Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that he could be blamed that his security intelligence system was not strong enough to rescue kidnapped Chibok girls just as he accused the US administration under Barack Obama of undermining his failed re-election bid in 2015.
Jonathan speaking in an exclusive BBC interview said while he could not be held responsible for the abduction of 278 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, he did not remove himself from blame for the failure of the security services to rescue the girls.
He said ‘I may not be blamed for the action but I could be blamed that my security intelligence system was not strong enough to rescue the girls. If I as a politician could tell the whole world that my political ambition for any office is not worth the blood of a single Nigerian, how would I be happy that girls have been kidnapped? I am not that kind of character.’
‘The level of interference by the Obama government was very overwhelming. It is not as if I could not have won the election even with that. If by my own thinking and also the way other people looked at it, they go outside the normal diplomatic relationship, then it should be mentioned.
‘Sending that person to Nigeria on the eve of elections even after Obama had issued a statement directing Nigerians to vote for the next chapter, that tells you something and we should not sweep these things under the carpet.
‘If a foreign country whether African country or America interferes with our own elections, we should mention it.’
‘Let me admit that yes, maybe they did their best but their best was not good enough for us to recover the girls. That I cannot say I am right or I am wrong. That does not mean I am trying to remove myself from any blame.
‘Immediately the Chibok issue came up, we expected Nigerians to be concerned about how to get these girls out. Within a couple of days, we saw people going to the US with ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ placards. How? Why? And of course, Mrs. Obama received one of those placards.’
‘I may not be blamed for the action but I could be blamed that my security intelligence system was not strong enough to rescue the girls. If I as a politician could tell the whole world that my political ambition for any office is not worth the blood of a single Nigerian, how would I be happy that girls have been kidnapped? I am not that kind of character.’
‘We are a bit worried about the neutrality of the relevant agencies of government because with previous elections, I was not in the field. Of course, after every election, people will complain naturally but those are the areas people are getting worried but I believe the elections will come and go and those bodies- INEC, the police, the army and the DSS will be able to do well.