In what appears like a criticism of his successor’s selective anti-corruption war, and intolerance for freedom of speech, former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has tactically revealed why he did not detain President Muhammadu Buhari, during his reign.
Recall that, prior to the 2015 election, Buhari, the then Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had threatened violence, if the 2015 elections were rigged in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’ Buhari had said.
Speaking at a dinner he attended in the United States, on Saturday evening, Jonathan said, “under my watch, not a single Nigerian was sent to prison, because of anything they wrote, or said about me, or the administration that I headed,”
He added that, “Nigeria had neither political prisoners, nor political exile under my administration.”
Jonathan, who was the keynote Speaker at the Nigerian Lawyers Association’s Annual Dinner and Merit Awards ceremony, held in New York, mentioned some factors he considered to be his administration’s democratic credentials.
In his speech posted on his Twitter page on Saturday, he said, “I urge the Nigerian Lawyers in the US, and those in the diaspora, to do their best to support the democratic institutions we have built”.
His speech came at a time when several of his Aides are being detained, and some prosecuted for alleged corrupt practices, while many others have since absconded from the country.
Some of his former Aides being prosecuted include: the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, former Presidential Aide, Waripamowei Dudafa. Others being investigated and currently in detention include: former Presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, and ex-FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed.
The speech also followed an increasing crackdown by security agencies, on citizen Journalists, and bloggers.
In his speech, the former President also argued strongly for Nigeria’s diversity, and its inherent benefits.
“We must resist the push of ego, that may make us want to pursue a regional, or narrow agenda.” Jonathan ended his speech with a touch on transparency and accountability.
“We enacted the Freedom of Information Act, and by that, we tore the veil of secrecy covering governance.” He noted.