20181122

Buhari Did Not Inherit An Empty Treasury, It Is A Blatant Lie - Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described the present administration’s claim that it inherited an empty treasury as a lie. Jonathan said this while speaking at the launch of his new book “My Transition Hours.”

It’s been a consistent claim of President Buhari and his officials that the APC inherited a crashing economy, one that Jonathan has described as a lie.

He said: "Recall that the opposition and their sympathisers and campaigners, both local and international, with their malicious propaganda, tore our economy to shreds, threatened our stability and existence as a nation and intimidated our citizens, all in the bid to take over power.

Rather than forge a coalition and build on the momentum we had gathered when they eventually took office, they went on a persecution spree and vengeance mission. That the country slipped into recession soon after we left office was a self-inflicted injury caused by misplaced priorities. The narrative of inheriting empty treasury is a blatant lie.

Also, the excuse of the collapse of world crude prices does not hold water. This is because the Fourth Republic took off in 1999 with crude oil selling for less than $20 per barrel and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 0.58 per cent, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) figures. Yet, the economy maintained a steady growth from that year, peaking at 15.33 per cent in 2002 when the average crude oil price was about $25.

It is also instructive that the oil and gas sector constitute about 11 per cent of our GDP. There had to be a wider causative factor than just the fall in world crude prices.

It also amounts to standing facts on their heads to continuously claim that recession was caused by so-called mindless looting. The truth is that the opposition, in a bid to undo our government, became its own undoing when it got to power, because of the burden of justifying deliberate misrepresentations. There is wisdom in the saying that if you win a prize and get the crown, don’t go around destroying the person who previously held that prize; it will lose its value.

Even after winning the election and forming the government at the centre, the blame game continued..."