Ex-President Jonathan silent on $103m maritime security contract 

Goodluck-Jonathan

The controversial $103 million security contract awarded to Global West Vessel Specialists Limited (GWVSL) by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2011 was noticeably absent in the ex-President’s recently released book, My Transition Hours.

The launch of the book, which coincided with Jonathan’s 61st birthday last week, dwelt extensively on the abduction of the Chibok school girls in 2014, and the uproar which followed the deregulation of fuel subsidy in 2012.

However, the controversial security contract, which entailed the provision of platforms, security boats, equipment and expertise to assist the protection of the nation’s waterways in 2012, drew the ire of civil groups and stakeholders.

The latter were of the opinion that the constitutional duties of the Nigerian Navy were being usurped by GWVSL.

Also in contention was the commissioning of the Maritime University Okerenkoko, Delta State in 2014 by the Jonathan administration. Both projects were eventually cancelled by the Buhari administration, with the Federal Government reversing its decision last year as regards the continuation of the maritime university.

Clarifying that the book was in no way a substitute for his biography, Jonathan listed the Chibok girls’ saga and the protests that followed his attempts to end fuel subsidy as some of the most difficult moments he encountered.

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Jonathan said, “These events of which I speak are the abduction of 200 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014 and the deregulation of fuel subsidy in 2012.

“I intend to give the reader a clear chance at comprehending my actions and the projections of my government on those two scores. They were two events of great significance among many, not only because of the main national arteries they were attached to, but also because of their timing. One at a fairly early moment of our administration and the other one at the home stretch.”

Describing both events as ammunition in the hands of the opposition’s huge, if corrupt media machine, Jonathan doubted the authenticity of both events as game changers as the opposition tried to make the world believe.

“My Transition Hours is not my biography; that would come later. Rather, this is a personal and very honest account of my stewardship in the heady days which brinksmanship another role for me, thrusting upon us the responsibility to rein our nation in, from a needless dangerous precipice by a menacing and rather tragic political mercantilism.

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“This depicts the months and weeks leading to my unprecedented phone call to General Muhammadu Buhari on the 31 of March 2015 to concede that he won the presidential election. It is also an effort to capture a certain return trip to my private life in the days which followed that very deliberate, and well thought out concession call,” he said.

The controversial $103 GWVSL contract was well used by the opposition in the run-up to the 2015 general election.

The contract is now subject of litigation while the owner of GWVSL, Government Ekpemekpulo aka Tompolo, believed to be a strong ally of Jonathan, has been declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).