President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday refuted claims that his administation is embarrasing yhe family members of his immediate antecedent, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that only those who have something to hide are echoing the claim.
The president’s remark which was as a result of remarks linked to Dr. Jonathan in a new text- “Against The Run of Play”, by the Chairman, Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspaper, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, started as relative of Jonathan wholly supported his claim of both international and local effort to distrupt his re-election ambition.
The relative under the shield of Ogbia Poitical Forum, OPF, said the US was particuarly upset by Jonathan’s rejection of legalizing homosexuality in the nation and also pointed at some groups were bent on preventing the last president from talking even despite the injustice he suffered.
Though the United States Mission in Nigeria, rebuffed the claims of the former president, saying that the U.S. only preached for a free and fair election in the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said in a statement:
“The Presidency is constrained to respond to the banner headline story in a national newspaper of Wednesday, April 26, entitled: Buhari’s govt harassing my family, says Jonathan.
“The paper said former President Goodluck Jonathan made the allegation in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi.
“The former president also reportedly disagreed with the style being used by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption.
“We make bold to state unequivocally that President Buhari harasses nobody; he merely allows the law to take its course. For the umpteenth time, we say that anybody without skeletons in his or her cupboard, has nothing to fear about the bared fangs of the anti-corruption initiative.
“Fear belongs only to those who have abused trust while in office. Anybody who feels aggrieved is free to approach the courts to seek redress or justice. President Buhari believes in the rule of law and that is why his campaign against corruption is anchored on that plank.
“With regard to President Buhari’s anti-graft style, which the former president deprecates, given the scale of revelations and recoveries so far by the anti-corruption agencies, it is obvious that corruption had an uninhibited course during our recent past.
“In any case, time will give the verdict on whose style of fighting corruption ultimately yielded the most dividends.
“For now, President Buhari is resolute and single-minded in the fact that his crusade against graft is not targeted at any individual or group.
“He firmly believes that national interest must always be placed above personal interest, no matter who is involved.”
Meanwhile, kins of the former President under the cover of the Ogbia Political Forum, OPF in his defense claimed that Jonathan should not be denied the opportunity of expressing his views in the face of alleged persecution.
The President of OPF, Chief Azibaodusi Maclean Aduba, in a statement, yesterday, said that the association stood by what Jonathan said, claiming that various local and international forces took surprising interests in the last elections to the ex-President’s disdvantage.
“This same group of people are now savagely criticising the former President for the mere mention of the fact that Americans and few other world powers took unusual interest in the 2015 elections, in the bid to frustrate his re-election bid. If anything, the former President had merely reaffirmed the obvious, as it is no secret that his signing of the anti-gay bill into law brought down the full weight of the Barack Obama administration on the Jonathan Government, with the intention of forcing a regime change.
“It is instructive that President Muhammadu Buhari himself confirmed this when he openly thanked the United States, Britain and the European Union for the roles they played in the outcome of the 2015 elections, while hosting the Italian envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Fulvio Rustico, in 2015. The question is, if it was cool for Buhari to express gratitude to those that helped him during the last general elections, why then will it be a sin for Jonathan to say the same thing from his own standpoint.”
Also, the United States Embassy in Nigeria yesterday disassociated itself from claims of bias on the part of the country in the approach to the last presidential election in Nigeria
While responding to Vanguard’s enquiries, yesterday, Russell Brooks, Information Officer at the embassy said:
“The U.S. advocated a free, fair, and transparent election in 2015. The outcome of the election was an expression of the will of the Nigerian people.”