Updated at 6.30pm, Monday, May 23, 2016
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has refuted reports that he is on temporary self exile in the West African country of Cote d’Ivoire.
In a text message reply to The Trent late afternoon of Monday, May 23, 2016, Dr. Jonathan acknowledged seeing reports that he had gone on exile and that they were not true.
“Thank you. I have seen the story [of his reported self-exile],” Jonathan wrote. “I’m not on exile and I will never go into exile. I have no need to [to seek exile]. This is my second visit to Cote D’Ivoire since leaving office and it is not for official reasons.”
“The story was a wicked act,” the former president concluded.
A source close to the Jonathan confirms that the idea to go on exile has not been discussed in the Jonathan household.
Read, below, our earlier report on the development.
Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly gone on self exile following intelligence reports that that President Muhammadu Buhari is hell bent on arresting his predecessor, ThisDay reports.
According to the report, Jonathan received reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has instructions from Buhari to arrest him on his arrival to Nigeria from his overseas tour on allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds during his five years as president.
Sources close to the former president confirm that Jonathan has sought refuge in Cote d’Ivoire following his two month trip to the United States of America, where he spent the last two weeks in New York.
Jonathan had travelled to London to spend time with his children for a few days enroute Nigeria. It was there that officials sympathetic to him informed him reliability that Buhari planned to arrest Jonathan to demonstrate ‘a major achievement’ in his May 29 anniversary speech.
“Top security sources say that the former president would have been arrested upon arrival in Nigeria and going by the current lawless disposition of the Buhari government, there is no assurance that Jonathan’s rights would be respected or he would be given access to justice,” a source familiar to the situation told The Trent.
“On getting wind of the plan, Jonathan contacted a few West African leaders including the President of Cote d’Iviore, Mr. Alassane Outtara, who offered him a safe haven until the coast is clear for him to return to Nigeria,” ThisDay reports.
Vengeance In The Delta
Observers blame heightened attacks on oil and gas installations by militants in the Niger Delta on “the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to renege on his promise that his predecessor had ‘nothing to fear’ from him (Buhari) after he handed over the reins of power on May 29, 2015”.
The actions of the Niger Delta militants who operate under the name, Niger Delta Avengers has resulted in the loss of an estimated 800,000 barrels crude oil per day, according to Nigeria’s minister of state for petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
Since Jonathan handed power over to General Muhammadu Buhari, the country’s security agencies have been on a campaign to “nail the former president by all means”. The country’s anti-graft agencies have swooped on associates and relatives of the former president, dentaining Aziabola Roberts, a close relative and disobeying court orders for his release on bail.
Officials who served under former President Jonathan have been hounded and jailed without trial on the orders of the president as the EFCC opened an investigation into the campaign funds of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
According to leaks from the anti-graft agency, $2.1 billion was moved from the Central Bank of Nigeria account to the campaign accounts of the PDP presidential campaign of 2015. Several prominent PDP chieftains have been arrested and questions. However, only those who are Christians and from the South, like Chief Femi Fani-Kayode have been denied bail and are being held illegally by the EFCC on the orders of Buhari.
Allegations of money laundering, corruption, and diversion of government funds have been leveled against officials who served under the Jonathan administration. Buhari has gone on national TV to declare former national security adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), guilty of corruption and undeserving of bail. Dasuki has been held illegally by the Buhari government after the secret police swooped on him, arresting him as he met his bail conditions and was released from Kuje Prisons late last year.