The Presidency responded to the dismissal of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as a failure by former President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that the former president has no moral ground to criticise Buhari.
Receiving a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairmanship aspirant in the forthcoming national convention of the party, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Jonathan had said the All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by Buhari had not recorded any achievement after two years, adding that the ruling party was feeding Nigerians with lies and propaganda.
“Those who are giving us some kind of names, what have they done?” Jonathan queried, saying that the Buhari government had taken propaganda and lies to professional level.
The former President recalled that his administration was “severely criticised for increasing the pump price of petroleum from N67 to N97 at a time that global crude price was going for over 100 dollars.
“The pump price was later reduced to N87 when the price of crude oil dropped and they attacked us that it was supposed to be lower.
“Those who criticised my administration are not talking again now that the global crude oil is about 53 dollars per barrel and the pump price of petrol is N143.”
But the Presidency yesterday explained to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan why the generality of Nigerians accepted the increase of petrol price from N89 per litre to the current N143 in good faith.
The Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said it was all down to the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“When petrol went to N145 under PMB, Nigerians held their peace, unlike when they shut the country in 2012. The difference is trust. Simple,” Adesina tweeted yesterday in response to Jonathan’s statement on Thursday.
An APC chieftain, Mr.Osita Okechukwu, also advised Jonathan to quietly retire to any part of the country he chooses and stop challenging the APC and the Buhari government to a public debate.
Okechukwu, who is the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), told The Nation on the phone that the Jonathan Administration failed the nation, leaving major infrastructure to decay while public funds were freely looted.
He challenged the former President to point to any project he was able to complete during his six years in office as President.
Okechukwu said: “The President was very clear that the man (Jonathan) left almost an empty treasury, which is why we have a huge infrastructure deficit.
“The world knows that almost all the infrastructure that Jonathan inherited went bad. We are challenging him to show us one project he completed.
“Is it the Green Field refineries? He told us on May 13, 2010 that he was going to build three green field refineries at $23 billion.
“The contract was awarded to the Chinese under Public Private Partnership. One was to be located in Bayelsa, one in Lagos and the other in Kogi State.
“We challenge him to show us the three green field refineries or tell us where the money he voted for the projects is. I am talking about a time when our Excess Crude Account was in the excess of short $17 billion.
“The Chinese came back and told him they were going to contribute about 80 per cent of the three green field refineries. We have not seen any of them.
“If we had seen the three green field refineries which he publicly announced, the billions we lost in importation of refined petroleum products and the gross unemployment engendered by the looting of that fund would have been avoided, and that is what we are talking about.
“Before and during his regime, there was money voted for the cleaning of Ogoni environment that was degraded by oil spill.
“It is the Buhari regime that started that project now. Did he do anything there? Did he complete the East/West Road? That is a road that covers the nerve centre of the Niger Delta where he comes from.
“If there is any project that he promised to implement and he did, he should tell us.
“Don’t forget that the average price then was about $100 per barrel. I don’t see how he can be calling for a public debate, because I am talking of just one region.
“Even the development he did in the Nigerian airports, is it commensurate with the amount of money voted or the amount of money borrowed? He said he did this or that. Is it commensurate with the amount of money voted?
“If I were in his shoes, I would retire to the village or any city of my choice and keep my cool, because if he talks of a debate, we will bring out what happened during his time.
“The fact that his wife was coming to claim $15 million, saying it was out of her hand work as First Lady and permanent secretary in Bayelsa State. Is it that other Nigerians are not working hard to be worth $15 million? So, let us not go into his matter.
“We are not talking of Diezani who was Minister of Petroleum under his government, who failed to do anything to develop the Niger Delta and rather resorted to illegal accumulation of wealth.
“I have great respect for him as a former President and being gracious enough to accept his defeat. But if he wants to open the vault, then we can go back and open the Pandora box for him. So, let us leave it at that.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State expressed disappointment at the statement made by Jonathan.
Spokesman for the party, Abayomi Adesanya, believes Jonathan has not recovered from the shock of his defeat in the 2015 election.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for clarification that is known to the public though, Jonathan plunged Nigeria into this present quagmire of unprecedented corruption and economic crisis,” Adesanya said.
“If I were Jonathan, I would keep quiet and beg for forgiveness from Nigerians and God, rather than making uncomplimentary comments about the present government.”