Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, has alleged that former president Goodluck Jonathan attempted to imprison him despite both of them being friends.
Speaking in an interview, Governor El-Rufai claimed that Jonathan, despite being his very close friend from when he was the deputy governor of Bayelsa State, decided to put him in prison because he believed those who told him that he was a threat to his second-term ambition.
According to the governor, his persecution started in 2006 when he was in charge at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after some persons erroneously believed that he was touted to succeed former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
“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,” El-Rufai told The Point.
“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.”
On the insecurity in Kaduna State, Governor El-Rufai said the government was working hard, and using the carrot and stick approach to gradually solve the problem.