Yesterday, October 24, former president Goodluck Jonathan, gave a speech at the Oxford university. He spoke on several issues relating to youth empowerment, entrepreneurship, insecurity and corruption.
According to him, his administration reformed the institutions and introduced various mechanisms to stop the corruption problems in the country without publicizing it.
However, this appears to be different from some statements he made on corruption while serving as president. Here are some of such statements:
1. Private jet statement
On Thursday, May 1, 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan faulted the World Bank report which placed Nigeria among the five poorest countries in the world, saying “the nation is not poor.’’
He said this while addressing workers at the May Day rally held at the Eagle Square, Abuja in 2014, the President said:
“Nigeria is not a poor country. Nigerians are the most travelled people. There is no country you go that you will not see Nigerians. The GDP of Nigeria is over half a trillion dollars and the economy is growing at close to 7 per cent.’’
“If you talk about ownership of private jets, Nigeria will be among the first 10 countries, yet they are saying that Nigeria is among the five poorest countries.”
2. Stealing is not corruption
Then he made a statement that shocked Nigerians, when he said: “I didn’t say stealing is good, I only said stealing isn’t corruption.”
Later due to the massive backlash from Nigerians, he said: “People who told you I said stealing is not corruption did not tell you I said stealing is good. That is why philosophers say that the primary reason people disagree is because people use one statement to explain two typical things or vice versa.
“I made that statement because I quoted the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mustapha, (when) I called a meeting then, with the anti-crime organisations and the judiciary.
“The CJN, Mustapha decided to take a look at the files that dealt with corruption and more than 80 per cent of them were just cases of stealing. But people use corruption to cover all.”
3. Goats and yams
Once again in 2015, Goodluck Jonathan riled the Nigerian people when during a media chat he used an illustration to explain corruption.
He said: “If you put a goat where yam is, it will eat it, if you put people where money is, they will steal it.”
4. Fighting corruption with technology
On Friday, January 9 2015, the former president, Goodluck Jonathan made a statement in Enugu at the PDP presidential campaign rally.
According to him, the best way to fight corruption is through improved technology and not by jailing people for 300 years.
He had this to say: “With technology, you can track down criminals. I am not going to run Nigeria on my heartbeat but according to international best practices. I will continue to run this country based on the rule of law.”