Former President Olusegun Obasanjo insists ex-President Goodluck Jonathan is to blame for the shoddy handling of the Chibok girls abduction in April 2014.
According to a Daily Post report, Obasanjo said that poor handling of the Boko Haram insurgency was one of the reasons he opposed Jonathan’s return because a continuation of the administration could endanger the country.
Obasanjo said this in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi.
His words “Jonathan and his people turned Boko Haram into an industry for making money. Rather than seek for solution, Boko Haram became an ATM machine for taking money out of the treasury.
“Take the issue of Chibok tragedy. If he had acted within the first 48 hours, they would have found most of the girls.
“The CAN Chairman of the local chapter in Chibok was here to see me and he explained how they were helpless with no reaction from the authorities for several days.”
Obasanjo clarified that he has no personal grudges against Jonathan except that it was based on certain principles he was not ready to compromise.
He said: “My decision was based on what would be for the good of Nigeria and since I didn’t consider Jonathan good enough, I told him to his face. What would I be afraid of?”
The ex-President accused Jonathan of seeing the world and attending to state matters within the prism of Ijaw politics or nationalism.
He said: “I once asked him (Jonathan), ‘What is this Ijaw thing all about? Can the Ijaw people make you President?’
“I remember when he granted pardon to Alamieyeseigha and it became an international embarrassment, I also asked him, ‘Why did you do it? He started by offering the lame excuse that it was a Council of State decision before I reminded him that Council of State was merely advisory and that the decision was his.
“After a while, he said if I was at the meeting, he probably could have acted differently because nobody opposed it. I then counseled him on what he could do to address the problem. But either because he didn’t have the courage to broach the issue with Alamieyeseigha or he didn’t think it was important, he did nothing afterwards.”
He admitted not knowing Jonathan well enough before taking a political bet on him, adding that “But then you really cannot know people until you give them power and responsibility. That is when you will gauge their capacity.”
On the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, Obasanjo said only sought “two clarifications out of which Yar’Adua gave him a medical report”.
He said: “One, the lingering doubts about his health, while the other was a very pervasive allegation that he had manipulative wife who had too much influence on him.
“Not being a medical practitioner, I gave the report to a friend and renowned professional in the medical field who reviewed it and told me that the person in the report was not on dialysis, which meant that he didn’t have kidney problem or that he had successfully undergone a kidney transplant. That was the report I had about his health.”
Obasanjo recalled that he warned Jonathan against assigning the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former minister.
“He (Jonathan) gave me the impression that he was not going to give her (Diezani) the portfolio but at the end he did and we can see the consequences. He of course knew what he was doing.”