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Goodluck Jonathan
My Response To David Cameron’s Claims
I read the comments by former British Prime Minister, David
Cameron, in his new book, For the Record, in which he
accused me and the Nigerian Government, which I headed, of
corruption and rejecting the help of the British Government in
rescuing the Chibok Girls, who were kidnapped on April 14,
2014.
It is quite sad that Mr. Cameron would say this because
nothing of such ever occurred. As President of Nigeria, I not
only wrote letters to then Prime Minister David Cameron, I
also wrote to the then US President, Barrack Obama, and the
then French President, François Hollande, as well as the Israeli
Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, appealing to them for
help in rescuing the Chibok Girls.
How could I write to appeal for help and then reject the very
thing I appealed for?
Also, history contradicts Mr. Cameron. On March 8, 2012,
when the same Boko Haram linked terrorists abducted a
British expatriate named Chris McManus, along with an Italian
hostage Franco Lamolinara, in Sokoto, I, as Nigerian
President, personally authorised a rescue effort by members of
the British military Special Boat Service supported by officers
and men of the Nigerian Army, to free the abducted men.
So, having set a precedent like that, why would I reject British
help in rescuing the Chibok Girls, if it was offered?
I also authorised the secret deployment of troops from the
United Kingdom, the United States and Israel as a result of the
Chibok incident, so how Mr. Cameron could say this with a
straight face beats me.
Moreover, on March 8, 2017, the British Government of former
Prime Minister, Theresa May, in a widely circulated press
statement, debunked this allegation and said there was no
truth in it after Mr. Cameron had made similar statements to
the Observer of the UK.
In his book, Mr. Cameron failed to mention that I wrote him
requesting his help on Chibok. Why did he suppress that
information? I remind him that copies of that letter exist at the
State Houses in Nigeria and London. He never called me on
the phone to offer any help. On the contrary, I am the one that
reached out to him.
He accused me of appointing Generals based on political
considerations. How could that be when I fired my service
chiefs twice in five years, to show that I would not tolerate
anything less than meaningful progress in the war on terror.
I was completely blind to ethnic or political considerations in
my appointments. In civil and military matters, I appointed
people that I had never even met prior to appointing them,
based on their professional pedigree. Though I was from the
South, most of my service chiefs came from the North.
I do, however, know that Mr. Cameron has long nursed deep
grudges against me for reasons that have been published in
various media.
On July 24, 2013, while celebrating the passage of the United
Kingdom’s Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, 2013, Mr.
Cameron said “I want to export gay marriage around the
world”.
At that occasion, he boasted that he would send the team
that successfully drafted and promoted the Bill, to nations, like
Nigeria, saying inter alia:
“I’ve told the Bill team I’m now going to reassign them
because, of course, all over the world people would have been
watching this piece of legislation”.
As President of Nigeria at that time, I came under almost
unbearable pressure from the Cameron administration to pass
legislation supporting LGBTQ Same Sex marriage in Nigeria.
My conscience could not stomach that, because as President
of Nigeria, I swore on the Bible to advance Nigeria’s interests,
and not the interest of the United Kingdom or any foreign
power.
As such, on Monday, January 13, 2014, I signed the Same-
Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law after the Bill had been
passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Nigeria’s
parliament, in line with the wishes of the Nigerian people. This
happened shortly after a study of 39 nations around the world
by the U.S. Pew Research Center came up with a finding
which indicated that 98 percent of Nigerians were opposed to
the idea of Gay Marriage.
Immediately after I took this patriotic action, my government
came under almost unbearable pressure from Mr. Cameron,
who reached me through envoys, and made subtle and not so
subtle threats against me and my government.
In fact, meetings were held at the Obama White House and at
the Portcullis House in Parliament UK, with the then Nigerian
opposition to disparage me, after I had signed the Same-Sex
Marriage Prohibition Bill into law.
On the issue of corruption, it suffices to say that Mr. Cameron
is not as competent as Transparency International, which is
globally acknowledged as the adjudicator of who is corrupt
and who is not.
During my administration, in 2014, Nigeria made her best ever
improvement on the annual Transparency International
Corruption Perception Index, moving from 144 the previous
year, to 136, an 8 point improvement. As a nation, we have
not made such improvements on the CPI before or after 2014.
In line with these facts, I would urge the public to take Mr.
Cameron’s accusations with a grain of salt. I will not be the
first person to accuse him of lying on account of this book,
and with the reactions in the Uk so far, I definitely will not be
the last.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Chairman of the Goodluck Jonathan
Foundation and President of Nigeria 2010-2015.

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