Former President Goodluck Jonathan is not a drunkard, neither does he drink alcohol except wine, during special occasions, his former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, has said.
Abati said throughout his tenure as spokesman to the ex-president, he never saw him drink alcohol, how much more to get drunk.
He made the clarification during a recent interview with Rockcity 101.9 FM, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“President Jonathan does not drink”, the former presidential spokesman said. “You see, that’s one of the myths about that administration and you must understand how this thing is; it’s all about perception, communication”.
According to Abati, rumours that Jonathan was excessively fond of drinking alcohol had to do with stereotyping about people from the Southsouth geo-political zone.
“But I can tell you that in my 4 years of working for President Jonathan, I never found him in a bibulous situation. If he ever tasted any drink, maybe a glass of wine during special occasions. All those stories about him drinking, about President Jonathan always being berated, about bibulous situations inside the Villa, those things did not exist. The people must find justifications to say this is why we think this situation is this way it is”, he explained.
The former presidential aide insisted that Jonathan “is a very humble man; he is a very committed person to the Nigerian project”, adding that “if you look at the results of the elections, you’ll see that he lost the elections with about 2.5 million votes or thereabout, which means that a large number of Nigerians still believed in him and also believed in his ability and his capability of his administration to move Nigeria forward”.
While acknowledging the right of the Nigerian people to choose their leaders and respect their choice in that regards, Abati enjoined all and sundry to remain committed to the country, and to support the current leadership.
“This is not about witch-hunt. It is not about criticizing people. The Nigerian people have spoken and we stand by the decision of the Nigerian people. And we all support whoever is there to move Nigeria forward”.
However, Abati disagreed with the All Progressives Congress-led federal government’s move to probe the Jonathan administration, saying it was akin to looking backward, instead of forward.
“Can we all just work together to move Nigeria forward? For me, that is where the emphasis should be, because we are all Nigerians and at the end of the day the country is more important than all of us”, he said.