Presidency blasts el-Rufai for accusing Jonathan of playing ethno-religious politics
Presidency on Sunday fired a wave of verbal missiles at a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai for daring to label President Goodluck Jonathan as playing religious and ethnic cards as path to his 2015 ambition.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, in his guided salvo described el-Rufai as a liar and ingrate.
Abati maintains that president Jonathan is above ethnic and religious politics, and has indeed shown in different actions and mannerisms even far above other former Presidents, most of whom were even Muslims.
Abati said in a statement that these allegations were untrue, pointing that the untruth of it could easily be discerned by anyone that was objective towards the Jonathan administration.
His words, 'My attention has been drawn to comments made by a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and now chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, published in several newspapers where he made wild allegations against the person of President Goodluck Jonathan.
'This most recent interview, like others he gave in the past only shows that El-Rufai is a serial liar and the facts of history bear me witness. El-Rufai accused President Goodluck Jonathan of playing ethnic and religious politics; however, any objective watcher of the President knows that this is untrue'
According to him, the president is a lover of all, regardless of where you are from or what your religion could be, citing the just concluded Ramadan fasting as an instance, that despite that the President being a non-Muslim, he joined the Muslim congregation in it, equally breaking the fast with them severally.
In his view, the fact that President Jonathan is the first leader to have spent so much of national fund on Islamic custom education, the Almajiri education system, cannot be lost on Nigerians.
The adviser pointed out that President Jonathan had appointed Muslim individuals more into key positions in his cabinet than previously was the case.
He said, 'For instance, the Muslim Ummah just emerged from the Ramadan fast and the President, though a Christian joined them in fasting and severally broke the fast with Muslims at the Presidential Villa.
Also, in the history of the existence of Nigeria as a nation, no leader has spent the quantum of funds that President Jonathan has spent on education specifically tailored for Islamic itinerant scholars known as the Almajiri. In the composition of his cabinet, the President has appointed Muslims into sensitive positions and ensured a balance that has been commended by many in the Islamic fold'.
To Abati, it is the former minister who has shown obvious religious bias and disrespect to Christians through his debasing comments inflammatory comments on Christ that could generate religious war amongst Nigerians.
'But it is most curious that this allegation is coming from Nasir El-Rufai, a man who profaned the name of Jesus Christ on Twitter by Tweeting a joke which is too indecent to mention in the presence of civilized persons. This same El-Rufai is the same man who in June of last year claimed that Christians were behind the bombings of their own churches rather than terrorists and were doing this to further a Christian agenda'.
He said it was the same minister who some time ago condemned the Former Presidential candidate of the CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari, as an unfit to be elected into office, while the race for the presidential seat was on in 2007, who has now turned round put down President Goodluck Jonathan while brown-nosing Buhari.
He said, 'It is only a measure of his inconsistency that El-Rufai is today accusing the Presidency of being afraid of General Muhammadu Buhari whom the same El-Rufai said was 'perpetually unelectable'.
'In fact, the accusation El-Rufai is now making against the President is precisely the same accusation he made against General Muhammadu Buhari on October 4 2010 when he said Buhari's 'insensitivity to Nigeria's diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known'. Today, El-Rufai is serving this same Buhari'.
Abati said further that El-Rufai lied to Nigerians to quench his own political thirst, a thirst that is still not quenched, going by his recent acceptance as a party chieftain in the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC).
'That El-Rufai is not above lying to the media to achieve his political objective was proven in Segun Adeniyi's book, 'Power, Politics and Death' when El-Rufai was quoted to have confessed in the presence of multiple witnesses who are still alive today that 'There was no cabal, we created the myth to neutralise Turai'. El-Rufai sold Nigerians the dummy of a Turai cabal which was a lie used to further his own political ends'.
He referred to a diplomatic document where El-Rufai's true thought of President Jonathan back in 2007, when the now president was the Vice-President to the Late President Shehu Musa Yar'Adua was revealed.
'In any case, we have a record of what El-Rufai truly thinks of President Jonathan from the leaked secret diplomatic memo from the U.S. embassy in Abuja which revealed that just before the April 2007 Presidential election El-Rufai had told the then U.S. ambassador to Nigeria that the then Vice Presidential candidate, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, was 'clean and honest'.
Abati however sounded a warning to those of El-Rufai's new 'jolly friends' and Nigerians also,