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Ecological Fund: Jonathan Takes No Responsibility For Anything, Says E-Rufai

JonathanEl-Rufai

Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Tuesday, reacted to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s comment that he lied over an issue relating to the Ecological Fund Report.

El-Rufai told the former President not to personalise the report and should wait for the presentation of the final report of the committee before responding.

It will be recalled that the Kaduna State governor headed the committee set up by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to review how ecological fund was spent in 2013.

The former President had described the governor as a big liar, urging Nigerians never to take him seriously.

Jonathan stated this through his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, while reacting to the disbursement of the ecological fund under his administration.

But on Tuesday, el-Rufai shot back at the former President, insisting that the interim report of the committee he headed detailed how the fund was disbursed to 17 states where each received N2bn direct support from the fund in 2013.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan, listed the 17 states to include Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Ondo, Plateau, Ebonyi, Delta, Enugu and Taraba.

El-Rufai noted that there was no denying the fact that 19 other states and the Federal Capital Territory did not receive direct support, adding that ‘any perusal of this list shows clearly which party controlled them as of 2013’.

According to him, 15 of the 17 recipient states had governors from the Peoples Democratic Party while the governors of Ondo and Anambra were from PDP-allied parties.

He added that he merely called the attention of the National Economic Council and the public to the skewed way Jonathan allocated the ecological fund, insisting that as the head of the committee he had the right to do so.

He added, “Former President Goodluck Jonathan has responded to this disclosure by launching a personal attack on Mallam Nasir el-Rufai. He did not make a distinction between a committee of the National Economic Council and the person chairing it. While this is unfortunate and calculated at drawing headlines, Dr Jonathan strained to explain away this strange pattern of fund allocation. But the facts are not deniable. They are in official records and cannot be erased by slinging mud at people.

“As chairman of the NEC ad hoc Committee on the Ecological Fund, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai wishes to advise Dr Jonathan to wait for the presentation of the final report of the committee before he responds. While we all await the final report, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai wishes to respond to the personal attacks as follows:

“Former President Goodluck Jonathan is not a man that can take responsibility for anything. In March 2015, not long after making a concession call to President Buhari, he summoned his party and asked its leadership to reject the results of an election, whose winner he had congratulated in private. That effort at duplicity failed spectacularly and the will of the people prevailed.

“So, no one should be surprised that he is denying presiding over the skewed distribution of ecological fund. His denial begs the question. What special circumstances ensured that only states that were controlled by the PDP and its allied parties qualified for N2bn each? Is it not curious that not only were his allies the only ones who got the funds, but that the various ecological problems in all 17 states required the same N2bn across the states?

“The Almighty God makes it possible for the sun to shine on all. But Dr Jonathan exercised his powers as president as if he governed for only his party or his family.”  (Punchng.com)

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El-Rufai Is A big Liar, Says Jonathan

 JonathanEl-Rufai
            Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described Governor Nasir el-Rufai as a big liar, urging Nigerians not to take him seriously.

Jonathan said this in a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, on Friday, while reacting to el-Rufai’s claims on the disbursement of Ecological Fund under the Jonathan’s administration.

El-Rufai had on Thursday at the National Executive Council meeting, said, “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.”

However, the former President said it was only the states that met the criteria for accessing the fund that received it.

Jonathan said even some states governed by his staunch supporters like Akwa Ibom and Ekiti did not receive the fund as well.

The statement read in part, “It is so easy to expose Mallam 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.”

Jonathan said states ruled by the Labour Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance also received the fund.

He added, “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 benefitted from the fund under President Jonathan, who bent over backwards to accommodate states that had difficulty meeting the criteria for accessing the fund.”

He said el-Rufai’s ‘sinister’ narrative was intentionally 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.

The states included Zamfara, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno and Kano which belong to el-Rufai’s class of ‘non-friendly’ states that he claimed never benefitted from any discretionary fund.

The former President said the similar principle applied to the conditions for accessing the Universal Basic Education Fund, where some states have not had access to what is due them because they have 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?”, the ex-President asked.

The statement added, “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.”

Jonathan said the Kaduna governor was in the habit of telling lies against him. Citing several alleged instances.

“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 N64bn on Independence Day celebrations, during his tenure when in fact only N333m was spent,” the statement added.  (Punchng.com)

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