Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday described the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari as running on lies and propaganda.
Jonathan said this when he received one of the national chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, and members of his campaign team in his office.
Jonathan said the solidarity being enjoyed by the party even though it lost election at the centre in 2015 showed that “there is something in the PDP.”
He took a swipe at the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who as a state governor during Jonathan’s administration, was quoted as saying that a serious government at the centre must be able to fix power within six months.
Jonathan, according to The Punch, said: “The PDP administration for 16 years did well and will continue to do well but this administration has done nothing. They deployed propaganda and lies at a professional level.
“In the power sector, we did well to revive it. A state governor attacked our government, saying that any serious government should be able to fix the power challenge within six months.
“Today, APC has been in power for how many years now? Fortunately the then governor is in the APC government as a minister.”
But reacting to Jonathan’s statement, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said “if he truly said that, I would say with due respect that he may need to commission a more dispassionate study of how and why APC won the 2015 Presidential election”.
Daily Post quoted him as saying: “I doubt that President Jonathan actually said these words you have reported because he would be exposing himself to reactions that would not be edifying of his status as a statesman by so doing. Secondly, I know the former President to be of even temperament.
“Only a few days ago, I read that he was counselling his party on the choice of Chairman and Publicity Secretary. Statements like these wouldn’t represent an example of the kind of attitude he was canvassing.“But if he truly said that, I would say with due respect that he may need to commission a more dispassionate study of how and why APC won the 2015 Presidential election.
“To say that APC won the election simply by deceiving the people would be too simplistic and may even be interpreted as an insult to the millions of Nigerians that voted the APC into power,” he said.
Extolling the qualities of Adeniran, Jonathan reminded members of the PDP not to forget that for the party to stand a chance to oust the APC in 2019, the party would need a competent, reliable and courageous national chairman who would lead the party to victory come 2019.
According to him, the PDP “needs a national chairman that will select credible and reliable candidates for various elective offices at the various levels of government from the presidency down to the councillorship.
“We need a national chairman who will be courageous enough to caution the President if we win the Presidency and the President is going astray,” he said, adding that the expectation of the PDP was a “national chairman who will rule the party democratically and carry others along.”
Jonathan said that with his long interaction with Adeniran and testimonies of other party leaders, he possessed all it would take to lead the PDP to new heights.
He counselled party members, especially the aspirants not to allow the outcome of the convention to cause another crisis in the party, warning, “We must not come out of the convention divided. There should be no acrimony.”
In his remarks, Adeniran said he was not in the contest for fun, stressing that the need to rebuild and reposition the PDP ahead of the 2019 general elections informed his decision.
“Nigerians are waiting. Till now, more than 3/5th of Nigerians are still sympathetic to the PDP,” he said.
On Adeniran’s delegation were former ministers, Abba Moro (Internal Affairs); Zainab Maina (Women Affairs); Jerry Gana (Information); and a two-time Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Friday Itulah, among others.