Goodluck Jonathan Speaks on Boko Haram, PDP and #DasukiGate

by on February 26, 2016

Former President Goodluck Jonathan was in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday as a guest of the Geneva Press Club. In this interview with France 24’s Georja Calvin-Smith, the former Nigerian leader spoke on why, for now, he wouldn’t want to talk about the arms scandal rocking his legacy since he left office. He also promised that the PDP will bounce back.

France 24: It’s been a tough year for Nigeria and a tough year arguably for your legacy as the former leader of the country. Your former security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, is currently standing trial for fraud, alleged to have taken billions of dollars of public funds meant for the fight against extremists from Boko Haram. Now, were you at the time aware of any improperly sourced funds funnelled into your re-election campaign of 2015?

Goodluck Jonathan: Thank you. Of course, this issue continues to come up but I always insist that the matters are being investigated and they are in our own courts and in Nigeria when issues are before the courts, you don’t make comments on it. It is considered prejudice. But one thing you will also realise is that for us to have conducted elections across the country – all parts of the country – that means that we prosecuted the war against Boko Haram to a reasonable level, otherwise we couldn’t have been in position to conduct elections across the country and we couldn’t have fought Boko Haram with bare hands. These issues of corruption, issues of misuse of funds are being investigated before the courts and I wouldn’t want to compromise the position of our laws because while I served as the president of Nigeria, I made sure that the judiciary remained independent and made sure there was maximum separation of powers between all arms of government. Having left office, I don’t think I will be the person to say things that will be detrimental to the judicial processes.
So, outside of the case itself, let’s say that there are misdeeds, which have been proven to have been committed during your tenure. Would you feel responsible for any oversight…?
Please, I will not comment in these areas. They are sensitive areas; I wouldn’t want to create more problems for my country.
Even hypothetically?
Please, please.

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Over the last year, there has been arguably quite a lot of progress in the battle against Boko Haram extremists. Do you feel that the speed with which progress is being seen on the Buhari is tarnishing your legacy?

Well, I wouldn’t want to make comments that will appear as if I am having a debate with the serving president. I have served the country for five years as a president, three years as a vice president. I’ve tried my best and I’ll encourage the government to continue.

So, how do you feel about progress made in the battle against Boko Haram since you left last year?

I can’t comment about what is happening now. It will not be proper as a former president to start making comments – positive comments or negative comments – but I can tell you that when Boko Haram started in Nigeria, we had no terror experience. We never experienced terror before. Yes, we had robbery and other common crimes but terrorists are people that are not afraid to die. So you need a different mechanism to confront terrorists; you need superior technology so to be able to stop them before they are able to attack. So, we never had the equipment but when we were confronted, we started acquiring and before I left office, we built reasonable capacity. And I believe with what we left behind, and of course, with what the new government will also acquire, they will be able to prosecute this terror war to a reasonable conclusion.

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So, what are you comfortable commenting on? Why are you in Geneva?

I’m in Geneva because a particular organisation actually invited me to come while serving as the president but I was unable to. But even after I finished serving, because of the circumstance of the election, because I ensured there was peaceful transition, we were quite pleased and they said they wanted to honour me. I just came to Geneva for that.

What are the biggest changes you have seen under Buhari?

I don’t think it is proper for you to drag me. Please, please, please. I think as a former president, it’s not too good for me to start commenting on issues about my county. If I get back to Nigeria, anything I think to discuss with the president, I will discuss with the president. I have access to the president. So, I will not come and start discussing Nigeria…
But surely there must be some noncontroversial issues or positive issues or positive advancements or positive developments in your country that you will be comfortable sharing with us.
One clear thing about Nigeria that you should appreciate is that we are institutionalising democracy. I believe with a stable government, quite a number of things that people look at as grey will soon be a thing of the past. Most societies passed through this phase of development, even the developed societies. We’ve read the history of almost all nations and every nation passed through different stages. And God willing, Nigeria will soon stabilise and we are progressing very well.

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Since you left, your PDP parting is taking a bit of battering. Do you think it has suffered under Buhari at all?

Well, the PDP, definitely we have some minor issues but it is expected. We were in power for 16 years and when we lost the presidency, definitely we’ll have some sort of leadership problem because when you have a president, everybody looks up to the president. But when you no longer have the president, it becomes difficult for the party to have a very strong leadership. I believe whatever you observed will be sorted out and the leaders of the party, elders of the party will be meeting and all these perceived disagreements will soon be sorted out.
On perceived disagreements, prior to your leaving, there were quite a few fractures within the PDP.
Well, every political party always have those misunderstandings. It’s not new; it’s always there. The beginning of PDP, even before I got to Abuja as vice president and president, there were cases where chairmen of the party were asked to step down for some officers and from time to time, there are issues. So, it is not new. What is happening is not new. But I promise you that PDP will stabilise. In fact, by March this year, we are going in for our convention to elect officers at the lowest level of the wards through the local governments, through the states through the zones. Then, of course, the national officers will be elected. That’s just in March, early April. So, the party will bounce back. Whatever you perceive, it always happens and we will get over it. But thank you for the interest.
Thank you very much.

Culled from Dailypost

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  • Adebayo
    February 26, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Thogh no man is free of error(s), but to say the fact, Goodluck is a leader indeed.


  • Ashipu Cornell
    February 26, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Comment…Thank y
    ou my President


  • Sam
    February 26, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    if it were Buhari that has any opportunities to speak outside Nigeria, he open is mouth wide and vomit nonsense.
    buhari you must learn maturity from Good luck.kiss you my president


  • Sam
    February 26, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Nigerians are missing ur economy team,


    • February 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm



  • tunde
    February 26, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Comment…it seem dat sone people just write to b notice we better stop abusing Buhari last govt av destroyed dis nation. let me ask us wat about all dis scandals d bulk stop at d table of GEJ


    February 26, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    from all these comments you will understand that there is a big difference between literate and illiterate person,


  • Tare
    February 26, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I just luv this guy, apc please learn from GEJ ok.


  • Tony A
    February 26, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Very very interesting. This is how a reasonable man responds to questions. You dont just open ur mouth any how. Buhari please learn how to speak in the public.


    • February 27, 2016 at 7:00 am

      He dont want to say any tin because he has notin to say abt his past of stolen our money nd he has seen a difrent he dnt want to cast the truth out nd for u who ar sayin buhari it not castin it only those who say truth can stand in pulic nd speak and again even if it is in nigeria news will still cary it and share it world wide wot is bad if he say the truth


  • NGG
    February 26, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Maturity in expressions, that some of Nigerian leaders should learn. There must be independent and saparation of powers in tiers of Government. I respect you GEJ.


  • February 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    My humble ex presido, u are more than mature in all ramification, u re actually a leader to emulate, the wisdom with which u lead this country speaks for itself, daddy, I’m very much pleased wit u. Tnx a lot


    • PDP's Father
      February 26, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      No nigerian person can rule this country like people from south-south. northers and south-west are disaster to the country. Allw Igbo to govern nigeria.


  • kunle
    February 26, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    there are great difference bw diplomats n tyrants. D tyrant stupidly said that all nigerians are corrupt wen he had d opportunity to defend his country, but d diplomat was meticolous in his response to a high level he respect d judiciary unlike d other who is busy junketeering while d economy is crumbling oluwa save us from this monumental mistake


  • mr brown
    February 26, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    May your days be long GEJ.


  • mr brown
    February 26, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    May your days be long GEJ. U 2 much


  • February 26, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Comment…u r my most adored President, infact u r
    the best President Nigeria has ever had, let them call u all d names in d world u remain who u r.


  • babawo
    February 26, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    GEJ is sincerely a humble man. The difference between literacy and illiteracy is clearly spelt out here. If it is about looting of funds, is it not d same ‘abokis’ dat looted d funds. GEJ u a d best so far. d so called fight against corruption is nothing but a witch hunt. As earlier stated in one of d comments if it were d jet flying man he would have vomited rubbish. Apc is bunch of clueless beings. Never in d history of our budget has it been padded. Naija God will save us. Thank God d almajiris and their families who voted him a suffering d most. Changin wahala dole. Na gode.


  • February 26, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    God bless u sir, (GEJ), I love ur humility and sacrifice, if u had not stepped down I knew there would have been a war even when Nigeria knows ur d best 4 this country they allow hate, lslam & tribalism to becloud their sense of truthfulness. Nigeria will ever love u sir, I miss u.


  • Nestel
    February 26, 2016 at 9:22 pm



  • Sun sun
    February 26, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I use to say or simply put as the saying goes that you don’t know the value of what you have until you lose it. When buhari poeple were saying ‘sai baba’, ‘sai baba’ all over the country they fogort they would be the wose hit by APC economic policy, starting from the malams at Zone 4 in Abuja ‘the dolla masters’ then the almajeri programme constetuted by Gej wich has now be abolished by APC, and all de abokis dying everyday at I D P camps all over nigeria. It is a very clear indication that apc lacks the experience to drive the country towards the so called change ‘mantra’ enough of all these paper works by mr president and his economic team. All the common man on the sreet wants is to see the price of rice reverse back to 9000 insted of the 15,000 naira we are buying it now, have light like we had before Gej left, and prices of everything in the market including pure water be reversed to normal. Honestly i bet you its high time they gave us the the promised change while we are still alife cos we cannot be dying and smiling, people of Nigeria APC has disappointed us!!!


  • jjc
    February 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    i dont undastnd wat u guys mean by maturity. what do u xpect Gej to say! xpos his failure d more? an aclaimd PHD holda who knew nothing abt d govt he heads for 5yrs? Uhn If not for dis great baba, shekau wul hav taken ova aso rock by now. Thank God for BABA BUHARI.


  • Adewale
    February 27, 2016 at 12:01 am

    PMB and all clueless,reasonless,senseless,visionless,directionless and stupid sets of APC to learn frm my only Phd president in Naija history,,,who amongs d apc dat has such acumen?Tinubu,lieing mohamed,oyegun let alone almajiri school time keeper PMB,,,pls where is ds ape man,obasanjo,where are u today,dnt tell me that God put u to shame,it is ur bgining to fall bcos u together waged war with son of d most high God,Gej God is with u,u wil b U.N secretary sooner


  • Joe
    February 27, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Comment…u’re indeed a matured man GEJ


  • Nobleman
    February 27, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Commentors dont forget to trace dis matter from root. During election campaign jonatan was vomiting fire against buhari sayin all sorts of nasty tins ranging from certificate forgery, lost of retaintive memory and so on. Now d table has turned against him. Buhari is in power. He knew any further unpleasant statement wil get issues complicated and posibly land him into serious troble. We knew his stractagies.


  • Alex
    February 27, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Leaders are many but Visionary leaders are hard to get u r nt jst a leader but a mature icon. God bless u long life.I wish u come back to rule this country


  • igodo
    February 27, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Dats my president. Goodluck Nigeria! An icon & my model number one after my mum and Akunyiri, u are d best. Long live my president. Long live sir GEJ forever in my heart


  • Sy Jibrin
    February 27, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Comment…Noble man you got the logic of our X president thanks i wish the wailers will reason the way u reason


  • Sy Jibrin
    February 27, 2016 at 8:06 am

    NORBLEMAN you got the logic of our X president thanks i wish the wailers will reason the way u reason


  • February 27, 2016 at 8:11 am

    The main looters of government funds and properties are hausa and yorubas, they have been in power since the end of the civil war and there has since been high level curruption.


  • February 27, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Hmmmm,only God know the hidden truth I believe every onece concience will show him the truth,let this man finish his tenure before judging.You can not know the score mark of a student who have never finish his or her exam,but we can say mush about the one that has already summited his or her exam sheet that has been marked already.


  • Tamps
    February 27, 2016 at 10:08 am

    It’s common sence we require to do some things in life and its atributed to a certain set of people. Intergrity is another thing. People act based on their capacity and what they believe. In my opinion, instead of insulting any person, commonsence requires you weigh the both side before any filthy word proceeds from your belly. Intergrity will need you to defend your self inspite of all odds. This man (the former president) has ruled and we all have seen his mistakes, flaws and what have you… Negative and positive. The other (the seating president has just started and its barely half of a tenure and yet he has been ovaruled that nothing good can come out of him. Now again… Common sence will ask you at the end of the day ”you think I am that common?” simply because you lacked fore sight to see it and make judicious use of it. In a nut shell, I think Good luck did the right thing that common sence required of him and Buhari did the right thing that integrity needed. So it is clare that what one has, the other does not have. Let me ask you ”if you are asked to choose between integrity and common sence, which would you choose?”. Common Nigerians, enough of taking sides and do the right. It is me Auna Rintampiobari Williams aka Aunate(V) alias Tampico/Tamps/Tampi/Tampio/Taink you/Tapioka. And I just want to make common sence.


  • Dave
    February 27, 2016 at 11:07 am

    I as a person, am not very comfortable with the idea of always shying away from making comments that will clear the air. What is it that we have not seen or heard or pass through in this our country? If you have anything reasonable to comment, say it. If there is any policy of the present administration that is far from reality say it, If not be bold enough to speak againt it constructively. No body has all the time.


  • light
    February 27, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Non politician, detribalised individual and true lover of nigeria knows that GEJ is the best that GOD HIMSELF gave to N igeria.He was manmade.he was only too gentle in an overtly corrupt environment.


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