Former president Goodluck Jonathan has responded to Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai‘s claim that he distributed N2bn each from the ecological fund to only Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) states in 2013.
El-Rufai, the chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Ad-Hoc committee on ecological fund stated this while briefing state house correspondents after the NEC meeting on Thursday.
“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,” El-Rufai said.
El-Rufai, who led the 11-man committee added:
The committee established beyond all doubts that in 2013, the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan gave N2bn to certain states of the federation but excluded other states.
The states that got it were all PDP states and states of other parties that were sympathetic to the PDP like Labour Party in Ondo and APGA in Anambra state. 19 states and the FCT did not get the N2bn from the ecological fund. These states are Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara and Lagos.
Others are Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara and the federal capital territory.
In a response by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan described El-Rufai’s statement as a “sinister narrative”.
“It is so easy to expose Malam Nasir El-Rufai as a liar as Akwa-Ibom, a PDP state governed by the then Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and a close confidante of the then President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, did not get the monies alluded to by Mallam 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.
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 specialised fund with certain constitutional requirements which must be met before a state can access the funds. Every state benefited from the fund under President Jonathan, who bent over backwards to accommodate states that had difficulty meeting the criteria for accessing the fund,” Jonathan said.
The former president added that El-Rufai was silent on the over N10bn specially deployed to fund the Great Green Wall 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 Sahel.
“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 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 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,” Jonathan said.