Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday described the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan as below average.
Obasanjo spoke during an encounter with book writers in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as part of activities marking the popular Ake Festival.
When asked of his view on Jonathan’s administration, he said, “His performance is below average. I will not accept responsibility for his performance. There is nobody that gets such a position without being helped.”
The former President also debunked the insinuations that he had selected Jonathan as the running mate to the late President Musa Yar’Adua because he knew the latter was sick.
“Yar’Adua told me he was well. He showed me his medical report and I even consulted experts,” he said.
He said he had only supported the idea of a South-Southerner succeeding Yar’Adua to extend the sense of belonging that the emergence of a Southern President in 1999 represented.
When the former President was also asked on why he preferred Jonathan to the former governor of Rivers State, Donald Duke, he said, “In my own life, I don’t put all my eggs in one basket. Duke was young enough to be in the reserve.
“He did not agree with me. Donald Duke is my friend but he needs a little of toning down. He needs to get his feet on the ground.”
The former President had, in a December 2, 2013 18-page letter to Jonathan titled: “Before it is too late” raised many issues concerning Jonathan’s administration.
The Presidency on Friday said a statement credited to Obasanjo that President Goodluck Jonathan’s performance is below average was “not true and in error.”
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said this in a telephone interview with SATURDAY PUNCH.
Okupe said if the statement indeed emanated from the former leader, it was the most uncharitable thing to say about the present administration which he said had achieved so much in various areas.
“If indeed former President Obasanjo said that, that statement was in error because no government since independence has done close to 50 per cent of what this administration has done in less than four years,” Okupe said.
He recalled that when Obasanjo was leaving office, the total power generation capacity in the country was about 2,600MW, claiming that the present administration had been able to raise the figure to about 4,000MW.
Okupe also said the Jonathan administration inherited 24 airports that were in states of disrepair across the country at inception.
He said all the airports had so far been refurbished by the present administration, therefore increasing the country’s reputation among comity of nations.
The presidential aide also said the present administration inherited 10 moribund National Integrated Power Projects and went ahead to restore and commission them.
He added that the Jonathan administration had succeeded in completely eradicating the rot and corruption met in the distribution of fertilisers in the agriculture sector.
He also said the present administration made progress in road construction by making 70 per cent of road network motorable.
Okupe also said many of the manufacturing industries that were moribund in 2011 have started work again.
“These are just a few among the achievements of the present administration. So if that statement was indeed made, it is most uncharitable and it is not true,” he added.