Former president Goodluck Jonathan has stressed the need for freedom of speech as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
He said this while addressing a gathering of lawyers at a dinner he attended in the United States over the weekend. He said his administration never placed ethno-religious interest above the individual values of Nigerians.
“We were conscious of the Federal Character, as our constitutional guiding principle. We never placed ethno-religious interest over our individual values.”
“Accordingly, we ensured that interest groups in the society feel safe and secured in their day to day activities.
“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 the administration that I headed.
“Nigeria had neither political prisoners nor prisoners of conscience because we ourselves ensured that we acted accordingly in all we did. You in the diaspora can attest to the fact that there was no Nigerian on exile.”
Jonathan who was once described as the most abused leader, told the lawyers that he upheld freedom of speech.
“I allowed people express their opinions without fear. We also enacted the Freedom of Information Act and by that we tore the veil of secrecy covering governance.