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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
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 After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid