The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL has expressed dismay at the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan’s recent comments, saying he has suddenly found his voice after maintaining sealed lips for more than a year, even in the face of myriad of palpable accusations directed at the acute misgovernance that characterised his administration.
Recently in New York, at an award ceremony, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan stoked controversy when he said that the tenets of democracy and the rule of law were upheld during his tenure as president. He outlined his administration’s achievements with reference to ensuring freedom of speech and freedom after speech; empowering institutions while reducing government’s influences over them and enacting the Freedom of Information Act and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
In a reaction, CACOL, said through the Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, that the former president’s attempt at doing a comparative analysis between his time in office and the current administration, is baseless, petty and pedestrian. “A crucial time like this when the country is in recession and Nigerians are going through a very harrowing experience, calls for sober reflections where leaders who are worth their salts ought to project what will positively steer the ship called Nigeria forward particularly by displaying sound understanding of the ongoing anti-corruption drive.”
The former President had at the award event asserted that his government could not be accused of nepotism, as according to him, there was no preference to tribe and ethnicity in the appointment of members of his cabinet and aides.
Adeniran continuing in his reaction said “the former president’s comments are not helping the current situation of the country but rather serving as a distraction from the unpleasant aftermaths of the his administration. What he is doing is creating precedents that would lead to his invitation for investigations on issues he has dabbled into by himself. However solid his comparisons are, it cannot be faulted that so much irregularities, tragedies and atrocities were perpetrated under his watch. Even if it is true that the former President gave institutions leeway, as he claims, it is obvious that he failed to exercise control over its officials and that is why there are issues of corruption affiliated to his administration.”
“We have read in the news about several allegations of money laundering and missing funds involving close aides to Jonathan during his time as president. Fresh in our minds is the Dasuki Gate scandal and in the light of recent revelations, there have been confessions from Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro that funds were released to Mr. Ayodele Fayose, the current governor of Ekiti State, to help finance his election into office.”
Adeniran continued, stating that Goodluck Jonathan cannot be objective enough in evaluating himself. “He would only be focused in branding his administration as competent and failing to address the irregularities that occurred. He should leave such comparison to those who are objective.”
“To us in CACOL, we see former president Jonathan’s comments as a way of saving his face in the light of the various corruption allegations linked to his aides, family members, wife and his defunct cabinet members. We also see this as a desperate attempt by an individual who is conscious of the reality that he has a lot of questions to answer for when it comes to the corrupt practices that reigned supreme under his watch. He has already put himself on ‘trial’! Nigerians are not fools.” Adeniran concluded
Media Coordinator, CACOL
November 1, 2016