Politics

Despite our friendship, ex-President Jonathan persecuted me and almost jailed me – Governor El-Rufai

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan during a book presentation in Rivers State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has revealed that former President Goodluck Jonathan almost jailed him because he (Jonathan) saw him as a threat to his second term ambition.

The governor said that although Jonathan was his friend from his time as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, he persecuted him because he believed those who told him that he was a threat.

“Jonathan was convinced by his own circle too that I was a threat and that if he was going for a second term of office, he had to take me out of the race. And so, Jonathan continued the persecution that Yar’adua started.

“I have been associated with running for President, as I said, since 2005, 2006, about 15 years. I’ve suffered for this, I’ve even been exiled for it and Jonathan tried to put me in prison for it.

“My name being mentioned with regard to presidential aspiration has been on since 2006, since I was running the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. People were speculating that the then President Olusegun Obasanjo was preparing to hand over to me. It was part of the reasons I was exiled. Late President Yar’adua was told, according to those around him, that Obasanjo shortlisted two names to succeed him – Yar’Adua’s name and mine. It was totally false.

“But Yar’adua believed that, and he thought that I was a threat, and all the hullabaloo, lies and persecution that got me exiled for 23 months were as a result of that.”

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State
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