By Joe Nwankwo,
Former Head of State and All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant, General Muhammadu Buhari, has taken a swipe at the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, declaring that the Jonathan-led government is the most corrupt in Nigeria’s history.
In a statement signed by his spokesman, Engr. Rotimi Fasaki, Buhari said that it had never been in doubt that the present regime was the most corrupt, adding that “what has become clearly intolerable, is the predilection of this administration for shameful revisionism, denial of the truth and unpatriotic divisiveness.
According to Fasaki, “Whilst it is not our desire to bandy words with this administration that is steeped on perilous leadership of the nation, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to present the facts again for the perusal of discerning Nigerian people.
“On Wednesday, 15 October 2014, while declaring his intention (before a mammoth crowd of supporters), General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) stated, ‘The economy continues to deteriorate while the government continues to announce fantastic growth figures but manufacturing is down, agriculture is down, commerce is down’ Fasaki said, adding, “simply because you sell oil and steal part of the money does not entitle you to cook figures and announce phantom economic growth when all the major indices namely, employment, manufacturing, farming, and trading are demonstrably on the decline. Expectedly, the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency, rather than giving truthful response to the message, lunged at the messenger in the most indecent tradition that has become second nature to the operatives of the communication of the administration.
“In order to support its nebulous claim of the improvement of the economy, the Jonathan Presidency stated: ‘As is well known, available figures, statistics and ratings show that the Nigerian economy has consistently maintained an unprecedented growth rate of 6-7 per cent under the Jonathan administration. They also show that the Nigerian economy is now the leading economy in Africa and the 26th largest in the world with a gross domestic product of over $500 billion per annum.’ Contrary to these bogus claims by this administration, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its June 12, 2013 online release, stated that 112 million Nigerians (representing 67 per cent of the entire population) live below poverty line.
“Earlier, in its ‘May 2013 Nigeria Economic Report’, the World Bank said the number of Nigerians living in poverty was increasing too rapidly. The relevant question that readily comes up is, of what use is gloating about with seemingly fantastic economic growth statistics when two-third of the nation’s population is reeling in grinding poverty? It is an incontrovertible fact that the reason for the manifested youth restiveness in the national space is exacerbated by blatant inability of the Jonathan regime to improve on job creation,” he stated.
Fasaki said: “The mindset of the Jonathan Presidency is encapsulated in the famous statement made by President Goodluck Jonathan himself in Davos, Switzerland, (earlier in the year) wherein he said that his administration’s backward integration has made a Nigerian the richest man in Africa! It did not make a difference to this President that the grim fact is that there is inequitable distribution of the nation’s wealth. It is this fact that came to the fore when five power generating assets and 10 power distributing assets were sold to known cronies in another scandalous privatisation deal. Meanwhile, majority of Nigerians have not had improved supply of electricity to their homes and business offices. All these are manifestations of an administration that is unwilling to show sensitivity to the plight of the teeming population of the Nigerian people.
“Indeed, the denial of fact, as a character trait of Jonathan government, should not surprise anyone, as the Jonathan administration has abundant capacity for mendacity, chicanery and revisionism. In April 2014, when the news broke that over 200 young Nigerian female children had been abducted by unconscionable beings, the first reaction of the Jonathan regime was to make spirited attempts to conceal the fact of this abduction.
“Details of the June 2014 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) showed that only 529,425 candidates (representing 31.28 per cent) out of 1.7million candidates who wrote the examination obtained credits in five subjects and above, including English Language and Mathematics. While the performance of Nigerian students’ performance has been very dismal in the last three years (under Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s administration), Ghanaian students dominated the three positions at the international awards for the best candidates in the five member countries of WAEC. But this should not surprise anyone because while the Jonathan administration has consistently spent less than 13 per cent of the yearly budget on education (a far cry from the UNICEF’s recommendation of 26 per cent), Ghana spent 31 per cent of its 2013 budget on Education.”
“Jonathan’s Presidency had stated with obvious delusory intent: “His most uncharitable and inexcusable accusation against the present administration was that election rigging continues to thrive in Nigeria.” In the two governorship elections conducted this year (2014), the Military and other security forces were deployed in a manner to compromise the election. On the eve of the June 22, 2014 Ekiti governorship election, over two hundred leaders of the opposition All Progressive Congress were removed from circulation in Gestapo-style manner by the over 36,000 security forces deployed to the state for a ‘do or die’ electoral battle. Buoyed by the success of its infernal impunity, over 70,000 security forces were also deployed to Osun State for the governorship election on August 9, 2014, but the steadfastness of the people saved the day. In its February 2014 report, the National Human Rights’ Commission branded INEC, Police and the Judiciary as
election criminals,” he said.