Former President Goodluck Jonathan has hit out at claims made by former US Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, that the 2011 presidential election which brought him(Jonathan) to power was rigged in his favour.
Responding in a statement to an article in which Campbell, a senior fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations, forecast a joint 2023 ticket between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido, but stated that Jonathan had won through rigging in 2011, the former President described Campbell as one who lacks the competence to comment on Nigeria’s political issues.
Campbell said in his article that Jonathan’s supporters played down the power alternation between the North and the South when he ran in 2011, saying, “The aftermath of those elections, however, when it was clear that Jonathan had won not least by rigging, were marked by horrific bloodshed in the north; riots that started against Jonathan’s victory morphed into rival Christian-Muslim pogroms with a strong ethnic dimension.”
Jonathan, however, said Campbell’s article on political developments Nigeria, repeated his ‘disproven’ assertions that the 2011 presidential elections was rigged and that the riots he cited in some cities in the north following the 2011 presidential election had nothing to do with his claims on rigging. He said though Campbell styles himself as a ‘Nigeria expert’ at the Council for Foreign Relations, he is regarded as a ‘figure of ridicule’ in Nigeria for his postulations, which Jonathan insists have repeatedly and consistently been proven to be way off the mark.
“How Campbell continue to make pretensions to be an expert on Nigeria, beats our imagination. Besides serving as a diplomat in his country’s embassy in our dear country, what other competences does Campbell possess to qualify as a Nigeria expert? Sadly, he has continued to deploy his half-baked knowledge of the nation’s political environment and his closeness to the United States power brokers not only to canvass his ill-conceived political agenda, but to also exploit some Nigerian politicians.”