Immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, debunked allegations that his administration awarded contract for arms procurement to the tune of $2 billion.
Jonathan, who spoke in Washington DC, on "Presidential elections and democratic consolidation in Africa: Case studies on Nigeria and Tanzania," a conversational forum, co-hosted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), stated categorically that "I did not award any $2 billion contract for procurement of weapons."
Jonathan queried, "Where did the money come from? "I did not award a contract of $2billion for procurement of weapons," reports Premium Times.
At the forum moderated by USIP Senior Advisor to the US President and member, NDI Board of Directors, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Jonathan also shared his views on those elections and their significance in the consolidation of democratic progress in Tanzania.
He also discussed the recent political transition in Nigeria, as well as the prospects for improved governance in the country.Nigeria’s immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan in Washington DC faulted former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s claim that he did not actually push a third term bid.
Instead, Jonathan said the former president agitated for a third term in office but failed to actualise it. Jonathan was a guest of the U.S National Democratic Institute (NDI) in the United States on Wednesday.
According to him, the strong resistance of the National Assembly at the time (between 2006 and 2007), made the bid to fail.
“Of course, I was a governor at that time, but due to strong resistance from the National Assembly, the third term bid failed.”
According to Jonathan, Africa needs strong parliaments to checkmate sit-tight presidents who influence parliaments to consider amendment to the constitution that would extend their stay in office.
“Changing constitutions to eliminate term limits in order to favour incumbents is inconsistent with democratic principles and reduces confidence in democratic institutions.”
Jonathan said it is not a sustainable path and the reason he is setting up a Goodluck Jonathan Foundation to address these issues and mediate in the continent.
The former President, who recently led an international observer delegation of the Commonwealth to the Tanzanian national elections, shared his views on the elections and their significance in the consolidation of democratic progress in Tanzania.
He said that the election in Tanzania was an improvement from previous elections held in the country and revealed that the only weakness is that once the electoral umpire has declared a winner, the loser cannot contest the results in a law court or election petitions tribunal.
Jonathan also used the opportunity to educate the audience on the problems in Zanzibar and how he is mediating in the dispute.
He said: “Corruption is now used for political campaign; during the first visit of President Buhari to the United States he said that about $150billion was lost to corruption, though he didn’t mention me, he said by previous administration.”
“The figures are staggering and untrue, another governor said someone stole a million barrels of oil per day.”