Former President Goodluck Jonathan has denied the reports credited to the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai , that the former government spent N64bn on contry’s independence anniversary in the last five years.
In a statement released on Sunday by the immediate past Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, said that the administration spent N332.6m on the nation’s Independence anniversary celebrations from 2012 to 2014 as against the spurious figure claimed by the El- Rufai on his Facebook post .
Sulaiman who described the claim by the a “tissue of lies” and ranting of a favour , challenged the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federartion to publish the amount spent on the Independence anniversary ceremonies from 2012 to 2014.
According to him, Jonathan administration spent N107.6m in 2012; N45m in 2013; and N180m in 2014.
“So, the question here is where did the billions as claimed by El-Rufai emanate from? Even though that of 2010 and 2011 are not handy now, but it should be known that they all fall within the same bracket as the one stated, except that the 2010 anniversary was a golden one when the country marked her 50 year of independence.
“But even then , not such outrageous sum was either budgeted or expended.
Again, it is germane to explain the increase in the 2013 anniversary spending for the purpose of accountability.
“The National Honours Award Investiture was incorporated into the celebration, thus making it two events in one, hence the N174,800,000.00 budget.
” We also want to add that the said award investiture could not hold in 2013 and the approved budget rolled over and was utilized to organise the investiture in 2014.
“It is high time government functionaries desisted from abusing their immunity by destroying history and trading on lies just to gain cheap popularity or curry one favour or the other from certain quarters.
“Perhaps President Olusegun Obasanjo was right in his assessment of El-Rufai when he said in his latest memoir, My Watch that his vivid recollection of him (El-Rufai)is his penchant for lying, for unfair embellishment of stories and his inability to sustain loyalty for long.
“That exactly is what El-Rufai has done with his ungodly fabrication of lies against Jonathan government,” said Abubakar.