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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I expect Buhari administration to persecute my ministers, aides – President Jonathan

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Less than three weeks before he leaves office, President Goodluck Jonathan has said he expects his ministers and aides to be “persecuted” after his tenure.

Mr. Jonathan, whose administration witnessed several corruption scandals, stated this on Sunday at a thanksgiving service organized in his honour at the Anglican Church, Life Camp, Abuja.

He said he believes he lost some allies as well as the March presidential election because of “certain decisions,” he took.

“It (the decisions) might be good for the generality of the people but it might affect some people differently,” the president said. “So for ministers and aides who served with me, I sympathize with them, they will be persecuted. And they must be ready for that persecution.”

Mr. Jonathan said he expected that he and his ministers would have a hard time after he leaves office.
“To my ministers, I wish you what I wish myself,” he said. “They will have hard times, we will all have hard times. Our ways will be rough.”

Indications that some officials of the Jonathan administration would be investigated for corrupt activities emerged after the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari- vowed to probe the ‘missing’ $20 billion in the state oil firm, NNPC. The money, which was first made public by the immediate past Central Bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, remained an albatross on the neck of the Jonathan administration which repeatedly claimed its officials did nothing wrong.

However, an audit commissioned by the government and released after much pressure by the pubic and after Mr. Buhari’s statement showed that officials of the highly secretive NNPC and other relevant authorities frustrated the work of the international auditors, PWC. One of those expected to face a major probe is the petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, whose tenure witnessed several scandals in the oil sector, apart from the $20 billion.

Mr. Jonathan, who became the first incumbent to lose an election in Nigeria, also said the “hard decisions” he took probably cost him his re-election.

“Some hard decisions have their own cost, no doubt about that,” he said. “That I have ran the government this way that stabilized certain things, the electoral process and other things that brought stability into this country. They were very costly decisions which I myself must be ready to pay for.”

“Some people come to me and say this or that person, is he not your friend that benefited. Is it not your government that this person benefited from? But this is what the person is saying?

“But I used to say worse statements will come. If you take certain decisions, you should know that those close to you will even abandon you at some point. And I tell them that more of my so-called friends will disappear.”

The president compared his unpopularity based on his ‘decisions’ to that of the last apartheid ruler of South Africa.

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