Groundbreaking activist, Akib Abiola has in an exclusive interview with Premium Times, disclosed how former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign was ruined by those closest to him and how, at a point during the campaign, he trusted no one except his wife.
The protégé of Moshood Abiola, spoke about how the former president failed to take action even when it was clear that campaign funds were being stolen.
He also spoke about his relationship with Tinubu and how Mr. Tinubu betrayed members of NADECO and US-Nigeria relations.
PT: Talking about Jonathan and his failed bid for re-election, you said he was betrayed by some members of his kitchen cabinet. In what ways did they do this?
Akib: There were more people working against the reelection of President Jonathan within his own cabinet, campaign team and even some of the people in his kitchen cabinet. It got to a point that the only person the President trusted was his wife. Just like they discouraged him from coming to the U.S. for the fundraising events which would have given him exposure and funds. The press conference at the National Press Club was designed to help him discuss the challenges of Boko Haram, highlights his achievements and highlight his agenda and programmes for the next four years. One of the things that I had developed to help him win re-election was the stimulus plan program. The economic stimulus plan was similar to the Obama Stimulus Programme that bailed out Americans after the economic meltdown of 2008 and that of President Roosevelt’s New deal that resurrected America after the great depression of the 1930’s.
The proposed Jonathan’s Stimulus Plan calls for five million Naira lifetime investment in every Nigerian. Every Nigerian would be eligible for five million Naira in the form of grants, cash, tax incentives and subsidized loans during their lifetime to be used towards their education, business, home ownership or home improvement. However, those within his kitchen cabinet working for the opposition discouraged him from making any policy pronouncement on the plan.
Sometimes, I would be told that the President was going to do or say something that we thought was a great idea. Speeches would be written and passed around for suggestions and the final one drafted, however when the President would make his speech, it would be something totally different. It got to a point that my main contact person told me that it has been decided that we should not copy certain people on any draft memos or emails.
I think some of the betrayers have started to confess and regret their actions. More will come out once President Buhari announced his cabinet and select his officials. My understanding is that some of the moles were promised positions in the incoming government. They would start speaking out once they are disappointed.