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Jonathan attacks former US envoy over comment on 2011 election

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday attacked a former United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell over his claim that the 2011 presidential election was rigged in his (Jonathan’s) favour.

Jonathan, in a statement by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, said the presidential election was not rigged, and that he won the election in a credible, transparent, free and fair electoral process.

According to the statement, the 2011 presidential election was adjudged by both local and international observers including the Commonwealth Election Monitoring Group and even the US contingent of both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, as the most credible and transparent election in Nigeria since the country returned to civil rule in 1999.

Eze further contended that the 2011 elections saw a 75 per cent reduction in election petition cases in Nigeria, adding that the United States Institute for Peace described the elections as the “best run” elections in Nigeria’s history.

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The statement reads in part: “Former President Jonathan is known for his ‘one man, one vote, one woman, one vote, one youth one vote’ policy. Before the 2011 elections, he said ‘my ambition is not worth the blood of any citizen’ and was indeed guided by that creed throughout the process. He is also on record to have publicly called on members of the Peoples Democratic Party not to even attempt to rig for him, stating that he was a pencil in God’s hands.

“There is no doubt that Nigerians above 45 years witnessed the past six presidential elections in the country — 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 — and are in a better position than Campbell to objectively appraise the processes.

“Perhaps this is the time to remind Campbell and other wheeling and dealing consultants like him that Nigerians have placed the 2011 elections behind them and are no longer in a position to welcome those who have nothing but sophistry to offer our citizens! As our own inimitable Fela would say, ‘Mr Teacher don’t teach us nonsense.”

Eze also qurried Campbell styling himself as a ‘Nigeria expert’ at the Council for Foreign Relations.

According to him, Campbell was a figure of ridicule in Nigeria for his postulations, which he said, had repeatedly and consistently proved to be way off the mark.

“How he can continue to make pretensions to be an expert on Nigeria, beats our imagination. Besides serving as a diplomat in his country’s embassy in our dear country, what other competencies does Campbell possess to qualify as a Nigeria expert”, he querried.

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