SENATE President Bukola Saraki and Kashim Shettima, Borno State governor, Wednesday, expressed divergent opinions about the personality of former President Goodluck Jonathan at a book launch centred on the former president and his administration.
While Saraki described the former president as a man who is not desperate for power, but usually displaying naivety about the strength of presidential power, Shettima described him as man with tendency for totalitarianism.
The event was the launch of a book titled ‘On a Platter of Gold’ written by Bolaji Abdullahi, former minister of sport and the APC national publicity aecretary.
Saraki at the event described Jonathan as a man who cannot be described as a desperate politician, but on the other hand, was not prepared for the position of leadership like the presidency.
But in his own assessment, Shettima, who lamented how the ex-president plotted his removal stated that Jonathan and others actually thought he (Shettima) kidnapped over 200 abducted Chibok girls and wanted him removed from office through any means.
Saraki in his comments said no matter what people say about the former president he was never a man who allowed power get into his head and use same to harass perceived enemies.
“I don’t think he was someone who was desperate for power, he was not someone that was prepared for leadership, yes by misfortune or fortune”, he said.
While narrating some of his experiences about Jonathan, Saraki said, “The second encounter I will recollect was the day I decided I am going to contest to be president. I felt that I didn’t want Jonathan to hear it as news, I booked an appointment to go and see him. I didn’t know what I was thinking that day. I went to the Villa he said ‘come in, come in, how can I help you? I looked at the president of a third world country and said Mr. President I came to tell you that I am going to be contesting for your seat. Jonathan looked at me and said ‘oh, okay, good luck, good luck.’ If it were any other person may be I would not have left the Villa but that again sums up Goodluck Jonathan.”
While paraphrasing the book, Governor Shetima said: “Within the short time of his ascendency, Jonathan went from a man who controls the populace to the clueless from the most followed president on Facebook in the word to the most cursed president.
“Dr. Jonathan’s political profile rose within a short time and in a spectacular manner to the poor handling of the most important issues affecting Nigeria at the time such as the fuel subsidy scandal, the Boko Haram insurgency and the general feeling of insecurity particularly with the abduction of the Chibok school girls, the crisis in the then ruling party the PDP left much to be desired.”
On the Chibok girls’ abduction saga, the governor said the president contemplated removing him from office through any means no matter how illegal it might be, but that some voice of reason prevailed eventually.
“There was a time he wanted to remove me at all costs. In the Federal Executive Council, they were all speaking in the same tone that this Borno governor must be removed for embarrassing the government; that I was the problem. Two Nigerians stood out.
“He sought the opinion of Mohammed Adoke Bello, the then Attorney General. Adoke told him that ‘Mr. President, you have no power to remove even an elected councilor.
“Then he sought the opinion of other Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in his team, the Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, and Turaki also told him that ‘Mr President, you have no power to remove a sitting governor,’ and that was how the matter died,” he said.
– Dec. 1, 2017 @ 09:56 GMT