Former President Goodluck Jonathan has reacted to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, blaming his administration for late appointment of cabinet members by his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Shehu, while speaking when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, on Monday, said the refusal of Jonathan’s government to cooperate with the transition committee led to delay in appointments.
But, reacting, Jonathan in a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze said he should not be blamed for the failure of Buhari to appoint ministers early enough in the life of his government.
The former president said that handover notes from a predecessor does not contain the list of ministers for the incoming administration.
Jonathan urged Shehu to seek ways to better situation of the country rather than blame previous adminstration for its performance.
The statement read: “As strange as that particular assertion may sound, it still beggars belief that a spokesman of a president who is seeking re-election would still be looking for a scapegoat for the administration’s failure, at a time he should be showcasing his scorecard.
“That amounts to merely clutching at straws.Handover notes, being transitioning documents, are usually received by an incoming president from his predecessor at the time of change of government.
“It is not a document that guides a president to appoint his ministers.
“Under normal circumstances, a newly inaugurated president needs the support of his ministers, who would handle different departments of government, to study and understand his handover notes for effective performance of his initial duties.
“Those who think like Shehu that a government would not function properly if it does not receive handover notes in time, should be reminded that there is no law establishing the process.
“It is simply a matter of convenience for an outgoing president to develop handover notes to guide his successor understand key issues and hit the ground running.
“Sometimes, when Mr. Shehu speaks, he comes across as someone who is unaware of the fact that, under our laws, an administration is elected for a tenure of four years within which it is expected to have fulfilled its campaign promises, before returning to the electorate for a fresh mandate.
“In case he does not know, Shehu should be reminded that blaming others for one’s failures is not a prove of performance.
“Assuming, without out conceding, that the last administration was as bad as they want Nigerians to believe, is it not a fact of governance that it is the duty of every responsible administration to seek to make better the situation it met on ground?”
According to him, “while Buhari’s government continued to blame his administration for its failure to deliver on their mandate, there are many African success stories that proved that a progress-minded administration has no business focusing only on the past.
“From a past of the worst genocide in recent history, Rwandan President Paul Kagame did not blame anybody when he took charge. He simply hit the ground running, and today, we all know where Rwanda stands in Africa’s growth and development index.
“The story is similar in Cote d’Ivoire where President Alassane Ouattara was able to turn around the Ivorian economy within two years after it had virtually collapsed following the negative impact of the country’s worst political crisis.
“As the Buhari government nears its end, the minders of the administration should please tell Nigerians what new projects, programmes and institutions for good governance they have added to those established by the various administrations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), since they took over.”