Former President Goodluck Jonathan has disputed the claims of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are responsible for the current economic recession in the country.
On Wednesday, while inaugurating the economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP), President Muhammadu Buhari still attributed some of the challenges in the country to the opposition party.
But speaking on Thursday during a stakeholders’ meeting at Yar’adua Center in Abuja , Jonathan said PDP achieved a lot in 16 years.
“We are proud to state that PDP had creditably managed the affairs of this country for 16 years,” he said.
“There is no doubt that our party has in the last two years gone through some difficulties. However, in a democracy this is not strange in the life of a political party, especially after losing power to the opposition, like we did.
“At different times, I have also been making efforts to reunite, reconcile and re-energise to become stronger, before the next election. I will like to point out that every election cycle throws up a challenge as well as opportunities for a political party.
“A test to re-evaluate its performance, and an opportunity to reform its processes and programmes, towards rediscovering itself to become even more appealing to the electorate, in its next outing.
“This obviously is the area where we have excelled. The fact that we allowed this process to take place peacefully, and freely handed over.
“All over the world, political parties lose elections, not because they have entirely failed, but because, in most cases, the people who gave them power in the first place, have decided to hand it over to another party, in order to experience a different kind of leadership.”
He said that he was not going to “chest-thump” about PDP’s achievements but it was important to speak about it.
“This is not a forum for chest-thumping but it is important we highlight some relevant initiatives of past PDP administrations,” he said.
“Our ideological commitment towards a private sector-led and people-oriented economy manifested in the great achievements we recorded in various sectors including communications, agriculture, public financial management and financial reforms, the financial services rail and roads infrastructure, as well as in the social services.
“In agriculture, we revolutionized the sector by introducing programmes that encouraged more people, including the youths to embrace farming as a thriving business.
“We also boosted local capacity for food production, thereby drastically reducing the prize of food stuff and food import bill.
“That the PDP Government improved communication in Nigeria through the introduction of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) and the expansion of the nation’s information and communication technology architecture needs no gainsay.”