Under my government, No Nigerian Was Sent to Prison for Critizing Me – Jonathan
The former President made the assertion while delivering a keynote speech at the annual Merit Awards Dinner of the Nigerian Lawyers Association of the United States of America, USA.
Jonathan’s assertion is coming at the heel of calls by a cross section of Nigerians that leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu and other pro – Biafra agitators currently in detention across the country be released.
He urged leaders to ensure unity and harmony in Nigeria by guarding their language and conduct.
According to Jonathan, diversity could remain a “strength only when all interest groups in the society feel safe and secured, in their day to day activities.”
“That is why no matter what any critic said about me, I ensured that 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 he or she wrote or said about me or about the Administration that I headed. Nigeria had no political prisoners under my Administration and we certainly did not have any prisoners of conscience because we ourselves ensured that we acted according to our conscience in all we did.
“You in the diaspora can attest to the fact that Nigeria had no political exile. Not only did I take a stance to allow people express their opinions without let or fear, we also enacted the Freedom of Information Act and by that, we tore the veil of secrecy covering governance.
“Nigerians deserve to know how their government functions. I am proud to say that we gave them knowledge, and that is a genie you cannot put back to the lamp. We gave institutions unlimited freedom and ensured that the Nigerian Bar Association and other professional unions, fraternities and guilds were completely devoid of any governmental influence.