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Goodluck Jonathan: ‘Obama meddled in Nigeria’s 2015 election’

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Former US President Barack Obama meddled in Nigeria’s 2015 election, former Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has told the BBC.

He repeated the claim made in his recently released book, My Transition Hours.

“The level of interference by the Obama’s government was very overwhelming,” adding that it went “outside the normal diplomatic relationship,”  Jonathan said.

He cited the #BringBackOurGirls – a social media campaign launched to highlight the plight of 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in 2014 – and backed by Obama’s wife, Michelle, as having cast his government in a bad light:

“Immediately the Chibok issue came up, we expected Nigerians to be concerned. How do we get these girls out? Within a couple of days, we saw people going to the US with Bring Back Our Girls Placards… How? Why?… and of course Mrs Obama received all of those placards.”

He said the US State Department poured “vitriol on our administration” and presented his government “as a problem of Nigeria, far beyond the Chibok situation”.

 “The level of interference by the Obama’s government was very overwhelming. It’s not as if I couldn’t have won the elections even with that, but if, by my own thinking, and also the way some other people looked at it, they go outside the normal diplomatic relationship, then it should be mentioned.”

Jonathan also said he was worried about the “neutrality of the relevant agencies of government” who have a role in next year’s election, but said he hoped they would do their job.

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