The immediate past President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has dragged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to the mud on Thursday, as he said that the All Progressive Congress (APC)-led administration runs a government of lies and propaganda.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday while receiving one of the national chairmanship aspirants in his office, Professor Tunde Adeniran and members of his campaign team, Jonathan said the solidarity being shown to the party even though it lost election at the centre in 2015 is a pointer that “There is something in the PDP.”
He insisted that the PDP, which controlled government at the centre from 1999 to 2015, did well for the country but that the APC has failed the country and its people.
According to him, the APC administration has nothing to show in terms of achievement. Rather, the ruling party has been governing through lies and deployment of hi-tech propaganda to cover up its misrules.
While challenging the leadership of the party to the public debate over its performance, Jonathan said:
“The PDP administration for 16 years did well and will continue to do well. But this administration has done nothing, the administration is full lies and propaganda.”
“In the power sector, we did well to revive it.“A certain state governor criticised our government, saying that any serious government should be able to fix the power sector within six months. But today, the APC has been in power for how many years? Fortunately, the then governor is in the APC Government as a Minister,” he said, fighting a bout of laughter.
“With the rate at which people are coming around to associate with a party that lost elections, it shows that the people still believe in the PDP. With the number and calibre of the people coming out to vie for the seat of the national chairman and other offices of our party, it shows that our party still has another chance”, the ex-President added.
However, the Presidency, in a swift reply, dismissed Jonathan’s statement, saying it was an attempt to distract Nigerians from what it described as the multiple corruption allegations facing his wife, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
A senior presidential aide, who spoke on Thursday on the condition of anonymity, to Vanguard Newspaper, said:
“Our view is that this was an attempt to divert attention from the multiple corruption scandals surrounding his wife, Patience Jonathan, who in September had USD 31.4 million frozen in a bank account linked to her, following an approval obtained by the EFCC from a judge.
“This came on the heels of an earlier USD 15 million allegedly kept for the medical treatment of her mother, as well as a forfeited amount of USD 5.9 million, following an order by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has also laid its hand on no less than a dozen property in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa, estimated to cost billions of Naira. “To cut a long story short, the story of Mrs. Jonathan’s (mis)fortune, from all indications, is just beginning.”
In his response, the APC spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, was surprised that President Jonathan uttered the words.
Abdullahi, who served in the Jonathan government until he was relieved in March 2014, said:
“I doubt that President Jonathan actually said these words you have reported because he would be exposing himself to reactions that would not be edifying of his status as a statesman by so doing. Secondly, I know the former President to be of even temperament.
“Only a few days ago, I read that he was counselling his party on the choice of Chairman and Publicity Secretary. Statements like these wouldn’t represent an example of the kind of attitude he was canvassing.
“But if he truly said that, I would say with due respect that he may need to commission a more dispassionate study of how and why APC won the 2015 Presidential election.
“To say that APC won the election simply by deceiving the people would be too simplistic and may even be interpreted as an insult to the millions of Nigerians that voted the APC into power.”