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Jonathan, Presidency trade blame over performance

Ï Ex- President: APC has achieved nothing, it’s full of lies, propaganda
Ï No, we’ve achieved, recovered looted funds by PDP govt -Presidency
Ï We’ll soon name suspected treasury looters –AGF

Lateef Ibrahim and Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

In what can be regarded as war of -words between the ruling class, former President Goodluck Jonathan has blasted the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for lack of performance, saying that the APC-led Federal Government has not achieved anything since coming to power in 2015.

According to Jonathan, the APC government’s stock in trade is to run government on lies and propaganda in order to cover its misrule. But the Presidency has faulted the claim of Jonathan, saying that the country under his watch witnessed unprecedented corruption and infrastructural deficit.

The presidency added that the ruling APC had put in place remarkable achievements that would take the country to the next level, saying that the federal government has recovered looted funds by the PDP government under Jonathan’s regime.

Jonathan spoke on Thursday while playing host to one of the aspirants to the office of the PDP National Chairman, Prof. Tunde Adeniran and his campaign team who visited him at his residence in Abuja.

The immediate past President further declared that the PDP did well from May 29, 1999 till May 29, 2015 when it handed over power to the APC, saying however that since then till date, the APC government has nothing to show for taking over power from the PDP. He maintained that the APC administration has nothing to show as and has been ruling through lies and deployment of hitech propaganda to cover up its misrule.

Jonathan said: “ The PDP administration, for 16 years, did well, but this administration (the APC), has done nothing, the administration is full lies and propaganda. “In the power sector, we did well to revive it, a state governor abused our government, saying that any serious government should be able to fix the power within six months.

Today, the APC has been in power for how many years? Fortunately, the then governor is in the APC Government as a Minister”. Jonathan, however, said that all hope was not lost as the PDP would go all out and put its house in order for it to return to power come 2019 since Nigerians have been able to see things for themselves on the differences between the APC and the PDP.

Continuing, he said: “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 numbers and calibre of the people coming out to vie for the seat of the National Chairman and offices of our party, it shows that our party still has another chance”.

The former President however declared that for the PDP to get it right and regain its lost glory, it would need a competent, reliable and courageous National Chairman who would then lead the party to victory come 2019.

Jonathan further said: “The contest for the office of the National Chairman is very interesting, this is healthy competition. Many of the aspirants have been coming here, this will allow the delegates to choose the best among then at the convention.

“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 must not be someone when the party takes position on issues, he will change.

“We need a National Chairman who will rule the party democratically and carry others along. In fact, the National Chairman is the leader of the party, it is not the other way round”.
He disclosed that with his long interaction with Prof. Adeniran and testimonies of other party leaders, he possesses all that is required to lead the party at this critical point of time and thus wish him success in the race.

He advised the party members and the aspirants not to allow the convention to cause another crisis in the party, saying that the contest should be seen as a family affair. Earlier, in his remarks, Adeniran said that he initially was not interested in the race but that the need to rebuild and reposition of the party ahead of the 2019 general election prompted him to join the race.

Adeniran pointed out that he is in the race to help the PDP regain its lost glory and give Nigerians the real dividends of democracy that have eluded then since the PDP lost power in 2015. Reacting to Jonathan’s comment on Thursday, a source close to the Presidency told Daily Times that the action of the former president is an attempt to divert attention from the multiple corruption that pervaded his regime.

The source, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, said that the ruling APC is addressing the infrastructural deficit left by the PDP, saying that explains government’s action on massive investment on power, railways, rail lines and construction of networks of roads nationwide.

The source also said that, “Our view is that the comment of former President Jonathan was an attempt to divert attention from the multiple corruption scandals surrounding his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, who in September had $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 $15 million allegedly kept for the medical treatment of her mother, as well as a forfeited amount of $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 properties in Abuja, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa estimated to cost billions of Naira. To cut a long story short, the story of Mrs. Jonathan’s misfortune, from all indications, is just beginning.” We’ll soon name suspected treasury looters – AGF Meanwhile, the Federal Government has concluded plans to make public names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister for Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), made the disclosure on Thursday during a meeting with a delegation from Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). Malami said that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other relevant agencies involved in the recovery of looted funds to promptly put the documents together with a view to fully and promptly enforcing the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari.

The Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered the government to tell Nigerians the circumstances under which funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.

The judgement was sequel by a suit initiated by SERAP over disclosure by the Federal Government that funds recovered from some high-ranking public officials and private individuals would not be made public.

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