President Goodluck Jonathan has again fired a salvo in the direction of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying the ex-President left Nigeria in darkness after his tenure.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, made this known while speaking in an interview with Sahara TV on Saturday.
During the interview, Abati responded to questions on the several issues involving the Presidency, and lampooned the opposition for attacking Jonathan on almost every issue.
On the proposed national conference, which is scheduled to hold early this year, Abati commended the president, saying it would be better than the National Political Reform Conference that was organised by the Obasanjo administration.
He said, “The last political reform conference, organised by Obasanjo failed. It ended up the discussion of tenure elongation and third term ambition”.
Abati faulted critics of the national conference, who have questioned why the present administration scheduled it in the same year the country is marking 100 years of amalgamation, saying the centenary anniversary celebration was not about the Jonathan government but a celebration by the private sector, the state and local government as well as all Nigerians.
On the power sector, the presidential spokesman said power supply has become better in the country than it was in 2007 and 2010.
He also criticized those who have questioned the presidency’s budgetary allocation saying, “Everyone is involved in the budget-making process. Both the intelligent and the unintelligent. Even okada drivers have become budget analysts.
“Nigerians are concerned about corruption. [President Jonathan] too is concerned about corruption”.
Abati also accused the media of bias for the opposition.
“The media as we have it in Nigeria today is heavily in the hands of the opposition. Whatever the President says, they twist it”, he said.
He also commended Jonathan for being the only president that has given Nigerians a road map.
“What he (Pres. Jonathan) has been able to do is historic. We have never had a president in Nigeria that presented Nigeria with a road map”, he said.
However, the former president has said he would not join issues with Mr. Jonathan and his aides even as he stressed that the present administration is building on the foundations he laid while he was in office between 1999 and 2007.
Obasanjo, who made this known through his Chief of Staff, Mr. Victor Durodola, said he had bared his mind in his letter to Jonathan and the President should accept his challenge in good faith.
Durodola said, “He (Obasanjo) doesn’t want to join issues with anybody anymore after that reply (President Goodluck Jonathan’s reply to the ex-president’s controversial letter); he really doesn’t want to.
“I would have told you that everybody knows that whatever it is that they are commissioning today, the foundation was laid when Obasanjo was President; everybody knows that. Most of the equipment came even before he left.
“But, as I said, he really does not want to (join issues with the presidency) at all. In one paragraph in his (Obasanjo’s) letter, he said he had done his duties to him (Jonathan) as a former president, as a former Board of Trustees Chairman (of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party) and as a citizen of Nigeria.
“It is left for him (Jonathan) to accept the challenge and do what is right”, Durodola said.