Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
Former President Goodluck Jonathan says he personally handed the report of the 2014 National Conference to his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, with the hopes that he would implement the report.
Jonathan said rather than implement the report, Buhari went on to say he wanted the report to be confined to the dustbin of history.
The former President said this in his book titled, My Transition Hours, which was launched on Tuesday.
He said, “The President-elect took the National Conference report from me and I felt confident of it being used to chart the success of a better Nigeria. Two years after and faced with pressure from Nigerians to implement the conference report, it was widely reported that President Muhammadu Buhari said that the conference reports should be consigned to the dustbin of history.”
The former President also faulted Buhari’s claim that he would not implement the confab report because Jonathan decided to focus on the National Conference when he should have focused on the Academic Staff Union of Universities which was on strike.
Jonathan said contrary to Buhari’s claim, he did not ignore ASUU and in fact he was able to negotiate with the lecturers and got them to end their strike.
On why he didn’t personally implement the report of the conference despite having over seven months to do so, Jonathan said the crisis in the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives prevented him from doing so.
He said the then Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress and there was no way he would have been able to get his cooperation.
Jonathan added, “Those who say that my administration should have implemented the confab recommendations forget that I received the report a few months before the last general elections and at a time when the National Assembly was on break.
“Also, this was when the National Assembly was engulfed by so much tension and distrust. The Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, had led some members to defect to the APC, the then main opposition party. The Senate also suffered a number of defections.
“At the time the National Assembly was therefore not conducive to the health deliberations and consideration of such an important document.
“It was obvious that some members of the National Assembly and their collaborators were ready to shoot down anything that in their thinking would improve the image of my government.”