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Ahead of 2019 general elections, Ex-President Jonathan expresses worries over the neutrality of government agencies

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in a recent interview with BBC expressed worry over the neutrality of government agencies that will participate in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

He however said that he had faith in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services (DSS) to do the right thing.

“We are a bit worried about the neutrality of the relevant agencies of government because with previous elections, I was not in the field. Of course after every election, people will complain naturally but those are the areas people are getting worried but I believe the elections will come and go and those bodies- INEC, the police, the army and the DSS will be able to do well,” he said.

Regarding the abduction of Chibok schoolgirls on April 14, 2014, he noted that he could not take responsibility for the incident.

According to Jonathan, he does not control the Boko Haram, saying that they are criminals and they are responsible for chibok schoolgirls abduction.

He however noted that he has his own share of the blame, saying that he admits that his security was not strong enough to rescue the girls.

“I cannot take responsibility for the abduction, I don’t control Boko Haram. They are criminals. But as a President, of course you know it is not the President that goes to the field. You have security and intelligence officers that do the work.

“Let me admit that yes, maybe they did their best but their best was not good enough for us to recover the girls. That I cannot say I am right or I am wrong. That does not mean I am trying to remove myself from any blame.

“I may not be blamed for the action but I could be blamed that my security intelligence system was not strong enough to rescue the girls. If I as a politician could tell the whole world that my political ambition for any office is not worth the blood of a single Nigerian, how would I be happy that girls have been kidnapped? I am not that kind of character,” he said.

Jonathan also lamented the way the Chibok schoolgirls abduction was politicized, saying that even the then First Lady of the United States took part in carrying a ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ placard.

“Immediately the Chibok issue came up, we expected Nigerians to be concerned about how to get these girls out. Within a couple of days, we saw people going to the US with ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ placards. How? Why? And of course, Mrs. Obama received one of those placards,” he said.

He further noted that the level of interference by the Obama government was very overwhelming. It is not as if I could not have won the election even with that. If by my own thinking and also the way other people looked at it, they go outside the normal diplomatic relationship, then it should be mentioned.

“Sending that person to Nigeria on the eve of elections even after Obama had issued a statement directing Nigerians to vote for the next chapter, that tells you something and we should not sweep these things under the carpet.

“If a foreign country whether African country or America interferes with our own elections, we should mention it,” he said.

Jonathan had in his book ‘My Transition Hour’ revealed how Ex-President Barack Obama influenced the 2015 Presidential election in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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