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From Jonathan’s first day as President, I knew he was too small for Presidency – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in a 204 page book titled “Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria” said that Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan from his first day as Nigeria’s President showed that he was too small to rule Nigeria.

Obasanjo said that Ex-President Jonathan deceived him that he would not make Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke the Petroleum Minister in his cabinet.

“There were certain decisions taken by Jonathan very early in his administration that pointed to the fact that the office was bigger than him and one of them was the appointment of a petroleum minister,” he said.

“Jonathan gave me the impression that he was not going to give her the portfolio but at the end he did and we can see the consequence. He, of course, knew what he was doing,” Obasanjo added.

Obasanjo also said that Jonathan was afraid that if Buhari emerges as president he would jail him or lead him to an early grave.

The book also revealed that the former Senate President David Mark, warned Jonathan of the alleged conspiracy against him in the north but he did not listen.

Obasanjo added that the reason why he endorsed Jonathan for 2011 presidential election was just to solve the problems of minority agitation in Nigeria.

“I saw the emergence of Jonathan as an opportunity to solve the problem of minority agitation. The three majority ethnic groups in Nigeria can always sort themselves out but not so for the minority. A good example is my state here in Ogun.

“Despite the best of intentions, nobody from Ogun West has been able to become governor because of this minority issue and it will take a conscious effort to make it happen. So, it was in the context of that I had to plead with prominent people in the North to allow Jonathan run for a term.”

Obasanjo also explained why he opposed Jonathan during the 2015 election. He noted that he opposed Jonathan more than he supported Buhari.

“I didn’t join them in supporting Buhari; I joined in opposing Jonathan so Buhari was just a beneficiary of my opposition to Jonathan since my position was AOBJ: meaning Any Option But Jonathan.”

He added that Jonathan and his people believed that they could buy the 2015 election and that they were so arrogant about it that the PDP would print only one nomination for him alone.

“If he was wise, he would have yielded the ticket to somebody else in the PDP.”

Obasanjo also said that he suspected that Jonathan was not really afraid of life after office but Buhari as his successor.

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“I believe the President’s concern or fear is not about life after office per se, because he and I have had occasions to talk about this both seriously and jovially. I believe the President’s fear is particularly motivated by the person he sees as his likely successor, that is General Buhari. I believe the people would have been telling him that Buhari is a hard man; he would fight corruption and he (Jonathan) may end up in jail if not in the grave,” he said in the book.

The book also partially credited Jonathan’s 2015 defeat on some utterances made by his wife, Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

According to the book, Babangida Aliyu, the former governor of Niger State accused her of insulting the north when she said in pigin that “Our People no dey born children wey dem no dey count. Our men no dey born throw way for street; we no dey like people from the other side”.

A state that obviously resembles the Almajiri in the north.

Also, former Senate President David Mark said that he warned Jonathan about the unrealistic voting projections made by the PDP abou the North and even of the conspiracy against him but he was not taken seriously.

“I saw it and at difference times, I pointed out to him and the party that the projections being made by some people around the president about what the voting pattern in the north would were wrong.

“I could see the conspiracy and the gang-up building up in the north against the aspiration of Jonathan but my  voice was drowned out by those who took it for granted that a sitting president, and one from PDP, could not lose,” Mark said.

Mark also mentioned that former Vice President Namadi Sambo was aware that Jonathan was not strong in the North but apparently had little to say in the re-election of Jonathan.

“Some people were deceiving the president with the kind of false scenarios they were painting for him. The VP could see the conspiracy but I don’t know how much influence he had on the campaign. Why Jonathan couldn’t see it until it was too late is what I find difficult to understand,” Mark stated.

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