Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan almost jailed him because he thought he was a threat to his second term ambition.
El-Rufai made the claim in an interview published by The Point. Noting that Jonathan became his close friend from when he was the deputy governor of Bayelsa State, the Kaduna state Governor alleged that the former President continued the persecution his predecessor, Yar’adua started.
“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.”
El-Rufai also maintained that no one could intimidate or blackmail him into doing what he would not do unless they offered superior logic.
Commenting on insecurity in Kaduna state, El-Rufai said his administration is using the carrot and stick approach to gradually solve the problem.