Former American President, Barack Obama has been mentioned in the high-wired political intrigues and international conspiracies that culminated in the ousting of former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential election.
A new book on the historic election titled: “Facts Versus Fiction” written by a former aide of ex-President Jonathan, Reno Omokri revealed that Obama’s opposition to Jonathan’s re-election was possibly pay-back for his government’s stand against same-sex marriage which the Obama administration promoted around the world.
According to the book, this was further reinforced by the strong opposition from the political elite in the North who blamed the Jonathan administration for not tackling the insecurity posed in the region by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The book, which is yet to be formally presented to the public, showed how 12 Northern governors held meetings with top officials of the Obama administration which convinced Obama to move against Jonathan, thereby effecting a regime change through the ballot in Nigeria.
The book claimed that one Mr. Matthew T. Page, who until his resignation in 2016, was the U.S. State Department’s top intelligence analyst on Nigeria, was part and parcel of the series of meetings held between US government officials and the Northern governors who wanted Jonathan out of office by all means. According to the narrative, these secret meetings held at the United States Institute for Peace as well as the US State Department.
According to Mr. Page, the meetings were attended by 12 Northern governors of whom the most vocal was the then governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako. Others at the meetings who voiced anti-Jonathan sentiments were then Kano Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto and Kashim Shettima of Borno. The then governors of Kwara and Kogi were in attendance but were non-committal.
“Mr. Page noted that the meetings at the United States Institute for Peace were innocuous but that when the governors proceeded to the closed-door sessions at the US State Department, things changed.
“According to Mr. Page, present at the State Department meetings were Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield who was then the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs. Also present at the meeting was the then number three man at the State Department, Ambassador Thomas Alfred “Tom” Shannon Jr., acting Deputy Secretary of State of the United States and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
“At that meeting, Admiral Murtala Nyako read out a memo he had written itemizing the case against Jonathan. He was so openly and almost violently against the Jonathan administration in his speech that he had to be openly rebuked at the meeting by the then Nigerian ambassador to the US, Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye of blessed memory.
“Admiral Nyako’s belligerence against the Jonathan administration was so venomous that it prompted a rebuttal from the Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who showed loyalty to the then Nigerian President. According to Mr. Page, this prompted most of the other Northern governors present to turn on him.”
The book further revealed that after the anti-Jonathan tirades by these governors, they were shepherded to the White House on March 18, 2014 for more meetings.
In these meetings, the governors met with then National Security Adviser, Susan Rice.
“After the meeting, the Obama White House released a statement which said, amongst other things: “Rice and the governors discussed the need to bring an end to the violence and insurgency in northern Nigeria; create broad-based economic opportunity in the North and throughout Nigeria; protect and respect human rights; strengthen democratic governance; and ensure that the 2015 election in Nigeria are free and fair.
“What the White House statement did not say, but which I verified from other sources, was that at that meeting, Admiral Nyako accused then President Jonathan of being behind Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist group that is behind the insurgency in Nigeria’s Northeast (the same accusation was publicly made by Nasir El-rufai in 2014. El-rufai was one of a handful of All Progressive Congress (APC) party officials that related directly with David Axelrod’s firm as AKPD Message and Media prepared the APC for the 2015 elections).”
On the 2015 election, the book said that it was not as if the administration was against Jonathan but that there were a few issues the Obama administration was not comfortable with and felt Jonathan could have handled better.
According to Mr Page, the Obama administration supported the transfer of power to Jonathan in 2010 but thereafter felt let down by the issues relating to the human rights situation in the Northeast; Jonathan’s refusal to sack Diezani Alison-Madueke, the then Minister of Petroleum Resources as well as some clauses in the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013.
“Mr. Page continuing said ‘there were some at the Embassy in Nigeria who were actually anti-Buhari because of his failure to call his followers to order and stop the post-election violence of 2011’.
“That issue was a deal breaker for the Obama administration because of the strong support they had from the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender) community for Mr Obama’s re-election campaign of 2012.”
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