Former President Goodluck Jonathan has wondered why the United Nations would be pleading with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to keep the standard he established if indeed he ran a bad government and made poor choices.
Jonathan gave his thoughts in response to a statement credited to Borno State’s Governor Kashim Shettima during a book launch by Bolaji Abdullahi, the national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Thursday.
Shettima had during his speech at the book launch claimed that Jonathan’s administration was marred by poor choices and bad governance adding that the former leader ran a “parochial and jaundiced” government.
Senate President Bukola Saraki had also at the same event suggested that Jonathan was an unserious leader who never considered the scam of Nigeria losing about N1.3 trillion to subsidy as an issue.
The Senate president had also described Jonathan as one who emerged leader either by “misfortune or fortune”.
But responding in a statement released by his spokesperson, Ikechukwu Eze on Friday, the former President said that it was sad that some politicians could go to any length to make spurious statements in pursuit of sad narrative to remain politically correct.
He then wondered if it was his “bad governance and poor choices that reformed the political and electoral processes to the extent that the United Nations is now pleading with the government of the day to strive to maintain the standards established by Jonathan?”
The statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the claims made by the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima on Thursday at a book launch to the effect that former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan wasted the goodwill he commanded because of bad governance and poor choices in office. He was also said to have accused Jonathan of believing that he was behind the kidnap of the Chibok girls.
“As a man who had never seen anything good in the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan on account of party and other differences, it has remained our considered view that in a democracy, Governor Kashim Shettima and others like him are entitled to their opinion, no matter how jaundiced.
“However, it is a sad commentary on the character of some of our politicians that they go to any length to make spurious statements, in pursuit of the sad narrative to remain politically correct. We cannot be deceived by his crocodile tears and patronizing claim that ‘Jonathan is essentially a decent man’, which is a ploy he deployed to justify his false allegation of a lost glory.
“We didn’t expect anything less from Governor Shettima, knowing the ignoble roles he played in frustrating the war waged by the past administration against Boko Haram, even in his own Borno State.
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“He should be able to tell us if it was Jonathan’s poor choices that led the governor to expose students of Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok to avoidable danger, in total disregard of a Federal Government directive to the governors in the three states most affected by Boko Haram to relocate their students writing the West African School Certificate Examinations to safe zones.
“The governor is now denying that he had no hand in the kidnap of the Chibok girls even before anybody accused him of culpability. However, we share the view of those who insist that the governor had other things up his sleeve when he promised the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that he would secure the girls, and ended up doing the very opposite, by deliberately abandoning them to their fate, without any security presence in their school.
“It is instructive that while other governors in the zone heeded the security advice, Shettima remained the only one that flagrantly flouted it. Should we also fail to point out that his decision to reward the principal of Chibok Secondary School, who was uncharacteristically absent on the night terrorists stormed the school, with the post of a commissioner, did throw up more questions than answers?
“We understand Governor Shettima and those who spoke like him accused Jonathan of bad governance and poor choices, and we would like to know if it was bad governance that led Jonathan to assemble a-yet-to be matched crop of dynamic cabinet and economic management team made up of tested technocrats like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in Finance ministry, Shamsuddeen Usman in Planning, Olusegun Aganga in Trade and Investments as well as Akinwumi Adesina leading the charge in Agriculture. The efforts of the Jonathan administration in repositioning Nigeria’s economy remain self-evident and it must have indeed been poor choices at their best for Jonathan and his team to have recorded the following key achievements:
“Nigeria’s Gross domestic Product rose to $503 billion in 2013 and became Africa’s largest economy and 26th in the world; from 3rd and 4th respectively. Nigeria became the number one destination for Foreign Direct Investment in Africa under former President Jonathan, with the numbers rising from $24.9 million as at 2007 to over $35 billion in 2014.
“Under Jonathan life expectancy in Nigeria rose from 47 years in 2010 to 54 years in 2015. Just before Jonathan left office, CNN Money projected that Nigeria’s economy in 2015 would become the third fastest growing economy in the world at 7 per cent behind China at 7.3 per cent and Qatar at 7.1 per cent.
“Was it bad governance and poor choices that reformed the political and electoral processes to the extent that the United Nations is now pleading with the government of the day to strive to maintain the standards established by Jonathan?