By Iheanacho Nwosu,Abuja
More revelations on the role played by the former President of United States of America (USA), Barack Obama, in the 2015 presidential election has emerged.
A new book on the election, which stringed together details of high wired moves and strategic meetings that took place behind the scene at the instance of the Obama administration, also revealed how the incumbent Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo, engaged the former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako Nyako, in a meeting in the US over disagreement on former President, Goodluck Jonathan.
The book “Facts Verses Fiction “ written by former aide of President Jonathan, Reno Omokri is yet to be formerly presented to the public. Omokri currently resides in US. Chairman of This Day Editorial Board, Segun, had recently released a book where he quoted Jonathan as blaming Obama for his defeat in the last election.
Adducing some reasons for Obama’s opposition to Jonathan’s reelection, the book claimed that an investigation showed that the stand of Jonathan’s government on same-sex marriage and strong opposition from the elite of the North played key role in swaying Obama’s stand against the former president.
The author detailed the meetings that convinced Obama to move against Jonathan, declaring that 12 Northern governors had sessions with top administration of Obama .
He wrote: “ I tracked down Mr. Matthew T. Page who, until his resignation in 2016, was the U.S. State Department’s top intelligence analyst on Nigeria.
Matthew Page also served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Africa with the National Intelligence Council. He sat in each of the meetings the 12 Northern Nigerian governors attended, beginning from their meetings at the United States Institute for Peace and, thereafter, their meetings at the State Department.”
He continued: “In 2016, Mr. Page left the State Department and moved to Cambridge in the United Kingdom from where he spoke to me. He was adamant that Mr.
Babangida Aliyu’s version of the events at those meetings were not accurate and was keen to set the records straight.
“According to Mr. Page, the meetings were attended by 12 Northern governors of whom the most vocal was the then governor of Adamawa state, Admiral Murtala Nyako. Others at the meetings who voiced anti Jonathan sentiments were then Kano governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto and Kashim Shettima of Borno. The then governors of Kwara and Kogi were in attendance, but were non-committal.”
Omokri explained: “Mr. Page noted that the meetings at the United States Institute for Peace were innocuous, but when the governors proceeded to the closed-door sessions at the US State Department, things changed.
“According to Mr. Page, present at the State Department meetings were Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, who was then the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs. Also present at the meeting was the then number three man at the State Department, Ambassador Thomas Alfred “Tom” Shannon Jr., acting Deputy Secretary of State of the United States and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
“At that meeting, Admiral Murtala Nyako read out a memo he had written itemising the case against Jonathan. He was so openly and almost violently against the Jonathan administration in his speech that he had to be openly rebuked at the meeting by the then Nigerian ambassador to the US, Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye of blessed memory.”
“Admiral Nyako’s belligerence against the Jonathan administration was so venomous that it prompted a rebuttal from the Gombe state governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who showed loyalty to the then Nigerian President. According to Mr. Page, this prompted most of the other Northern governors present to turn on him.”
The book further stressed “In my interview with him, Mr. Page revealed to me that after the anti Jonathan tirades by these governors, they were shepherded to the White House on March 18, 2014 for more meetings. Even though Mr. Page attended the reception at the White House for the Northern governors, he did not make me privy to who were at that particular meeting other than stating that the governors met with then National Security Adviser, Susan Rice. Ms. Rice is however a known Nigerian specialist and was the person who on July 7, 1998, made the tea that the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 Nigerian Presidential election, chief MKO Abiola, drank minutes before passing away after reportedly foaming at the mouth.
“After the meeting, the Obama White House released a statement which said, amongst other things; “Rice and the governors discussed the need to bring an end to the violence and insurgency in northern Nigeria; create broad-based economic opportunity in the north and throughout Nigeria; protect and respect human rights; strengthen democratic governance; and ensure that the 2015 election in Nigeria are free and fair.”
“What the White House statement did not say, but which I verified from other sources, was that at that meeting, Admiral Nyako accused then President Jonathan of being behind Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that is behind the insurgency in Nigeria’s Northeast (the same accusation was publicly made by Nasir El-rufai in 2014. El-rufai was one of a handle of All Progressive Congress party officials that related directly with David Axelrod’s firm as AKPD Message and Media
prepared the APC for the 2015 elections).”
On the election , the author said “When I asked Mr. Page if he thought that the Obama administration was opposed to the re-election of the then Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, he paused and said “my objective opinion is that it was not as if the administration was against Jonathan. There were a few issues. The Obama administration was a bit disappointed (I know that sounds paternalistic) but there were some issues they felt let down on, and you have to remember that the Obama administration supported the transfer of power to Jonathan in 2010. “The issues where the human rights situation in the Northeast which has still not changed under Buhari and Diezani Alison-Madueke who they felt should have been removed. There were some issues with some clauses in the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013”.
“Mr. Page continuing said “there were some at the embassy in Nigeria who were actually anti Buhari because of his failure to call his followers to order and stop the post-election violence of 2011”.
“Although he listed three reasons why the Obama administration felt let down on by Dr.Jonathan, my conversation with Mr. Page gave me a sense that the first two reasons were just excuses and that the main reason was because of the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013.
“That issue was a deal breaker for the Obama administration because of the strong support they had from the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender) community for Mr Obama’s re-election campaign of 2012.”