A report by ThisDay yesterday, disclosed that former President Goodluck Jonathan went into temporary self exile in Cote d’Ivoire, following reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may arrest him on his arrival in Nigeria from his overseas tour on allegations of corruption and misappropriation of billions of dollars during his tenure as president.
We also reported it here that in an interview with Vanguard, a close associate of the former president, Senator Nimi Bariagha Amange, who said he spoke with Jonathan on Friday, dismissed the report as untrue, and insisted that the report was a figment of the imagination of the writers, adding that he (Jonathan) had no reason to go on exile because he served his country credibly and should be commended and not condemned.
Speaking exclusively to ThisDay on the phone late on monday, the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, confirmed that he had been out of the country for over a month, revealing that he travelled to some cities in the United States of America, then departed the country for London before arriving Cote d’Ivoire via Paris.
When reminded that ThisDay had tried to reach him several times last week to verify allegations that he was in exile, he said: “So what… I am not in exile. I am here resting”, adding “Yes I am in Cote d’Ivoire, I have been here for a week resting and this is my second trip to the country since I stepped down as president.”
Jonathan maintained however that he was not in exile because he had no reason to leave Nigeria as he had done his best for his country as president.
“I have made sacrifices for Nigeria. I am praised all over Africa for averting bloodshed and for the peaceful transition from one government to another, but it seems Nigeria does not appreciate my efforts.
“I have done my best for this country and if I have to die for it, I will do so. However, I am taking it easy here (Cote d’Ivoire) and when I am ready, I will come back,” he said.