Members Of The Immediate Past Cabinet Have Told President Muhammadu Buhari, And The APC , That They Deserve Commendation And Respect Not Insults Though They Back The Anti-Corruption Drive
Ministers that served in the Goodluck Jonathan cabinet, yesterday broke their silence over continued vilification by the incumbent administration, admonishing President Muhammadu Buhari to focus on developing the nation by building on the legacies of past administration rather than seeking to rubbish efforts by past administration to uplift the nation.
Former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, said this in a statement “for and on behalf of Ministers under the Jonathan Administration”, yesterday.
Stating that President Buhari enjoys support of the former ministers on his fight against corruption, the past minister however cautioned against the blanket description of the legacy of President Jonathan as nothing as well as imply that all the ministers that worked with him were corrupt.
The former ministers said that such posture, from “an administration that is the greatest beneficiary of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s electoral reform that birthed his defeat to which he conceded” was unwarranted especially as no government is entirely good or bad in its lifetime.
The group of former ministers also challenged the Buhari government to publish handover notes it received from the Jonathan cabinet as “a measure of sincerity of purpose”.
The group also demanded end to all the name-calling and insult on them and the Jonathan administration, in the media. “It should also not be forgotten that the Jonathan administration strengthened electoral institutions and created a peaceful environment for democracy to thrive.
On this score, it is sad and ironic that the chief beneficiaries of that same legacy are the most vociferous today in condemning President Jonathan and his team. “Perhaps the new administration, and the APC, would be sincere enough to publish the details of the hand over notes they received.
“In addition, the Buhari administration should be fair enough to acknowledge the good works of the Jonathan administration. “No administration can be either completely bad or completely good. President Jonathan’s achievements in moving this country to greater heights deserve to be duly acknowledged.
We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to build on these achievements. “We also urge him to press on with the anti-corruption fight, but in a fair and non-partisan manner, in line with due process, and not as a political witch-hunt.
“The various lies and fabrications being peddled by some self-appointed spokespersons of the administration may entertain the unwary, but such sensationalism may achieve the unintended effect of de-marketing our country within the international community. All such persons playing to the gallery, for whatever gains, should be called to order.
The name-calling of members of the Jonathan administration and the trial by news media should also stop. “We encourage President Buhari to continue with the probes, but this must be in strict accordance with his oath of office to treat all Nigerians equally and with the fear of God”, the statement read in part.
The former ministers said they have watched with increasing alarm and concern the concerted effort by the Buhari administration and members of the APC to condemn, ridicule and undermine the efforts of that administration, in addition to impinging the integrity of its individual members.
It noted that every administration has the right to chart its own path as it deems fit, but consider the vilification of the Jonathan administration, to be ill-intentioned, unduly partisan, and in bad faith.
“Effort has been made to portray each and every member of the Jonathan administration as corrupt and irresponsible”, the group said. They said that in an orchestrated and vicious trial by the media has created a lynch mentality that discredits “our honest contributions to the growth and development of our beloved nation”.
They maintained that “we are proud to have served Nigeria and we boldly affirm that we did so diligently and to the best of our abilities. The improvements that have been noticed today in the power sector, in national security, and in social services and other sectors did not occur overnight.
They are products of solid foundations laid by the same Jonathan administration”. “Contrary to what the APC and its agents would rather have the public believe, the Jonathan administration did not encourage corruption, rather it fought corruption vigorously, within the context of the rule of law and due process”, the ministers said.
Setting the record straight, the former ministers said that for the benefit of “those who may have forgotten so soon, it was the Jonathan administration that got rid of the fraud in fertilizer subsidies, which had plagued the country for decades. This helped to unleash a revolution in agricultural production and productivity”.
“It was also the Jonathan administration that supported the institutional development of strong systems and mechanisms to curb corruption in the public service and plug revenue leakages.
These included the development of the Government Integrated Financial Management Platform, The Single Treasury Account (TSA), and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Management Systems (IPPIS), in addition to the biometric registration of civil servants and pensioners which saved the country over N100 billion paid to ghost workers and ghost pensioners.
To ensure greater transparency and integrity in the oil and gas sector, the Jonathan administration ordered investigations and put mechanisms in place to check the theft of Nigeria’s crude oil. “It was also under the Jonathan administration that a Nigerian Content policy was introduced, which opened up that sector to Nigerians in a manner that was not previously the case. It was also the Jonathan administration that mobilized and secured the support of our neighbouring countries to ensure a robust multinational response to the menace of terrorism and insurgency, resulting in notable advancements in the fight against terror.
-Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja