The Presidency yesterday refuted the claim by former President Goodluck Jonathan that there is more corruption in the country today.
Jonathan on Tuesday had launched his book, My Transition Hours, which among other things contained the accusation.
This is absolutely untrue and the facts on ground run contrary to this outlandish accusation, the presidency said last night in a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The statement reads in part: “President Muhammadu Buhari, in pursuit of the war against corruption, has set a number of local and international records, one of which is to call judicial officers in Nigeria to account.
“He is the first to set such a record. Not only that, this is the first time that top military commanders and service chiefs were brought to trial and convictions were achieved on account of corruption.
“Also, this is the first time a ruling party is convicting high-profile citizens including former governors, who are members of the same party. This is the first time the international community is acknowledging the efforts of a government of Nigeria in this regard as manifested by the selection of President Buhari by the African Union as the Anti-Corruption Champion of the continent.
“For the records, this is the first time a ruling party is investigating ranking officers of the administration, including some at the very top. In addition to the many firsts recorded by President Buhari’s administration, the government has introduced a lot of changes, considering that the laws relating to the fight against corruption cannot reasonably be static.
“In line with its aspiration to be ahead of the growing sophistication of corruption and financial crimes, the administration has initiated new legislations and proposed amendments to different sections of laws, among which are: the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Bill 2017; Anti-Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Bill 2017; Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill 2017 (NFIU); Proceeds of Crime Bill 2017; Public Interest Disclosure and Witness Protection Bill, 2017; and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2017.
“Nigerians should dismiss Dr. Jonathan’s hollow boast that he, not President Buhari, introduced schemes such as the Biometric Verification Number (BVN), Treasury Single Account, TSA and the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPS). Of what use is the announcement of good policies without the will to implement them?
“As evidenced from a fleeting look at the book, the former president had nothing to say about his own achievements. If there was a recession, and yes we had a moment in it, was it due to the one year of President Buhari’s government?
“In his efforts to blame everyone but himself for his failures, Dr Jonathan heaped the blame for the predictable economic recession on President Buhari, ignoring the seeds sown under him through mismanagement and the process set in firm roots for the decline of the economy. Evidently, he did nothing to avert the situation.
“The former president and his party have nothing to say about achievements. They ruled the country for 16 years and what is their record on jobs, power, rail, seaports, airports and internal security, including the crippling disaster of terrorism?
“The oil shock should and could have been foreseen. When visionary Nigerians and economists foresaw this and warned of the dangers ahead, Dr Jonathan hounded such men as the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II and Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance under Dr Jonathan’s administration also warned and she was rebuffed.”
Jonathan meanwhile has raised the alarm over a fake online version of the book.
In a tweet yesterday, he said: “We have just been informed that a fake document contrived by mischief makers is being passed on as the e-version and hard copy of the just launched #MyTransitionHours. Also note that the e-copy of #MyTransitionHours is not being marketed.
“As such, only those out to deceive the unsuspecting public could have created the fake online version. We advise the general public to ignore such publication as the chapters and contents are not the same as the book publicly presented two days ago in Abuja. #MyTransitionHours.”
But Nigerians reacted differently to the news about the fake copies. Some, like Ebuka Daniel@ebukadaniel1, wrote: “With all due respect, sir, I think your team should make available a link to the original e-copy to counter the fake. Many must have read and imbibed the fake and the lies thereof. From all indications, the book wasn’t for profit; hence, a free e-version will suffice.” Also, (APC)@UpdatesItu said: “Sir! Release the e-version and crash the distribution of pirated copies fast.”
But some sardonically noted that the development would help people in government appreciate the pains ordinary Nigerians face on piracy. MikePeter@Mikepeter2657 wrote: “Thank God you witness it now. Every time Nollywood/musicians, artists cry to you people in government to help them curb/fight piracy but you always turn deaf ears. How many minutes will it take Nigerians to copy/pirate ordinary books? Just in one hour more than 500 copies!”
Wilson Shadrach @iam_wilsons also wrote: “I’m glad you are now a victim of this menace. Do you now feel what many of these authors and filmmakers have been suffering for decades? When we talk, the government keeps mute like it doesn’t matter. #ItIsTime to get things right in this country. Sorry, sir! These people need to feel what the masses feel sometimes, so they can really act. How many (times) has any of our leaders spoken about piracy in the last five years?”