Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari over claims by him (Buhari) that he inherited “no light, bad roads and no railway.” Buhari, while briefing Nigerians in the United States last week, had said he met nothing on the ground after he took over as the president.
He had said, “We got into trouble as a country because we did not save for the rainy day. For example, between 1999 and 2015 when we produced an average of 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, and oil prices stood at an average of $100 per barrel, we did not save, neither did we develop infrastructure. Suddenly, when we came in 2015, oil prices fell to about $30 per barrel.
“I asked, ‘Where are the savings?’ There were none. ‘Where are the railways, the roads, the power?’ None. I further asked, ‘What did we do with billions of dollars that we made over the years?’ They said we bought food. Food with billions of dollars? I did not believe, and still do not believe.”
However, Jonathan, while making an indirect reference to Buhari’s claims, said he was proud of his achievements, especially in the area of rail construction.
Jonathan, in a Facebook post, made reference to a piece written by a former PUNCH columnist, Tolu Ogunlesi, which was published on January 12, 2015.
The ex-President said, “I am grateful to God and my team for what we were able to achieve with our railways, among other things.”
Ogunlesi, who now serves as the Special Assistant on Digital/New Media to President Buhari, had praised Jonathan’s achievements in a piece entitled, ‘The case for and against President Jonathan.’
In his Facebook post, Jonathan lifted the quote from Ogunlesi’s piece, “Let’s start with infrastructure. On the railways, the Jonathan government scores high marks. The railway line between Lagos and Kano has been revived after about two decades of inactivity.
“The Enugu-Port Harcourt line has just been launched; Abuja-Kaduna is almost finished. There was a determined push to upgrade airports across the country, for which we are grateful.”