Goodluck Jonathan Takes Shots At President Buhari

By Ikenga Chronicles October 31, 2016

In what appears like a criticism of his successor’s selective anti-corruption war and intolerance for freedom of speech, former President Goodluck Jonathan has disclosed that there were no political prisoners during his reign

Speaking at a dinner he attended in the United States on Saturday evening, the former President said “ under my watch, not a single Nigerian was sent to prison because of anything they wrote or said about me or the administration that I headed,”

He added that “Nigeria had neither political prisoners nor political exile under my administration.”

Jonathan, who was the keynote speaker at the Nigerian Lawyers Association’s annual dinner and merit awards ceremony held in New York, mentioned some factors he considered to be his administration’s democratic credentials.

In his speech posted on his Twitter page on Saturday, he said “I urge the Nigerian lawyers in the US and those in the Diaspora to do their best to support the democratic institutions we have built”.

His speech came at a time several of his aides are being detained and some prosecuted for alleged corrupt practices while many others have since absconded from the country.

Some of his former aides being prosecuted include ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki and former presidential aide Waripamowei Dudafa. Others being investigated and currently in detention include former presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, and ex-FCT Minister Bala Mohammed.

The speech also followed an increasing crackdown by security agencies on citizen journalists and bloggers.

In Abia State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu admitted to plotting the arrest of a blogger and indigene of his state, Emenike Iroegbu.

In Katsina, a blogger was arrested and detained for 22 days for posts criticizing the administration of Governor Aminu Masari.

Within this period, it was also reported that no fewer than five cases of individuals being arrested and charged – or released – by the authorities for offences bordering on expressions.

In his speech, the former President also argued strongly for Nigeria’s diversity and its inherent benefits.

“We must resist the push of ego that may make us want to pursue a regional or narrow agenda.”

Jonathan ended his speech with a touch on transparency and accountability.

“We enacted the Freedom of Information Act and by that, we tore the veil of secrecy covering governance.”

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