pres buhariPresident Goodluck Jonathan has told incoming President, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to extend his planned probe to successive governments before his administration.
He said that any probe by Buhari that his limited to his tenure would amount to witch-hunting.
Apparently referring to the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Jonathan specifically asked Buhari to extend his probe to how oil wells were being acquired under his predecessors.
He also asked Buhari to look into how state governors incurred huge debts for their states.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that under previous governments, hairdressers of some First Ladies were allocated oil blocks, which they later sold to notable oil companies.
He stated this yesterday at the valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at the State House, Abuja.
The Preside described as sabotage, the recent strikes by oil marketers and labour unions, which almost grounded the economy.
He also disclosed that his administration had done its best under very difficult circumstances.
Jonathan said: “First and foremost, we have to thank God that we are here talking to ourselves, reassessing the relationship among us and what we have done. Others probably didn’t have that kind of luck.
“I recall that even I have devolved quiet a number of cabinets‎ and the ministers don’t even know when they are to leave; they will just hear the announcements. At least, we have the opportunity; we know we are to leave government on May 29.
“Looking at our political history in this country, somebody who doesn’t even know you just fires a big gun and you are out. But here we are preparing to exit government on the 29th of May. So we thank God. We remain grateful to Nigerians for giving us the opportunity to serve.
“As‎ ministers you came in at different times, the likes of Aganga are the oldest serving ministers, others are just a few weeks old, they came almost at the time of the elections.
“One thing that is clear, I enjoyed working with all of you. I’m very pleased with all of you. I want to thank all of you for your various contributions to the development of our country.
“I want to thank those that have been with us, the Advisers, Special Senior Assistants, the secretariat, other senior government functionaries, including the media that covered proceedings every Wednesday.
“As a cabinet, we have tried our best; I believe we have done well under a very difficult situation. There are a lot of criticisms; people say different things at different times; some of those who make some statements know they are purely political.
“I always insist that we have been here for five years and some months including the time I was an acting president.
“I have always thrown the challenge that those who criticise us should compare what we have done in the various sectors to what others have done. I may not need to enumerate but if you look at the rail system, you will see what we have done within this period; the oil sector where there has been so much attack, one good thing we did was the Nigerian content law that revolutionised the oil industry.
“In agriculture, power sectors and maybe in foreign relations like the minister of foreign affairs mentioned, from 1960 to date, we have been member of the Security Council as non-permanent members five times, two times was within the five years of our administration.
“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 it 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 property,” he said.
The President noted that the fuel scarcity that persisted was clearly an act of sabotage. He stressed that his government had a few days to go, and as such, not the time to expect massive strikes “using marketers and unions, asking for increase in salaries at a time oil prices have dropped and volumes have dropped.”
Jonathan added that none of the International Oil Companies, IOCs, is increasing salaries, but ‎Nigeria’s labour unions wanted 11 percent increase in allowances and went on strike.
“There was 21-day reserve in this country, is not as if we had no products but they just refused to lift. Diesel was deregulated ‎long ago, so the issue was not the product but people who felt they must bring this government to its knees even when they know that we had few days to leave. But we thank God we are getting over it and God will see us through.”
The President, who noted that some people were calling for the probe of his government, declared that “I agree that in Nigeria there are a number of things we will probe, “even debts owed by states and the nation from 1960 up to this time, they say it is Jonathan’s administration that is owing all the debt.”
He said he was of the belief that anybody calling for probe must ensure that these probes are extended beyond his administration; otherwise it will amount to witch-hunting.
“If you are very sincere then is not just the Jonathan’s administration that should be probed. A number of things have gone wrong and we have done our best to fix them. The Attorney-General is aware of massive judgment debts, if we aggregate all of them it’s almost going to $1billion. 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? Did we follow our laws? All these should be probed. And I believe all these and many more areas should be looked at,” he said.
“We remain grateful to all of you; we will remain friends and colleagues.
“Let me also thank you for your positive comments and encomiums, though I think you exaggerate some of them but it is always expected. When you go for a burial you don’t abuse the dead body. But it was quiet fulfilling and relaxing working with you. Even among the cabinet members there were no major issues,” Jonathan said.

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