In an interview with The Interview magazine, Oshiomhole alleged that under the former President, basic things were not properly done, saying;
“It was clear that even the most basic things were not properly done, competence that was expected was not there. The level of fairness was not there. And even if you were to talk about the sentiment of servicing the geopolitical zones, the South-South had nothing to boast of. Even the road to Yenagoa didn’t show that a President came from that area.”
Oshiomhole, a former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), recalled that when ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua died in 2010, he played a key role in ensuring that Jonathan succeeded him.
The ex-governor said as a member of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, headed by the former Kwara State Governor and current Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, he was one of those that ensured that Jonathan was made the acting President.
While recalling the 2014 Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment which claimed 20 lives, Oshiomhole said Jonathan called him a few days to the 2015 election over an advert he did. The advert showed how the immigration recruitment applicants were duped, but Jonathan expressed his reservations about it. In his words:
“In the advert, I said, ‘Vote for Change, vote for Buhari all over Nigeria.’ I used my voice and portrait for the concluding part of the political advert.
“Jonathan called me and said, ‘What have I done? Why would you do an advert like that even when other APC governors will not put their faces, saying they should vote me out? Haba Adams! You are supposed to be my brother.’
“I said, ‘Sir, with all due respect, there is nothing personal. This is purely a partisan thing. I have to campaign for my party the way you are campaigning for your party and I didn’t mention your name. The only name I mentioned in the advert is my own candidate’s name; I did not mention your name’.
“That was the height of incompetence – that the Federal Government would defraud the unemployed people, ask them to pay some fees to attract a federal job.
“Those people didn’t just kill poor applicants, they extorted and defrauded them, and as far as I know, no step was taken to deal with those involved in it. So, I was convinced that Nigeria was in danger if Jonathan continued in office.
“Once I concluded that Nigeria was not in good hands, I also had to do everything possible to ensure that he (Jonathan) was not re-elected and I played my part in the formation of the APC (All Progressives Congress).”
Oshiomhole added that when he also complained about massive oil theft in the country, he was made a member of a six-man committee of governors.
He stated that he was shocked that for about two consecutive weeks the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s records showed that over 400,000 barrels of crude were stolen every day.
According to the ex-governor, security assumed a frightening dimension, causing elections to be shifted because the armed forces confessed that they were unable to guarantee the safety of the polls.
On the other hand, Oshiomhole said President Muhammadu Buhari was fulfilling his promises on security and the anti-corruption agenda. He said despite the obvious challenges, “the country has regained some level of self-confidence.”