Some ministers who served under former president Goodluck Jonathan have angrily reacted to some of the claims by him in his book, ‘My Transition Hours’, released on Tuesday.
Commenting on his acclaimed concession call to President Muhammadu Buhari while the final results of the 2015 presidential election were yet to be announced, Jonathan said he rebuffed advice from ministers and an aide not to concede.
Those he named as having advised him are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (then minister of finance), Mohammed Bello Adoke (attorney-general), Osita Chidoka (aviation), and Warpamowei Dudafa (senior special assistant on domestic affairs).
Jonathan wrote: “They were recommending sundry alternatives, but I was quiet in the midst of their discussions. I hugged my thought, figuring out how to do that which was best for the country. My personal interest was receding rapidly and the interest of Nigeria looming large.
“I excused myself and left the sitting room. I walked into my study. Even there, my mantra was a strong circle around me, supporting and comforting me. Let the country survive. Let democracy survive. My political ambition is not worth people being ‘soaked in blood.”
However, a former minister, who spoke with TheCable, has described Jonathan’s version of the events as a “big lie”.
“Let him enjoy the euphoria of his book launch first, but those he has defamed will surely respond in due course,” the former minister said, adding that Jonathan, by his latest claims, may finally demystify himself over the concession speech “which had elevated his status internationally”.
Another former minster who spoke with the TheCable but also refused to be identified described Jonathan’s version of events as “most unfair and petty”.
“The impression the former president is trying to create is that the people came to tell him not to concede. In truth, Jonathan was being persuaded by a former south-south governor not to concede, so some ministers were quickly invited to come and counter the plot,” the former minister said.
“What would Okonjo-Iweala, Adoke and Chidoka be doing at the villa at that time if not that something was going wrong? Is Jonathan trying to say he was not involved in Elder Godsday Orubebe’s attempt to disrupt the announcement of the results? Is Jonathan trying to claim innocence of a plot to secure a court injunction to stop INEC from further announcing the results? Jonathan needs to be a man of honour.”