In his new book ‘My Transition Hours’ that was launched on Tuesday in Abuja, former President Goodluck Jonathan has alleged a conspiracy by the Professor Attahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that partially led to his defeat in the 2015 elections.
Jonathan, in the book, accused INEC under Prof. Jega of being bias in its distribution of election materials thereby costing him his re-election at the poll. The former president lost the 2015 election to now President Muhammadu Buhari.
“For some inexplicable reason, the INEC had been able to achieve near 100% distribution of Permanent Voter Cards in the North, including the North East, which was under siege with Boko Haram insurgency but failed to record a similar level of distribution in the South which was relatively more peaceful,” read a paragraph in the book that was launched at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel yesterday in Abuja.
Jonathan said, “Social media was filled with all manner of stories, pictures and videos. I had settled in my mind that I was not going to be the sitting president pointing out these infractions and accusing the opposition and the very INEC I helped to strengthen.
“The world saw my ordeal at the polling unit in my community in Bayelsa State, where the card reader refused my PVC even after we tried repeatedly during accreditation.
“And it was the same with my wife and my mother. It was a moment that exposed the shortcomings of INEC,” Mr Jonathan said.
According to the former president, he already saw his defeat coming prior to his concession of defeat to President Buhari.
“I knew what was coming the day before I called General Muhammadu Buhari. I had reports on the polls around the country. It was clear the results were not going to favour me,” Mr Jonathan said, adding that, “There were series of problems with card readers, resulting from widespread technical hitches leading to the non-uniform application throughout the country.”
Jonathan explained that couldn’t resist putting a phone call through to his then contender due to the so much tension in the country at the time. He said the tension informed his decision to concede defeat to Buhari so as to avert any unforeseen calamity.
“The country was tensed. I had to do something. I could no longer wait for the collation of final results. The pressure on the country was palpable.
“In Lagos, people were ready to burst loose on the streets and in the North, the stage was set for envisaged violence. One of my party’s agents at the INEC National Collation Centre in Abuja, Elder Godsday Orubebe eventually got into a heated argument with the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
“That further raised the tension in the country. Everyone was expecting the worse. I knew it was time to douse the tension,” he said.
“However, I was heading towards peace. Stopping the election on voting day would have been like detonating an atomic bomb,” said the former president.