President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday during a rally in Enugu said that the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, cannot remember his own mobile phone number. He, then wondered how Buhari would be able to transform the economy of the country. Jonathan was reacting to statements made by Buhari that he (Buhari) would transform the economy of the country if elected. But Jonathan said Buhari was deceiving Nigerians as he failed to explain how he intends to bring about such transformation, adding that he (Buhari) failed to develop the country’s economy while he was in office as head of state between 1983 and 1985. “Is it now that Buhari cannot even remember his own phone number that he can change the economy of the country.” Jonathan asked.
The President, however, said he likes to focus on issues when campaigning and not go personal but “sometimes circumstances demand that certain things must be said,” adding that Buhari belongs to the medieval age and would run the country as a medieval king if elected. He said, “We cannot run the government as if we are in the medieval age; we cannot run a government where somebody said he would throw people into jail.
“You are not a medieval king – a medieval king can throw you into jail but we have to follow the rule of law because we cannot go back to the old days.” Jonathan also called on Buhari to explain to Nigerians how he intends to revive the economy. “They are telling young Nigerians that they are going to change the economy but they have not told us how they want to manage the economy more than us. “If they say they want to change agriculture, they should tell us the weak links in the agriculture value chain and what they want to do about it. “I said in Lagos that I want to work with young people, not to deceive people. “I am not going to run the government based on my habits, I am going to run the government according to global best practices,” Jonathan said. On corruption, Jonathan said his administration was committed to the fight, adding that “no government that has fought corruption more than we do.”
He also recalled that Buhari jailed some prominent Igbo politicians while in office as head of state, including former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme and former governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, on trumped up charges, saying “you can no longer carry people and put them in prison for 301 years.” Jonathan also said Buhari has a faulty idea of corruption as he (Buhari) believes that every rich Nigerian is corrupt. He said, “If a Nigerian businessman has a private jet, then you are corrupt but if a South African has a private jet then you commend him. “If you have a good house, then you are corrupt, if you have a good car then you are corrupt – that is his definition of corruption.” Jonathan also accused Buhari of making false accusations against him. He said, “They are saying that government is corrupt but they are not telling us what they are going to do to stop corruption. Let them go back to their consultants to coach them, then I will listen to them. “They should tell us how they are going to manage the economy better than we do. “They are saying we stole foreign reserves, nobody can steal foreign reserves – spurious allegations.” On the issue of security, Jonathan insisted that Buhari did not equip the military while he was the head of state, and said his administration has done more than all other administrations to improve the country’s security. “For 30 years, we had only one frigate, now we have four additional frigates,” Jonathan said. The President also noted that Buhari, while in office as Head of State, did not find any woman worthy enough for appointment, and called on Nigerians to assess him and Buhari by comparing how they performed during their respective periods in office. He said, “They have deceived us before and they want to deceive us again. “Go and find out whether these people are deceiving you or are telling you the truth. “People are assessing me because I have run this country for some years – they have run this country for two years. “They came with promises but immediately they came in, what they did was to jail Jim Nwobodo for 201 years.”