British, American govt got it badly wrong on Buhari’s re-election-Top UK Diplomat
London, March 18, 2019 (AltAfrica)-A top British diplomat has admitted that British and American governments including some allies got it badly wrong on the prospect of president Buhari winning re-election in Nigeria.
The diplomat who had worked for many years in some African countries including Kenya, foreign and commonwealth offices in London, told Alternativeafrica.com during a discussion at a private event in London, that it was very obvious that Buhari was not the choice of most western countries
The top diplomat who would not want to be named said all actions, utterances and reports coming from their embassies in Nigeria had indicated that the Buhari was heading for defeat, hence the open romance with the opposition
The former British Ambassador said Buhari’s victory was still a shock to the western countries adding that the development is causing ripples between the embassies and their respective home countries.
“I can assure you that questions are being asked why and how they got it so badly wrong. Many reports had predicted victory for the opposition so much so that many of the western countries including UK and American displayed open partisanship in that election only to fall flat in their face. That is a serious crisis of confidence and someone must go down with it” the diplomat said
Asked why they got it so wrong, he said “they, i mean the top embassy officials must have been deceived by the spate of defection from the ruling party to the opposition. Almost everyone who assisted the president refused to back him. Those who fell out with the former president and teem up with Buhari had abandoned him. The senate president, your speaker, past presidents and top religious leaders including the last minutes American trip by the main challenger in that election. Everyone thought it was over”
Continuing, he related the development to 2015 election ” if you remember the 2015 election, a similar scenario played out. Past presidents, top politicians were oppose to your president then, Goodluck Jonathan and he lost woefully. The situation this time was similar. A ground swell opposition from almost everywhere in Nigeria. The noise was loud, no one survives that. So everyone drew a similarity with that election and probably concluded that there was no way back for him but we were all wrong”
The diplomat added that the development would have created serious diplomatic crisis of confidence between handlers of government and the embassies. He believes it is a matter of time before changes are effected at the embassies to be able to win back the trust of government.
“Nigeria is too strategic to us to loose. Rather than allow a fractious relationship occasioned by wrong election permutation jeopardize long standing relationship, someone must take the fall. Changes must be effected as soon as possible as a strong message to the government that they are on the same page”