Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai as a notorious liar and called on Nigerians to ‘be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath’ whenever the governor speaks.
Jonathan was reacting to El-Rufai’s criticisms of the former president’s role in the disbursement of Ecological Funds during his administration.
An interim report by the National Executive Council’s (NEC) 11-member ad-hoc committee on management of Ecological Funds, headed by El-Rufai, had said that 19 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, did not benefit from their statutory percentage share of the fund during the immediate past administration.
The NEC is an official platform for dialogue among the 36 state governors, the Central Bank governor, and other co-opted members, and is chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Submitting the report, the El-Rufai-led committee listed the states that did not benefit from the Fund to include Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger and Ogun.
Others are Oyo, Osun, Sokoto, Rivers, Yobe, Zamfara, and Abuja.
El-Rufai reportedly had claimed during the submission of the report that “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.”
But in his response in a statement on Friday, Jonathan described El-Rufai as a habitual liar, saying that his level of lying has got to a point of one day one lie.
In the statement issued by Ikechukwu Eze, his media adviser, Jonathan made reference to a book, “My Watch”, written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, where El-Rufai was painted as a disloyal figure.
Part of the statement read, “It is false that non-PDP states did not get monies from the fund. 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 supporter, Ayo Fayose.
“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 (sic) 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 funds. 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.”
Jonathan wondered why El-Rufai was silent in his “sinister narrative” on the over N10billion specially deployed to fund the Great Green Wall (GGW) project in some northern states, which was in collaboration with other African states as a measure 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?”, he questioned.
The statement further stated, “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.”