A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, says the alleged video broadcast by ex-American President, Barack Obama, on the 2015 presidential election violated Nigeria’s sovereignty.
According to Ozekhome, Obama’s alleged interference in the 2015 presidential poll, coupled with his support for gay marriage, has made the former US President lose his popularity among Nigerians.
Ozekhome spoke with our correspondent against the backdrop of complaint by former President Goodluck Jonathan that Obama’s video broadcast to Nigerians days before the presidential election was instrumental in his defeat.
Jonathan made the claim in his book, ‘My Transition Hours,’ which was unveiled last week.
He also complained about the visit of the then United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, to him when the 2015 general elections were shifted from February 14 to March 28 over insecurity concerns.
Asked whether Obama’s video broadcast and Kerry’s visit during the period amounted to interference in the elections by the US, Ozekhome said, “Sure. They were not just body language; they were clear indications as to their preference.
“It was a violation of Nigeria’s sovereignty. It amounted to undue interference in our internal affairs. We all watched Kerry’s activities when he came to Nigeria; his nocturnal and open meetings with the opposition party and spite for then ruling party.
“It’s one of the main reasons Obama lost huge goodwill and love from the Nigerian people, when added to his open, unnatural and support for gay marriage.”
But responding to the same question, another SAN, Prof Kayinsola Ajayi, said, “It is true, yes. But do we not owe ourselves the truth as children of one God who want good governance?”
However, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr Wahab Shittu, said Obama and Kerry did no wrong.
Shittu said, “The US is among the guardians of democracy and democratic traditions all over the world.
“To that extent, the US is only interested in the preservation of democratic traditions everywhere in the world.
“So, what Obama did was in furtherance of the fundamentals of democratic traditions and it does not constitute an interference in the domestic affairs of Nigeria.”
On his part, activist lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, described the events leading to Jonathan’s loss as history, saying what Nigerians should be concerned about now is for America and other Western powers to play a similar role to ensure free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
Another lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, asked Jonathan to take responsibility for his defeat, which, he said, was caused by Nigerians’ perception of his government as corrupt and clueless.