Immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan has said that he is currently under investigation for corruption in the country.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV yesterday, Jonathan who traveled out of Nigeria Sunday for an engagement in London, said that he could not make comments about the investigations.
“Of course, obviously, I would be investigated. In fact I am being investigated. Investigations are going on. I would not want to make certain comments because government is working. It would not be proper for immediate past president to make certain statements. I will allow the government do the work. I wouldn’t want to make serious comments on that.
“After all the investigations, the stories will be properly documented. I have just left office and I should allow the president and his team do what they think is best for the economy.”
Jonathan, first incumbent of then ruling Peoples Democratic Party to lose an election since 1999, disagreed with claims that his successor inherited an empty treasury.
“It is not true; there is no way that he would have inherited an empty treasury and at the same time give bailout to the states. It’s not possible.
“Nigeria is a fairly robust economy but sometimes, we over politicize some issues and make it look so bad. It was not that bad. Some people ask questions like I was the president of Nigeria since independence; I was the president for 5 years.
“It is routine in Nigeria from the collapse of the first republic, people blamed corruption. When the second republic collapsed, the military blamed corruption. If there is a major change in government, one political party taking over from another one, there must be issues.”
He said that his government could not tackle the corruption in the oil sector because of certain people.
“In the area of fertilizer subsidy, we cleaned up and the corruption was removed. I wanted to do the same thing in the oil industry but the same people who are accusing us of corruption are the very people that were frustrating it.”
By being the first elected Nigerian leader to willingly hand over power via the ballot box, to the opposition party, without contesting the election outcome, Jonathan said he “proved to the ordinary man or woman in the country that I was his or her equal.”
The former President also advocated for a Bill of Rights that would guarantee equality and end discrimination as a means of deepening Nigeria’s growth and development.
The former President stated this at a lecture delivered at the at the Bloomberg Television Centre in London before an elite audience of Nigerian professionals, diplomats, friends of Nigerians and international investors where he also made a case for investment in Africa’s most populous nation.
He said: I was true to my word when on March16th, 2015, just after the election, when the results were still being collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), I called my opponent, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to concede, in order to avoid any conflict and ensure a peaceful transition of power.
“This was without precedent in my country and I am proud that it achieved my goal of no conflict arising from the result of the election.
“Some may think It is ironic that perhaps my proudest achievement was not winning the 2015 Presidential Election. By being the first elected Nigerian leader to willingly hand over power via the ballot box, to the opposition party, without contesting the election outcome, I proved to the ordinary man or woman in the country that I was his or her equal. That his or her vote was equal to mine and that democracy is the ‘Government by the will of the people’, and Nigeria, and indeed Africa is ripe for democracy.”
Jonathan also called on all Nigerians to work toward consolidating democracy and winning the war against corruption, adding that he remains committed to good governance, effective stewardship and transparency.
Nigeria, according to the former President, needs deeply entrenched freedom, peace and unity to make meaningful progress.
Speaking further he said: “For this to happen, it is imperative that both the Executive and the Legislative arms of Government institute a Bill of Rights. A Bill of Rights that will end discrimination and tribalism, and promote equality, enabling everyone to work towards the common goal for the development of the nation.
“A Bill of Rights which like the British Magna Carta, some 800 years ago, enshrined the principle of habeas corpus so that no person is deprived of his liberty without a trial of his peers. A Bill of Rights, like that introduced by America’s Founding Fathers, which stated “the people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.”
The former President who further highlighted the achievements of his administration, especially in the areas of agriculture, education, youth empowerment and peace building in Africa, also restated his commitments towards upholding democratic principles and energizing citizen entrepreneurship and intra-Africa trade, through the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation.
On his vision for his country, the former President said: “A Nigeria where you are judged on your merits and not your origins; A Nigeria where you can get the education you want and the future you choose; A Nigeria whose government serves the people and is not above the law; A Nigeria whose government invests in its resources above the ground and not just the resources below;A place where we all work together, rather than allow ourselves to be divided by tribalism or prejudice.”
The former President further made a case for a shift in the mindset and a national transformation that would prioritise the rights of Nigerians inthe making of government and investment decisions.
He said: “Rather than spending money on resources that will run out, we should be investing it in people who are the key constant elements in the socio-economic transformation of society… Our money must go towards providing education for all, because we know that once our citizens are educated, they have futures.
“Those futures lead to safer cities, stable economies, and more businesses. When a young person does not have access to education, their future is jeopardized and statistics show that they may be prone to antisocial and criminal activities.
I am proud of the fact that my Administration established a Federal University in every one of the 12 States that did not previously have them. Now, for the first time in our country’s history, every state has a university established by the Federal Government.”
He added that the country “needs to build on these achievements by changing our mindset to investing in the resources above the ground, rather than below the ground.”
“Once we invest in our citizens, it will be our time to confidently enter the international stage. Each one of us will be able to go to any nation and proudly proclaim: I am a citizen of Nigeria.”

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