Former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, has attacked a former American ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell over an article where he said the 2011 Presidential elections won by Jonathan, was rigged.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan said: “The 2011 Nigerian Presidential elections were adjudged by both local and international observers, including the Commonwealth Election Monitoring Group and even the US contingent of both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, as the most credible and transparent elections in Nigeria, since our great nation returned to civil rule in 1999.”
Jonathan won the 2011 election but lost his reelection in 2015 to Muhammadu Buhari and also went ahead to win at the Supreme Court.
He maintained that the 2011 elections saw a 75% reduction in election petition cases in Nigeria and the United States Institute for Peace described the elections as the “best run” election in Nigeria’s history.
“There is no doubt that Nigerians above 45 years witnessed the past six presidential elections in the country- 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 – and are in a better position than Campbell to objectively appraise the processes.
“Today, our compatriots are focusing on such issues as electronic voting and complete independence of the electoral body INEC, as a way of strengthening our democracy, ahead of the next general elections.
“Anyone who means well for the country’s democracy should rather focus his attention on perspectives that could illuminate this path, not offer jaundiced and self-serving opinions on a settled past,” Jonathan stressed.
This is not the first time the two would be locking horns. Jonathan’ former aide, Reno Omokri, had in 2017 criticised the former United States Ambassador to Nigeria for ‘insulting’ Patience Jonathan.
Omokri said it was not surprising to him that John Campbell would come after the wife of Mr. Jonathan, saying the retired U.S. diplomat had been working as a consultant for those close to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Omokri said Campbell was trying to divert attention from corruption allegations that was rocking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in order to protect Buhari’s public image.