Former President Goodluck Jonathan says the soundness of his economic team ensured that prices did not spiral out of control during his administration.
The ex-President speaking at Eagle square, Abuja, at the Peoples Democratic Party non-elective national convention, said despite serious challenges including a major flood in 2012, Nigerians had food to eat and at manageable prices.
Accompanied to the podium by his former deputy vice president, Namadi Sambo, and other party chieftain, Jonathan appeared disturbed by some of the corruption allegations and looting discoveries, trailing his administration since its twilight.
He said, “Though we didn’t completely plug the loopholes in the fight against corruption, but we did well.
“I learnt that some people said that if the PDP had remained in power beyond 2015, the economy would have been worse. This couldn’t have been the case, because we had a sound economic team in place.
“Let us not forget that the great floods of 2012 were a major calamity that damaged homes and farmlands on the plains of River Niger and Benue.
“But despite the devastating effects of this natural disaster, there were no food shortages or arbitrary increase in prices, because of what we were able to accomplish with our agriculture transformation agenda, which considerably boosted food production.
“If we say that we rekindled hope in our people and regained international goodwill, it is because we pursued a number of policies and programmes that were not only richly rewarding for our people, but were also being copied by many countries across the globe, a few of which I will mention here.”
He harped on the successes of his administration including presiding over the emergence of the nation as the largest economic powerhouse in Africa with a GDP of over $500 billion, a single digit inflation rate, and a top destination for Foreign Direct Investment.
Jonathan rallied the Peoples Democratic Party, encouraging the members to be of good courage as God loves the PDP.
“The PDP is indeed back to reclaim its prime position as the party to lead Nigeria to greatness. As a human institution we cannot claim perfection, but obviously as a political party, our accomplishments as of 2015 far outweigh our shortfalls,” he said.
Jonathan also stated, “Nobody should intimidate the PDP. I believe in the PDP; even God Himself believes in the PDP. Today is August 12, look at the weather.
“God wants us to celebrate in the PDP, that’s why there is no rain. We are ready to take over the state houses of assembly, the National Assembly, the states as governors and the Presidency.
“It is important we manage our differences responsibly, with an eye on the divine role of the PDP to lead Nigeria to greatness. Let us rededicate ourselves to playing by the rules.
“Let us all ensure that the PDP is renewed in vigour to deliver on its divine responsibility to Nigerians. Let us forget the grievances of the past and look to the future with confidence and optimism.
“I urge you to go back to your respective constituencies to promote the ideals of our great party. Let it be known that our party has been born anew, committed to the best ideals of democracy.”