According to former President Goodluck Jonathan, the Buhari administration did not tell the nation the truth by claiming that the latter inherited an empty treasury when it assumed office in May last year.
He said, “That is not true, there is no way he would have inherited an empty treasury and at the same time, gave a bailout to the states. Nigeria has a fairly robust economy but sometimes, we over-politicise certain issues and make things look so bad, but it was not that bad.”
The ex-President argued that the issue of corruption did not evolve during his administration, saying successive governments had always alleged that the previous administrations were corrupt.
Jonathan added, “At independence, we had the First Republic and there was a military intervention. What the military officers said was corruption. When we had the Second Republic, it was the same story. When the Second Republic collapsed, what the military officers said was that it was because of corruption.
“So, if there is a major change in government, where one political party is taking over power from another one, there must be issues that will be raised. Yes, I cannot say that the country from the beginning of our independence has not had corruption. Yes, there was corruption and I did very well also to curtail corruption.”
But the Presidency said it had nothing to add to Buhari’s statement made last year that he inherited virtually an empty treasury from the Jonathan administration.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents on Monday. Adesina was asked to react to a statement credited to Jonathan that there was no truth in Buhari’s claim.
“Nothing to add to what the President said then, about meeting a virtually empty treasury,” the presidential spokesman simply said.
Buhari had while meeting State House correspondents on June 22, 2015, said he inherited a country with virtually an empty treasury from his predecessor. He also claimed that the country bequeathed him was also being weighed down by debts running into millions of dollars.