Former president Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to claims by Rauf Aregbesola, the former governor of Osun state that the PDP led administration is one the reasons why he was unable to pay workers salary.
He also said if a government’s mind is centered on consumption rather than investing no amount of allocation will ever be enough.
A Response to Governor Aregbesola’s Verbal Diarrhoea and Historical Revision
The recent comments by the Osun state Governor, Rauf Aregbesola blaming former President Jonathan and the PDP for his inability to pay salaries at the state level and for failing to halt the theft of crude oil is another one in the long list of blame gaming that the present All Progressive Congress governments at all levels are well known for.
Speaking while hosting the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services, Aregbesola had said “Nigerians easily forget that in June of 2014, calamity struck the Nigerian economy when a huge magnitude of crude oil was being stolen under the previous government which adversely affected the revenue from the federation account, and the government then repeatedly recorded slide in the revenue generation.”
It is not surprising that the usually loquacious Governor Aregbesola has been quiet about the $25 billion scam at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and chooses to distract the public with this fallacious revision of history. To put things into perspective, this scam is the single largest scam in the history of Nigeria since 1914.
For the avoidance of doubt, calamity did not strike the Nigerian economy on June 2014 as alleged by Governor Aregbesola or at any other time that former President Jonathan governed Nigeria.
Perhaps Governor Aregbesola is confused and meant to say August 2016 when Nigeria officially entered into recession for the first time in 25 years due to the mismanagement of the economy by the APC administrations at all levels.
Contrary to Governor Aregbesola’s verbal diarrhoea, the Jonathan era, spanning 2010 to 2015, witnessed an era of unprecedented growth in which Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product consistently grew at over 6% per annum and our economy became the largest economy in Africa and the third fastest growing economy in the world according to CNNMoney. In that time frame, inflation was at single digit rate, the Naira was stable at under 200 Naira to a dollar and petrol sold at ₦87 per liter.
Rather than blame Dr. Jonathan or the PDP for his massive failure in office, Governor Aregbesola is advised to look at Anambra state where the state government is not dependent on the Federal Government but has creatively come up with ways to generate revenue without taking loans or the bailout handed out by the APC led Federal Government.
Anambra has become self sufficient in food production and is exporting agricultural produce to Europe and Asia whereas Osun state under Governor Aregbesola which has a larger and more fertile land mass is borrowing left right and center and failing that, begging for funds from national and multinational institutions.
My question to Rauf Aregbesola is whether the Governor of Anambra has two heads whereas Aregbesola has only one?
The answer is that the Anambra state government is not headed by a lazy talkative who believes that all there is to governance is to wait for monthly manna from Abuja.
No matter how much federal allocation you give a governor, if he has a consumer mentality, it will never be enough. Aregbesola is an example. No matter how little federal allocation you give a governor, if he has a producer mentality, it will be turned into more than enough. Peter Obi and Willie Obiano of Anambra are examples.
Thankfully, the great people of Osun state have seen through the emptiness of their Governor and his APC which is why they voted overwhelmingly against them and for the Peoples Democratic Party in the recent Osun West Senatorial District election where the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, trounced the APC’s candidate 97, 280 to 66, 115.
If Governor Aregbesola would only sell the tens of cars in his convoy, reduce the hundreds of millions it takes to run his office, curtail the millions he spends on propaganda and then invest that money in income generating ventures like farms, poultries, micro finance institutions and similar enterprises, he will be able to pay his civil servants instead of passing the buck and blaming Dr. Jonathan who left office almost three years ago.
Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies