In a quick response to the publication by national newspaper which said that Former President Goodluck Jonathan was on exile in Cote d’Ivoire, he has banished the report stating that it was by no means true.
Recall that the report, published yesterday by This Day, claimed that Dr. Jonathan had been given asylum in the French-speaking country. But the ex-president immediately spoke up on the same day May 23, and said it was all false.
Speaking exclusively to the newspaper on the phone on May 23, the former president confirmed that he had been out of the country for over a month, revealing that he traveled to some cities in the United States of America, then departed the country for London before arriving Cote d’Ivoire via Paris.
When reminded of attempts made to reach him several times last week to verify the allegations, he said:
“So what… I am not in exile. I am here resting.
“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”.
“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”.
Speaking to The Nation on the same issue, Mr. Jonathan maintained that he was not in exile attributing the report to the efforts of people who want to dent his image. He insisted:
“I’m not on exile. I have no cause to go on exile. It is a wicked and malicious report.
“I was Vice President for two years and President for six years. I did everything I could and I served my country very well. This is what they keep saying anytime I’m outside the country. I was in Ecuador; they said I was on exile. This is my second time in Cote d’Ivoire and I’m rounding off my visit.
“It is a wicked attempt to link me with the renewed Niger Delta crisis”.