Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Former Governor of Lagos State and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC has accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of having institutionalized corruption during his administration.
Speaking at the presentation of the book “Making Steady Sustainable Progress” authored by President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aides at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Tinubu stressed that Jonathan’s administration won gold in corruption.
According to him, so much money grew feet and ran faster than Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt, adding that the money that should have been spent on development was squandered in ways that could cause the devil to blush. His words:
“The prior government used the public treasury as a private hedge fund or a charity that limited its giving only to themselves.
“So much money grew feet and ran away faster than Usain Bolt ever could. That which could have been spent on national development was squandered in ways that would cause the devil to blush.
“One minister and her rogues’ gallery picked the pocket of this nation for billions of dollars. While poor at governance, these people could give a master thief lessons in the sleight of hand. In governance, they earned a red card but in corruption, they won the gold medal.
“It was not that our institutions had become infected by corruption. Corruption has become institutionalized”.
He further stated that the war on corruption has been won as President Buhari has set an axe to what he called, “the root of this dangerous tree.”
He noted that gone are the days when a minister can pilfer billions of dollars as easy as plucking a piece of candy from the table.
“We have much to do to combat this disease. Not only must we track down the takers. In the long term, we must review the salaries of public servants and create universal credits for our people to reduce temptation,” Tinubu said.
Stating that Nigeria was born of a complicated past and has presently been facing challenges, the APC chieftain said that the future could be one of progress, compassion, justice and hope, if only the citizenry have the courage to make it so.
“Noise abounds. Voices rise. Critics moan. The angry and the desperate even question whether this nation should exist, whether it is an experience or experiment that has failed.
“Mr. President, the noise can be loud, almost deafening at times. Yet ultimately both noise and clamor shall fade, for progress.
“What shall be left is reality and fact. The core reality, the fact of our political existence, is that Nigeria is an indivisible entity; a nation of many peoples wedded in common enterprise with its better days yet before it.
“Yes, we were born of a complicated past, and face a challenging present. Ah, but our future, yes our future, can be one of progress, compassion, justice and hope, if only we have the courage to make it so.
“We have passed but two years under this government. In the measure of human affairs, this seems a brief period in part but also long in part. We are both the same and different now than we were then,” he said.
Stressing that President Buhari’s administration has changed the story of Nigeria for good in the last two years, Tinubu maintained that Nigeria is now more prosperous than it was two years ago.
He further advised that Nigeria must urgently move towards true federalism, adding that Nigeria can’t grow without robust industrial capacity in the country.
“The good that you have started, do it more,” Tinubu told the President.
According to Tinubu, if Jonathan’s administration had remained in power, Boko Haram would have taken more territory and devoured more people, while the nation would surely have been divided. Hear him:
“Before this government came into being, Boko Haram wreaked havoc on a daily basis. Spreading its evil arm across great expanses of our national territory, Boko Haram invaded town and villages, erasing the peace and normalcy of the people to replace it with wanton brutality, hatred and death.
“They hoisted their dreadful flag where only the green and white of Nigeria should have been.
“Today, that evil flag is not planted over an inch of our precious land. This violent scourge recedes into the darkened shadows of inhumanity from whence it came.
“People once under its horrid dominion now breathe the air of freedom and safety.
“Boko Haram has not been completely defeated. But there is no question, that it has been decimated and made shorter and weaker. They shall never constitute the threat they once were.
“This is no accident. It is the result of the policies and commitment of President Buhari, his government and the men and women of our armed forces who place their lives on the line in silent heroism to protect this nation and its people.
“Had the previous government remained in place, Boko Haram would have surely eaten more territory and devoured more people. This nation might have indeed been divided and cut asunder, not by choice but by the knife of terrorism.”