FROM Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday denied claims by the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai that his administration shared among Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) states N2bn each from Ecological Fund.
He contended that the governor’s claims were not only spurious, but also a clear case that the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would go to any length to malign him.
In a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan said, “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.
Malam El-Rufai lied as follows: “What President Goodluck Jonathan did was to take N2bn each from the Ecological Fund and give to some PDP states. Any PDP state that was not his friend, like Kano and Kwara, didn’t get.”
The statement continued, “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, a state governed by a thoroughbred patriot and Jonathan 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.”
He stressed, “the fact remains that the Ecological Fund is a specialised fund with certain constitutional requirements, which must be met before a state can access the funds. Every state benefitted from the fund under
President Jonathan who bent over backwards to accommodate states that had difficulties 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 “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 to them, because they are yet to fulfill 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 former president maintained, “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 Presiden Jonathan and former CAN former President, Pastor Ayo
Oritsejafor of founding and funding Boko Haram to the tune of N50 billion”.