Ministers who served under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, have condemned what they described as concerted effort by the Buhari administration and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to condemn, ridicule and undermine the efforts of that administration, in addition to impugning the integrity of its individual members.
The former ministers who include Diezani Alison-Madueke, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nyesom Wike, Labaran Maku among others were emphatic that the Jonathan administration was not corrupt.
Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman who issued a statement on behalf of the former Ministers in Abuja on Monday said the Buhari administration has been making effort to “portray each and every member of the Jonathan administration as corrupt and irresponsible, in an orchestrated and vicious trial by media, has created a lynch mentality that discredits our honest contributions to the growth and development of our beloved nation.”
The former ministers who claimed that they served Nigeria diligently and to the best of their abilities during their tenures cited what they claimed were improvements in the power sector, in national security, and in social services and other sectors as products of solid foundations laid by the same Jonathan administration.
The ex-Ministers also affirmed that contrary to the impression the Buhari administration wants to create in the minds of Nigerians, the Jonathan administration was not corrupt.
Indeed, former Ministers claimed the former President fought corruption vigorously, within the context of the rule of law and due process.
They cited different instances of the former President’s battle against corruption to include ending decades old fraud in fertilizer subsidies which, according to them, helped to unleash a revolution in agricultural production and productivity, institutional development of strong systems and mechanisms to curb corruption in the public service and plug revenue leakages like the development of the Government Integrated Financial Management Platform, the Single Treasury Account (TSA), and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Management Systems (IPPIS), in addition to the biometric registration of civil servants and pensioners which saved the country over N100 billion paid to ghost workers and ghost pensioners.
They also said to ensure greater transparency and integrity in the oil and gas sector, the Jonathan administration ordered investigations and put mechanisms in place to check the theft of Nigeria’s crude oil.
They also listed other achievements of President Jonathan in the oil and gas sector, mobilization of Nigeria’s neighbor for the fight against terrorism, repair and rehabilitated over 25, 000 kilometres of roads and turning the country into a profitable and preferred investment-friendly destination.
“It was under President Jonathan, for example, that Nigeria’s electric power sector became more competitive and attractive to local and foreign investments. The same administration promoted the rule of law, free speech, fundamental human rights, and a robust freedom of information regime. Women’s rights to participate in public life and the Federal Character principle as well as other Constitutional principles were also respected.
“In every respect, our administration promoted inclusive governance and encouraged all stakeholders including the private sector to play key roles in the transformation of Nigeria,” the Ministers said in the statement.
While noting that the Jonathan administration strengthened electoral institutions and created a peaceful environment for democracy to thrive, the Ministers said it is sad and ironic that the chief beneficiaries of that same legacy are the most vociferous today in condemning President Jonathan and his team.
The former Ministers who also challenged the Buhari administration and the APC to publish the details of the hand over notes they received from the Jonathan administration asked the President to be fair enough to acknowledge the good works of the Jonathan administration.
“No administration can be either completely bad or completely good. President Jonathan’s achievements in moving this country to greater heights deserve to be duly acknowledged. We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to build on these achievements.
“We also urge him to press on with the anti-corruption fight, but in a fair and non-partisan manner, in line with due process, and not as a political witch-hunt,” the former Ministers said while condemning what they described as “the various lies and fabrications being peddled by some self-appointed spokespersons of the administration which they noted “may achieve the unintended effect of de-marketing our country within the international community.”
“The name-calling of members of the Jonathan administration and the trial by news media should also stop. We encourage President Buhari to continue with the probes, but this must be in strict accordance with his oath of office to treat all Nigerians equally and with the fear of God,” the former Ministers said.