My Transition Hours: Northeast forum fires back at Jonathan over attack on Buhari, Shettima


The Northeast Intellectuals Forum, NIF, a group of academics in the region, has lambasted former President Goodluck Jonathan on his attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Kashim Shettima.

Their position was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the forum's Secretary, Dr Stephen Yunusa.

Jonathan had alleged that Shettima was one of those working towards rubishing his new book, "My Transition Hours", launched in Abuja on Tuesday.

Responding, NIF said after reviewing the book, it expected the former leader to more concerned by damning reaction from one of his Ministers, Mohammed Bello Adoke, (former Attorney General of the Federation) "who, on behalf of two other former Ministers, publicly issued a statement saying Jonathan told lies in his book".


"Adoke wrote on behalf of former Ministers of Finance and Transport (Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Chidoka) and he said as published in the front page of The Nation Newspaper last Thursday, that Jonathan misrepresented facts in his book in which he claimed that the three former Ministers under him, Adoke, Ngozi and Chidoka, were against him (Jonathan) conceding defeat to then-candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. Adoke clearly spoke the position of his two colleagues because he mentioned them in his statement and none of the two other ministers has so far distanced themselves from the statement by Adoke.

"We expected President Jonathan to be seriously worried that his own very senior Ministers, amongst his closest appointees, are discrediting his book. In fact, in one media report, Adoke has promised to provide information that will correct Jonathan's falsehood in his own account when he releases a book soon.

"We think there is no bigger discredit to Jonathan's book that such a statement by three of his own Ministers. The fact is there are sharp inaccuracies in Jonathan's especially on page 31 in which the former President said the Boko Haram demanded that he denounces his Christian faith in preference for a Muslim President. We have thoroughly cross-checked and found that at no time did Boko Haram ever made such a demand.

"Besides, as Governor Shettima rightly observed, the first attack by the Boko Haram in both Bauchi and Borno States took place in July 2009 under late President Umaru Yar'adua, who was a Muslim from the northwest. We therefore urge Jonathan to do a critical reflection on his book and issue apology.

"As academics, we avoid getting involved on fights between politicians because somehow, worst enemies amongst politicians end up becoming friends when interests realign. However, we are constrained to interject on the ongoing relaunch of media fight between former President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima from the Northeast because of two reasons. Both of them were academics who had worked as University lecturers and also, the issue in question concerns a book authored by former President Jonathan. Books are our natural areas of interest.

"We read President Jonathan's recount as well as Governor Shettima's reaction to chapter four of the book in which the former President laid series of accusations against the Governor. The Governor's rather academic observation was that while President Jonathan did acknowledge on page 30 that he had appointed a panel to investigate the Chibok abduction, the former President refused to say in his chapter four, what information was found by his own panel whereas the panel submitted report to him since January 20, 2014. We think the Governor's observation was very academic especially since it was Jonathan who set up that panel for the purpose finding facts on what led to the abduction," the group added.



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