Monday, June 27, 2022

Ecological Fund: Respond to facts, not personal attack, el-Rufa’i tells Jonathan

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i has told former president Goodluck Jonathan to address the facts contained in his Ecological Fund report that found the former president wanting in the distribution of the funds to selected states.

El-Rufa’i, who was responding to the Jonathan’s personal attack, said the former president resorted to take on the governor, having fully known that the report was the National Economic Council’s ordered investigation.

At a press conference in Kaduna, media aide to the governor, Samuel Aruwan, said it was obvious that the 19 states that were denied the N2 billion from the fund were controlled by the opposition parties, against the 17 PDP-controlled that benefited.

“Fifteen of the 17 recipient states had governors from the PDP, while the governors of Ondo and Anambra were from PDP-allied parties. As the chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Malam Nasir El-Rufai drew the attention of NEC and the public to this skewed pattern of allocating the Ecological Fund.

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“Former President Goodluck Jonathan has responded to this disclosure by launching a personal attack on Malam 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 to draw the 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,” Mr Aruwan said.

The media aide said he would not respond to the former president on the report as el-Rufa’i only presented an interim report to the NEC and urged Jonathan to wait until the final report was tendered.

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“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 funds. 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?

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“Almighty God made 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. The Jonathan government was so conscious that there was something untoward with sharing public funds in that manner that they did not publicize the payments to their preferred states,’ Mr Aruwan said.

He said the payments are in the records of the Ecological Fund, pointing a deliberate discriminatory disbursement of federal funds to selected states.

“Thankfully, Dr. Jonathan did not deny that the N2bn payments were skewed to certain states. His mindset in trying to create an equivalence between those payments and federal support for the green wall projects in some of the northern states can be easily seen as a disingenuous argument,” he said.



bbc news nigeria today

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