I’m Fulfilled That Nigeria Became Africa’s Largest Economy Under My Tenure – Jonathan
SAN FRANCISCO, April 23 (THEWILL) – Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan says his sense of fulfilment derives from the fact that under his watch as Nigeria's President, the nation emerged as the largest economy in Africa and the 24th largest in the world.
This was as he noted that he is known in Nigeria to have made efforts in exemplifying his guiding principles of ‘one man, one vote’ as well as that of his ambition not being worth the life of any Nigerian.
He made this known on Friday at the mayor's office in Newark, New Jersey, where he addressed Friends of Africa coalition on the theme of strengthening democracy and elections.
According to him, “I inherited a Nigeria in which the trains were not working, and handed over a Nigeria in which citizens can safely travel by trains again.
“I inherited a Nigeria that was a net importer of cement, and handed over a Nigeria that is a net exporter of cement.
“In 2009 the richest Nigerian was the 5th richest man in Africa, but I handed over a Nigeria that produced the richest man in Africa.
“These are but a few of the parameters that illustrate some of the economic transformations we engineered during my term in office.
“This was made possible by the fact that there was a stable political leadership in Nigeria that did not have to pander to any other constituency except the electorate who brought me to power. And these actions have a contagious effect.
“Perhaps because of what we achieved in Nigeria, our next door neighbor, Benin Republic, last month replicated what President Mathieu Kerekou did in 1991, that is to organize and conduct free and fair elections that led to the victory of opposition candidate Patrice Talon.”
The immediate past Nigerian President then averred that for true democracy to flourish in Africa, leaders must “value the process (of elections) more than the product of the process”.
He argued that if the process that brought leaders to power “did not flow through the people, they naturally administered their governments to first and foremost serve the constituencies that brought them to power.”
“In my country, Nigeria, I am known for my refrain of 'One man one vote, one woman one vote and one youth one vote'. I am also known for the mantra – “My ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
“Not only am I known for these, I have tried to exemplify this stand throughout my political life,” Jonathan declared.