By Andrew Essien, Abuja
Senate President Bukola Saraki has said that the greatest factor in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s fall from power was that he was not prepared for the position he occupied.
He also noted that President Jonathan was not desperate for power.
However, Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, attributed the fall of Jonathan’s government to his display of bad judgement on teething national issues.
Governor Shettima also slammed the proponents of restructuring, saying that what the country needs at this time is conscientious leadership on the part of the political class.
Both men spoke at the unveiling of the book, On a Platter of Gold – How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria, written by ex-minister of youth and sports in the Jonathan administration, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, in Abuja, yesterday.
Senator Saraki said, “No matter what you say about him, I don’t think he was someone who was desperate for power. He was not someone that was prepared for leadership.”
On his part, Shettima said: “I dare to say that sheer display of bad governance, lack of political sagacity and willpower squandered the enormous goodwill he commanded and he subsequently got voted out of the office.
“Within the short time of his ascendency, to paraphrase the author of the book, he went from a man who controlled the populace to the clueless; from the most followed president on Facebook in the world to the most cursed president.
“Dr Jonathan’s political profile rose within a short time and in a spectacular manner, but nosedived by the poor handling of the most important issues affecting Nigeria at the time, such as the fuel subsidy scandal, the Boko Haram insurgency and the general feeling of insecurity particularly with the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls. His handling of the crisis in the then ruling party, the PDP, left much to be desired.”
According to Shettima, the lesson for the political class was that they must at all times place national interest above all other considerations.
The Borno State governor further revealed that save for the advice of the then attorney-general, Mohammed Adoke, and the minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, he was already pencilled down for removal by the former president.
“He sought the opinion of Mohammed Adoke Bello, the then attorney-general. Adoke told him, ‘Mr President, you have no power to remove even an elected councillor’. Then he sought the opinion of other senior advocates of Nigeria (SANs) in his team, like the minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, and Turaki also told him, ‘Mr President, you have no power to remove a sitting governor’. And that was how the matter died.”
On restructuring, Governor Shettima said what was needed instead was for the nation’s leaders to deliver good governance.
“People are talking about artificial intelligence. Other nations are talking about nano technology or robotics engineering, but unfortunately, the topical issue in Nigeria is restructuring; restructuring my foot!”
“Let us improve on governance; let us work for the people, invest in education, create jobs for our people.”