to Obasanjo about Jonathan’s ambition to seek re-election in 2015.

“I have never requested any African president to discuss [this] with you on my behalf. In our discussion, I mentioned to you that four presidents told me that they were concerned about the political situation in Nigeria and intended to talk to you about it,” Jonathan said in his letter to Obasanjo.

Abati said Obasanjo crossed the line when he tried to allocate to himself the power to determine who should run Nigeria.

“If you go back to former President Obasanjo’s letter, he says in that letter that he is the one who put President Jonathan there as president. Now, for a man to go public and boast publicly, internationally, that he installed the president, and that he did it also in 1979, I think the international community must be concerned about that, that one individual would allocate to himself the powers of God, the power to install a president in a country of over 170 million people,” Abati said.
Butty interview with Abati
Butty interview with Abatii
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Official: S. Sudan President, Rebel Leader to Meet in Tanzania

Talks part of effort to end conflict in country that has left more than 10,000 people dead, displaced more than 1.5 million others More

Dutch Deny Link to Mystery Submarine Off Sweden

Netherlands denies Russian claim that 'foreign vessel' photographed in waters off Sweden could be Dutch More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid