Ex-President Jonathan was comfortable with oil subsidy scam, was not prepared for leadership, says Saraki
Saraki spoke yesterday at the public presentation and launch of ‘On A Platter Of Gold: How Jonathan Won and Lost Nigeria’, a book written by Bolaji Abdullahi, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said, “I like to share one or two things that will probably summarize the former President Jonathan. I remember when I was then Senator and I came across this issue of fuel subsidy and the way the country was losing close to about N1.3 trillion. In the history of this country, I don’t think of any singular kind of level of corruption as huge as that.
“I had a motion already, I wanted to present on the floor of the Senate. I felt as a member of the ruling party at that time, it was only proper I discussed it with the President (first). I booked an appointment to see Mr President, I went with my paper.
“I started with the background of how people brought in petroleum products. I said Mr President, in the past, people used to get award letters from NNPC to bring in PMS, DPK, and make 10, 20 per cent profit. I said Sir, they’ve taken it to another level. Now, they get an order to bring in products. They don’t want to make 10, 20 per cent any more. They will get an offer to bring in a cargo of 20,000 litres, they will bring in 5,000 to be stamped for 20,000.
“Instead of making 10 per cent, they make ten times the amount. I was telling the President, thinking the President will get very agitated. He said, ‘Senator Saraki, you know this oil business is very oily.’ I was stunned and taken aback but in a way, that was Jonathan in a sad way that was who he is.”
Saraki, who continued with the narration of his experiences with Jonathan, said, “And if you look at the second encounter, I will recollect the day I decided I am going to contest to be President. I felt that I didn’t want Jonathan to hear it as news. I booked an appointment to go and see him. I didn’t know what I was thinking that day.
“I went to the Villa, he said ‘come in, come in, how can I help you? I looked at the President of a third world country and said Mr President, I came to tell you that I am going to be contesting your seat. Jonathan looked at me and said, ‘oh, okay, good luck, good luck.’ If it were any other person, may be, I would not have left the Villa but that again sums up Goodluck Jonathan. I think it is us Nigerians that produce the kind of leaders we get. No matter what you say about him, I don’t think he was someone who was desperate for power. He was not someone that was prepared for leadership.