Former President Goodluck Jonathan has responded to claims made by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his visit to the United States of America.
In one of the claims, Osinbajo said that Nigeria had about 112.7million people living in extreme poverty in 2010 without any Social Investment Programme, social security or any other way of taking them out of poverty.
However, in a statement by his media office, the ex-president described the claim as “false”.
The statement signed by Reno Omokri, who was Special Assistant to Jonathan on New Media, read, “My attention has been drawn to statements by the so-called Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, the deputy to General Muhammadu Buhari, in New York where, as usual, he made false statements to the media in an effort to explain away his non-performance in office.
“The statement (by Vice President Osinbajo) is a lie and it is very easy to disprove Mr. Osinbajo’s fallacious assertions.
“According to the United Nations and the World Poverty Clock, Nigeria overtook India as the world headquarters for extreme poverty on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, when her population of extremely poor people ‘INCREASED’ to an unprecedented 87 million people.
“If, according to both the United Nations and the World Poverty Clock, Nigeria’s population of extremely poor people hit an unprecedented number of 87 million people in 2018 under General Buhari, how is it possible that there were 112.7 million people living in extreme poverty in 2010?
“If that were true, then Nigeria would have overtaken India as the world headquarters for extreme poverty in 2010, because as at that time, India did not have such numbers of extremely poor people.
“You see that no matter how far and fast Osinbajo’s regular falsehood travels, it will always be overtaken by truth.
“The truth is that the period between 2010 and 2015 witnessed the most radical reduction in poverty, ever in Nigerian history.
“For instance, according to the annual Global Hunger Index published by the US based International Food Policy Research Institute, whereas hunger increased in other parts of sub Saharan Africa, for the first time since records were kept, Hunger reduced in Nigeria by 20% in 2013 under the Jonathan administration. I encourage my readers to Google this information.
“I should note that, according to the same International Food Policy Research Institute, hunger in Nigeria has risen every year since 2015.
“Also, it is not true that there were ‘no Social Investment Programme’ under the Jonathan administration. On the contrary, the most successful social intervention programmes ever put in place in Nigeria, were introduced and implemented by the Jonathan government.
“This included the SUBSIDY REMOVAL EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM called SURE-P, whereby roads, hospitals and child care clinics amongst others were funded from the proceeds of the partially removed subsidy (including the ongoing Second Niger Bridge that this administration dishonestly tried to take credit for), headed by renowned industrialist and diplomat, Dr. Christopher Kolade and the Conditional Cash Transfer program to poor Nigerians and pregnant women (which the Buhari administration has praised publicly).
“The Jonathan administration also had several initiatives to turn around the lives of Nigerian youths including the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWin), the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS), the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovations and Development scholarships (PRESSID) to First Class graduates of Nigerian universities to mention a few.
“That same government also built 165 almajiri schools to help reduce the 12 million strong population of out of school children in Northern Nigeria, as well as built 12 new federal universities.
“The policy of the Jonathan administration was that it was better to give Nigerians a HAND UP, via education and grants to start their own businesses, rather than give our people HANDOUTS of small sums of money that is essentially fish, but doesn’t teach them to fish.
“In conclusion, I will like to say again that Mr. Osinbajo has shown himself to be a man of very base character, who lies as much as the devil that he preaches against and whose behaviour has undermined the faith of genuine believers.
“It will be recalled that only last week, Mr. Osinbajo claimed that the 2019 elections were better than the 2015 elections, despite the verdict of the US, EU and AU to the contrary.
“It is now left to those who gave him the title ‘pastor’ to determine whether he is representing Christ well. Judgment Day is coming. And we shall all give account.”