Any probe should go beyond my administration, says Jonathan
REACTING to calls from several quarters for the probe of his administration, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that such an investigation should be extended to the governments preceding his, adding that it would amount to selective justice to single out only his administration for such inquiry.
Jonathan also yesterday signed six different bills passed by the National Assembly into laws. The bills were part of the last minutes legislations signed into law by the President ahead of his final disengagement on Friday .
he President also met with the Chief of Defence Staff, ( CDS) , Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, service chiefs and heads of security agencies in his office. The meeting which lasted for about two hours was also attended by some relevant cabinet ministers.
In the same vein, outgoing Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, yesterday eulogised Jonathan for his leadership, which recorded remarkable achievements on several sectors , adding that posterity will be kind to Jonathan for his magnanimous concession of defeat after the March 28 election.
Speaking at the valedictory session of the FEC) in Abuja ,President Jonathan also reflected on the now suspended strike by oil marketers and workers that had crippled the nation, stressing that it was a pure blackmail aimed at brining his soon— to -end -government to ridicule.
His words, “Some people are even calling for the probe of the government, but I think in Nigeria, there are a lot of things that should be probed, very many things, even debts owed by states and debts owed by this country from 1960 up to this time.
“They say it is Jonathan’s administration that is owing these debts. I believe that anybody that is coming for probe must also ensure that this probe is extended beyond the Jonathan administration. Otherwise, to me, it will be witch-hunt. If we are very sincere, it is not only the Jonathan administration that should be probed.
The President also cleared the air and laid to rest the speculation as to when he would dissolve his cabinet. The media had been awash since last week that Jonathan was likely to dissolve his cabinet yesterday after the valedictory FEC meeting, but he assured the ministers that they would still be on their seats till Thursday evening( today) after the valedictory dinner for them.
Reviewing his five years and three weeks old administration, Jonathan said they did their best considering the very difficult circumstances that they operated under, citing the strike by university teachers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) that lasted for six months last year, the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east as well as the strike by oil marketers and workers that led to acute fuel scarcity in most parts of the country among others.
He said: “even though we operated under an extremely difficult situation, maybe because politics in Nigeria is just maturing, we witnessed the longest ASUU strike. I don’t think we have ever witnessed a strike that lasted for six months and we believe that that strike was partially politically motivated, otherwise lecturers cannot troop out for six months.
“There were the terror attacks, we know Boko Haram predates this administration but immediately after the elections, I believe because of local and external factors, they became very vicious, extremely destructive, killing people and destroying properties.
“Even this last fuel scarcity, to me one can clearly say it was an act of sabotage. This government has few days to go and that is definitely not the time you expect massive strike, using marketers and unions, unions asking for increase in salaries at a time oil price have dropped and volumes have dropped. None of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) is increasing salaries but our unions wanted 11 per cent increase in allowances and so on and so forth and went on strike.
While the President admitted that a number of things had gone wrong in the past which his administration had done its best to rectify, he believed that it doesn’t warrant his government being deliberately targetted for wrong doings.
According to him, “A number of things have gone wrong and we have done our best to fix them. The Attorney General is aware of massive judgments debts, if we aggregate all of them is almost going to $1 billion. How did we come to this kind of huge judgment debts. These issues should be probed. How do you allocate our oil wells, oil fields, marginal wells and all that do we follow our laws? All these should be probed. And I believe all these and many more areas should be looked at.”
Prominent among the bills that were signed into law yesterday, according to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, included the Tobacco Control Bill 2015; the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency Act 2015; Equipment and Leasing Bill 2015; AMCON (Amendment) Bill 2015; Standards Organisation of Nigeria Bill 2015 and the National Sugar Development (Amendment) Bill 2015.
Apart from Badeh who attended the security meeting, others included the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Olusola Amosu, the Director-General of the Department of Security ( DSS) Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, and the Inspector-General of Police, (IGP) Solomon Arase.
Others at the meeting included the Defence Minister, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aliyu Gusau, his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Aminu Wali, the Natiobal Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki.
The details of their discussion was, however, not made public.
In his speech during the FEC’s valedictory session, Obanikoro thanked the president for giving him the opportunity to serve the nation.