President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Valedictory Remarks

President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Valedictory Remarks
May 27 22:10 2015 Print This Article

First and foremost we have to thank God that we are here talking to ourselves, reassessing the relationship between and what we have done. Others probably don’t have that kind of luck.


I recall that even I have devolve quiet a number of cabinet? and the ministers don’t even know when they are to leave, they will just hear the announcements. At least we have the opportunity; we know we are to leave government on the May 29th.


Looking at our political history in this country somebody don’t even know you just hear a big gun and you are out. But here we are preparing to exit government on the 29th of May. So we thank God. We remain grateful to Nigerians for giving us the opportunity to serve.


As? ministers you came in at different times, the likes of Aganga are the oldest serving ministers, others are just few weeks old, they came almost at the time of the elections.


One thing that is clear, I enjoyed working with all of you. I’m very pleased with all of you. I want to thank all of you for your various contributions to the development of our country. I want to thank those that have been with us, the Advisers, Special Senior Assistants, the secretariat, other senior government functionaries including the media that covered proceedings every Wednesday.


As a cabinet we have tried our best, I believe we have done well under a very difficult situations. There are a lot of criticisms, people say different things at different times, some of those who make some statements know there are purely political.


I always insist that we have been here for five years and some months including the time I was an acting president.


I have always throw the challenge that those who criticize us should compare what we have done in the various sectors to what others have done. I may not need to enumerate but if you look at the rail system and what we have done within this period, the oil sector where there has been so much attack, one good thing we did was the Nigerian content law that revolutionize the oil industry. There were a lot of fabrication going on in Lagos and other places but it was never like this before. Nigerians are playing key roles in the oil sector, people sometimes forget this. ?Even with that maybe we have offended some people but the Nigerian local content has really helped so many Nigerians, to play big in the oil sector.


The agriculture, power sectors and maybe in foreign relations like the minister of foreign affairs mentioned, from 1960 to date we have been members of the security council as non-permanent members five times? out of these five times, two times was with the five years of our administration. We have been independent nation for five years and we have been in the United Nations security council as non-permanent members five times?, two within this administration. That shows clearly that the rest of the world ?appreciate our little contributions to global issue.


In education, the road system, we have added Kasambilla to our dams, we have done wonderfully well in sports within this period, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and of course the financial inclusion within this period is more than ever before.


I can go on and on and mention almost all the sectors. So I believe we have done our best ?and Nigerians will continue to assess us.


Even though we operated under an extremely difficult situation, maybe because politics in Nigeria is just maturing, we witnessed the longest ASUU strike I don’t think we have ever witnessed a strike that lasted for six months? and we believe that that strike was partially politically motivated, otherwise lecturers cannot troop out for six months. There were the terror attacks, we know Boko Haram predates this administration but immediately after the elections, I believe because of local and external factors, they became very vicious, extremely destructive, killing people and destroying properties.


Even this last fuel scarcity, to me one can clearly say it was an act of sabotage. This government has few days to go that is definitely not the time you expect massive strikes, using marketers and unions, unions asking for increase in salaries at a time oil price have dropped and volumes have dropped. None of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) is increasing salaries but ?our unions wanted 11 per cent increase in allowances and so on and so forth and went on strike.


There was 21 days reserve in this country, is not as if we had no products but they just refused to lift. Diesel was deregulated ?long ago, so the issue was not the product but people who felt they must bring this government to its knees even when they know that we had few days to leave. But we thank God we are getting over it and God will see us through.


Some people are even calling for the probe of this government, I agree in Nigeria there are a number of things that we will probe, very many things. Even debts owed by states and this nation from 1960 up to this time they say it is Jonathan’s administration that is owing all the debt.


I believe that anybody calling for probe must ensure that these probes are extended beyond the Jonathan administration otherwise to me it will be witch hunting. If you are very sincere then is not just the Jonathan’s administration that should be probed.


A number of things have gone wrong and we have done our best to fix them. The Attorney General is aware of massive judgments debts, if we aggregate all of them is almost going to $1 billion. How did we come to this kind of huge judgment debts. These issues should be probed. How do you allocate our oil wells, oil fields, marginal wells and all that do we follow our laws? All these should be probed. And I believe all these and many more areas should be looked at.


So for members of council, I have worked with you and I’m quite pleased. For the past five years, for those of you like the Attorney General ?that has been with us from the beginning and those who joined lately, we have worked together and to me it was quiet fulfilling. We had many challenges no doubt about that but with God on our sides we have been able to navigate up to this point, because 29th of May that is Friday this week, we have been together. Surely we are not just going to disperse we are still Nigerians and we will still continue to interact.


I believe even after leaving office we may even interact even more for the interest of our nation. So I thank all of you for working with me and the Vice President to build our nation within this period that Nigerians gave us the opportunity to do so.


I believe that your involvement is not a waste, in fact listening to you I see some of you also have that kind of fulfillment and that is the essence of life. So once again thank you for working with us to achieve what we did within this period. ?


We remain grateful to all of you, we will remain friends and colleagues.


But remember we still have a programme tomorrow, the government is not ending today. We have the formal hand over process tomorrow and you must come as ministers of the federal government, I’m saying so because of the media, the cabinet has not been desolved. This is only a valedictory session because this is the last Wednesday. We will certainly formally dissolve the cabinet but today the cabinet has not been dissolve because ministers are yet to hand over and that ceremony will come up tomorrow, and you will come for tomorrow’s dinner as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


We will probably have a little meeting here where we will formally dissolve the cabinet but all these programmes coming up tomorrow you hand to attend as ministers.


Let me also thank you for your various positive comments and encomiums, though I think you exaggerate some of them but it is always expected. When you go for a burial you don’t abuse the dead body. But it was quiet fulfilling and relaxing working with you. Even among the cabinet members there were no major issues.


The minister of mines and development did mention about two ministers that were a bit cantankerous at a point. I was once told though I was not here then that one minister resigned because of antagonism by another minister and the then president then couldn’t call the other minister to order and the person left.


But we never had that kind of extreme situations even though as human beings there must be differences but within this period, it was not pronounced and we managed ourselves as members of the same team. So as head of the team I have to thank you for that commitment. I thank you all.


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