According to a report by Vanguard Nigeria, former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, dismissed the All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration as running on the steam of lies and propaganda.
His assertion was immediately dismissed by the Presidency as an attempt to distract from what it described as the multiple corruption allegations facing his wife, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.
The APC on its part, expressed disbelief that Jonathan was bold enough to utter the words as the party challenged him to dispassionately study the reasons he lost the 2015 presidential election.
Speaking in Abuja, yesterday when he received Professor Tunde Adeniran, one of the national chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in his office, ex-President Jonathan said the solidarity being shown to the party, even though it lost election at the centre in 2015, was a pointer that “there is something in the PDP.”
While pledging to speak up some day on the giant strides recorded by the party in the course of its 16-year stewardship, the former President swiped at a serving Minister who he said, once stated that all it could take a serious government to fix the power challenge was six months.
“The PDP administration for 16 years did well and will continue to do well, but this administration has done nothing. They deployed propaganda and lies at a professional level.
“In the power sector, we did well to revive it. A state governor attacked our government, saying that any serious government should be able to fix the power challenge within six months.
“Today, APC has been in power for how many years now? Fortunately, the then governor is in the APC government as a minister,” he said.
Presidency, APC react
A senior presidential aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, yesterday, responded thus: “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.”
Jonathan must study how PDP lost in 2015 — Abdullahi
The APC spokesman, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in his response, expressed shock 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.”
The chairman PDP needs, by Jonathan
Meanwhile, President Jonathan, while extolling the qualities of Professor Adeniran, said: “We need a competent, reliable and a courageous national chairman who would then lead the party to victory come 2019.”
According to him, the PDP “needs a national chairman that will select credible and reliable candidates for various elective offices at the various levels of governments, from the Presidency down to councillorship.”
Jonathan said further: “We need a national chairman who will be courageous enough to call the President to order if we win the Presidency and the President is going astray.” He added that the expectation of the PDP family was a “national chairman who will rule the party democratically and carry others along.”
Jonathan disclosed that with his long interaction with Professor Adeniran and testimonies of other party leaders, he possesses all it takes to lead the PDP to new heights.
He, however, counselled party members, especially the aspirants, not to allow the aftermath of the convention to birth another crisis in the party, warning that “we must not come out of the convention divided; there should be no acrimony.”
In his remarks, Professor Adeniran said he was not in the contest for fun, stressing that the need to rebuild and reposition the PDP ahead of the 2019 general elections informed his decision.
He promised to avail Nigerians the dividends of democracy that has eluded them in the past two years of the APC-led administration.
“Nigerians are waiting. Till now, more than 3/5th of Nigerians are still sympathetic to the PDP,” he said.
On Professor Adeniran’s delegation were former Ministers Abba Moro (Internal Affairs), Zainab Maina (Women Affairs), Jerry Gana (Information), two-time Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Honourable Friday Itulah and a host of others.