Former President Goodluck Jonathan has explained why former Vice President Atiku Abubakar should challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in court.
Jonathan said that Atiku was right to have vehemently rejected the 2019 election which was marred with irregularities.
He noted that it would be unfair to compare Atiku’s situation with that of 2015 in which he accepted defeat and congratulated Buhari.
According to Jonathan, the 2015 and 2019 situations were very different scenarios.
“It is not right for anybody to compare Jonathan’s decision in 2015 with Atiku’s position in 2019 because they are two different scenarios,” he said during an interview with Premium Times.
He further noted that as an incumbent president in 2015, it was his responsibility to ensure a smooth and credible election.
“In 2015, I was a sitting president. Although INEC is an independent body, every structure of government still operates under the president one way or the other,” he said.
“So I was a president and INEC conducted the elections under my watch. Atiku was not a sitting president and if he or the party feels that things were not done right, of course they are at liberty to challenge it in court,” Jonathan added.
Despite the criticism he faced while in office, Jonathan described his administration as a unique one in Nigeria’s history, adding that the country’s economy under his watch grew consistently.
He noted that Nigeria was the number one foreign direct investment under his watch. He also reminded Nigerians that Nigeria was the biggest economy in Africa and among the fastest growing economy in the world when he was president.
He had the most brilliant minds in his cabinet during his time as president. Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was his Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy.
Mr. Jonathan also noted that the Naira was stable although he was not comfortable with the exchange rate below N200 per dollar.
According to him, investors and business people would plan well because Nigeria was stable and strong during his time.
He also noted that his administration brought the nation closer towards food self-sufficiency. His Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, is currently the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Jonathan admitted that there were many areas that needed improvement, but the stability in the economy during his government would have taken the country to much greater heights.
Jonathan was Vice President from 2007 – 2010 and President from 2010 – 2011 after the death of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He contested in 2011 and won. He was however defeated by the current incumbent president, Buhari, in 2015.
Naija Buzz had earlier published a report on former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s views regarding the nation since its democratic journey in 1999. In his statement, he rebuked President Buhari, saying that he (Buhari) is driving Nigeria into disaster and instability.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.