Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria has said that members of his cabinet were in fear of being jailed when Muhammadu Buhari was declared the winner of the 2015 presidential election.
He disclosed this on Monday when he appeared on Arise TV, noting that some members of his cabinet had the fear that he would run away, however, he stayed in the country.
Jonathan said, “In my own time especially in the 2015 elections, my ministers, my senior officers, people who worked with me; there was this fear that having lost the election, what would be our fate? Would the new government just throw all of us into jail without giving a fair hearing? Because government is next to the court and can decide to do anything.”
The former president said the “tense atmosphere” his team faced during the transition period in 2015 was not faced by the outgone government of Buhari.
Commenting on why he conceded defeat to Buhari, Jonathan said, “By this time, I already conceded defeat. And I knew why I conceded defeat, because I was more interested in the country than myself.”
The former president stressed that there is need for politicians to prioritize the growth and betterment of the country, than themselves, noting without the country, there would be no president.
He said that despite the transition of the electoral process from manual to electronic, there were still problems.
He predicted that if the Independent National Electoral Commission does not sit up, the commission would throw Nigeria into conflagration someday.
When asked how Nigeria could come out of electoral controversy through reforms, he said, “The problem we have is INEC and security. And I used to give an example; if two soccer teams are playing and the referee decides to look the other way, they will injure themselves.
“And you must not allow it. The electoral management body shares more than 60 per cent of the blame. If they do their work well, the politicians will have no choice but to follow the rules – they, the security, and the courts.”
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