Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Thursday, in Washington denied claims by President Muhammadu Buhari that about $150 billion was lost to corruption under the previous administration.
“Corruption is now used for political campaign, during the first visit of President Buhari to the United States he said that about $150billion was lost to corruption, though he didn’t mention me, he said by previous administration,” Jonathan said at the U.S National Democratic Institute (NDI) where he was hosted by the nonprofit organisation.
“The figures are staggering and untrue,” he claimed. “Another governor said someone stole a million barrel of oil per day”.
The former President, however, said he would not join issues with the administration of President Buhari.
Jonathan also faulted claims made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that he never intended to stay beyond the term limit while he was in power.
According to him, Obasanjo agitated for a third term but failed.
“Of course I was a governor at that time but due to strong resistance from the National Assembly the third term bid failed,”
He noted that Africa needs strong parliaments to checkmate presidents who influence parliaments to consider amendment to the constitution that would extend their stay in office.
“Changing constitutions to eliminate term limits in order to favour incumbents is inconsistent with democratic principles and reduces confidence in democratic institutions,” Jonathan said.
He warned that repressive actions by some of these leaders is setting “a disturbing precedence for the region and continent”.
Jonathan said it is not a sustainable path and the reason he is setting up the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation is to address these issues and mediate in the continent.
The event was moderated by U.S former deputy Secretary of State for Africa, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, who is now a USIP Senior Advisor to President Obama and member, NDI Board of Directors.
The event also had in attendance U.S Policy makers, think-tanks, members of Congress, and U.S government officials.