The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said former President Goodluck Johnathan only conceded defeat after the 2015 elections because he knew the nation would witness economic recession soon.
Mr Jonathan, before the announcement of the final results, in a move that shocked many political pundits, conceded defeat to the current president, Muhamadu Buhari, after a keenly contested polls.
That was the first time an incumbent would be losing the top seat (and conceding victory) to an opposition party in Nigeria.
Mr Jonathan has been celebrated globally for his action, which many believe saved the country from political turmoil.
The economy plunged into recession shortly after in 2015. The recession raged in 2016 and through late 2017 when the nation then emerged from it.
However, Mr Fashola, a former governor of Lagos State, said on Thursday at a South-west town hall meeting that Mr Jonathan only relinquished power because he wanted to avoid being at the helm of affairs during the recession.
The meeting was organised by the Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed, and held at the Emeritus Professor Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, opposite University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Mr Fashola at the meeting also said the Goodluck government not only plunged the nation into recession but pushed it into debts.
”What was left behind were massive debts owed to contractors who had not been paid for three to five years and who had laid off thousands of workers and shut down equipment and plants.
”That was one of the reasons why the economy first went into, and, I suspect, one of the reasons they (Goodluck administration) quickly conceded defeat,” Mr Fashola said.