Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that he would soon speak on the several allegations that officials of his administration massively looted the country’s treasury under his nose.
An unhappy Jonathan who spoke at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)non-elective national convention at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Saturday also reacted to criticisms that the nation’s economy would have crumbled had his party remained in power.
A former minister of Peteoleum Resources under Jonathan has been accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of massively enriching herself illegally, and that several billions of naira, millions in dollars, as well as several upscale properties have been recovered from her.
The former National Security Adviser (NSA) to Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki’s has also been in detention and undergoing trial for several months now, under allegations that he spearheaded a fraud in the arms purchase scandal involving about $2 billion dollars.
But Jonathan who was accompanied to the event by his former deputy, Namadi Sambo, and other PDP bigwigs, including serving and former governors of the party, as well as Senators noted that all the things being said about his tenure were not true.
He however admitted that his government did not effective fight corruption as it should have, adding, that he failed to plug a number of loopholes.
He narrated that under his watch, there was a good economic team in place that ensured Nigerian’s economy was stable, inspire of a natural disaster that would have adversely affected the prices of foodstuffs.
“Though we didn’t completely plug the loopholes in the fight against corruption, but we did well.
“I learnt that some people said that if the PDP had remained in power beyond 2015, the economy would have been worse. This couldn’t have been the case, because we had a sound economic team in place.
“Let us not forget that the great floods of 2012 were a major calamity that damaged homes and farmlands on the plains of River Niger and Benue.
“But despite the devastating effects of this natural disaster, there were no food shortages or arbitrary increase in prices, because of what we were able to accomplish with our agriculture transformation agenda, which considerably boosted food production.
“If we say that we rekindled hope in our people and regained international goodwill, it is because we pursued a number of policies and programmes that were not only richly rewarding for our people, but were also being copied by many countries across the globe.”
According to him, his administration was able to reduce inflation to a single digit, maintain price stability, and grow the economy to become the largest in Africa with a GDP of over half a trillion US dollars.
He also noted that under his watch, Nigeria became the number one foreign direct investment destination on the continent.
He stated that the PDP would regain power in 2019, adding that the party cannot be intimidated.
“The PDP is indeed back to reclaim its prime position as the party to lead Nigeria to greatness. As a human institution we cannot claim perfection, but obviously as a political party, our accomplishments as of 2015 far outweigh our shortfalls,” he said.
Jonathan added, “Nobody should intimidate the PDP. I believe in the PDP; even God Himself believes in the PDP. Today is August 12, look at the weather.
“God wants us to celebrate in the PDP, that’s why there is no rain. We are ready to take over the state houses of assembly, the National Assembly, the states as governors and the Presidency.
“It is important we manage our differences responsibly, with an eye on the divine role of the PDP to lead Nigeria to greatness. Let us rededicate ourselves to playing by the rules.
“Let us all ensure that the PDP is renewed in vigour to deliver on its divine responsibility to Nigerians. Let us forget the grievances of the past and look to the future with confidence and optimism.
“I urge you to go back to your respective constituencies to promote the ideals of our great party. Let it be known that our party has been born anew, committed to the best ideals of democracy.”
Also speaking at the event, former governor of Akwa Inomesa State, and current minority leader in the Senate, Sen Godswill Akpabio assured, that the party would not support any separatist agenda in the country.
He condemned hate speeches in some parts of the country, as he affirmed that the unity of the country was non-negotiable.
He said though the PDP would support policies of the present administration, which are aimed at taking the country out of recession, it will however, not support any policy that would plunge the country into depression.