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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid