Former Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on New Media, Reno Omokri, has revealed how a number of Northern governors allegedly conspired with the United States and other Western powers to ensure the defeat of the former president at the 2015 polls.
Omokri, whose book is coming on the heels of a similar effort by the chairman of Thisday Editorial Board, Olusegun Adeniyi, also disclosed how former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako and the Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, almost exchanged blows in the United States in 2014 over Jonathan’s ambition.
He also said the invitation of some 12 northern governors to the United States in 2014 was a clever move to orchestrate opposition against Jonathan from the North and eventually truncate his second term ambition.
In the book entitled: “Facts versus fiction: The conspiracy to remove Jonathan,” Omokri said the March 2014 multilevel meetings held in the United States with 12 northern governors laid the background for opposition against Jonathan both locally and internationally as allegedly spearheaded by former American President, Barack Obama.
He stated that though Obama backed Jonathan to assume office in 2010, the parting of ways emerged in 2013 when Jonathan signed the anti-same sex bill into law in Nigeria.
He revealed that while the meetings were arranged by the United States Institute for Peace, with the support of the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilisation Operations and targeted at discussing “strategies for stabilisation and development in Nigeria, it was not extended to governors of Southern part of the country.
The former presidential aide said he was prompted to dig into the missing links regarding the 2015 election after the book released by Adeniyi some months back.
According to him, he trailed one of the key actors in the meetings held between the United States authorities and the Northern governors, Mr Matthew T. Page, who gave real insights into the submissions at the multilevel meetings.
He stated that Page was until his resignation in 2016, the United States State Department’s top intelligence analyst on Nigeria.
Omokri wrote: “Why did the Obama-led administration organise those meetings? What occurred at those meetings? Who said what, where, when and why? The answer to those questions will help throw light on if there was a conspiracy by the Obama-led administration (not the United States) to remove then President Jonathan from office.”
He stated further: “In 2016, Mr Page left the State Department and moved to Cambridge in the United Kingdom, from where he spoke to me. He was adamant that [former Niger State governor], Mr Babangida Aliyu’s version of the events at those meetings were not accurate and was keen to set the records straight.
“According to Mr Page, the meetings were attended by 12 northern governors of whom the most vocal was the then governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako. Others at the meetings who voiced anti-Jonathan sentiments were then Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto State and Kashim Shettima of Borno State. The then governors of Kwara and Kogi were in attendance, but were non-committal.
“Mr Page noted that the meetings at the United States Institute for Peace were innocuous, but that when the governors proceeded to the closed-door sessions at the United States State Department, things changed.”
The author further quoted Page thus: “At that meeting, Admiral Nyako read out a memo he had written, itemising the cases against Jonathan. He was so openly and almost violently against the Jonathan-led administration in his speech that he had to be openly rebuked at the meeting by the then Nigerian ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye of blessed memory.
“Admiral Nyako’s belligerence against the Jonathan-led administration was so venomous that it prompted an angry reaction from the Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, who showed loyalty to the then Nigerian president. According to Mr Page, this prompted most of the other northern governors present to turn on him [Dankwambo].
“In my interview with him, Mr Page revealed to me that after the anti-Jonathan tirades by these governors, they were shepherded to the White House on March 18, 2014 for more meetings. Even though Mr Page attended the reception at the White House for the Northern governors, he did not make me privy to who were at that particular meeting other than stating that the governors met with then National Security Adviser, Susan Rice.”