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I Handed Over A Country That Was Africa Second Largest Economy, Jonathan Insists

Goodluck Jonathan 2

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has insisted that he handed over to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, a country that was adjudged world second largest economy; a country that produced the richest man in Africa.

“I took over a Nigeria that was the second largest economy in Africa with a GDP of $270.5 billion in 2009, I handed over a Nigeria that had grown to become the largest economy in Africa and the 24th largest economy in the World with a GDP of $574 billion.”

Responding to critics who accused him of handing over a nation at the verge of collapse to President Buhari, stressed that his government achieved a lot, including handing over a country that produced the richest man in Africa.

“I inherited a Nigeria in which the trains were not working, and handed over a Nigeria in which citizens can safely travel by trains again. I also inherited a country where illiteracy rate particularly in the Northern part was alarming. I handed over a country where every state in the North and indeed all the states had a Federal University.

“I inherited a country where there was total infrastructural decay in all the unity schools and colleges of education. But I handed over a country with massive infrastructural improvement in almost higher institutions.

“I inherited a country where agricultural inputs and production were almost zero. But I handed over a country where a bag of rice was sold for N6,500 to N7000. My regime since the establishment of ecological fund office did more irrigation dams in the North and other parts of the country than other subsequent administrations put together.

“I inherited epileptic fuel supplies resulting to endless queues at the filling stations. I maintained despite enormous challenges of fuel subsidies and handed over a relatively stable fuel regime.

“I inherited a Nigeria that was a net importer of cement, and handed over a Nigeria that is a net exporter of cement.

“In 2009 the richest Nigerian was the 5th richest man in Africa, but I handed over a Nigeria that produced the richest man in Africa.

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“I inherited a country where people were almost losing hope on the credibility of its electoral process but I noticed that democracy will continue to grow in the African continent if leaders value the process of elections more than the product of the process. I handed over electoral process that engendered fairness in its conduct and conclusiveness.”

Dr. Jonathan recalled that prior to the 2015 general elections, there was potential for major crisis if was not re-elected President, adding that the campaigns leading to the elections almost polarized the country into Christian vs Muslims and North vs South divide.

“Most World leaders were worried that our elections will result into major crisis.

Some pundits even from here in the United States said that those elections would spell the end of Nigeria and that we would cease to exist as a nation because of the polls. That is where the leadership question comes into play.

“As a leader that was duly elected by the people, I considered the peoples interest first. How do I manage my people to avoid killings and destruction of properties?

“With the interest of the people propelling all the decisions I took, we were able to sail through. Indeed, we sailed through because I refused to interfere with the independence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), having appointed a man I had never met in my life to run it. We sailed through because I maintained and still believe that my personal ambition, interest is not worth the blood of any single Nigerian.

“My philosophy was simple. For elections to be credible, I as a leader, must value the process more than the product of the process. And the citizens must have confidence in the electoral body.” [myad]