Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has replied his critics who accused
him of handing over a nation at the verge of collapse to his successor,
President Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan recounted the achievements of his government to include, handing
over a country that produced the richest man in Africa.
Jonathan said, ?I took over a Nigeria that was the second largest economy
in Africa with a GDP of $270.5 billion in 2009, I handed over a Nigeria
that had grown to become the largest economy in Africa and the 24th
largest economy in the World with a GDP of $574 billion.
I inherited a Nigeria in which the trains were not working, and handed
over a Nigeria in which citizens can safely travel by trains again. I also
inherited a country where illiteracy rate particularly in the Northern
part was alarming. I handed over a country where every state in the North
and indeed all the states had a Federal University. I inherited a country
where there was total infrastructural decay in all the unity schools and
colleges of education. But I handed over a country with massive
infrastructural improvement in almost higher institutions. I inherited a
country where agricultural inputs and production were almost zero. But I
handed over a country where a bag of rice was sold for N6,500 to N7000. My
regime since the establishment of ecological fund office did more
irrigation dams in the North and other parts of the country than other
subsequent administrations put together. I inherited epileptic fuel
supplies resulting to endless queues at the filling stations. I maintained
despite enormous challenges of fuel subsidies and handed over a relatively
stable fuel regime.
I inherited a Nigeria that was a net importer of cement, and handed over a
Nigeria that is a net exporter of cement.
In 2009 the richest Nigerian was the 5th richest man in Africa, but I
handed over a Nigeria that produced the richest man in Africa.
The former President further stated ” I inherited a country where people
were almost losing hope on the credibility of its electoral process but I
noticed that democracy will continue to grow in the African continent if
leaders value the process of elections more than the product of the
process. I handed over electoral process that engendered fairness in its
conduct and conclusiveness “.
He said, ?Even in the 2015 general elections in my country, Nigeria, there
was potential for major crisis if I was not a President duly elected by
the will of the people.
The campaigns leading to the elections almost polarized the country into
Christian vs Muslims and North vs South divide.
Most World leaders were worried that our elections will result into major
Some pundits even from here in the United States said that those elections
would spell the end of Nigeria and that we would cease to exist as a
nation because of the polls.
That is where the leadership question comes into play.
As a leader that was duly elected by the people, I considered the peoples
How do I manage my people to avoid killings and destruction of properties?
With the interest of the people propelling all the decisions I took, we
were able to sail through.
Indeed, we sailed through because I refused to interfere with the
independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,
having appointed a man I had never met in my life to run it. We sailed
through because I maintained and still believe that my personal ambition,
interest is not worth the blood of any single Nigerian.
My philosophy was simple. For elections to be credible, I as a leader,
must value the process more than the product of the process. And the
citizens must have confidence in the electoral body.