Jonathan alleged the twin issues were used against him in the run-up to the 2015 presidential election. He disclosed this at the official unveiling of book…
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, in his book, ‘My Transition Hours’, has given insights into the Boko Haram insurgency and the kidnap of over 250 Chibok school girls in April 2014.
Jonathan alleged the twin issues were used against him in the run-up to the 2015 presidential election.
He disclosed this at the official unveiling of book at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, yesterday.
“About my contribution in government, I just wanted to make a brief contribution of four things about the election. First, whenever I travelled out people ask me, ‘why did you concede defeat? How did you make that phone call? Why didn’t you go to court?’
“The book reviewer has revealed everything and if you read the book, you will understand. The book centres mainly on the election. I mentioned some negative things. It’s like the life of an individual. Some things may be positive. They can also be negative. There were certain issues in government that were used against me during election, like the issue of Boko Haram and the Chibok girls.
“In fact some people said I brought Boko Haram to reduce the voting population of the North so that I could win the election. So, I commented on the Chibok girls. It was one of the points that was really used by politicians. Of course, I don’t blame them. Maybe, if it were me, I would have done the same thing.”
Jonathan said he also “touched on the issue of corruption in the book so that young Nigerians will understand the issue; where it started, if anybody cares to knows. I have made some suggestions to encourage future governments to tackle corruption,” he added.
The former president said he made suggestions on future elections in the country and how vote-buying can be addressed.
“The issue of vote-buying is becoming scandalous in Nigeria. While inducing candidates is wrong and criminalise in other countries, in Nigeria, it is seen as normal and this is wrong. While in other countries, distributing T-shirt’s and fez caps will suffice, in Nigeria, if you have not given out gifts, it’s like you have not started.
“My suggestion is that we should begin to look at the way we build polling booths, we should copy other countries that use public buildings like schools for elections. So, one school will be one polling unit and it would be easier for the police to police that unit. And, it is difficult for someone who is in a classroom to show you his ballot paper because, you cannot pay somebody until you have access to see his ballot paper and if you have a polling booth that you cannot see the ballot paper, then, the issue of outright vote-buying would reduced.”
In a related development, National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshimohole, made a surprise appearance at Jonathan’s book presentation.
He arrived at the same time with former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio; to the delight of the gathering.