The revelations in the book titled ‘Against the Run of Play’, written by the chairman of Thisday newspaper’s editorial board, Olusegun Adeniyi are overwhelming.
It looks like most of the prominent politicians were just looking for an opportunity to speak their mind about what really happened before, during and after the 2015 elections.
Some prominent politicians identified in the book are ex-presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress Bola Tinubu, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, among others.
Speaking at the launch of the book on Friday, April 28, in Victoria Island, Lagos, Adeniyi who was a former presidential spokesperson said he never betrayed the confidence of all the people interviewed in his book.
The book is already generating heated debates due to the controversial statements from the parties interviewed. Most of the statements were about the 2015 general elections.
We gathered some of the quotes that are quite revealing.
1. Jonathan claimed that Boko Haram attacks have reduced because because Nigeria is currently being ruled by a president with a Muslim background.
“I did my best and so did the military, though I can understand if there is greater commitment to the fight now than in the past. In my time, Boko Haram said they were fighting an infidel government. That naturally has to change since they cannot also call Buhari an infidel. There is a feeling of ‘our man is there now’ that you cannot discountenance. It was the same feeling with me with the Niger Delta militants at the initial stage in 2007.”
2. He also claimed that claims he lost the 2015 presidential elections, because of a conspiracy between the USA, Britain and France.
“President Barack Obama and his officials made it very clear to me by their actions that they wanted a change of government in Nigeria and we’re ready to do anything to achieve that purpose. They even brought some naval ships into the Gulf of Guinea in the days preceding the election. I got on well with Prime Minister David Cameron but at some point, I noticed that the Americans were putting pressure on him and he had to join them against me. But I didn’t realise how far President Obama was prepared to go to remove me until France caved in to the pressure from America.”
3. Jonathan accused former PDP national chairman of working against him
“Take, for instance, the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu. I believe he joined in the conspiracy against me. For reasons best known to him, he helped to sabotage the election in favour of the opposition.”
4. Three of Jonathan’s aides knelt in front of him and persuaded him to concede defeat to Buhari in 2015
“The drama unfolding at the Villa on March 21, 2015, four days after the presidential election, would have profound implications for President Jonathan and the nation he led. Kneeling in front of Jonathan were his Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke; Aviation Minister, Mr Osita Chidoka and the Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Affairs, Mr Warpamo–Owei Dudafa.
“The mission of the three officials was to persuade Jonathan to call and congratulate his opponent, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), even as the final results were still being collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
5. Obasanjo accused Jonathan of using the Boko Haram insurgency to turn Nigeria to his ATM
“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 the Chibok tragedy. If he had acted within the first 48 hours, they would have found most of the girls. The CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) 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.”
6. Former Rivers state governor and minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi revealed why he fell out with Jonathan.
“It was as if I was talking the governor of Bayelsa state rather than the president of Nigeria. He made it clear to me that protecting whatever he considered to be in the interest of Bayelsa was more important to him than doing the right thing for all the states in Nigeria including Rivers where he spent most of his life. At that point, I knew there was no way we could work together.”
7. On his disagreement with Patience Jonathan he said:
His words: “I could not surrender my mandate to a woman (Patience) in Abuja, even if such a person was the wife of the president…that basically was my sin with Dame Patience Jonathan.”
8. The governor of Sokoto state and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, accused Patience of harassing him
Venting her anger against him, she said: “You this Hausa boy… you want to bring down the government of my husband; you want to disgrace him out of power? Una no fit! God no go allow you.”
9. APC leader Tinubu revealed that Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Senate president, Bukola Saraki, worked against his emergence as vice president.
“What they (Saraki and others from the PDP) did behind my back was wrong. We always do things as a group. By the time they joined, we were already too far ahead in our processes but we accommodated them. But they went behind to instigate Buhari and some other people in the party against me on the pretext of religion. That was not right. They were canvassing arguments that the Christians in the North would not vote for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“Nasir el-Rufai was also selling the same argument within the CPC (the defunct Congress for Progressive Change) because at that point, he still wanted to have Pastor Bakare brought in as Buhari’s running mate.”
10. A former governor of Niger state and former chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Babangida Aliyu, said Jonathan lost the 2015 presidential election because he was not clever.
He said: “If Jonathan had been clever enough to say he would not run and had stuck with the PDP zoning formula by supporting a young northern candidate, I am most certain Buhari would have shelved his ambition to contest in 2015, knowing there was no way he would win.”
11. Former Senate President, David Mark blames Jonathan for losing the 2015 presidential elections, saying he failed to see he was being deceived until it was too late.
“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. 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.”
12. Governor Kahim Shettima of Borno state revealed that Jonathan wasn’t committed to ending insurgency in the North East.
“There was a belief around President Jonathan that the whole Boko Haram crisis was orchestrated to undermine him and his administration and because of that, there was no interest in resolving the problem.”