Sunday, 21 January 2018

Goodluck Jonathan among Africa’s poorest ex-leaders - Former Perm Sec reveals

Former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali has revealed that former President Goodluck Jonathan is one of the poorest Nigeria or African’s former leaders in recent time.

Speaking with select journalists in Abuja at the weekend, the former career diplomat said that despite the allegations of corruption levelled against some of his officials and associates during his tenure as Nigeria’s president, he left government insolvent but a fulfilled man.

Igali backed up his claim with the fact that even with the numerous corruption accusations against his administration, no case had been linked directly to him.

He said: “Am glad that some of you Journalists are privileged to know where he (Jonathan) lives and where he has his private offices in this country. I do not think President Jonathan can be considered a very rich man.”

“You must realize that none of those corruption allegations has been personally linked to him. Jonathan is not a rich man, take it from me. He may be comfortable but not rich. But l know that his pension as a former president is enough to take care of him.”

The former Permanent Secretary revealed: “Indeed Jonathan is still struggling to pay some election liabilities from 2015 until today.

“Despite all the stories of flying billions, Jonathan borrowed money to prosecute some aspects of his election and he is struggling in different ways to meet up.”

“There’s a lot of untruths that is being said about him, but l believe history will be very fair to him. He is a very simple man. His background and lifestyle are very simple.” He is not jingoistic.

“Thank God some of you guys know where he has an office and where he lives in Maitama.” Which former president of Nigeria lives in that kind of place?

“President Jonathan’s parlour in his Maitama house cannot accommodate more than 10 persons. Look at his dining table, it is like any other house in Maitama. The only way you will know that a former president of this country is living there is the presence of security men and which he is entitled to as a former president.”

Former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Sweden, Finland, Venezuela and Cameroon at different times regretted that Jonathan’s administration was being discredited despite its numerous achievements but was confident that history would vindicate the former president.

Igali added: “As a former president when Jonathan needs an aircraft, the federal government will give him particularly if he is going on an important official assignment. But if it is his private trip, he has to fend for himself.

“He travels on commercial aircraft but when it is not convenient for him that he has to rush to somewhere. Azikel Group helps him.

“The man is from the same Ogbia local government like him. He takes it as his duty to help him. I think we are quite grateful to Dr Iruani for helping Jonathan out all the time.”

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