Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that under his watch as the president of Nigeria, no Nigerian was sent to prison as a result of what they wrote or said about him or his administration. He also said that Nigeria has neither political prisoners nor political exile under his administration. The former head of state said this while speaking at the annual Gala Dinner of Nigerian Lawyers Association in the USA.
“Most of my principal aides in government hailed from different ethnic nationalities. We never placed ethno-religious interests above merits or individual values when making decisions. No matter what my critic said about me, I ensured thet there was both freedom of speech and freedom after the speech.
“Under my watch not a single Nigerian was sent to prison because of anything they wrote or said about me or the Administration that I headed. Nigeria had neither political prisoners nor political exile under my Administration.
“We enacted the Freedom of Information Act and by that we tore the veil of secrecy covering governance. We gave institutions unlimited freedom and ensured that the NBA, other professional institutions were devoid of any governmental influence. We enacted the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to promote efficient management of criminal justice institutions in Nigeria. The Act along with other institutional reforms will help our country in fighting corruption and other crimes.
“We ensured that appointments to INEC were not based on personal relationships. The same sense of patriotism and desire to put our country’s interest first influenced the ceitical decisions I made as President of Nigeria. I would like to see our political leaders irrespective of their parties work together for the unity and development of our country. Let us re-programme our thinking,” he said in his speech.