Speaking exclusively to THISDAY on the phone monday, the former president 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.”
He said: “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.”
He 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.
THISDAY had reported that Jonathan had gone into exile following the resolve by the federal government to arrest him on allegations of corruption.
The perception that the government was going to reel him in was linked to the heightened attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta.