Former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has claimed that ex-UK prime minister David Cameron harboured “grudges” against him because of their clashing views on marriage equality.
In his recently published memoirs, ‘For the Record’, Cameron claimed that the then Nigerian leader stymied efforts to rescue some of the 276 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in 2014.
Under Cameron’s government, marriage equality was passed in Britain in 2013.
Jonathan, 61, responded to the allegations by saying that, at the time, Cameron was enacting “unbearable pressure” on him after the president passed a bill prohibiting same-sex marriage in Nigeria, reported newspaper Punch Nigeria.
In April 2014, 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria.
Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by Boko Haram, an extremist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria.
Loved ones of the girls waited agonising weeks as Nigerian officials released the names of those abducted, while Nigerian soldiers combed the countryside to locate the girls.
While more than 100 of the girls have seen been found or rescued, many are still missing in a crisis that continues to haunt the West African country.
According to Cameron, British intelligence officers and troops offered to rescue the girls after tracking down a potential location.
But Jonathan was “asleep at the wheel.
“When he eventually made a statement, it was to accuse the campaigners of politicising the tragedy. And absolutely crucially, when we offered to help rescue the girls we had located, he refused,” he wrote.
Jonathan decried Cameron’s allegations of corruption. The crux, the former president claimed, was the two leader’s contrasting stances on marriage equality.
He said: “I do, however, know that Mr. Cameron has long nursed deep grudges against me for reasons that have been published in various media.
“As such, on Monday, January 13 2014, I signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law after the bill had been passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Nigeria’s parliament, in line with the wishes of the Nigerian people.
“This happened shortly after a study of 39 nations around the world by the US Pew Research Centre came up with a finding which indicated that 98 percent of Nigerians were opposed to the idea of gay marriage.
“Immediately after I took this patriotic action, my government came under almost unbearable pressure from Mr. Cameron, who reached me through envoys, and made subtle and not so subtle threats against me and my government.”