Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has cast further aspersions on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that nepotism in appointing individuals into key government positions never existed during his tenure, though his administration was riddled with corruption.
Jonathan, who served as the president between 2010 and 2015, made this claim during a one-day visit to the Emir of Bauchi’s palace.
He stated that Nigeria has a tradition of “you must know someone” before appointing individuals into “juicy” positions.
Ogbewere Ijewereme in his ‘Anatomy of Corruption in the Nigerian Public Sector: Theoretical Perspectives and Some Empirical Explanations,’ said:
Similarly, corrupt practices continued to increase at a worrisome level since President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office.
Jonathan’s administration displayed a lack of political will, a high degree of lethargy and cluelessness in the fight against corruption in the face of many corrupt practices frequently reported against government officials.
While reacting to Governor Bala Mohammed’s introductory comments, the former president recalled making Mohammed the FCT minister without knowing him.
The ex-president said:
Yes, I did not know him when I met him and made him the FCT Minister.
In Nigeria, we have this tradition where some people feel that some ministries are big and juicy and must be given to a special person or that you have to know someone before you give him a responsibility role or put him somewhere
It is not like that with me. It is not my way of doing things.
He stressed that Mohammed, while serving as the FCT minister, “worked with commitment.”
The former president stated further:
I gave him a free hand to run the affairs of the FCT. I’ve come to visit him and to commission a project and a road that was even named after me.
Earlier, the Bauchi governor, while introducing the former president, said:
I don’t have anything in common with him other than the stake of nationalism and Nigerianness.
He made me the minister of the FCT without knowing me or belonging to the same political party. He has really impacted so much. He gave me responsibility, and by so doing, he has proven that he is a detribalised Nigerian.
Jonathan, in 2015, lost his re-election bid to Buhari.
Buhari has repeatedly been criticised for appointing cronies and members of his ethnic group into key national public offices.