Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was all fury as he responded to the allegation by Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State that he (Jonathan) denied some states ecological fund for sentimental reasons.
He branded el-Rufai’s allegation as a lie and said he“has an incurable knack for lying.”
The governor had told reporters in Abuja on Thursday that Jonathan took N2bn each from the Ecological Fund and “gave to some PDP states. Any PDP state that was not his friend, like Kano and Kwara, didn’t get.”
But reacting yesterday in a statement through Ikechukwu Eze, his Media Adviser, Jonathan said:
“With such a description, we are not surprised at his recent comments after the just-concluded National Economic Council meeting where he accused former President Jonathan of only sharing the National Ecological Fund to PDP states. Mr. el-Rufai lied as follows:
“What President Goodluck Jonathan did was to take N2bn each from the Ecological Fund and gave to some PDP states. Any PDP state that was not his friend, like Kano and Kwara, didn’t get.
“It is so easy to expose Malam Nasir el-Rufai as a liar being that Akwa-Ibom, a PDP state governed by the then Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and a close confidante and major supporter of the then President, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, did not get the monies alluded to by Malam el-Rufai from the Ecological Fund as did multiple other PDP states, including Ekiti State, a state governed by a thoroughbred patriot and Jonathan’s supporter, Ayo Fayose.
“Also, it is false that non-PDP states did not get monies from the fund. Nemesis catches up faster with liars than any other agent of evil. el-Rufai was probably led by the gods against his own sinister plot to confess in another breathe that states under non-PDP parties like APGA and Labour party also benefitted.
“The fact remains that the Ecological Fund is a specialized fund with certain constitutional requirements which must be met before a state can access the fund. Every state benefitted from the fund under President Jonathan who bent over backwards to accommodate states that had difficulty meeting the criteria for accessing the fund.
“el-Rufai’s sinister narrative was intentionally silent on the over N10 billion specially deployed to fund the Great Green Wall (GGW) project in some northern states, in view of the need to work with the rest of Africa on the African initiative to check desert encroachment in the Sahelian states. These states included Zamfara, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina and Adamawa. Others are Yobe, Borno and Kano which belong to Mallam el-Rufai’s class of ‘non-friendly’ states that he alleged never benefitted from any discretionary fund.
“Similar principle applies to the conditions for accessing the Universal Basic Education fund where some states have not had access to what is due them because they are yet to fulfil the mandatory criteria for allocation. Would it then be right in the name of el-Rufai’s position on equity to blame the failure of those states to access their UBEC funds on Jonathan? It is really sad that judicious presidential interventions to tackle emergencies and other pressing national needs are being interrogated in a rather facile manner by those who never get tired of playing dirty politics.
“Nigerians may recall that this is not the first time that el-Rufai has vented his known passion for lying against the former President.
“The public will recall that in October 2015, he falsely alleged that former President Jonathan spent a whopping N64 billion on Independence Day celebrations, during his tenure when in fact only N333 million was spent.
“Nigerians may also recall that this same el-Rufai falsely accused former President Jonathan and former CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, of founding and funding Boko Haram to the tune of N50 billion.
“We can only wonder what new false accusation el-Rufai may come up with tomorrow, as with him it is a case of one day, one lie!
“We, therefore, urge Nigerians to be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath whenever this notorious liar opens his mouth.”