Jonathan dismisses Campbell’s allegations on 2011 elections

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed allegation by a former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell, that the 2011 presidential election won by him was rigged.
Jonathan in a statement issued on Sunday by Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, his spokesman said “Campbell styles himself as a ‘Nigeria expert’ at the Council for Foreign Relations, but in truth, he is regarded as a figure of ridicule in Nigeria for his postulations, which have repeatedly and consistently proven to be way off the mark”
Jonathan said “besides serving as a diplomat in his country’s embassy in our dear country, what other competences does Campbell possess to qualify as a Nigeria expert?”
The former president said: “Campbell has continued to deploy “his half-baked knowledge of the nation’s political environment and his closeness to the United States power brokers not only to canvass his ill-conceived political agenda, but to also exploit some Nigerian politicians.
“For instance, because he is not well schooled in the tone and nuances of Nigerian politics, he had no way of knowing that the riots he cited in some cities in the north following the 2011 presidential election had nothing to do with his claims on rigging.
“Otherwise, why would Bauchi and Kano States, where former President Jonathan had only 16 per cent and 15 per cent of votes, witness the worst riots?”
Jonathan maintained that 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 elections in Nigeria, since the country returned to civil rule in 1999.
According to him, the chair of the Commonwealth Election Observer Group, former Botswana President Festus Mogae, had said on April 18, 2011, that the 2011 Nigerian elections discarded the notion that the country can only hold flawed elections.
“Previously held notions that Nigeria can only hold flawed elections are now being discarded and this country can now shake off that stigma and redeem its image,” Jonathan quoted Mogae as saying.
He said further 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 election in Nigeria’s history.
“Nigeria’s 2011 general elections—in particular the presidential election—were seen widely as being well-run. This was especially important, given the universally decried elections of 2007,” he said.

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