24.1 C

FLASHBACK: When Jonathan asked for $1bn to fight Boko Haram, Tinubu condemned it






In July 2014, Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan sought approval from the National Assembly to borrow $1 billion (N168 billion) to fight Boko Haram. Many immediately rose against this move, alleging ulterior motives. One of those who stood out among the critics was Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which, now in power, just acted likewise.  

Less than a week after Jonathan sent the letter of request to Senate President David Mark, Tinubu released an article condemning the decision, suggesting the loan would be used to fight opposition and not terrorism, and demanding for exactly what the government planned to spend it on.

“The news that President Jonathan has requested the National Assembly to approve his request to seek a loan of one billion dollars purportedly to battle Boko Haram terrorism should lead any person with sober conscience to fall out of their chair,” he had written.

“Hasn’t he presented the National Assembly defence bills and budgets totaling trillions during the past three years? Boko Haram has been terrorizing throughout this period. Tell me, what has changed, what is so different now that he must stack another one billion dollars atop the funds already given him to defend and protect the nation?”

“The answer is nothing except that elections soon approach,” he said, providing an answer himself.

- Advertisement -

“This loan is not intended to defend Nigeria any more than a pig is built for aerial flight. It is intended to launder his image and buy foreign favour that he may conduct his coming electoral misdeed in international silence.

“In reality, this loan will be used to buy the election and pay for the intimidation of the opposition and electorate. Most of it will go into the PDP coffers. The portion which finds its way to the armed forces and security agencies will be to purchase their services in suppressing all who are not PDP. The loan will not be to fight terrorism. It will be to fight the legitimate dissent.”

On Wednesday, Mansur Dan Ali, Minister of Defence, revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the release of $1 billion “for the purchase of more equipment for the military” to fight insecurity in the country ― the same amount requested by Jonathan in similar circumstances, including one year before election.

Many, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have criticised the approval. However, Tinubu has said nothing close to the statement he released in 2014. Perhaps APC’s National Leader is privy to reasons why this case is different from that of four years ago or he is awaiting the right moment to voice out.

Author profile

'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via aadebajo@icirnigeria.org or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.


If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.



Colleges of Education lecturers suspend strike for two months

LECTURERS in Nigerian Colleges of Education have suspended the strike they embarked upon on...

2023: Wike disowns suit against Atiku

RIVERS State governor Nyesom Wike has disowned a suit that is seeking to remove...

FG’s grid expansion project plans additional 204 megawatts in Ekiti State

THE Federal Government's grid expansion project is targeting additional 204 megawatts (mw) of electricity...

FG to implement new tariff hike on data, calls – Minister

THE Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has said the Federal Government is on course...

2023: Wike sues Atiku, asks court to declare him PDP presidential candidate

RIVERS State governor Nyesom Wike has dragged Atiku Abubakar to court over the presidential...

Most Read


Subscribe to our newsletter